Leaders build trust at Dames Ferry Elementary
Dames Ferry Elementary held a short meeting called Coffee and Conversation Friday, Aug. 10 in the morning for parents to meet and greet the administration at the school. Leigh Ann Knowles, principal; Kim Jones, assistant principal; Connie Downey, counselor; Jennifer Holland, instructional coach; and Melody Nebel, Title One Family Engagement Coordinator, were all present to welcome parents in a relaxed atmosphere.
“Coffee and Conversation is just a time to get together and to gain some knowledge about things going on here at Dames Ferry,” Nebel said. “With new people on the administrative team, we thought it would be a good idea for parents to meet the new administration and to get a feel for how things are here.”
Nebel said the event was a chance for parents to get to know everyone on a more personal level and to ask important questions about what will be happening at Dames Ferry Elementary while enjoying a nice cup of coffee in a welcoming environment. She said the children are what is important in the discussion since they all have children themselves.
“We want parents to be here in the school and feel important,” Holland said. “We want to build a relationship with these parents and the community. Coffee and Conversation is just one way to welcome them inside our door.”
Holland said the more involved the parents are, the more successful the school can be. She said she wants to see the students succeed more academically due to parent involvement and support.
“Parents can be involved in multiple ways. We understand parents can’t always be here during the school day. We want to provide parents with different opportunities through different events, at different times,” the instructional coach said.
Even if parents aren’t able to attend events and things at the school, they are always available and accommodating, the instructional coach said. She said they want to reach every parent in some form to build trust with them.
Nebel said there are a variety of ways for parents to stay connected if they can’t make it to the school. Newsletters, signed papers, the website, emails, texts, and Facebook are ways parents can keep in contact with teachers and the administration at Dames Ferry Elementary.
“If you don’t have the relationship and the trust, you aren’t going to get anywhere,” she said. “Everyone has to work as a team. We have to have the students, the teachers, the parents, and the community, because everybody involved is going to make it much more successful.”