School parent coordinators work with principals, the school leadership team, parent association and school staff to engage parents in the school community. According to a recent article in The Villager, a New York City newspaper, they are equal parts social worker, administrator, liaison and cheerleader. Depending on the school district's requirements, they may have a bachelor's or associate's degree or the equivalent relevant experience. School parent coordinators earn between £19,500 and £26,000 a year.
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School parent coordinators are responsible for maintaining contact with the community organisations that provide services to students and their families. This can mean working with after-school and sports programs, tutoring services and medical teams that provide health care to students. The coordinator's job description is fluid and often changes from situation to situation, depending on the needs of the students and families being served.
Because coordinators are the contacts who work most directly with students' families, they're usually the first to bring cultural sensitivities to the attention of the school staff. For instance, as a sign of respect, members of some cultures don't make eye contact with those of the opposite sex. Someone not familiar with this may interpret it as rudeness. Because they often explain cultural practices like this to others, effective coordinators are always sensitive to the cultural differences in their community.
To increase parental and community involvement, coordinators are expected to organise regular open houses and other events at the school. A key responsibility here is to create an environment that makes families comfortable spending time at their child's school. This can be a challenging part of the job because coordinators first have to come up with creative ways to draw busy families to their school.
A school parent coordinator may be called to act as a liaison between families and the school staff or district offices. This involves working with the family and assisting it in bringing its concerns about a problem or issue to the school administration. Coordinators provide another level of support for families who want to be more engaged in their child's school experience.
Coordinators hold regular parent meetings on topics of concern to parents. These topics can include bullying, school safety, lunch programs, language barriers or other obstacles to a student's ability to learn. Coordinators must be prepared to help parents find the resources they need to support their children's education.
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