Month: May 2014

Communication with Parents

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Fresh on the heels of graduation this past weekend, I’m reflecting on the exciting recent events on campus such as our Spring Parents’ Weekend, our annual Academy Awards Convocation and Senior Reception. One of the highlights was our drama department’s production of an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, which was set in modern times on a cruise ship! Reconnecting in person with so many of our parents reminded me of a frequently discussed topic during admission calls–the level of communication parents can expect with their student and the school.

I am pleased to share that parent communication will be a very strong aspect of your student’s time at Oak Hill Academy. We recognize the importance of our partnership and are very personal in all our communications with parents. I’ll share some examples:

 

  • Grade and dorm reports are mailed quarterly; interim academic reports, if needed, are mailed at each quarter’s mid-point.
  • Parents have access to WebGrader, an online grading report program which is updated frequently with assignment descriptions, grades and narratives.
  • There are periodic mailings (eight this year!) of “Word of Mouth,” our student-produced campus newspaper highlighting recent events on campus.
  • I invite you to check out the “Parents” tab on our website. There you will find current and constantly updated content and photos showcasing recent happenings. Our “Calendar” page also is accessible from the Parents tab. It lists campus activities on a daily basis.
  • Teachers, administrators and resident life staff are readily reached by email and phone as published in our Student and Parent Handbook, and on our website.
  • There are two Parents’ Days events (Fall and Spring) that bookend the school year featuring teacher conferences, college planning seminars, the President’s forum, equestrian show, art show, music and drama performances, parent-attended abbreviated class day, and many other opportunities to see our students at work (and play).
  • Our Deans are in constant communication with parents, sharing any concerns and good news.

A related question usually follows this discussion: How will I communicate with my child during the school year? Considering our policies that govern internet and cell phone use, I understand this concern. The fact is, student/parent communication is alive and well on “The Hill.” As each student receives his or her own laptop and email account, many students are in daily conversation with their families via email. Additionally, there are dorm phones and a Skype center available for our students to be in touch with family.

Families are always welcome to visit the campus. This is a good time to see your student in action in a scheduled performance or game, and to spend some quality time in the area. Our frequent and generous break schedule also allows ample opportunity to reconnect.

Frequent communication among students, parents, faculty and staff is regarded as a vital component of the collaborative venture that is the Oak Hill Academy experience.