Celebrating school choice is a family affair – and the Thea Bowman Leadership Academy in Gary, Indiana recognizes that. The charter school serves 550 students on two campuses that span K – 12. Thea Bowman Leadership Academy is one of the oldest charter school in Indiana and has participated in National School Choice Week for since 2014.
“We want everyone to know that school choice is important. Every parent and scholar should have the opportunity to attend a school of their choice, regardless of the type of school. We of course love that they chose us.”
For NSCW 2017, the school invited students’ families in for a family game night that included a variety of board games, card and computer games. There were even a few video game console stations set up so students and parents could challenge each other on old and new favorites.
In addition to games, the event featured a hot dog dinner with chips and drinks. At the end of the event, students got the chance to “tape” the principal to the wall.
The family-centric evening was a way to invite parents and siblings in to celebrate choice in education and what it means in the lives of individual students.
“We want everyone to know that school choice is important. Every parent and scholar should have the opportunity to attend a school of their choice, regardless of the type of school. We of course love that they chose us,” said Marisa Simmons, assistant principal at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy.
Focusing on what students are doing right, and how choice in education is improving family lives, is a priority when it comes to National School Choice Week planning at the Thea Bowman Leadership Academy. Recruitment is also a part of NSCW events – but nurturing the strong community already in place is really important too. Picking out something that that feels like a celebration, and not an obligation, is the key to a successful NSCW event for school families.
“Choose an event that is fun. Get your scholars excited about the event and they’ll get pass on that enthusiasm to their parents. It doesn’t hurt to include a fun activity like duct-taping your principal to the wall. Parents and scholars love it,” said Simmons.
When families choose a school like the Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, they are consciously deciding that the educational option is the right fit for the students they send. Confirm those decisions by planning National School Choice Week events that focus on the family unit and the important role it plays in student success. Host a meal, set up game stations, plan a parent-child field day or basketball game, or any other event that emphasizes the role the family plays in deciding on, and continuing to commit, to choice in education.