A strong partnership between school and home is critical to the individual success of each student in school. Our partnership with our dedicated, involved and supportive parents is strong and has been in place from the very beginning. We were able to get CSA started and underway only because parents understood that they needed to work together to solve problems.
Twenty years ago, CSA started on a shoestring budget with a federal grant of $20,000. At one of the first Parent Council meetings, parents asked if it was possible to get playground equipment. CSA District Founder Chuck Stockwell explained that the limited funds needed to be entirely dedicated to the instructional program, so playground equipment would have to wait. When the parents asked if they could build a playground themselves, Chuck welcomed their efforts.
The very next weekend, donated supplies began to arrive in the area that would become the playground. A few weekends later, 40 parents showed up and built the swings, slides and climbing apparatus. The next week, the children had a playground. That wonderful, original playground lasted for many years and was eventually replaced by a modern play structure, also paid for and constructed with the hours and dollars of parent volunteers.
This shared payment arrangement still exists today.
- Our District Athletics Program was started by parents who volunteered their time and energy to coach and organize. Today we offer a variety of sports to students from later elementary through high school. Our District is a member of the MHSAA and our teams are strong and considered worthy competitors.
- We have an outstanding Robotics Program that was initiated by our parents. They continue today as a huge force of active support of the program.
- Our parents formed the CSA Education Foundation whose primary mission is to raise funds to retain and train our teachers.
- Our students participate in and enjoy countless other program enhancements that are the direct result of our parents volunteering their time, energy and money to create, support and enhance.
However, our strong partnership with parents is so much more than just money and volunteer time. It is our educational partnership that results in our students graduating from high school ready for college, with over 90% of them continuing on the university, many with prestigious scholarships.
Our original idea was that parents would always be welcome at CSA. They volunteer thousands of hours in classrooms, work cooperatively with teachers and at home supporting the instruction that goes on in the classroom. Because they transport their students to and from school each day, many stay to support instruction, talk with other parents, and talk and collaborate with teachers. We think this is why we have such outstanding and successful graduates. They are the product of our strong and vital parent/school partnership
We have established programs and practices that enhance parent involvement and reflect the needs of our students and their families. We maintain our strong parent/school partnership with:
- An active Parent Council that meets monthly.
- A family handbook that is distributed to all families.
- A weekly parent newsletter that details current happenings and information about how to be involved and how to support their students and their school.
- A special parent section of the District website that provides detailed information, specifically for parents.
- Access to the District’s student database so that parents can monitor attendance, demographic information and individual student progress.
- Parent/teacher conferences available at any time.
- Comprehensive Student Review meetings scheduled on an individual basis with each family at a mutually agreed upon day and time.
- Classrooms open to parent visits.
- Volunteer opportunities in classrooms, school libraries, publishing center and other groups that support the day to day activities of the school.
- A before and after school day care program.
- College-bound resource area at CSPA that is available to students and parents.
- An annual parent survey that gathers information about parent satisfaction.
- The CSA District annual report that is available in the fall of each school year.
- A School Improvement Team that includes a parent as one of its members.
- Publications and presentations by the administrative leaders that are related to the philosophies and methods utilized in the CSA District.
- Many school events and activities that involve students, parents and families.