In a year that has been filled with change and unpredictability, the St. Michael’s College School Parents’ Association (SMCSPA) has adapted and found new and creative ways to connect and engage parents virtually – and they may have saved the best for last.
Beginning in the fall of 2020, virtual parent socials were launched through the grade representatives. These events provided parents with an opportunity to gather by grade in an online format, without a set agenda, to discuss the ongoings of the school, ask administration questions, and support each other.
“Our Parents’ Association team of grade representatives planned several virtual gatherings to assure parents we are here for each other and to stay connected to the school,” says Dora Garcia-Strube, one of the lead organizers of the fall socials. “Participation was great, and it was wonderful to see parents enjoy the social interaction. I believe that caring for each other always brings great satisfaction to our lives.”
Following the fall events, the Parents’ Association turned its attention to planning for the spring and brainstorming a new way to connect online with the parent community.
“The fall events were fairly well attended, but we wanted to take things up a notch and add a more fun, entertaining element for spring,” says SMCS parent Jen Hinder, the PA’s lead for the spring social event. “We recognize that families have been cooped-up over a long winter and mindful that some may be feeling Zoom fatigue, so we decided to hire a third-party, JAM, an online event planning company to help execute a fun and interactive game night.”
JAM, a division of Sport & Social Group, a local sport and social company that pivoted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer a range of online games and activities for corporate team building and group social events.
The SMCSPA spring social will take place on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. The first half of the evening will include gameplay hosted by JAM in small groups to ensure everyone gets involved. Following the game portion of the evening, the event will transition to chat rooms for a grade-specific social opportunity.
The theme for the PA sponsored event is ‘Survey Says’, based on the highly popular, classic TV game show, Family Feud. All that’s required is a computer or mobile device with a camera, and a few of your favourite snacks.
“Our goal is to get as many SMCS parents as possible to participate and to ensure they have fun and foster their connection to the school that so many of us are missing,” says Hinder.
“The majority of the PA Executive will be in attendance, with some facilitating, so it will be a wonderful opportunity for parents to put faces to names and connect with their PA representatives. With families still stuck at home, we hope the unique, interactive engaging format will provide parents with an outlet to ‘get out’ and try something new and fun.”
“We are extremely grateful to our Grade Rep Committee for arranging awesome Parent Socials in the fall and spring,” says Ellie Maggio, SMCSPA President. “Their extraordinary effort to continually ensure parent engagement is truly a gift that our community is blessed to have.”
GAME NIGHT FOR PARENTS
Spring Event Details
Name: Survey Says.… Spring!
Who: All SMCS Parents
What: SMCSPA Parents’ Spring Social (approximately 45 minutes of third-party hosted gameplay followed by 45 minutes of PA Grade Rep hosted chat rooms)
When: Thursday, May 6, 2021
Time: 7 p.m. (Two games will run simultaneously for Grades 7-9 parents and Grades 10-12 parents)
RSVP: Check the SMCSPA Group on Edsby for the registration link