Working smarter, not harder could be a motto for one Kings Park parent organization that works to help streamline ideas between schools in the district and act an advocate for education.
The Kings Park Council of Schools is run by volunteer parents to promote an environment where parents from all Kings Park schools can meet monthly to share ideas and solutions on problems facing the district.
Current president, Maria Cirilli believes the work of the council is key to sharing ideas and successes between schools.
They differ from a parent teacher association in that they are representative of the entire district with a focus on educational programs and not on cultural programs.
Meetings are monthly and a representative from each of the schools in the district is there. The council board is made up of four; Cirilli as president, Kim Coluccio as vice president, Tina Candela as secretary and Andrea Esposito as treasurer.
“We are a place where ideas are shared,” said Cirilii. “We focus on finding solutions to problems that the schools are facing. We are the education parent advocates for the whole district.”
Meetings include what the group calls trending topics in school or education, which facilitates feedback and gathers parent’s opinions to provide a better representation on what parents would like to see in the schools.
Next week, the council is presenting a movie called Miss Representation, which portrays the image of girls and women in the media and how those images are received. Cirilli encourages parents of both genders to see it. To make it easier for parents to attend, the council is providing babysitting at a nominal fee. A discussion of the movie will be held afterwards.
Right now the group is working on a best practices type of binder where some 'how to' ideas and past success that have worked in the schools is recorded in an effort to see single victories become victories for the entire district.
“We want to better communicate individual events to all the schools, so if Fort Salonga is having a pancake breakfast, maybe I want to take my kids over there, even though we attend Park View,” said Cirilli.
The group is working on a newsletter to help spread that information and will be taken back by each of the school representatives.
School officials are often in attendance and Cirilli said their support is evident.
“The administration is so supportive, open minded,” she said. “Other parent organizations are very supportive. “It is a place to solve problems not complain. I couldn’t come up better scenario."