Look Inside

Parents Council

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      Shady Hill teachers value thinking together with parents about their kids.

Parents Council is composed of Class Parents from each section of each grade and its officers: two Co-Chairs and a Vice Chair. Each gradehead section has one or more Class Parents, who serve one year terms. Class Parents support classroom teachers and work to foster a warm, inclusive and welcoming community for parents. They also help parents get questions answered by directing them to the appropriate resource within the school.

Parents Council hosts parent social and educational activities throughout the year, such as parent coffees and three or four Parent Community Evenings. Evening events provide educational forums with speakers whose expertise includes topics chosen to align with the school’s mission and are of interest to parents.

Shady Hill’s emphasis on community building is a hallmark that benefits all families. Parents Council is a school-sponsored organization that focuses on strengthening our community by providing opportunities for all parents to be involved in the life of the School through a variety of events during the year as well as facilitating volunteer opportunities.
Parents Council is composed of Class Parents from each section of each grade and three officers. All officers meet regularly with the Head of School, and the senior officer is a member of the Board of Trustees.
The role of Class Parent includes welcoming new families and coordinating events, such as parent socials and class breakfasts. Class Parents also support their classroom teachers and the broader efforts of Parents’ Council.
Parents Council organizes events, from morning coffees before assemblies to social and educational evening events. The Parent Community Evenings provide opportunities to hear from experts on a range of topics, including: parenting, diversity and multicultural inclusion, learning and the brain, health and wellness, media and technology, gender and sexuality, socioeconomics, and politics. Recent speakers include Jessica Leahy, Rosetta Lee, John Palfrey, Jennifer Bryan, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Rob Evans, Ned Hallowell, Ellen Langer, Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debbie Irving, Marje Monroe, John Ratey, Deborah Roffman, Catherine Steiner-Adair, Michael Thompson, and Rick Weissbourd. During these evening events, we provide childcare (MAP—Movie And Pizza nights!)  in order to make the events accessible to all families.
Parents Council is a good resource for new or current parents who are interested in getting involved in the life of the school community. Given the range of our parents work and family commitments, there are a variety of opportunities available. Here is a sampling:

Volunteer / Service    
  • Working at the Shady Hill Fair (e.g., the book sale, clothesline, fun house, international foods table, ticket sales, obstacle course, and others.
  • Volunteering for DASH (Diversity at Shady Hill) events (e.g., the Lunar New Year Dumpling Party, the I-Fair, and DASHing to the Theater, etc.)
  • Serving as a Shady Hill Fund class representative
  • Working as an Admission tour guide or at other Admission events
  • Managing or volunteering for various Parents Council initiatives, such as Pizza Lunch, Faculty Appreciation Breakfast, Lost & Found, etc.
  • Shelving books in the library
  • Volunteering during Grandparents - Special Friends Day
  • Serving as a co-host for one of the fall grade-wide dinners held at the School
  • Helping in a variety of ways with the School's biennial Spring Celebration

In addition, parents of all currently enrolled students are members of the Shady Hill Corporation, which has an annual meeting each May and is responsible for electing members of the Board of Trustees.

2021-2022 Officers

Elizabeth McQuillan, Co-Chair
Christine Whittmann, Co-Chair
Sasha Eskelund, Vice Chair
617.520.5260      178 Coolidge Hill  Cambridge MA 02138           Association of Independent Schools in New England