Community

MAP was founded by parents 19 years ago, and parent involvement continues to be integral to the program's success. Program goals are discussed, developed and promoted by the volunteer MAP Leadership Council at regular meetings. 

Groups of parents have developed The Multi-Age Philosophy, The MAP Code of Conduct for Parents and Teachers, and the MAP core classroom values.  Additionally, volunteer parents have seats on the MAP Leadership committees to coordinate MAP's vision with the school district administrators.  

Parents are encouraged to work in the classroom and assist activities in a number of different ways.  Parents with particular expertise, such as theater, gardening or engineering, can share their knowledge on subjects being studied in the classroom. Each room has a Classroom Volunteer Coordinator who helps the teacher facilitate projects, plan field trips and manage schedules.  Volunteer opportunities for single parents or those who cannot be available during school hours which can include preparation of project materials on weekends and in evenings away from the classroom, or helping where and when they can to support the program's goals. The District's Director of Student Services and MAP volunteer Classroom Coordinators will be developing in-class volunteer training and clarifying expectations for the in-class volunteering roles.

This in-class parent presence as well as strong parent participation in the guidance of the program has created a sense of community and strong personal relationships among parents, teachers, administrators and students.  Core values developed by the parents have focused attention on the social and emotional development of the children both in the classroom and beyond. Comprehensive parent surveys are undertaken at least every other year in order to continually improve the program.

At the community level, parents can attend evening classroom meetings to discuss volunteer and classroom issues as well as parent education sponsored by MAP and offered to the entire school site.  There are at least two community-wide parent meetings each year so the leadership team can keep parents informed, offer discussion and get feedback.  Numerous social events, one for adults only, enhance the feeling of community within MAP.  Classroom and program newsletters are distributed regularly.

MAP thrives because families who choose it believe that a nurturing community, child-centered and developmental classroom practices, and an ongoing partnership with parents is the best a school can offer its children.