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Oak Knoll School Blog

How to Feel at Home in a New School Community

Posted by Chris Starr on Sep 11, 2023 10:04:44 AM

Labor Day has come and gone and school children across the country are back in class. Joining a private school at any grade level can be a social adjustment, as it can also be for new parents and guardians as they get to know a brand new community and school culture. Will I fit in? How can I get to know others in the community? How involved should I be with the school and other parents?

Fortunately, private schools like Oak Knoll offer a variety of mechanisms and activities to help new parents feel at home and a vital part of the school community. If you are joining a private school community for the first time, or switching to a new school, note the following ideas to more rapidly get involved, stay in touch, and leave a lasting impact on your new school community.


Participate in events 

Check out the calendar listing on your school’s website or parent portal and feel free to join in any of the events! Many schools will have a page dedicated to the Parents’ Association (PA) both publicly on their school website and privately in their community portal. Oak Knoll’s public PA page is located here.


Join a committee to help plan events, assist with fundraising campaigns, partner with your child's teacher or contribute to workshops. At Oak Knoll, we encourage and celebrate parent input and participation throughout the year.

Stay informed

Keep an eye on your school’s weekly newsletter to ensure you're aware of upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and ways to contribute. 

Meet the leadership

In addition to knowing your child’s teachers, get to know the leadership of the school itself as well as the PA. Your PA should have an executive board, and a variety of volunteer appointees. At Oak Knoll, some of the special volunteers who work diligently to engage new and existing parents include:

  • Communications Coordinator
  • Community Coordinators
  • Spiritual Life Coordinators
  • Parent Diversity and Inclusion Coordinators
  • Parent Education and Enrichment Coordinator
  • Service Coordinators
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Special Events Coordinator

Get to know your school’s traditions

Most schools have annual events that are woven into the fabric of the community. These could include fundraisers, decorating parties, book clubs, religious services, cookie decorating, faculty/staff appreciation meals, family fun days, special holiday sales boutiques, parent/child opportunities, fathers and friends gatherings, wine tastings, walking clubs, and faith sharing. All of these and more are regularly scheduled throughout the year at Oak Knoll.

So, to all you new parents joining a new independent school community and culture — especially to our new parents at Oak Knoll — here’s to making new friends, having new adventures, and making the most of a welcoming school community.

Topics: private school, Community

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