Central to the SHS commitment to Goal IV of our Goals and Criteria—”the building of community as a Christian value”—is the role our families play in the life of the school. In our SHS community, we consider ourselves very blessed to have very strong parent engagement across all schools and grade levels, and we have found that this participation results in an even better educational environment for our students and experience for all our families--the majority of whom remain with SHS for the duration of their children’s schooling.
The primary organizations at Sacred Heart for parent involvement are the two Parents’ Associations (PA)—one serving the Preparatory, one serving P-8—and represent a vital link between the school and the families we serve. Tasked with encouraging communication and fostering community among school staff, parents, and students, the Parents' Associations' numerous committees, volunteer activities, and annual calendar of events ensure an abundance of opportunity for involvement in ways both large and small.
Each year, SHS hosts the auction dinner, the primary community-building event and fundraiser for school programs and financial aid. Co-chaired by current parents from each school division, the auction annually enlists more than 200 parent volunteers, and attracts close to 700 participants and attendees.
Events organized and hosted by the Parents’ Associations include the yearly Holiday Boutique, Gingerbread House Workshop, faculty/staff thank-you and holiday luncheons, parent education events, parent/child community service days, and many other community gathering opportunities throughout the school year. In addition, regular PA meetings at both schools are open to all and take place monthly during the school year.
Part of the SHP Parents' Association, the Community Conversations Committee hosts a number of activities during the year to support parent learning around a variety of topics. The goal is to "inspire educationally relevant conversations within the Sacred Heart high school parent community, promote learning within the five Goals to create a safe and lively learning environment, and to support teenaged students as they navigate the challenges of social development and today’s relationships." This fall, the group is launching a Healthy Life Discussion Series, focused on themes related to parent-teen communication, teen relationships and intimacy, and guiding good decision-making, among others.
SHS is also a member of Common Ground, a coalition of Bay Area schools that have joined together to provide parent education to their communities. The coalition provides opportunities for parents to learn from experts in the fields of education and parenting, to share ideas with other parents, and to support each other’s efforts to enrich the our school communities.
Working closely with the school’s education to mission staff, the SHP Parents’ Association and the P-8 Parents’ Association operate a joint committee to help enhance and encourage the spiritual life of the entire community through a number of regular and periodic programs and activities connected with Christian identity and Catholic tradition.
Additionally, Family Masses are intermittently held throughout the academic year, to enable and encourage school, faculty, and staff families to come together in shared worship and Eucharistic celebration.