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Parent Leaders Partner in Effective Communication at Corbett Prep

PFA members craft messages to appeal to a wide variety of learners, adults and children, in the Corbett Prep community.PFA members craft messages to appeal to a wide variety of learners, adults and children, in the Corbett Prep community.

Headmaster Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman welcomed the PFA and RPC (Room Parent Coordinators) at an orientation two days before classes started and led members through exercises to discover what types of learners they are. They reviewed multiple frameworks for how people process information, focusing on the most common learning styles – kinesthetic, tactual, auditory and visual. Understanding the differences will help parents craft messages in ways that appeal to a wide variety of learners, adults and children, in the Corbett Prep community.

In addition to learning styles, Dr. Swarzman also reviewed the importance of “positive phrasing” when communicating with others. Positive phrasing turns “can’ts and won’ts and don’ts” into “cans and wills and do’s” and reveals opportunities instead of roadblocks. The PFA practiced reframing negative statements into positively phrased ones. Rather than telling people “don’t forget,” for example, choose to ask them to “please remember.”

These approaches, Dr. Swarzman told the parents, are all about treating others with dignity and respect. The PFA plays an important part in outreach and building community while undertaking projects designed to enhance children’s educational experiences.

All parents of current students and all members of the Corbett Prep teaching and administrative staff are automatically members of the PFA. The Executive Committee is the governing body of the PFA, and the RPCs are one of the standing committees. Room Parent Coordinators are there to support teachers in the classroom.

The PFA Executive Committee shares information within the Corbett Prep community through the school’s Thursday folders, the weekly Heads’ Letters and Facebook. Here at Corbett Prep, we take communicating with parents seriously. You can follow the school on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CorbettPrep and the PFA at www.facebook.com/CorbettPrepPFA.


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Founded in 1968, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS (formerly Independent Day School - Corbett Campus) is a fully accredited, nonsectarian private school located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood. The school serves over 500 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and offers the International Baccalaureate program of study for all students. Teachers are endorsed in gifted education through a master’s level grant with the University of South Florida College of Education. Corbett Prep balances a dynamic, nurturing and safe learning environment with high standards and high expectations to develop a positive approach to life and learning. Corbett Prep has become recognized as an exemplary school with over 7,000 visitors observing and learning from Corbett Prep teachers. For more information, visit www.corbettprep.com or contact the Admissions Office at (813) 961-3087.