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Reaching Out Parents: HKAA Principal Invites Parents for Lunch
February 25, 2019

The unspoken words subtly, almost secretly oozed between the sentences of conversations, spoken with hints of shame and desperation. One after another, parents hinted at their reality—a reality all parents have had to confront. “No one gave us a manual for how to do this! How do I raise my children?” With each new discipline issue, with each new conversation with parents, with each new challenge I brainstormed with parents, it became clear that our faculty and staff are being called by God to partner with the parents of the students who walk our halls. But how? Surely, through private conversations, I will learn about the students, their home life, the struggles their parents encounter at home. However, we believed that we could do more.

As I was solidifying my resolve to find a way to address some basic parenting concerns, our local Adventist church was seeking a way to connect with the parents who were a part of our school. With only 25% of our students attending one of our churches each week, this was clearly a felt need. Through several hours of brainstorming, the leadership of the church and the school agreed to hold a “Principal’s Lunch Invitation.” The church agreed to pay for the food; the school paid for the programs, invitations, and promotion. Thus, the first annual “Principal’s Invitational Lunch” was launched. Our secondary students agreed to provide labor for set up, and we promoted their mission trip to Myanmar at the event to solicit donations.

The almost seventy parents who attended sat for several hours quite focused and intent on finding nuggets of wisdom from those of us who presented, including myself (the principal), a student, a teacher, and a counselor. My lecture on parenting was entitled “Principal’s Parenting Principles.” Here are the principles I promoted:

Tom Decker, Principal of Hong Kong Adventist Academy