The Parent Network began in 1990 as an association of the members of the Parent Support, Resource, and Communication Networks of St. Joseph's Academy, Villa Duchesne, and Visitation Academy. Initially, this group of parents met to discuss topics of interest to the three girls' schools and to share ideas and strategies for promoting parent education. It was felt that it was important for parents to establish close ties with one another and support each other. As a result, programs were planned for these schools as well as for those of neighboring schools.
All private Catholic, as well as Archdiocesan Catholic schools were invited to join Parent Network, and the board from member schools began meeting more frequently. In the 1994-1995 school year, representatives from Priory, Chaminade, and Nerinx Hall high schools became a part of this group. By the end of the 1995-1996 school year, Ursuline, CBC, and DeSmet had representatives on what was now called the Parent Network Board. With the addition of Cor Jesu, Duchesne, St. Louis University High, and Vianney during the 1996-1997 school year, the Network grew to thirteen members. After representatives from Incarnate Word Academy, Notre Dame, and St. Elizabeth's Academy and then St. Dominic joined the group in 1997-1998, the name was changed to Parent Network of Catholic High Schools.
A Mission Statement and by-laws for the group were drafted and adopted. A letter encouraging parents to exercise good judgment in planning Spring Break was written and distributed by the Parent Network Board of Officers and Representatives. In addition, a Parent Pledge, designating homes where parties would be parent chaperoned and alcohol and drug free, was adopted and each member school was encouraged to adapt it to their school's needs.
In 1997, a Resource Booklet was developed and offered at cost to the Parent Network schools. 10,000 copies of our collaborative Resource Booklet were produced and distributed in the first printing. In 1998, 5,000 more were printed and distributed. The Resource Booklet continues to be revised and sold and is seen as an important tool for Parent Network in supplying information, recommendations, community and literary support to parents of member schools.
Over time, the Parent Network has evolved. Today the organization sponsors two annual presentations where well-respected local and national speakers address topics of concern to parents of teenagers, and offers a Blessing Mass. Our organization is committed to providing support to parents and sharing ideas via these presentations, the Resource Booklet, and networking with one another.