Reaching Out to Parents
Here are some significant facts:
When parents are involved students achieve more regardless
of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents'
education level. Students with involved parents have higher
grades and test scores, better attendance and they get their
homework done more often as well.
Even those students who are economically disadvantaged can
reach high levels of achievement if their parents become involved
in their school lives.
Students who are the farthest behind academically can make
the greatest gains when their parents become involved. Children
from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when parents
and teachers bridge the gap between the culture at home and
the school. Even student behavior such as violence and alcohol
use decrease as parental involvement increases.
Parent involvement benefits students of all ages. Students
with involved parents have higher high school graduation rates
and greater college enrollment. Middle school students whose
parents remain involved make better transitions, maintain the
quality of their work and develop more realistic plans for the
future. Students whose parents are not involved are more likely
to drop out of school.
Based on this information, part of your job as an
educator is to reach out to parents and help them become involved
in their child's education. There are different types of parent
Here are some ways you, or your school, can help:
Parenting - Help all families establish home environments to
support children as students- like a place to study, a special
Communicating - Design effective forms of school-to-home and
home-to-school communications about school programs and children's
progress. Newsletters or a weekly note home can be very effective.
Recruit and organize parents as volunteers in your school and
Provide information and ideas to families about how to help
students at home with homework and other curriculum-related
activities, decisions, and planning.
Include parents in school decisions. You’ll be developing
parent leaders and representatives.
Identify and integrate resources and services from the community
to strengthen school programs, family practices and student
learning and development.
Some of these suggestions may seem beyond the call
of duty but they will increase your students' achievement, and that
alone is definitely worth it.
*Information presented above is based on the work of Dr. Joyce
Epstein, Johns Hopkins University
you have any questions.