Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Parent Involvement in their Children's Schools

It has been known for many years that families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. When schools actively support families to be involved at home and at school, students of all backgrounds achieve at higher levels. Studies find that when parents have a sense of confidence and power, their children do better in school. When parents are involved in education, children do better in school, and schools get better.
There are many practices that help empower families, and it is not known by many that these practices are actually required by the the federal No Child Left Behind law. Some of these practices include:

•Engaging families in planning how they would like to be involved at school. Parents have a voice in determining school policies and practices;
•Procedures that make it easy for parents to meet and discuss concerns with the principal, talk to teachers and guidance counselors, and examine their children's school records;
•Schools offering workshops for families on child development and communicating with their children. Parents can suggest topics, such as talking with children about drugs, dating, problems with friends or family, and values.

When parents are engaged with the school, they feel empowered to change and control their circumstances, and their children tend to do better in school. When schools work with families to develop their connections, families become powerful allies of the school.

However, the reality regarding some New York City schools may be quite different for many families and parents as they try to engage the schools their children attend. Too often they encounter problems and barriers as they attempt to get involved. Sometimes even the act of trying to get into the school building proves to be difficult.

What are some of your stories concerning how you get involved in your child's school?
Does the school support your involvement or create challenges?
What are some of your ideas for improving communications with school officials and teachers?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info!