If you’re a parent who thinks, “I’ll be so happy when I can send my child to all-day kindergarten so the school can educate him and I’ll have no responsibility,” you should think again. Your child’s success is dependent on your involvement in their education. The concept of family engagement in education is not a new one. Research dating back dozens of years over and over again points to the importance of having parents active in the schools and with their child’s education.
“When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”
That’s the conclusion of A New Wave of Evidence, a report from Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (2002). That study compiled years of research and more research has been done since – all with consistent evidence that families have a major influence on their child’s achievement.
How Does Parental Involvement Benefit Students?
Ongoing research shows that, no matter the family’s income or racial/ethnic background, parental involvement in schools can help students in the following ways:
- Earn higher report card grades, grade point averages and standardized test scores.
- Enroll in advanced and more challenging academic classes
- Be promoted to the next grade, pass their classes, and earn more credits.
- Attend school regularly.
- Have better social skills, show improved behavior (at home and at school), and adapt well to school.
- Graduate and go on to postsecondary education.
How Can Parents Stay Involved in School?
Parents can make a significant impact on student achievement from preschool all the way through high school. But what, exactly, did researchers mean when they studied “parental involvement?” Take a look at the ways parents can get and stay involved to make a difference in their child’s education and future:
- Talk about the academic and behavioral expectations of your student and have discussions about his or her progress. Ask them about school every day and keep asking until you get an answer. This will let them know how important you believe school to be and that you expect them to learn every day.
- Support your child’s learning at home by: checking for and providing a quiet place to do homework; encouraging him or her to complete assignments; reading to him or her; limiting TV viewing on school nights and helping as you can.
- Set goals with your child and guide them in achieving those goals.
- Access the parent portal (or whichever tool their school uses) at least weekly to view your child’s academic scores and make sure they are on track.
- Support your child’s efforts to get academic help after school.
- No matter how old your child is, develop a relationship with their teachers and keep in touch with them often to discuss your child’s progress.
- Advocate for improvements in the school building and with local school boards and state and federal government to ensure schools have the resources they need to provide the best education to every student.
- Join and volunteer to help the school’s parent group.
- Attend parent teacher conferences, performances, sporting events, parent days and all school events throughout the year.
How Can Schools Encourage Parental Involvement?
The earlier that parent involvement begins in a child’s educational process, the more powerful the effects. The school plays an important role in determining the levels of parental involvement in school. The staff of professionals at Chatsworth Hills Academy encourage and welcome parents to participate in their child’s educational process. Here are some ways schools welcome parents into the community:
- Communication. Schools encourage a two-way communication with parents and make it easy and convenient for parents to communicate with the school. One study shows that when teachers reached out to parents, student performance in reading and math increased. This could include meeting face-to-face, sending materials home and keeping in touch about progress. With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to reach out to parents and keep them informed of their student’s progress and the expectations for their student.
- School Events/Programs. Schools can provide tremendous opportunities for parents to visit the school in person – whether it be open houses, family reading nights, music programs or parent teacher conferences.
- Volunteers. Schools welcome parents as volunteers, creating full partners in helping the school make decisions that affect their student.
- Responsiveness. Schools must build relationships with parents through timely response to concerns and inquiries and recognizing parent contributions.
At Chatsworth Hills Academy, we our proud of our collaborative community of staff, students and parents. Our teachers reach out to parents on a regular basis and encourage involvement in the educational process at school and at home. And, our school offers multiple opportunities for parents to be on campus and be involved. If you want to learn more about Chatsworth’s World School Academy, give us a call at 818-998-4037 ext 275. We are accepting applications for the 2017-18 school year now. We welcome you to the Chatsworth family.