Fulfill Your Promise on Parent Engagement for 2017-2018

"Fulfill your promise on parent engagement in 2017-2018" text in front of a very old, large tree

By Jessica Vician

It’s time to start planning your school’s budget for the 2017-2018 school year, which means it’s time to make due on that promise you made to yourself, your teachers and staff, or maybe even a few parents—fit parent engagement into the budget.

It’s not as difficult as it may seem. Teacher trainings can qualify for staff development. School leadership training can support administrator workshops and parent leadership training workshops.

No matter how big or small your budget is, you can work parent engagement into it. Start small with a Parent Workshop to teach parents how to support college and career readiness at home. If your budget allows it, host a Training Workshop so that your staff can learn the YOU Program and then host your own parent workshops. The latter approach is the most cost-effective, as you are starting to build a sustainable parent engagement program at your school that you can expand each year.  Continue reading

5 Ways to Engage Parents This Year

5 Ways to Engage Parents This Year | A group of parents sits in a room, listening to a speaker.
By Jessica Vician

One of the first communications you send to parents this school year should focus on your dedication to their children’s education. That’s the primary message parents need and want to hear. But the secondary message you should convey is that you need their help for their children to succeed.

Each parent-facing employee or volunteer at the school should have a plan to engage parents from the beginning of the school year, including teachers, coaches, administrative staff, principals, and superintendents. Here are five ideas with examples of how to communicate for better parent engagement. Continue reading

Now Talk To Them: Foreign Education Differences

Imagine being raised in a country where the school system discourages parents from talking to teachers. What if that was your student's parent? Now talk to them. YOU: Your Child's First Teacher parent engagement program.

As you prepare for the 2015-2016 school year, think about your students’ parents. If any of them immigrated to the U.S., they might have a different idea than you do about how involved they should be in their children’s education.

According to a 2014 article published in The Hechinger Report:

Latino immigrants particularly tend to trust the public school system to provide their children with the education they need, beginning in kindergarten, according to advocates and studies. Their role is to keep their babies safe, clean, well-fed and loved –– an attitude that can lead to children being nurtured but starting school irreparably behind.

Use the beginning of the school year as an opportunity to talk with your students’ parents and align your goals, regardless of their cultural background.

Speak with school administrators about hosting a parent workshop before school starts or at the beginning of the year. The YOU Program offers parent workshops in Spanish and English and will teach parents the importance of parent engagement so that you start the school year on the same page.

Your students’ parents will know what is expected of them and learn how to take a more active role in their children’s education, which will help the students come to school prepared to learn and boost their chances of success.

Join the conversation about what we should be communicating to our students’ parents by using the #NowTalkToThem hashtag on Twitter.