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

Reach Parents on Their Turf: Partner with Community Organizations

"Reach parents on their turf: partner with community organizations"

By Jessica Vician

Promoting parent engagement seems like a natural effort for school districts. After all, research suggests that when parent take an active role in their child’s education, schools see greater student performance, regular attendance, and the students develop strong social skills. Thanks to many district-sponsored parent engagement programs, these students have a better opportunity to achieve more in school and in life.

But some parents are weary of school efforts that step outside of the classroom and into the home. In these parents’ minds, the home is their “turf” and the school doesn’t have the right to tell them how to parent their children.

According to Dr. Becky Adams, a retired educator who is helping to revitalize the South Suburban Action Conference (SSAC) in Chicago’s south suburbs, it’s difficult to reach “parents who did not experience success in school…and therefore have little trust in the system.”

So how can schools reach these parents, who might need the help of a parent engagement program most of all? If parents don’t trust the school, they are unlikely to participate in any kind of school-sponsored program.

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