How to Start the School Year Successfully with Teachers and Parents

How to Start the School Year Successfully with Teachers and Parents | A teacher and parent meet and shake hands while the student looks on.
By Jessica Vician

The beginning of the school year is a time when everyone is motivated to do his or her best. Teachers are rested and eager to learn about their new students, the students are excited to see old friends and use new supplies, and parents are happy that their kids are back in school.

Take advantage of the renewed energy and motivation by starting a parent engagement initiative at your school this August and September. If you invest in the right program, you can sustainably build it by allowing parent leaders to drive your parent engagement efforts. Continue reading

YOU Parent Community provides community support for a child’s success.

When you purchase the program, parents receive free access to YOU Parent, which supplements the YOU Program by offering expert tips and advice to address a child’s physical, social, emotional, and academic development.

YOU Parent is a safe, ad-free place for parents to share their experiences. Accessible on any device and available 24/7, the website is a great way to keep parents engaged on an ongoing basis.

Continuing the holistic approach established in the YOU Program, the articles address the latest parenting news and techniques and provide activities to continue a child’s learning outside of the classroom. YOU Program facilitators provide continuous support even after a workshop, as they answer questions from parents on the website.

Popular articles include:

Visit in English or Spanish today.

Training Manual

YOU Program Training Manual (available in English and Spanish)

Our YOU Program Training Manual is a comprehensive instructional tool that educators can use to inspire and connect with the parent community. All three YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher books are reproduced in the manual to ensure a seamless transition between the books and the workshop.

The Training Manual includes:

  • Tools to assess current parent engagement efforts
  • Worksheets to develop lesson plans for parent events
  • Robust instructional features
  • Expanded content includes workshop activities for every topic found in the YOU books
  • A program bibliography that outlines the research-based program support

The Training Manual is included with purchase of the YOU Program Training Workshop.

Training Manual Brochure Download
Download the brochure for more information.

Training and Development

Training Workshops | Teacher Training | IL Administrators’ Academy | Parent Leadership

YOU Program Training Workshop (available in English & Spanish)

Effective parent engagement leads to better students. That’s why our professional development team provides customized training for school staff, parent liaisons, parent leaders, and school administrators on how to effectively create and maintain sustained engagement in their parent population.

This interactive, 6-hour training and professional development workshop introduces professionals to the YOU Program, the YOU Program Training Manual, and the many tools and resources included within.

Training Workshop participants become educational professionals and workshop leaders who can identify cultural needs and obstacles within different communities.

Attendees will learn to:

  • Understand the impact that effective parent engagement has on student achievement
  • Navigate the YOU Program approach, books and training manual, and online community
  • Evaluate their current parent engagement strategies and efforts
  • Help parents understand and support college & career readiness
  • Conduct engaging parent events in a variety of delivery models for parents of all backgrounds
  • Strategize sustainable parent engagement efforts

Each Training Workshop participant receives the YOU Program Training Manual, which is included with every purchase.

Training Workshop BrochureDownload

YOU Program Teacher Training Workshop

Our professional development team trains your teaching staff to establish strategies for an effective home-school partnership.

As they implement these strategies, your school will see an increase in parent involvement and improved student performance, which allow your teachers to do what they do best: teach.

This workshop is uniquely designed for staff who work with parents of students, including: teachers, social workers, counselors, and coaches. Attendees will leave the workshop equipped with the skills and tools to engage in two-way, meaningful conversations with parents.

Attendees will learn to:

  • Implement effective parent engagement strategies
  • Evaluate & continuously improve teacher-parent partnerships
  • Improve the effectiveness of parent communication
  • Create an action plan to foster ongoing & meaningful communication with parents
  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of the YOU Program through activities
  • Implement the YOU Program curriculum when working with parents of all backgrounds

YOU Program Parent Leadership Training Workshop

As organizations look to build capacity for reaching parent engagement goals, they should look to leaders in their own community—parents.

In this workshop, we build parents’ leadership skills so they can take steps to organize parent events and meetings that satisfy the organization’s goals.

All attendees will:

  • Navigate the YOU Program curriculum and training manual
  • Evaluate their current parent engagement efforts
  • Conduct effective and engaging parent meetings/events
  • Integrate effective parent engagement into their organizational structure

ISBE-Approved Illinois Administrators’ Academy Course #1709

Promoting Parent Engagement for Student Success

This ISBE-approved, 6-hour workshop guides participants to build and maintain effective parent engagement opportunities within their school communities.

During the course, participants will:

  • Review current challenges that families are facing
  • Discover current research about the impact of parent engagement on student success
  • Evaluate your school’s current efforts at parent engagement
  • Examine research-based strategies to maximize the impact of parent meetings
  • Develop a parent engagement action plan to implement the 5 strategic steps for success

Parent engagement efforts provide parents with tools to help their children succeed—no matter their socioeconomic status or their own educational background—creating a generation of students who are ready to learn and set a new highly successful norm for the American education system.

This Illinois Administrators’ Academy course is only available through an Illinois Regional Office of Education (ROE). If you are interested in this course, please contact your local ROE.

Parent Workshop

YOU Program Parent Workshop (available in English & Spanish)

Our program specialists work with your school to introduce parents to a comprehensive parenting approach that covers everything from the physical, emotional, social, and academic growth and development of their child. Coupled with learning how to use the YOU Program, these lessons establish a meaningful and effective partnership between the school and the home.

During the workshop, parents learn to:

  • Reflect on what they do well and address areas to try new strategies
  • Navigate the program approach, books, and online community
  • Understand college & career readiness
  • Communicate and partner with schools
  • Share experiences and strategies with other parents
  • Set goals for effective engagement

The YOU Program Parent Workshops help schools:

  • Discuss customized topics based on their local needs and goals
  • Connect parents to resources that benefit the student
  • Teach parents how they can support academics at home
  • Empower parents to take leadership roles in the school
  • Change parent engagement culture

Schools and organizations receive a customized workshop summary packet that includes sign-in sheets, agenda and topics covered, evaluations, and reportable metrics.

Parent Workshop BrochureDownload


YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher eBook

The YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher eBook presents the same information as the print books, but includes a Parent Logbook with custom touchpoints and fillable worksheets to make it easy to digitally track a child’s progress. It is optimized for e-reading and is available on iPad, Kindle, or Kindle Fire.

Now Available on Amazon in English and Spanish.

eBook BrochureDownload
Download the brochure for more information.

3-Book Set

YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher 3-Book Set (also available in Spanish)

Parenting finally comes with a manual, and this is it. YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher is a guide for parents from the birth of their child through high school graduation and beyond. Anchored in the belief that a healthy child equals a successful student, it promotes all aspects of a child’s success: physical, emotional, social, and academic.

The set is split into 3 books based on significant transition stages in a child’s educational journey. Research indicates how critical these transitions are for student success, so these books help parents make that transition as smooth as possible.

The books are small, digestible, meant to be written in, full of activities and checklists, and weave in college and career readiness techniques starting at birth. In each book, parents learn how to:

Book 1, Through the Early Years

  • Model positive behavior
  • Provide children with healthy starts
  • Develop language, literacy, and bilingualism
  • Prepare for preschool and kindergarten

Book 2, Through Elementary and Middle School

  • Navigate their local school system
  • Effectively communicate and get involved with school
  • Support curriculum at home
  • Reinforce positive behavior and social skills

Book 3, Through High School and Beyond

  • Prepare for high school graduation requirements
  • Promote life skills for success
  • Foster skills and healthy living
  • Navigate the college admissions process
3-Book Set Brochure Download
Contact us for a free sample and to learn about our volume discounts.

Head Start Parent Engagement Outcomes

*The YOU Program is included in the Parenting Curricula Review Database for the Head Start Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC).

GOAL: Build positive parent-child relationships.

  • The YOU Program teaches parents research-based best practices for nurturing a child’s learning and development.
  • The YOU Program emphasizes positive reinforcement and healthy living.

GOAL: Promote families as lifelong educators.

  • The YOU Program teaches parents to model positive behaviors for the benefit of their child’s success.
  • The YOU Program provides parents with tasks and activities to reinforce lessons at home.

GOAL: Guide continued engagement through transitions.

  • The YOU Program outlines school options, requirements, and programs for each educational transition period.
  • The YOU Program encourages communication with teachers and school to foster academic success.

GOAL: Encourage parent support networks and school leadership.

  • The YOU Program showcases parent involvement opportunities in schools.
  • The YOU Program empowers parents to support and seek advice from other parents in their communities.