To be world class, we must have well-informed and highly-involved parents, and a fully engaged community at large.
Parents plan a critical and irreplaceable role in our educational mission. It is parents who must work with their toddlers and pre-school children on the early stages of literacy and numeracy. It is parents who must reinforce learning that occurs in the elementary classroom, and who help middle schoolers with their study habits and organization. And our parents must help their teenagers navigate through the academic and social challenges of high school. Involved parents are connected to their children’s teachers, know what their kids are supposed to be learning, and provide wisdom and direction to them every step of the way.
Research has demonstrated that parental engagement makes a real difference:
When parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, help them plan for college, and make sure that out-of-school activities are constructive, their children do better in school. When schools engage families in ways that are linked to improving learning students make greater gains. When schools build partnerships with families that respond to their concerns and honor their contributions, they are successful in sustaining connections that are aimed at improving student achievement. (see study here)
Our schools can do a better job of providing resources to our parents to help them support their children and to most effectively participate in their child’s education.
And we also need the rest of our community involved and supporting our students. Local businesses, foundations, community groups, sports clubs, places of worship, and entrepreneurs all make a difference with our students. These organizations and individuals provide our students with leadership opportunities, mentor kids in their academic and vocational interests, lend expertise and resources to support the arts and sports teams, help students develop character and virtue in their lives, and enrich students with field trips and opportunities to explore new vocations.
With our whole community – parents and residents – all exercising positive influence on our kids, our kids will grow into better people, and develop all of their gifts and talents.
Measures of Success: Parent survey, benchmarked against top quartile schools.
Key Next Steps: Select parent survey tool and implement across the district. Analyze areas for improvement and implement changes. Invest in developing grade-level specific parental educational resources.