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Why Parent Involvement?


Why Parent Involvement? Fayetteville School Building Staff Capacity September 12, 2011 * * * * * * * * * * * * * Schools make the difference in reaching parents who ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Why Parent Involvement?

Why Parent Involvement?
  • Fayetteville School
  • Building Staff Capacity
  • September 12, 2011

(No Transcript)
  • Schools make the difference in reaching
    parents who have not typically been actively
    involved in their childrens education. Parents
    who themselves are well educated tend to engage
    in many activities that support student
    achievement regardless of school actions.
    However, school attitudes, policies, and actions
    are very important for many lower socioeconomic
    status parents who want to be involved but are
    less sure what to do to help their children be
    successful in school.

What does research show?
  • Involving parents in the education of their
    children has a positive effect on student
  • Parent involvement is an underutilized resource
    for the enhancement of student achievement.
  • Parent involvement is most beneficial when it is
    well-planned, systematic, long-lasting, and when
    parents play many roles.

  • Schools can, through policies and actions, reach
    out to parents to help them be involved in the
    education of their children.
  • Parents whose involvement is actively sought by
    teachers have more positive attitudes about their
    childrens schools and teachers.
  • Teachers initiative and willingness to reach out
    to parents are key factors for effective parent
  • Socioeconomic status and lack of education have
    no effect on the willingness of parents to help
    their own children.

What are the benefits of involving parents?
  • Benefits of Students
  • Increased student achievement
  • Fewer behavior problems
  • More positive attitudes about homework
  • More homework completed
  • More positive attitudes toward school
  • Less absenteeism
  • More connection between home and school

  • Benefits to parents
  • Increased student achievement
  • Appreciation of teachers efforts to inform them
    about the instructional program
  • Ideas from teachers on how to help their children
  • A feeling they should help their children
  • Greater understanding of the instructional
  • Increased ability to help their children
  • Confidence in the teachers interpersonal skills
    and overall teaching ability

  • Benefits to teachers
  • Increased student achievement
  • More homework completed and returned
  • Happier students and less behavior problems
  • More support from parents both at school and at

Barriers to Parental Involvement
  • The most recent research on effective parental
    involvement shows that numerous barriers to
    involvement exist for both schools and families.
    Some barriers are created by limited resources,
    while others originate from the beliefs,
    perceptions and attitudes of families and school

The most common barriers to parent involvement
  • Lack of teacher time.
  • Educators misperceptions of parents' abilities.
  • Lack of understanding of parents' communication
  • Family mobility, limited family resources, such
    as transportation and child care.
  • Parents' lack of comfort and vested interest in
    the school along with tension in relationships
    between parents and teachers.
  • Difficulties of involvement in the upper grades.

Additionally, parent involvement programs are
often not fully implemented because
  • School staff had not been trained to work with
  • Administrators and teachers worried that
    increased parent involvement would add to their
    already busy schedules.
  • Educators were concerned that closer
    relationships with families would mean giving up
    power and decision-making.
  • Families were not sure how far they could go in
    making suggestions or asking questions they
    worried that children would be punished for their
    parents' actions by a teacher or principal who
    was annoyed or threatened by the parent.

Effective strategies to increase parent
involvement programs
  • Engage in two-way, regular communication with
  • Tailor programs to schools' specific needs and be
    respectful of diversity.
  • Clarify how parents can be involved in their
    children's education by asking parents to sign
    our 2 for Me Parental Involvement Pledge.
  • Foster a climate of mutual respect and trust.
  • Welcome families into the school.

The research identifies certain types of parental
involvement and specific strategies as effective
in supporting student learning.
  • Increasing the number of contacts between the
    school and the parent does appear to stimulate
    parent volunteerism.
  • Parent communication with school and parent
    participation in a PTA can be influenced by
    schools. A study found that increased
    school-initiated contact resulted in reciprocal
    parent contacts.
  • Thus, enhanced school contacts with parents
    should increase the parents' contacts with
  • Creating opportunities to engage parents to a
    greater degree in school can increase their
    involvement in the school's organizational

Building Capacity With the Pledge
By signing the Pledge, parents agree to "take
personal responsibility" for their children's
education. We ask them, as parents, grandparents
or as caring adults, to pledge to spend at least
two hours assisting at school. The Pledge is
distributed to families to connect them with
volunteer opportunity programs for adults,
focusing on school improvement and building
social capital for the school community. The
Pledge entices parents to come to school for
volunteering, parenting, academics,
communication, safety, decision making,
performances and more. By coming to school
often, parents communicate more with teachers on
their children's progress and learn how to
support learning at home. Excited by new ways to
participate in school programs, and once
comfortable, parents get involved and volunteer
to help. Parents of students and other adults
participate in programs to further their own
interests and education. Many parents become role
models while also stimulating their children's
improved performance, by demonstrating an
interest in education,

The Four Myths of Parental Involvement
  • Not all parent involvement activities are
    created equal!

Myth 1 As a parent, the best way to get
involved in my child's education is by joining
the local parents' organization.
  • Parents who are dues-paying members of their
    children's school PTA are supporting the oldest
    and largest child advocacy organization in the
    United States. But being a member alone doesn't
    ensure effective involvement in a child's
  • To support achievement, research suggests the
    most effective parental involvement focuses on
    learning activities-reading to children, letting
    them figure prices at the grocery store or
    setting aside time and space to do homework and
  • There are benefits in joining an organization
    like the PTA, such as the opportunity to share
    experiences and information with other parents
    and access to organizational resources. Just the
    same, parents can provide the support needed at
    home for their children to be successful in
    school without joining a local parent

Myth 2 The teacher is the sole expert in
educating a child, so a parent should never
question a teacher or staff on school-related
  • Teachers and parents or family caregivers play
    different roles in a child's education. And a
    good relationship between a teacher and a parent,
    based on mutual respect and trust, benefits
    students. At times, parents may need to ask a
    teacher or school staff member for clarification
    about a specific issue or information.
  • Parents should contact their children's teachers
    or other school staff when they have questions
    about their children's education. Most school
    staff members begin to see parents as partners
    when they know they will ask questions when
    information is unclear.

Myth 3 The influence of parent involvement on
school achievement depends on the parents'
income, level of education, and employment status.
  • A large body of research confirms that parent
    involvement in children's school experiences has
    a positive effect on children's attitudes toward
    achievement in school, regardless of how much
    money parents have or how many years of school
    they completed.
  • More important is the parents' attitude toward
    learning. Working parents may not have much time
    to be involved at their children's schools, but
    they can show how much they value education and
    take an active interest in what their children
    are learning.

Myth 4 The key actors in parent involvement
are the teacher, parents or family, and the
  • Meaningful and successful parent involvement is
    not limited to partnerships between parents and
    teachers. Parents and family caregivers should
    think of the following educators and decision
    makers as participants in their children's
    educations-teachers, the principal, the school
    board, the superintendent, and public officials.
  • Parents can influence school board members and
    public officials by participating in meetings,
    voting, and engaging in discussions of education
    matters and child advocacy issues.

Six Types of Parental Involvement, Epstein, et.
al. 2002.
  • GOAL Recruit and organize parent help and
  • 2 for Me Parental Involvement Pledge and
    Profile has been distributed to recruit and
    organize parent volunteers.
  • Parent Volunteer Database has been developed to
    identify volunteers interests and avalibility.
  • In process of establishing a parent room or
    center for volunteer work, meetings, and
    resources for families.

  • GOAL Help all families establish home
    environments to support children as students.
  • Neighborhood meetings to help families understand
    schools and to help schools understand families.
  • School provides suggestions for home conditions
    that support learning at each grade level,
    provides workshops, videotapes, and/or
    computerized phone messages on parenting and
    child-rearing .
  • Parent education and other courses or training
    for parents (e.g., GED, college credit family
    literacy), and family support programs to assist
    families with health nutrition, and other

  • GOAL Design more effective forms of
    school-to-home and home-to-school communications
    with all families each year about school programs
    and their children's progress.
  • Elementary weekly folders of student work are
    sent home and reviewed, parental comments
    returned to teacher. Regular schedule of useful
    notices, memos, phone calls, newsletters, and
    other communications.
  • Clear information on all school policies,
    programs reforms, and transitions. Clear
    information on choosing programs, and activities
    within schools.
  • Slice 3

  • GOAL Provide information and ideas to families
    about how to help students at home with homework
    and other curricular-related activities,
    decisions, and planning.
  • Information on skills required for students in
    all subjects at each grade.
  • Information on how to assist students to improve
    skills on various class and school assignments.
  • Parents Hopes and Dreams Activity
  • Slice 4

  • GOAL Include parents in school decisions,
    developing parent leaders and representatives.
  • Active PTA, school advisory councils for parent
    leadership and participation.
  • District level councils and committees for family
    and community involvement.
  • Independent advocacy groups to work for school
    improvements and to provide networks to link all
    families with parent representatives.
  • Information on school or local elections for
    school representatives.
  • Slice 5

  • GOAL Identify and integrate resources and
    services from the community to strengthen school
    programs, family practices, and student learning.
  • Information for students and families on
    community health, cultural, recreational, social
    support, and other programs or services.
  • Information on community activities that link to
    learning skills and talents, including summer
    programs for students.
  • Service to the community by students, families,
    and schools (e.g., recycling, art, music, drama,
    and other activities for seniors or others, etc.)
  • Alumni to link to school programs for students.

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