How Can I Be Involved in My Child's Education?
Research studies consistently reveal that high student achievement and self-esteem are closely related to positive parental participation in education. Parents and schools need to work together so all children can succeed in school.
Almost everyone agrees that parents are, after all, their children's first and most important teachers. You, as a parent, have important knowledge about your child's likes, dislikes, needs, and problems that the school may not be aware of. You may also have ideas for improving your child's school. But even though studies show that most parents want to be involved in their children's education, they may not be exactly sure how to go about it, especially if—like most parents—they work during the school day.
Parents often ask the following questions:
What Can I Do to Involve Myself with My Child's School?
Some schools value parent involvement by providing numerous opportunities for parents to interact with each other, with teachers, and with students. Your child's school can provide ideas on how to participate. One important way you can become involved in your child's schooling is to exercise any choices available in the selection of coursework, programs, or even schools.
Many schools are moving toward "school-based management," in which administrators share the responsibility for operating schools with teachers, students, parents, and community members. You can become involved in committees that govern your child's school or join the local parent-teacher association.
The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) says that schools should regularly communicate with parents about their child's progress and the educational objectives of the school. This communication should also include non-custodial parents, stepparents, and any other adults, such as grandparents, who are responsible for the child. If you aren't receiving such information, ask for it. Work with other parents and guardians to be sure that the school understands how best to keep you informed.
Some schools send newsletters and calendars home regularly, alerting parents to school functions and ways they can participate. Encourage your school to provide volunteer opportunities for working parents and to schedule some school events outside of the school day to increase participation.
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