You are the school’s most important education partner. Research shows that when families are involved at home and at school, children attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in high-level programs and have higher graduation rates.
This is because families are the essential ingredient to helping students navigate challenges of growing up, and educational and career decisions—and are influencers of students’ perceptions of what’s possible for their futures. And families who are active in their child’s learning help their schools perform better too!
So how do you show your support for your favorite student?
Connect early and often. Reach out to your child’s teachers at the beginning of the school year and reconnect with the teacher whenever you attend a school event.
Commit to communicating. Schools and teachers send messages to families in a number of ways—backpack folder, voicemail, email, newsletter, social media, portal, etc. Pay attention to these messages and ask questions or respond whenever information is unclear or you have feedback to share.
Stay informed. Understand what is expected of your child in terms of learning and conduct. Ask the teacher how you can support learning at home. Each day, ask your child specific questions about school, extracurricular activities and friendships. Reinforce classroom rules and positive behaviors at home.
Speak up. Share worries or concerns about your child’s unique needs with the teacher. Address problems quickly and trust that the school also wants what’s best for your child.
Get involved. Contribute your talents and skills to improving the school community. Join school committees, volunteer in the classroom or at school events, offer support to your child’s teacher, etc.
Seek support and enrichment opportunities. Participate in programs offered by the school, PTA or other community organizations that enhance your child’s educational experience and improve your family’s health and overall well-being.
Our children cannot advocate for themselves. But every child should have the opportunity to succeed, not just in the classroom, but in life. So every time you volunteer for an event, attend a school meeting or address an issue with your school board, you help make real change happen for a better future for all children.
What You Can Do
Here are some additional resources to help you support your child’s success.