2Family InvolvementResearch demonstrates that parent/ family involvement significantly contributes to improved student outcomes.Everyone -- students, parents, teachers, administrators, and communities -- benefits from family involvement.
3What are the Benefits? More positive attitudes toward school; Higher achievement, better attendance, and more homework completed consistently;Higher graduation rates and enrollment rates in post-secondary education;Better schools to attend.
4Benefits for ParentsGreater knowledge of education programs and how schools work;Knowledge of how to be more supportive of children;Greater confidence about ways to help children learn;More positive view of teachers; and,Greater empowerment.
5Benefits for School Staff Greater teaching effectiveness;Higher expectations of students;Increased ability to understand family views and cultures;Greater appreciation of parent volunteers; and,Improved morale.
6Benefits for Communities: Greater strength;Greater impact of services through comprehensive, integrated approach;Increased access to services for families.
7Research on Involvement Effective parent/family involvement improves student outcomes throughout the school years.While parent/family involvement improves student outcomes, variations in culture, ethnicity, and/ or socioeconomic background affect how families are involved.
8Parent/family involvement at home has more impact on children than parent/family involvement in school activities.The nature of effective parent/family involvement changes as children reach adolescence.
9Parent/family involvement in early childhood programs help children succeed in their transition to kindergarten and elementary school.Parent/families may need guidance and assistance in how to effectively help their children with homework.
10Parent/family involvement will differ for ethnic and cultural groups Parent/family involvement will differ for ethnic and cultural groups. These differences should be considered when planning parent/ family involvement programs.Improved student outcomes have been documented in math and reading when families are involved.
11The most promising opportunity for student achievement occurs when families, schools, and community organizations work together.To be effective, school programs must be individualized to fit the needs of the students, parents, and community.
12Effective programs assist parents in creating a home environment that fosters learning and provides support and encouragement for their children’s success.Teachers must be trained to promote effective parent/family involvement.
13Outdated Thinking on Parent Involvement Parents should come to school only when invited;Stay-at-home mothers serve as “homeroom mothers”;Parents visit school mainly for children’s performances and open houses;Parents help raise money for school.
14Schools that have been the most successful in involving families look beyond traditional definitions to a broader view that considers parents/families as full partners in the education of their children.
15These schools view children’s learning as a shared responsibility among everyone involved in the child’s education.
16What is a Family? Traditional? Blended? Extended? Multi-generational? Migrant?Minority?Single-parent?Divorced?Other?
17A Personal DefinitionFor the purpose of today’s conversation, “Parent” or “Family” refers to anyone actively involved in raising and educating a child.
18Factors in Involvement Parents are a child’s first teachers.The American family has changed dramatically over the last 50 years.Schools aren’t always knowledgeable in how to encourage involvement.Parents don’t always recognize the importance of becoming involved or know where to begin.
19Ten Truths of Parent Involvement All parents have hopes and goals for their children. They differ in how they support their children’s efforts to achieve those goals.The home is one of several areas that simultaneously influence a child. The school must work with people in the other areas for the child’s benefit.
20The parent is the central contributor to a child’s education The parent is the central contributor to a child’s education. Schools can either ignore this fact or recognize the potential of the parent.Parent involvement must be a legitimate element of education. It deserves equal emphasis with elements such as program improvement and evaluation.
21Parent involvement is a process, not a program of activities Parent involvement is a process, not a program of activities. It requires ongoing energy and effort.Parent involvement requires a vision, policy, and framework. A consensus of understanding is important.
22Parents’ interaction with their own children is the cornerstone of parent involvement. A program must recognize the value, diversity, and difficulty of this role.Most barriers to parent involvement are found within school practices. They are not found with parents.
23Any parent can be “hard to reach Any parent can be “hard to reach.” Parents must be identified and approached individually; they are not defined by gender, ethnicity, family situation, education, or income.Successful parent involvement nurtures relationships and partnerships. It strengthens bonds between home and school, parent and teacher, parent and school, school and community.
24Barriers to Involvement Lack of a school environment that supports parent/family involvement;School practices that do not accommodate the diversity of family needs;Child care constraints;Families’ past negative experiences with schools and/or feelings of uncertainty about “treading on school territory.”
25Cultural differences (language barriers, attitudes toward professionals, lack of knowledge of the American education system);Primacy of basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter take precedence over educational needs);
26Feelings of inadequacy associated with difference in income or education; Safety, especially in inner-city school neighborhoods;Uncertainty about what to do; and,Lack of time.
27100 WaysThe brochure, “100 Ways for Parents to be Involved in Their Child’s Education” is available from the National PTA;Based on the National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs.
28Remember These 10 Guiding Principles Family members are equal partners in a child’s education.The home environment is the “primary” educational environment.Schools must respect the diversity o families and their varied needs.All families care about their children.
29Family involvement is important through all years of a child’s education. Family involvement takes many forms and may not require a family’s presence at school.Families, schools, and communities are closely interconnected and must collaborate in educating children.
30School leaders and staff need support and training in how to encourage family involvement. One size does not fit all when developing school-family partnerships.Change takes time and building successful partnerships requires much effort over time.
31Become involved in your local school. Contact a Parent-Educator Resource Center near you for information on upcoming parent training opportunities.