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Parent Involvement

15 January, 2016 - 09:14

Literature supports the notion that parent involvement has a positive impact on student achievement and success in school. Parent involvement is not only incremental in the development of the child but also motivates the schools to function at a higher standard by constantly improving practices. The question for many school administrators is how a principal goes about the process of improving school and parent relations so that the student will have improved learning outcomes.

    First, a climate of trust and collaboration between the school and parents is essential for effective planning to establish effective parent involvement programs. A principal must ensure that effective communication is in place and that parents know that their participation in school matters and is critical to student success.

    Second, recognize that there is no "cookie cutter" for parental involvement. Each school's requirements will be different, and will be driven by different strengths, and backgrounds, such as its history, culture and climate and student performance. A careful needs assessment and knowledge of the norms and values must be studied before a plan is agreed upon by the stakeholders of the school.

    Third, parent involvement is often thought of as a means to raise money or plan special school activities but in reality parent involvement includes any number of activities including reading with children, tutoring, and in some cases monitoring the cafeteria! There is evidence in the literature that validates that most parents would like to be involved with the school but need some direction from school personnel on how to help (Epstein & Jansorn, 2004). Some parent may even need training on how they can help their child with their homework math and reading skills, science fair projects and other academic activities. The important thing is to encourage involvement from parents in whatever form or fashion that they can provide.