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Steps for Creating or Improving a Parent Involvement in Education Program

For those professionals new to parent involvement this exercise will guide you to an appropriate starting point and for those seasoned in working with parents you'll better understand options for expanding and improving what you're currently doing and answer the question "Where do I go from here?".

Step 1 of 3
Take a moment to take stock of yourParent Involvement in Education Program parent involvement program.  What are the successes?   Where would you like to see improvements?  What are your short and long term goals?  What steps will get you there?  Click the following link for a self survey and program evaluation that will help you assess your program and make plans for the future.  PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION SURVEY/EVALUATION.

Step 2 of 3
After taking the above survey, review again the many levels and options for parent involvement in an education program and determine which makes sense for your situation.  Below is a review of the various levels or elements of parent involvement starting with the most common and easy to implement and ending with the more complicated and challenging to administer.
  • Create a welcoming environment
  • Communicate effectively
  • Promote parent/caregivers as volunteers
  • Encourage active parent/caregiver participation in student learning
  • Promote and support parenting skills
  • Advance parent/caregiver as their child's advocate
  • Encourage parents as full partners in school decisions and governance
  • Collaborate with community resources to benefit your families
Step 3 of 3
Now assess your resources and make a realistic determination as to what shape your parent involvement in education program will take or what areas you'll work to improve.  The complexity, depth and scope will all depend on the extent of your resources which include money, time and staff.  For example if resources are limited, you may determine that the goals of creating a welcoming environment and communicating effectively are the best use of those resources now - with a plan to work on the other elements from the above list in the future.  And remember money alone does not determine the success of your program.  Don't forget to look at your school's ability to recruit volunteers, build partnerships and collaborate with an array of community resources.

We, at Parenting Resources, offer many tools on this website to help you in the planning and implementation of your program.   Literally, hundreds of titles are available.  Below are three examples...

Click HERE for "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" PARENT SUPPORT titles.

Click HERE for PARENT AND SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP resources.

Click HERE for PARENT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS materials.

Links to parent involvement research

A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement

According to this review of research, students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to:
   # Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in a higher-level program
   # Be promoted, pass their classes and earn credits
   # Attend school regularly
   # Have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school
   # Graduate and go on to post-secondary education

To read the Adobe PDF article click HERE.

Links to Program Ideas

Family Movie Night

How do you lure families away from the small screen for the evening and into your school?  This LINK will provide you with a free planning kit for Family Movie Night - an event that is easy to host and simple to organize.

Windsor Oaks Parent Project

An extra help session on diorama-building was the key to getting parent and students more involved in their science curriculum at Windsor Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Parent and Child Project Planner initiative brought 40 parents and students together to make bigger and more sophisticated science projects than they ever thought possible.

Get all the details HERE.

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