Research confirms the engagement of parents and families in their children’s education is critical to a student’s academic success.
For example, the “New Wave of Evidence” report from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory found that, regardless of family income or background, students with engaged parents are more likely to:- Earn Higher Grades and Test Scores
- Attend School Regularly
- Enroll in Higher-Level Programs
- Have Better Social Skills
- Graduate and Go on to Postsecondary Education
K12 schools play an important role in determining the levels of parent engagement. Specifically, schools can outline their expectations of parents and regularly communicate with parents about what children are learning.
To help k12 schools formulate an effective parent engagement strategy that works best for them, we’ve complied some popular best practices below:
1. Create a Welcoming School Climate.
- Provide a Personal Greeting and Welcome Packet for Parents Visiting the School
- Offer Translators to Welcome and Assist Families during School Activities
2. Establish Effective School-to-Home and Home-to-School Communication
- Clearly Communicate School Policies to Parents in Their Home Language
- Establish Formal Mechanisms for Administrators to Communicate with Parents
- Use Parent-Preferred Communication Channels to Accommodate Their Needs
- Expand Beyond Traditional Communication Methods and Reach Out Using Social Media
3. Strengthen Parent’s Knowledge and Skills to Support Student Learning.
- Make Homework Assignments that Require Students to Discuss with Their Parents
- Engage Parents in Opportunities to Work with Students in Setting Academic Goals
When schools engage parents in ways that improve learning and support parent engagement at home and school, students make greater gains. Also, when schools build partnerships with parents they are able to sustain connections that are aimed at improving student achievement.