What are ways to increase parent involvement in schools?

Posted by Ronald | August 28, 2015  |  No Comment

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. If we know that parent involvement improves students’ conduct and academic performance in school, why don’t we make sure that all parents are actively involved in schools? While research purports many reasons for this problem such as fear of being intimidated in the school, too stressed by their jobs, unaware of students’ school responsibilities, having a negative childhood school experience, and relying solely on the school to educate their children, the critical question to be asked is: What are ways to increase parent involvement in schools?

The Center on School, Family and Community Partnership (CSFCP) provides a useful framework for increasing parents’ involvement in schools. This framework includes strategies for parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making and collaborating with the community. CSFCP notes that courses should be provided to parents to allow them to complete GED, college credit, family literacy, as well as help parents with nutrition, health and other services. In addition, CSFCP cites that parents should be informed of newsworthy information about the school via memos, phone calls, newsletters and the like.

Similarly, I implemented a program called School Watch in the mid 1990s modeling the neighborhood crime watch program. While serving in the capacity of a school administrator, this program enlisted parents to meet bi-monthly with administration and faculty regarding the concerns of the school, provide solutions to the concerns, become team captains for a particular street in the school’s community, circulate school newsletters to parents on their streets, contact parents regarding important activities at the school, attend academic and extra-curricular activities in the absence of parents and coordinate recognition and fundraising programs. School Watch was particularly helpful to parents who could not attend activities at the school due to work schedules but needed a resource to be informed of pertinent information regarding the school and their children.

Another strategy for reaching parent and increasing their involvement is by utilizing such mediums as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. At 2015 National Conference on Education in San Diego, Calif., Superintendent Dan Frazier said, “It is not enough to send monthly newspapers to school stakeholders because, I am not sure if anybody reads them.” Frazier concluded that people want news immediately and want to react to or be a part of the news through social media. Technology has changed the way we do business, and we have to change in order to meet the expectations of the public. Thus, schools should use any means to communicate with parents and keep them in touch with what is going on in the school.

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of 10 books, “How Eradicate Bullying,” “Education Questions to be Answered,”Current Issues and Answers in Education,” “How to Eradicate Hazing,”Professional Career Paths,” “Your Answers to Education Questions,” “How to revitalize the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.” “Completing the Dissertation: Tips, techniques and real-life experiences from Ph.D. graduates.” “Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Careers for Children” and Jacob’s Dream, A Story of Animals in Africa. He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper.  Holmes is a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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