Parent engagement means efforts by the school district and schools to seek input from all parents, and to engage parents as partners in their children’s education and in decision-making. It also means promoting parent participation in programs that meet the needs of both their own students and others on campus.
With authentic parent involvement, families, schools and communities work closely together to build a strong framework for student achievement.
CREATING A FRAMEWORK FOR ACHIEVEMENT
The state expects your district to report on its efforts related to parent engagement.
If the district administers a survey to parents, it is expected to summarize key findings from that survey related to:
- Promoting parent participation in educational programs
- Seeking input from parents in making decisions about the school and district.
The district has the option of reporting on parent involvement using measures of its choosing. Based on national research into effective parent engagement, the California State PTA recommends additional measures be reported, such as:
- The number of family engagement staff and family resource centers created to better connect families with schools
- The number of schools demonstrating inclusive outreach to all families, in home languages, and easy two-way communication between home and school
- The number of parents who know how well their children are doing in class, how to support their children’s academic progress, and how their school plans to improve student outcomes.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK ABOUT PARENT INVOLVEMENT
- Do families feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other and the school in our community? Does our school have a family engagement coordinator, a parent center with multilingual services, or parent volunteers to increase outreach to families of all neighborhoods? Do we have an active parent groups? Are our parent events and groups inclusive and welcoming for families from all backgrounds?
- Are parents, staff, and our community partners working together to support student success at home and at school? Are there parent workshops and training in home languages, such as PTA’s School Smarts Program, on how to help children succeed and how the school and district operate?
- Is it easy for parents, parent leadership groups, School Site Councils, and other committees to communicate and work with the school board, district administrators, and staff? Are parents surveyed, in-home languages, and brought together regularly for input on community priorities and decision-making in the school district? How does the school district show that parent input has been meaningfully considered?
- How do we promote and grow parent involvement? Do we have goals and funding in place to increase parent involvement within our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)? How are we using the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships? Do we offer school-wide activities and events at low or no cost for families in our community?
- How can parents learn more and ask questions about district programs, policies, and activities? Do we have a plan to engage and inform parents about school funding, student outcomes, and what happens after the LCAP is adopted?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT PARENT INVOLVEMENT
- “It was really fun to see my mom doing what I do at school. The PTA School Smarts program helped me do homework with my mom and dad and just have a lot of fun.”
- “I knew the importance of connecting with parents from the start. Kids succeed when their parents are empowered allies and helpers. I reached out through weekly newsletters sent home with the kids. I set up meetings with them at home. I gave them ideas for working with their children and information about learning development stages for all kids.”
- “Tenemos una coordinadora en nuestra escuela que nos llama cuando hay reuniones con la directora. (At our school we have a parent facilitator who calls us when there’s a school meeting with the principal).”
Find out how your district is meeting this state priority.
- See the official report at caschooldashboard.org under local indicators.
- Check out your school district’s website to find its Local Control Accountability Plan
- PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Assessment Guide
- California State PTA’s School Smarts Parent Engagement Program
- California Department of Education Parent Portal
- WestEd Family Engagement Framework
- EdSource’s The Power of Parents
- The California Endowment Parent Page