New Ideas for Parent Involvement at Your SchoolTo establish a positive rapport with parents, schools can begin to convey how valuable their input is by asking them to participate in a focus group, says the journal article “Road Tested / Three Ways to Engage Parents in High-Poverty Settings” regarding new ideas for parent involvement at your school. Though research already indicates the importance of parental involvement, a focus group lets them know the school cares. Just by holding a focus group will inspire some to become more involved.
The article “Rethinking Parental Involvement” says it is important to meet parents where they are. After interviews with parents at one school, it was shown that many had a strong desire to learn English. Consequently, the school switched up its notion of parent involvement by responding to a real need and started offering them ESL classes.
Here are some other ideas by the book “Educating Everybody’s Children.” Parents can be directly involved in the work of the school by:
- offering to be a part of special presentations, sports events and student assemblies
- assisting in program development, political awareness, community relations and organizing parent groups in fundraising
- helping out in the library, labs, school cafeteria or in workshops
- participating in classroom activities
- chaperoning class trips
Basically, schools need to convey they have the same goal as parents, and that is they also want to help students succeed to their maximum potential. If schools can take one more step by conveying this to the parents of disadvantaged students, like ELLs, then even better.
By pointing out to parents the research-backed benefits of a regular at-home, family reading time using bilingual books, The Latino Family Literacy Project is an organization significantly assisting Latino English language learners throughout the country in learning the language. It’s a great way for parents to learn English too. Teachers can get on board by attending a half day program training at a workshop near them or via an online webinar.