Research shows that parents play a critical role in their school children's academic success at every year level. Effective communication with parents has proven to be an important tool for teachers and school administrators to use as part of a planned continuum through the secondary years.
Regardless of income or background, studies show that those parents who are engaged in schools have students who have higher test scores and higher GPAs, improved attendance, better social skills. Parental influence also is seen in students who take higher level course work, who graduate, and who go on to postsecondary studies.
The important role parents play in education is embedded in teacher evaluation programs. Many of these programs now measure how teachers and school administrators strengthen communication with parents and require evidence of these efforts. “When schools, families, and community groups work together, as a Community of Practice, to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.” That’s the conclusion of “a New Wave of Evidence”, a report from Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
The report, a synthesis of research on parent involvement over the past decade, also found that, regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:
- Earn higher grades and test scores and enrol in higher-level programs
- Be promoted, pass their exams and earn credits
- Attend school regularly
- Have better social skills, show improved behaviour and adapt well to school
- Graduate and go on to post-secondary education
The school plays an important role in determining the levels of parental involvement in school. Specifically, schools can outline their expectations of parents and regularly communicate with parents about what children are learning. Also, schools can provide opportunities for parents to talk with school personnel about parents' role in their children's education through home visits, family nights and well-planned parent-teacher conferences and open houses.
When parents talk to their children about school, expect them to do well, make sure that out-of-school activities are constructive, and help them plan for tertiary educational settings, their children perform better in school. When schools engage families in ways that improve learning and support parent involvement at home and school, students make greater gains.
At North Geelong SC we endeavour to strengthen our partnerships and relationships with families, respond to parent concerns, honour their contributions, and share decision-making responsibilities, empowering the parents and guardians to sustain connections aiming at improving student achievement and future pathways.