Parent involvement is a hot topic in all school districts across the state. Studies have shown when parents are involved in their child’s education, students have higher grades, better attendance, and they are more motivated than their peers whose parents are not involved. Along with these benefits, there is an increase in the students’ drive to graduate from high school. Here at Sidney City Schools, we are striving to improve parent involvement in all of our buildings with all of our students’ parents/guardians.
Sidney City Schools believes that parents are essential member(s) of their child’s team. Our teachers and administrators welcome a parent’s participation in their child’s education. Open communication between parents and teachers has shown to increase a student’s successfulness in school. As a district we have several different opportunities for parents to participate in their child’s education. Some of these opportunities are open house, parent – teacher conferences (first round: after school times November 12 and AM times November 13), volunteering, events/meetings sponsored by PTO in each of our buildings, just to name a few. Our teachers reach out to parents in different ways across the district. Some go on home visits, send communication logs, text, and emails to initiate and continue openly communicating with our student’s parents. There are many benefits of parent-teacher relationships for all individuals involved. Yes, this includes benefits for parents and teachers as well as the student. Research has shown that teachers who work with parents are generally better teachers. This is a win-win for everyone.
As educators we are frequently asked by parents what can we do at home to help our child be successful at school. There are several different ways parents can help their child be successful in school. While it may seems very simple, talking to your child every day beginning at birth will increase their potential to be successful in school. When you are talking to/with your child try to use a variety of words which will help increase your child’s vocabulary as they grow. Another beneficial way is to teach your child to enjoy reading and being read to. Reading to your child when they are young as infants will begin to build enjoyment in reading. Even an older child will enjoy reading to their parents and having their parents read to them. Tell your child how much you enjoy reading from a book, newspaper article, magazine story, online reading, etc.
Sidney City Schools is beginning a parent –teacher partnership this school year (2015-16). We have an intervention specialist (special education teacher) and a parent of a student who has a disability that will be co-facilitators at these meetings. We want to get parents of students who have a disability together with teachers to learn how to strengthen the parent-teacher partnership to support student success. Our co-facilitators will be leading discussions and interactive activities aimed at building parent and teacher confidence and understanding of effective strategies for partnering. It takes a team, parents, teachers, and support staff to ensure student success.
The writer is the director of special education for the Sidney City Schools.