As a parent, you always do your due diligence to select the best school because you want your child to perform well academically.
Did you know you can influence this outcome and how healthy your child becomes at school through your guidance and support?
One way to show this is by being involved in your child’s school and education beyond just providing them with materials for classwork; it matters that you learn about what goes on at the school.
Research shows that when parents and school staff work together, they raise healthier, successful students in a school.
There are more ways to get involved than simply knowing about PTA, and chaperoning school trips or events, even if you work during the day and can not attend school activities frequently.
What is Parental Involvement in School?
It is about parents taking an active role in their children’s education, from attending parent-teacher meetings and volunteering to help the child learn at home and monitoring their academic progress.
Why Should You Get Involved in Your Child’s School?
Parental involvement helps children perform better in school, both academically and behaviorally. A report by the CDC on ‘Parental Engagement to Support Student Health’ indicates that parental engagement is associated with increased student test scores, decreased absences and suspensions, and healthy behavior.
Beyond that, parental involvement in school supports the staff, shows you are a part of the community, and contributes to school culture.
Ways You Can Be Involved in Your Child’s School
1. Attend Parent Orientation Meetings
One of the easiest ways to get started is by attending meet-the-teacher days. The beginning of the semester or school year orientation activities is critical in setting the tone for the rest of the school year.
It is when your child’s teacher will give you an overview of the year, what to expect, and introduce Montessori philosophies, and connect you to the other parents in your class.
You can also take this opportunity to volunteer to help in the classroom or at school events. It is a great way to see the behind-the-scenes and meet other parents.
2. Create or Join a School Board Committee
If you want to impact crucial decisions at your child’s school, consider running for election or becoming appointed to a committee that deals with the budget, curriculum, facilities, etc. However, you don’t necessarily have to be an official; you can also attend these meetings as a concerned parent and voice your opinion.
Another great way to get involved is by joining the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA organizes events all year, like Family Fun Nights, Book Fairs, and more. They also work with teachers and staff to improve education at the school. If there isn’t a PTA at your child’s school, you could start one or work with the team that organizes these types of events.
All schools need volunteers, especially in the lower grades, where teachers often have full classes without extra help. If you can’t commit to volunteering each week, you can help with a one-time project or events like our upcoming Fall Bash or the Annual Butterfly Auction.
4. Communicate With The School
Keep in touch with the school by engaging with the communication sent out. If you can’t attend school activities and meetings consistently because of work, you can stay up to date with the school through the parent resources.
Subscribe to the school newsletter since most schools share the monthly activities here. Follow and check the socials for quick updates, and visit the website regularly.
5. Become a Mentor
Many schools have programs where students are paired up with an adult mentor who meets with them weekly to provide support and guidance. As a mentor, you could help students understand how to navigate school life, talk to them about social issues they’re struggling with, or be someone they can go to for advice.
6. Donate Supplies or Time to After-school Programs
Most schools offer some form of an after-school program like enrichment, tutoring or clubs, but they often lack the resources they need to run effectively. That can be an excellent way to get involved in your child’s school by donating supplies like books, games, art supplies, or money.
Other than donating, you can help with your time and skills by chaperoning field trips or cooking snacks for the kids. Ask if you can help with the after-school programs.
7. Help Out with Fundraising Efforts
Schools always need money for educational resources such as new textbooks, playground equipment, and sports uniforms, so see if you can help with fundraisers throughout the year. It could involve selling products to setting up booths at community events.
As a charter school, our support towards children’s tuition is a collective effort from parents and community partners. As a CMCS parent, you can get involved in what we are doing through our cougar card programs in partnership with local businesses, monthly spirit nights, and purchasing a wall plaque for your family.
8. Advocate for Change at the District Level
If you think some areas need to be changed district-wide, reach out to your representatives and let them know. You might be surprised at how much influence parents can have when they speak up and demand change for their school.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in your child’s school beyond just attending parent meetings or chaperoning field trips (although those things are important too). If you want to have a say in decisions at the school or make sure that children have the resources they need to succeed, consider getting involved in one of the ways listed above.