How To Get Parents Meaningfully Involved In Your School –

contributed by Carol Goedken, CEO of Families & Schools Together

Improving the academic trajectory of disadvantaged children is a high priority in education, and there is no shortage of philosophical approaches to solving the problem. One particularly effective approach involves engaging parents as partners in their children’s learning.

Getting parents engaged in school leads to improved academic outcomes for students, but many schools aren’t equipped with the staff or resources to truly establish meaningful, collaborative partnerships with them. For a school’s parent engagement strategy to be successful, it must be based on a solid foundation. To that end, the following six ideas to help your parent engagement strategy begin on the right foot.

1. Know your audience and their needs.

As educators and professionals, we sometimes overlook reaching out to the very people we’re trying to engage, and, in doing so, end up creating afterschool activities or programming that parents don’t want, don’t need or simply can’t attend due to other priorities. The first question you have to ask is whether your parents value the programming offered at the school; do they find it useful?

According to the Health Beliefs Model (HBM), engaging in certain behavior is a function of both value (desire for…

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