Safe, orderly high achieving schools require the collaboration and support of students, staff, parents, and the community. Improving Student Learning Environment and Discipline Act of 1999 requires that school systems develop a plan to involve parents in the creation and maintenance of a safe and orderly school environment which positively impacts the learning environment.
This parent component may be coordinated with other programs as a part of the system's/ school's overall plan for involving parents. Title I, Middle School After-School, and Special Education are just a few of the educational programs that require some form of parent involvement.
- There are many parents who want to help their children learn more, yet they are unable to come to school due to a variety of circumstances. This fact should not be taken as evidence that they do not care about their children.
- Special efforts must be made to include racial and ethnic minorities, and non English speaking parents who traditionally have had negative school experiences.
- Surveys show that most parents, regardless of their backgrounds, want guidance from the school on ways to help their children learn and establish socially acceptable behavior.
- Parents look to schools for help even if they do not or cannot make the first contact themselves.
- Making parents feel welcome in the school is the first step to helping them.
- Strategies which encourage two-way communication through personal contacts are extremely valuable. It is important to provide ongoing opportunities for schools to hear parents concerns and comments as well as providing them information.
- Resources that may be used to identify activities to improve parent involvement include, but are not limited to the following:
- The Parent Institute, Educators' Notebook on Family Involvement (1999).
Fairfax Station, VA.
- The Parent Institute, What's Working In Parent Involvement, Ways Schools Can Promote Parent Involvement at Home and School (1997).
Fairfax Station, VA.
- The documents listed below may be ordered free of charge in hard copy from the United States Department of Education and are available on the Internet. Both options can be accessed at the following website: www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html.
- Parents and Families Learning Together
- Nutrition Education - A Comprehensive Guide for Better Student Nutrition
The Georgia PTA and the Nutrition Education and Training Program, The School And Community Nutrition Division, Georgia Department of Education.
- Look Who's Cooking!
How Food Preparation Can Help Children Learn and Develop (video)
School and Community Nutrition Program
Georgia Department of Education