California PTA: Parent involvement

The following content has been provided by the California State PTA. Please find the original content source here

Parent involvement means efforts by the school district and schools to seek input from all parents, and to engage parents as partners in decision-making. It also means promoting parent participation in programs that meet the needs of both their own students and others on campus. With authentic parent involvement, families, schools and communities work closely together to build a strong framework for student achievement.

Some ways schools can measure parent involvement include assessing:

  • The quantity and parent-defined quality of efforts by school districts to seek input from all parent groups in decision-making.
  • The number of family engagement staff and family resource centers created to better connect families with schools.
  • The number of schools demonstrating inclusive outreach to all families, in home languages, and easy two-way communication between home and school.
  • The quantity and parent-defined quality of parent education nights and programs to support student learning and success in school and beyond.
  • The number of parents who know how well their children are doing in class and how their school plans to improve student outcomes.

Key questions to ask about parent involvement:

  1. Do families feel welcomed, valued and connected to each other and the school in our community? Does our school have a family engagement coordinator, a parent center with multilingual services or parent volunteers to increase outreach to families of all neighborhoods? Do we have an active PTA? Are our parent events and groups inclusive and welcoming for families from all backgrounds?
  2. Are parents, staff and our community partners working together to support student success at home and at school? Are there parent workshops and training in home languages, such as PTA’s School Smarts Program, on how to help children succeed and how the school and district operate
  3. Is it easy for parents, the PTA, School Site Councils and other committees to communicate and work with the school board, district administrators and staff? Are parents surveyed, in home languages, and brought together regularly for input on community priorities and decision-making in the school district? How does the school district show that parent input has been meaningfully considered?
  4. How do we promote and grow parent involvement? Do we have goals and funding in place to increase parent involvement within our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)? How are we using the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships? Do we offer school-wide activities and events at low or no cost for families in our community?
  5. How can parents learn more and ask questions about district programs, policies and activities? Do we have a plan to engage and inform parents about school funding, student outcomes and what happens after the LCAP is adopted?

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