How to Improve Parental Engagement in Schools?

Children need to have a strong support system to navigate through major life events and the challenges they will face whether it is related to their academic or social life. As teachers strive to ensure every student is provided with the resources and support to perform their best, it is necessary to ensure that this support is present even at home. Studies have shown that the level of parental involvement is the foremost predictor of academic success, having considered all other factors. The degree of parental engagement plays a crucial role in determining the success of a child in their educational journey.

Currently, with learning largely being conducted online, the ability of teachers to supervise the activities of their students even during school hours is limited. The role that parents play in making sure that their children are completing their coursework and actually learning is critical. Teachers and school administrators must realise that maintaining a good flow of communication with parents is the answer as they figure out how to improve parental engagement.

Here are some effective tips on how to improve parent involvement in schools:

Leverage Technology To Stay In Continuous Communication

Professional and personal commitments that parents need to fulfil can be a major hindrance to them getting involved in their child’s education. You can use a myriad of digital tools and resources to keep them informed of their child’s progress in both academic and extracurricular activities and events going on at school. Using digital meeting rooms can provide flexibility for parents who cannot attend parent-teacher meetings that are held on campus. You can send out school newsletters and blogs informing parents of the activities taking place at school.

You can set up an online portal where parents can view all aspects of their child’s school life including attendance, timetables, assignments, exams, grades, sports and extracurricular activities, achievements etc. This will provide them with a comprehensive view of their child’s performance and help them understand how they will need to get involved and provide support at home. Enabling them to stay in regular contact with teachers can also help them receive feedback about how their child is doing and what remedial actions can be taken to improve their performance.

Use Social Media

Social media has changed almost all aspects of our everyday lives. Parents, just like their children, are using social media at an increasing rate. You can set up a dedicated social media team to connect with parents on various channels, and update them about the events going on at school, and highlight the achievements of their student body. Social media can also be used to direct people who are members of the parents’ networks to the school’s website and highlight all that the institution can offer. Additionally, you can create and moderate Facebook groups for parents to build an online community for them to seek parenting advice and discuss issues pertaining to their child and the school.  

Overcome Cultural Barriers

Cultural and language barriers have a significant impact on the amount of engagement that parents are able to have with teachers. Many parents do not have a high level of proficiency in English and this can make it difficult for them to communicate regularly with teachers and express their feedback and concerns effectively. As the world grows increasingly diverse, it is important to recognise that certain cultural factors may influence how parents are able to communicate with the faculty and administration. Conducting sensitivity training can help create awareness among teachers about how to navigate these differences and engage with parents. Making an effort to initiate conversations, conducting home visits, using the child or other parents to help translate conversations, or communicating with parents online can help them feel more comfortable, willing to engage with the school and get more involved in their child’s studies.

Host Open Days And Special Events For Parents

Making parents feel like they are an integral part of the community is essential to improving communications. Inviting parents open days, festival celebrations and other school events help them connect with other parents and the school community. It enables parents to connect with teachers in a more relaxed setting, and build a rapport with each other. Hosting these events also gives the student’s entire family an opportunity to visit the classroom and campus and see how things are done at school. Doing so can give the student’s family a greater understanding of the child’s school life and motivate them to get involved in their child’s education to a greater extent.

Provide Volunteering Opportunities

As schools figure out how can parental involvement be improved, allowing parents to volunteer is very helpful in enabling them to gain firsthand experience about how school activities are conducted. Enlisting parents to help out at sports days, class trips and excursions and other special school events can give them a deeper understanding of how teachers and students interact with each other. Parents will also be able to feel more at ease around teachers and actively seek advice and guidance about how to better support their child’s educational progress.