Parent Involvement and Engagement
Home and School - the best choice for parent involvement.
Home and School Associations serve as one important way for parents and community to be involved and engaged in the success of children. Involvement not only includes participating in school fundraisers or attending performances and athletic events, but also means partnering with the school to support learning at home. We recognize that it takes a village to raise a child – parents; step-parents; parents’ significant others; foster parents and adoptive parents; siblings; grandmother, grandfather; aunts, uncles, elders and other extended family; friends and neighbours; and members of the community – often contribute in significant ways to a child and youth’s success and well-being.
Home and School Associations Best Practice
We hope that this list may spark an idea OR validates the work already undertaken by your Association.
Best practice outline key elements of effective ways Home and School Associations can further their role of involving and engaging families. The following list describe ideals, serves as guidelines and are not exhaustive.
Resource/information kits for parents new to the school or new high school parents. Kits might include school, school board, and Home and School documents, contact information and a “who does what” brochure for the school and the school board, or tips for homework support.
A series of Parent Education Nights on topics such as the language and math
curriculum, supporting your own child’s learning, taming the homework monster,
the role of a trustee, superintendent, director, principal, teacher.
Explore translation services for these evenings as well, and provide trained child care, and food.
Host “Family Dinner” evenings to promote good nutrition, food preparation, and the importance of finding time to work together as a family.
Open these sessions to your entire parent community.
Volunteer recruitment projects: reach out to parents not already engaged, survey what they need to be more involved and then provide training, supports, and
Develop resources/programs to reach stay-at-home and working parents, moms and dads, new Canadians, and ESL adults.
Build a speaker/support network program to help parents deal with issues such as drug and alcohol use, smoking, behaviour problems, bullying programs and other
Provide free book bags full of children’s books for parents. Offer tips for family reading time.
Hosting a Family Movie Night is a terrific way to give families a free or low-cost
evening out together. Plus, a Family Movie Night is easy to organize and run. Your movie night will allow parents and their children to experience the school in a whole new way. And it will give you a forum to showcase your Home and School Association to prospective members. Once parents see your group in action, they’ll want to be part of it!
Set up a Buddy System for new and ESL families to help them become familiar with the school’s culture and operation.
Encourage new parents to socialize with the parent community – dinners prepared by new comers and existing community parents, family gym nights, fashion
shows/multicultural nights to explore different traditions and cultures.
Breakfast/Snack Programs focusing on good nutrition. Provide nutrition counseling and food preparation practice for children. Invite parents in the evening and have the children prepare food for them.
Parent Involvement Resources