About Parent Engagement
No simple task to define something everyone sees differently. And, it is because of that very thing that our services are needed. The goal is not to get everyone to agree on what parent engagement means. The goal is to create opportunities for everyone to participate in the ways they believe is right for them.
One way to look at this is like a playground for kids. There are many places to play, things to climb, swings, and more things to climb or sit upon. Every child has the freedom to determine for themselves what "play" means to them and participate as they want to.
Another way to view this open definition is to look at our roadways. The roads are an open opportunity for all drivers to start from where they are, choose their own route, and arrive at the destination of their choice. There are rules that exist for the good of all, that increase the flow and safety of vehicles, and actually encourage the unsure to trust the process.
From the school's point of view, parents are a crucial part of the child's educational success. They know that each child needs a personal mentor, an encouraging coach, an advocate, and a sounding board. The average child will have more than sixty instructors from kindergarten through graduation. By contrast, each child will have, on average, only two parents. (We understand the diversity of families, and believe all parental adults in any child's life can provide encouragement, guidance, and good influence.) Therefore it is important for parents to be the steadying voice, the providers of personal structure, and the encouragers of ambition.
Schools also know that the views that parents hold about school will seep into the minds of their children. Because of this, schools want parents to learn about the good things being taught, the available programs, and how to set the family's sights on college or trade schools. When expectations and messages are consistent, the child will probably end up there.
In order to work with everyone, and with all situations, we have expanded the definition to read as follows:
Parent engagement happens
every time a parent interacts
with either an employee of the school district,
or their child.
To our understanding, everyone involved is responsible for how they interact, how much and how often they engage in conversations, research, learning, and guiding. This includes conversations in passing, because, as we all know, relationships encompass all interactions. If a parent is verbally abusive to a teacher, principal or their child, it will inhibit conversations about learning. If a child is allowed to be unruly, it will decrease their obedience to teachers, decrease their respect for mom and dad, and makes it harder to apply themselves when rigor gets tougher.
Click Here for Examples of Parent Engagement