Defining parents’ role in education for optimal student experience
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Parental involvement is a crucial factor in children’s success in school. However, when it comes to defining parents’ role in education, some may wonder how to strike the right balance. Ideally, parents will succeed in offering a primary support system for their children while simultaneously giving students the freedom to explore their individuality and foster self-confidence. By providing both such forms of support, parent can help their children thrive – not only in the classroom, but in the world beyond as well.
Forms of parental involvement
There are many ways in which parents can offer support to their students, from at-home activities like homework help and educational recreation to attendance at school plays and assemblies. In addition, parents make a financial commitment to their children’s education, and a time commitment expressed through volunteer efforts on behalf of the school’s programs and overall mission. In all these areas, parental involvement is essential – not just to the children, but to the academic system as a whole. And by giving of their time and resources, parents also express their support for institutional goals and values, helping families and educators to come together in an effort to create the best possible environment for students to succeed.
In such an environment, parents are poised to not only assist teachers and students, but also to learn themselves about the challenges and opportunities facing their children. The best schools are those that facilitate these discussions, and create a venue for sharing and effective communication that strengthens bonds between parents, students, faculty and the surrounding community.
At Francis Parker School, we see parental involvement as one of the principal values behind our enduring success. All Parker parents take part in the Parents Association, and new parents are paired with returning families to encourage camaraderie and foster community. The association stages multiple events throughout the year to further strengthen that community, from the parents-only Annual Parker Gala to student activities to fundraisers for the good of the school and its mission. Beyond that, we offer parent courses designed to teach parents about issues related to the social, emotional and academic health of students, and to inform them about everything from new trends in education technology to practical guides for raising successful students.
By creating an effective support network that includes students, parents, and even grandparents, we at Parker offer everyone within our community the chance to share their talents, get involved and create an ideal academic environment for today’s young people. Learn more about parents at Francis Parker School, get involved, or request further information online, at www.francisparker.org.
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