The partnership between home and school plays an important role in helping students to fulfill their Promise. While the nation and our public education system have changed a lot over the years, one factor— family engagement— remains critical to student achievement. Research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and builds parents’ confidence in their children’s education. Students with involved parents and caregivers earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior.
So, what can you do to make that critical home-school connection? There are many ways to be involved:
- Help your child set and achieve academic goals;
- Frequently visit the Parent Portal— to view grades, check attendance, monitor progress, review test scores, and more;
- Develop a relationship with your child’s teachers and keep in touch with them, sharing concerns and issues that could affect your child’s achievement; and
- Advocate to ensure schools have the resources they need to provide a world-class education to every student.
The most significant type of involvement is what parents do at home… as a role model, a cheerleader, an advisor, a friendly critic, a lifelong learner, and an advocate. By monitoring, supporting, and promoting, parents can be engaged in ways that ensure that their children have every opportunity for success.
At the beginning of the school year, your school shared these suggestions for helping students reach their potential:
Know the names of your child’s teachers. • Know the name of the principal, too. • Make sure your child arrives on time. • Look through the Student/Parent Handbook together to make sure your child knows what is expected at school. • Visit your local school website frequently. • Eat dinner together as a family as often as you can. • Ask questions about the school day. For example, “What are you learning in science right now?” or “What was the funniest thing that happened at school today?” • Ask your child about homework— and look at it when she has finished. • If your child is having trouble with homework, ask the teacher how to get help. • Encourage your child to read for pleasure every day. • Visit the library together often and register your student for Branch Out!, a partnership that allows kids to use their GCPS ID at county libraries with no fines! • Play a game together. • Know the names of your child’s friends. • Encourage creativity and problem-solving with open-ended questions, imaginative play, and a kid-friendly space for building and creating. • Know the social media applications that your child uses. Talk frankly about how to stay safe and why it’s important to be careful when posting online. • Hug your child every day. • Attend school events, meetings, and performances. • Tuck an encouraging note into your child’s backpack. • Every day, tell your child how proud he or she makes you feel. • Take a walk outside together once a week, and ask about your child’s favorite and least favorite things about school. • If you sense there is a problem at school, don’t hesitate to talk to the teacher. • Meet with your younger child’s teacher at least twice a year, and touch base with your older student’s teachers via email or on parent nights. • Keep up with important school information online… Go to www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us.
On the school district website, you’ll find many resources, including publications, program information and FAQs, and education tips for parents. A few tipsheets for parents looking for ways to support their students include:
- Teacher-tested tips to support learning for young children
- Staying involved in your child's education
- How to stay involved in your older student’s education
- Ways to support your child when he struggles academically
- Supporting your gifted child
- How to motivate your child
- Support at home for your child with ADHD/ADD
Online, find additional tipsheets for academic subjects, safety and wellness, postsecondary planning, and more.
We welcome and value the partnership we have with our families as we work together to support students for success. As your child’s first teacher, you plant the seeds for learning and continue to cultivate them daily so that your student will be prepared to fly high. Thank you for all that you do at home to support your student’s learning and our school.