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Roundup Post: Parental Involvement Is a Key to Success

By guest blogger Eva Hardy, online content/data coordinator at the Center for Teaching Quality

In April, roundtable participants discussed the many ways in which parental engagement can elevate students' classroom performance. Participants agreed that parental involvement was a collaborative effort, requiring teacher, parents, and administration to get involved in the process.

Below is a recap of some experiences and insights from this month's contributors:

Activate Parents: Jose Vilson argues that parental involvement is the "missing link" in school reform and challenges fellow teachers to work to "activate parents into a collaborative role."

Create Resources: Parents can bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the classroom. Cheryl Suliteanu reflects on how one parent's passion turned into a very memorable lesson for her students.

Communicate Effectively: Creating and maintaining open lines of communication between school and home is a first-step in actively engaging parents, point out David Ruenzel, Bill Ivey, and Lori Nazareno.

Establish Trust: Larry Ferlazzo suggests that teachers are able to establish and maintain trust when the focus is on building relationships rather than reporting problems.

Offer Opportunities: Schools must offer diverse and creative opportunities for parental involvement. Bill Ivey and Larry Ferlazzo describe a few ways in which their schools are reaching out and engaging parents.

Develop a Vision: Cheryl Suliteanu, David Ruenzel, and Lori Nazareno note that parents, teachers, and administrators must work together to set consistent expectations for students in and out of the classroom.

Connect Online: Jose Vilson and Ilana Garon describe their experiences with online grade books as a way to engage parents and provide accountability.

—Eva Hardy

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