3 tips to cultivate meaningful parent engagement

With the onset of COVID-19, parents have stepped-up and continued to play an active role in their children’s daily education activities. Teachers, schools, and districts have put their best foot forward to ensure students are learning but still struggle with meaningful parent engagement, which has proven critical to a child’s ongoing success in the classroom.

The best school communities know the importance of giving parents a voice and a seat at the table. Here are three simple ways you can get parents more involved and start cultivating meaningful parent engagement.

1. Shift towards two-way communication

Robo-calls, flyers, and social media announcements have been the go-to for parent communication and parent engagement this year. Districts and schools need to reach many parents quickly and have opted for one-way communication streams. This type of communication has its place and is truly a necessary part of a school’s communication strategy, but this will not help build a sense of school community or connectedness.

A better approach is to shift to two-way communication, which allows parents to engage with the school and have a voice in their child’s education.

Research shows that in a district or school where parents are truly engaged, you are more like to see parents:
● volunteering at their child’s school and school events
● encouraging their child in their academics
● setting educational goals for their child
● asking questions and expressing concerns
● communicating effectively with their child’s teachers
● attending parent/teacher conferences as well as district events
● using their voice to be a partner in their child’s education

About the Author:

Jenny Fry is an elementary school teacher in Kansas City’s urban core with a Master of Arts in Urban Education, Elementary Education and Teaching from Park University.

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