It takes a village to raise a child. This proverb has never rung truer when discussing children and education. The school community plays an essential role in the development and growth of children. High rates of student success are the outcomes of educators, families, and the community collaborating to create opportunities.
Throughout the years, researchers have conducted studies to understand the impact of different groups on student education. Each group’s role influences various aspects of student success. However, the research unanimously indicates that high rates of student achievement lie with the joint effort of educators, families, and community.
Previously, parent involvement was characterized by mostly mother volunteers. They would assist in the classroom, chaperon students, and help fundraise. Today, volunteers comprise of mothers and fathers, grandparents, relatives, business leaders, community groups, etc. Family member involvement contributes to student achievement and school success. Regardless of income, education, or cultural background— all families who are involved in their student’s education increase student achievement.
When schools engage families in ways that are linked to learning, student success increases. At home, programs that involve families to work with children tend to have significant effects. Programs should inform parents what their children are learning, how parents can help, and parent-training packets in reading and math. These kinds of programs better equip families to help continue the learning process after school. Students in high school can also feel the benefits of parental involvement in their education. However, unlike what you may think, involvement is not centered around behavior, but rather aimed at advising and guiding teens. Parents can benefit from attending workshops centered around talking to their students about college and employment. Parents who speak to their student more often about school and academic pursuits are more likely to have students who are driven to achieve.
Workshops and programs help parents to get involved and also gives parents tools and knowledge about where their children can improve upon. It allows parents the power to become more involved in their student’s education and success. This can be the distinct difference between low and high achieving students.
Educators can help to bridge the gap between parents and school environment. Bridging the gap can be done by reaching out to parents for face-to-face meetings, sending materials to parents on ways to help their child learn at home, and give routine phone calls about the child’s behavior. Educators should make every attempt to learn about the concerns of the families and how they can help families find their role in the school’s mission for student education.
It’s essential to allow school staff the resources and time to create programs that invite families to become involved. The school can link the current traditional staples of parent involvement to engage families. The school newsletter is also a valuable tool to use and discuss test results and highlight students who are meeting higher standards.
The community can consist of whoever lives in the area and has an interest in the school. School community members can be anyone in the surrounding neighborhoods, residents, businesses, and local groups. Creating partnerships with the community offers school connections to increase program resources, high-quality instruction, and strengthens student perceptions of real-world applications and school.
Successful community partnerships help to foster school achievement and success by placing a commitment to learning. Community involvement can increase participation in afterschool programs and give students the point of contact for high-quality instruction. Community involvement also leads to increase in test scores, teachers’ sense of efficacy, and students’ perception that school is relevant and provides the tools to be successful.
When the community becomes more invested in its local schools, parents and families feel an increase of ownership in decisions, activities, and programs.
Managing community, volunteer, and visitor records can be a big task in of itself. And we know it’s an essential part of maintaining school resources. KeepnTrack is a web-based software that offers a dynamic approach to managing visitor and volunteer data. You can use KeepnTrack to organize volunteer activities and record volunteer hours logged. If you are looking for a simplified way to track visitor and volunteer activity at your school, learn more today!