Parental Involvement from K-12

Learn how direct involvement in your child’s education can impact school performance. Get expert advice on how to get involved, learn why and when you need to talk to a teacher and ways to make changes on campus.
View the most popular articles in Parental Involvement from K-12:
Updated March 09, 2017
Avoid These Mistakes When Saving for College: The Ultimate Expert Guide
Many parents dream of being able to afford to send their children to college. With the rising costs of education, many parents are at a loss when it comes to how they are going to afford to pay for their child’s education.

We asked 15 experts about some of the most common mistakes that parents make when attempting to save for their child’s education. If you want to start saving for your child’s future education but do not know where to start, then this guide will give you some much needed answers to the most common issues.

 With 1.26 trillion dollars in national student loan debt (4) and high delinquency rates for student loans, college may be becoming something that not every family will have the opportunity to explore in the coming years.

Updated June 22, 2017
How To Discuss Violence in Schools With Children
Learn 8 ways to guide your conversations with children when discussing high-profile acts of violence in schools.
All too often, school violence in the U.S. is ubiquitously broadcasted on TV and online media in the United States, leaving children who watch frightened and confused. These high profile acts may force children to question whether themselves or their friends are in fact safe. Questions may run through their head, such as “Who will protect us?” or “Why would someone do such a thing?”
 
This is where adults—parents, loved ones, and teachers alike—can provide information, guidance, and empathy. Rather than hide from or dismiss the high-profile stories, it is best to confront them head on. Discuss these events with children, establish a sense of security and stability by allaying their fears.
 
Our school violence handbook is designed to be a resource for administrators, faculty, and parents to turn to after times of crisis. We believe the educational experience prioritizes not just intellectual growth, but emotional health. Distribute and use this Public School Review handbook as a guide for moments when needed most. 
 
8 Ways to Guide Your Conversation
 
       1.    First and foremost—reassure the child that they are safe. Schools are overwhelmingly safe overall despite the high-profile acts that occur every year. They can rest easy knowing themselves and their loved ones will be okay.
 
       2.     Let them know you understand what they’re feeling. Validate those feelings and let them know that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let them talk through their issues and put it into perspective. Simply expressing their (potentially bottled up) emotions can be therapeutic.
 
       3.    Listen. Truly give
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Updated December 03, 2015 |
Why You Should Encourage Your Child to Join a Sports Team
Participating in team sports has a great many benefits for children, there is no doubt. In this article you will learn what those benefits are.
What are the benefits of team sports for children?

Part of your job as a parent is to push your kids to do and be their best. Sometimes this means limiting television privileges until your child finishes his homework. Other times it means taking time out of your own day to drive your child to see a tutor. There is no doubt that going the extra mile to ensure your child’s academic success is important, but what about other things? Should you encourage your child to join a sports team?

What Are the Benefits of Participating in Sports?

For children, playing sports is more than just a way to spend time after school – it can have a serious impact on the child’s mental and social development. Below you will find a list of some of the many benefits associated with team sport participation for children:

  • According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, teenagers who participated in team sports were smoke, do drugs, have sex, and carry weapons than those who did not.
  • Being part of a sports team teaches your child how to work with others toward a common goal – it takes the combined effort of the whole team to win a game.
  • Participating in sports can give children and young adults a sense of belonging. This is especially important during middle school and high school where cliques can form quickly, leaving children who are less socially gifted on the margins.
  • The results of several research studies show that children who participate in sports are happier
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Updated March 29, 2015 |
5 Tips for Monitoring Screen Time for Kids
Many school districts have implemented technology initiatives that provide laptops or tablets to students. While these technologies open opportunities for learning outside of school, they also require parental oversight to ensure children aren’t spending too much time online.
It has been more than a decade since the first large-scale one-to-one technology initiative was launched in Maine. That program, which put laptops in the hands of every public school student in the state, represented a major shift in the manner in which students learn. Recognizing the growing value of technology, particularly the Internet as an educational tool, the program opened doors for students to learn that otherwise would not have been available. For the first time, students could easily expand their learning time beyond the boundaries of their classroom and regular school day.
 
Yet, as children learned to utilize technology for educational purposes, the non-educational aspects of technology began to become more prominent. Gone are the days when a laptop was used to type a report or to access an online encyclopedia for research. Now, children have thousands of online distractions from YouTube videos to games to apps that allow them to chat, text, and share pictures with their friends.
 
All this makes it more difficult for parents to manage what their children utilize their technology to do. However, there are steps parents can take to ensure their child utilizes technology for learning first and fun second.
 
Set Rules and Stick to Them
Establishing rules can go a long way in helping your child define the boundaries of their use of technology. One of your first rules should be that
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Updated March 29, 2015 |
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Parents’ How-To Guide
Communicating early and often with your child’s teacher is an important aspect of ensuring your child has the best possible education. Yet, sometimes parent-teacher conferences can be stressful for a variety of factors. In this article we provide a how-to guide for making the most out of your parent-teacher conference experience.
Parent-teacher conferences can be a bit unnerving for parents regardless of how many times they’ve attended. It can be difficult to cover all the questions you have in a short period of time, and you may even leave the conference feeling like you weren’t able to accomplish much. However, there are practical steps you can take before, during, and after parent-teacher conferences to ensure you have all the information you need to support your child’s learning.
 
Before the Conference
 
Parent-teacher conferences are often set up such that parents have precious little time with each teacher, in many cases 10-15 minutes at the absolute most. In order to get the most out of your appointment, come to the conference prepared. Begin by reviewing your child’s grades beforehand, including their report card, any progress reports, work your child has brought home, and any comments your child’s teacher has made on his or her homework. Gathering as much information as you can ahead of time will allow you to formulate questions to ask your child’s teacher and be ready to dive into the discussion once your appointment time arrives. Some possible questions to ask include:  
  • Is my child performing at grade level?
  • What are my child’s strengths? Weaknesses?
  • What can my child do to improve academically?
  • What can I do to help my child improve academically?
It’s important to be prepared whether your child is doing well or poorly. On the one hand, if your child is struggling you’ll need to be familiar with why this is
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Parental Involvement from K-12