During ED’s back-to-school bus tour, Secretary Duncan stated that, “parents have to be part of the solution. Parental engagement must help increase student achievement.” To accomplish this goal, the department is spanning the country to host parent forums in partnership with states, districts, schools, organizations, associations, colleges, universities and businesses.
In late October, ED joined the Garland Independent School District in Garland, Texas, and the Garland Area Alliance of Black School Educators for a parent forum to provide parents with information, strategies, and resources to help increase their child’s educational achievement. A few of the tips on how parents can be part of the solution discussed during the forum include:
- Listen to your children. Develop a closer relationship with your children by giving them your full attention. Listen to his/her conversation. They may reveal concerns and fears of which you are not aware.
- Ask for help from the classroom teacher. There may be subject topics you and your child need clarification. Call or write the teacher for an appointment where you both can receive assistance.
- Email your child’s teacher if your child is having a problem. An email provides documentation of contact. Long emails are dreaded and often not read. Keep them concise and clear.
- For teachers, administrators, and school support staff, be sensitive to the needs of the parents. There may be some parents who speak no or very little English. Find ways to reach out to those parents. They, too, wish to be partners in their child’s learning.
Over 500 parents, community and faith-based representatives, and school district personnel attended the forum. One administrator who attended the forum stated that the forum had prompted him “to do more. I need to thank my parents more for the things they do [at school and at home].”
Secretary Duncan is in Mason, Ohio, today to hold discussions with parents and school officials about programs to promote excellence in education, expand job growth and invest in the economy.
Carrie Jasper works in the Office of Communications and Outreach