Raise the Bar: Resources for Parents and Families

Raise the Bar: Resources for Parents and Families

Welcome back to school, parents, families, and caregivers!

You have done so much to get your child ready for a successful school year, and your child’s school is gearing up for an exciting year of learning. Now, it’s time to welcome you back to school!

Parent partnership with schools is key to supporting students’ academic success and overall wellbeing. The questions below can help guide your back-to-school conversations with teachers and other school staff, support building your partnerships, and help lay the foundation for your child’s success. These questions focus on building strong relationships with your school, sustaining two-way communication, and structuring support for your child between home and school.

Sample Questions for Parents and Families to Help Build Strong Partnerships with Schools

Partnering for our child’s success is important to us.  

Parent Questions for Educators: How will we build our relationship to partner well?
  • What’s the best way to share our family’s culture and our hopes and dreams for our child? 
  • What’s your approach to getting to know our child—their interests, strengths, and needs?  
  • What’s the best way for us to learn more about you? 

Ongoing communication between home and school will sustain our partnership. 

Parent Questions for Educators: How will we build and maintain open communication throughout the school year? 
  • How will you share information with us? If we need language support, how can we ask for translation and interpretation services, or other ways to receive information? 
  • What’s the best way to reach you if we have questions or concerns? And when? 
  • What ongoing opportunities will we have to engage with you and other school staff? 

Academic success can be impacted by the opportunity for families to support learning.  

Parent Questions for Educators: How will we partner so that we can support what our child is learning at school? 
  • How can our family find out what our child will learn this school year?  
  • How will we receive information about our child’s academic progress in school? 
  • How will we work together to set academic goals for our child? 
  • What are your recommendations for how we can support our child’s learning at home? 
  • We know that most students’ learning was impacted by the pandemic. How are you working to understand and support where our child may need extra help?  (For example, through tutoring, small group instruction, or other supports?)  
  • Are there resources outside of the regular school day to support our child’s learning? (For example, afterschool programs, summer learning opportunities, or mentoring programs?) 

Working together, educators and families also can support students’ success beyond academics.  

Parent Questions for Educators: What resources are available to help our child’s overall well-being?
  • How can our family connect to resources to support our child’s overall well-being, including their mental health?  
  • How will we know if our child misses too much school?  
  • What supports are available if our child falls behind on classroom time because of school absences? How can we work together to help our child catch up? 
  • How is the school ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment? And who should we talk to if we have school climate or safety concerns? 

Parents and families often want to support schools, but we need more information. 

Parent Questions for Educators: How can parents be helpful in building our classroom and our school communities? 
  • What are some of the ways that parents and families can support our child’s classroom? 
  • How will we learn about ongoing volunteer or collaboration opportunities with our child’s school? 
  • How might parents make suggestions for keeping our child’s school connected to community events and partnership opportunities? 
  • How can parents be involved in supporting school climate and safety efforts? 

Department of Education Resources for Parents and Families