Involving Parents in the School: Tips for School Councils

Parent Involvement: A Checklist

Use this handy checklist to review your current parent engagement activities, and to stimulate discussion and ideas for future activities and events.

  • Have we used surveys and other information-gathering tools to assess what parents need and want, and to ask for their opinions and suggestions?
  • Have we determined the barriers which may prevent some parents from participating?
  • Have we considered applying for a Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grant?
  • Do we understand the needs of parents whose first language is other than English?
  • Have we explicitly invited parents to volunteer in a variety of school activities?
  • Do we know how parents are getting our information, and how they would like to receive it?
  • Do we routinely gather parent contact information and use it effectively to keep parents informed?
  • Do we have an organized plan for parent engagement activities this year?
  • Do we know who has assumed responsibility for each activity within the plan?
  • Do we respond immediately when parents indicate a willingness to volunteer or participate in other ways?
  • Do we have a school information package for newcomers?
  • Do we have an organized method for meeting and welcoming new families?
  • Do we actively encourage parents to attend School Council meetings?
  • Do we acknowledge and involve parents who attend Council meetings for the first time?
  • Do we provide information or an information event specifically geared to the needs of newcomers?
  • Have we successfully addressed barriers to parent participation such as childcare, transportation, language services and off-site / off-hours events and programs for those who cannot attend regular events?
  • Do we regularly provide school events that showcase student work and activities, address issues of concern, and provide information of interest to parents?
  • Do we involve the community in the life of the school through such events as career and community fairs?
  • Do we offer training for volunteers to help ensure that they feel confident and equipped for their roles?
  • Do we provide parents with the information they need to work effectively with school staff, and to support their children's education at home?
  • Do we celebrate our multicultural community by offering events that feature varied traditions, customs and sports?
  • Do we prominently display information about School Council in a high visibility area of the school?
  • Does School Council have a presence at school events?
  • Do we have a School Council newsletter and/or is the School Council represented in the school newsletter?
  • Does the School Council have a presence on the school website?
  • Do we send frequent reminders to parents?
  • Do we participate as guest speakers wherever possible in the community, outside of school?
  • Do we recognize the efforts of parents and School Council members, to encourage greater involvement and participation?
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