Involving Parents in the School: Tips for School Councils

Be Event Oriented

Creative school events that appeal to the needs and interests of parents often provide a key introduction to the school. These tips will help you develop events that will engage and attract parents, and open the door to greater parent involvement to help support student achievement and well-being.

Tip #12: The Showcase Evening

Use a special showcase evening to highlight school programs and activities, to provide parent education, or to offer the opportunity to meet other parents. The following are just a few of the many showcase ideas you may wish to consider:

  • Feature a school activity or project such as the school choir or band, a drama group, science experiments or technology displays.
  • Consider providing a speaker to present information on a topic of interest to parents such as homework strategies, discipline or health-related topics.
  • Provide a brief information session by School Council on a topic or issue of current interest to the school community.

Tip #13: The School Fair

Consider organizing a career, health or community services fair. Participants may include parents and representatives from outside groups in the community. A fair provides an excellent opportunity for community involvement, and demonstrates the school's commitment to supporting families.

Tip #14: The Volunteer Training Program

Offering a school volunteer training program can go a long way to building parent confidence and building involvement. Sessions might be considered, for example, to providing coaching on being a reading buddy, or a library assistant.

Tip #15: The Parent Education Program

Parents often welcome information on a variety of topics related to parenting and their children's schooling. Consider developing information sessions on topics such as the parent-teacher interview; working successfully with teachers; school volunteering; adolescence; internet safety; drug and alcohol issues; or successful homework hints.

Tip #16: The Welcome Back to School Event

To re-engage parents early in the school year, and welcome new parents to the school, hold a “Welcome Back to School” event which might combine a barbeque or similar social event with a meet-the-teacher opportunity.

Tip #17: The Multicultural Program

Where the school serves a diverse community, multicultural programs and events can serve not only to welcome all parents, but also to share and enjoy a wide range of traditions, cultures, sports and other activities. The following is a small sampling of the many events you may want to consider:

  • Hold an international dinner with explanations of foods from around the world.
  • Hold an international fair in which families create simple displays highlighting their customs and traditions.
  • Run an outdoor recreation day featuring a popular international sport or other activity – such as cricket – which can be shared with the school community.
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