Parents Matter

This document is also available as a PDF format (511 KB).

Parent engagement means

  • Making learning an important part of a child's day
  • Supporting your child's learning at home and at school
  • Participating in the life of the classroom, school and community

How parent engagement is building student success

When parents are involved in their children's education, everyone benefits – students, parents, teachers, schools and communities. Great schools can become even better places to teach and learn, and student achievement often improves.

Supporting parent engagement in Ontario schools

Ontario's Parents Reaching Out grants encourage parent engagement at the local, regional and provincial levels. They are designed to involve more parents in support of student achievement and well-being. There are two types of grants:

Parents Reaching Out Grants for School Councils:

These grants support parents in identifying barriers to parent engagement in their own school community, and finding local solutions to help more parents get involved. These barriers may include: being new to Ontario's education system, unfamiliar with the language, living in poverty or far from the school.

Parents Reaching Out Grants for Regional / Provincial Projects:

These grants support initiatives that will improve parent engagement in public education for an entire region of the province or at the provincial level, with a goal of supporting student achievement and well-being. They help fund projects that create a welcoming climate in schools and school boards and give parents the opportunities to build their knowledge and skills so they can help support greater student success.

Find out more about these grants at: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/reaching.html

Resources and information for parents

A wide variety of materials for parents of elementary and secondary students are available at ontario.ca/EDUparents. This page has information for parents about the province's publicly funded education system in many languages. Information is also available for parents of younger children.

Parents of infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-age children can:

Parents of elementary students can:

  • Find resources to help their children with reading, writing and math in English, French and other languages at ontario.ca/EDUparents.

Parents of secondary school students can:

  • Learn about the Student Success Strategy; a variety of initiatives and resources offered in Ontario's publicly funded schools. This strategy helps students graduate from secondary school and succeed in their chosen pathway (apprenticeship training, community living, college, university or the workplace). Learn more at ontario.ca/studentsuccess.

At home, at school and in the community… parents matter!

Parent engagement is building student success

Benefits for parents and students

As a parent, you have a strong influence on your children's attitudes toward school learning and future success. When you are involved in your children's learning – from the early years to high school – you are giving them an important head start in school and in life. How do students and parents benefit?

  • Improved student achievement
  • More positive attitudes about school
  • More success with homework
  • Higher rates of high school graduation
  • More consistent school attendance
  • Fewer behavioural problems
  • Opportunities for parents to become involved in the life of the school and the community
  • A brighter future for students at school and later in life

Tips for parents

An engaged parent is an interested parent. Here are just a few of the ways you can become more involved in your children's education from the early years to Grade 12.

  • Demonstrate interest: ask what happened at school today and create an ongoing dialogue. This helps set the stage for joint student-parent decision making as your children get older.
  • Create a place for studying: encourage a regular homework time with limited distractions. Set appropriate times for phone calls and leisure time on computers and electronic games.
  • Help with homework: talk to the teacher to learn more about how you can help your children outside of school. For older students, set priorities for after-school activities, job and chore hours, homework and leisure time.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences: develop a plan with the teacher on how to best support your children's learning needs.
  • Participate: get involved in any way that is comfortable – whether it's parent information nights, volunteer activities, arts and sporting events, school council or your board's Parent Involvement Committee.
  • Stay informed: find out what is happening in the classroom, the school and the school community.

Not all of these tips will suit every parent. Get involved in a way that's right for you.

At home, at school and in the community… parents matter!