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Parent Involvement

Alyssa McCarthy

Saint Marys University of Minnesota

Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs

EDUW 699- Independent Study

Summer 2016
Alyssa McCarthy
August 2016
Independent Study- Parent Involvement

Discovery and Research on Parent Involvement

How is it defined?
After doing a little research, I found two strong definitions of parent involvement:
1. Parental involvement refers to the amount of participation a parent has when it comes to
schooling and her child's life. (
2. Parent involvement is defined as the participation of parents in every facet of childrens
education and development from birth to adulthood, recognizing that parents are the
primary influence in childrens lives. (Pennsylvania PTA)

I like these definitions for two reasons. The first is because they include not only the parent
involvement in the childs education, as well as the involvement in the childs life and
development in general. The second focuses on the second definition because it includes that
parents, not teachers, are the primary influence in a childs life.

What are the benefits?

After completing teacher interviews and surveys, I found applicable ways that strong parent
involvement benefits the students and the classroom.
1. Students become more engaged in the learning process.
2. Students take responsibility in their work and at school in general.
3. Students are held accountable for their work and attendance at home and at school.
Student views parents and teachers as a team.
4. Student rises to the occasion and puts forth the extra effort.
5. Student motivation and self worth increase.
6. Parental involvement provides consistency in reinforcement; student behavior improves.
7. Students are aware of expectations and reach or go beyond their potential.
8. Students and parents begin to value student education.
9. Parental involvement helps teachers learn students strengths and weaknesses and better
differentiate education.
10. Parental involvement shows the parent the teachers investment in their childs success.
11. Students have additional help at home when necessary.

How parent involvement can be applied/encouraged in my classroom?

Based on the information I learned, I created a plan to create a classroom environment that
includes strong parental involvement.
1. As a teacher, I will make the first contact with the parent a positive contact, whether this
is by phone call or email. I will call and/or email with child successes and improvements,
instead of overwhelming the parent with negativity. Most teachers agreed, every contact
should include at least one positive.
2. In the beginning of the year I will make sure each parent has my contact information and
vice versa. This will be done on my class website, via a handout, and/or at Open House.
3. I want to give each parent an opportunity to voice their concern/suggestions about their
childs education in my classroom and at school. This can be done over the class website,
on the phone, via email, or in person.
4. My class website includes information on student attendance and grades. It will also
include the classroom syllabus, schedule and class updates. This provides consistent
parent connection and communication.
5. The first day of class will be used to create a contract between student/parent/teacher for
all three parties to sign. The contract will clarify the expectations of each role involved.
6. Throughout the year, there will be a handful of assignments that include parent
involvement, for example: a parent interview, a parent/student game or worksheet. These
assignments will focus on student achievement.
7. Some parents and/or students require face-to-face communication in order to form a
connection and feel involved. In these cases parents will be invited to visit the classroom,
volunteer in class activities, and/or I will make a home visit to form a relationship with
the family.
8. Lastly, I will use a texting app, like Kikutext, in order to communicate with parents on a
regular basis. I can live chat parents with successes in the classroom. This can be used as
a student incentive within the classroom, while keeping parents involved.