4 Ways to be More Engaged with Your Child’s School

Parent engagement is defined as parents and school faculty and staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children (cdc.gov). Research has shown time and time again that parent involvement is critical to children’s success, transcending nearly all others, such as socioeconomic status, student background, or the kind of school a student attends (aecf.org). 
Multiple studies prove that students whose parents are actively engaged in their schooling typically show the following:
•    Higher grades
•    Higher test scores
•    Greater social skills
•    Better reported behavior
•    Easier adaptation to school
•    Greater likelihood of continuing into post-graduate education

We all want to take an active role in our child’s education, but how best to do that, especially when time and resources may be limited?  Here are four areas parents can focus on that can make a big difference.  

1. Support Learning at Home

  • Help your child establish a routine that enables them to complete their homework while also doing activities, enjoying dinner time, and getting enough sleep. 
  • Talk about what’s going on in school. Sitting down for a meal is a great time to talk about school, as is when you’re in the car. Asking your child about their day shows them that school is important, and, by starting this habit early, you are more likely to continue getting important information about school as your child grows older.
  • Read with your children. Even 10–20 minutes makes a difference. Visit your library regularly and allow your child to choose the books – they might find a new interest by exploring! Trading books with friends is also a fun way to find new titles.
  • Play board games together. Many games feature learning elements, and learning how to win and lose graciously is important.
  • Spend time in the kitchen. Reading, following directions, math – all of these skills can be practiced through cooking and baking. 
  • Emphasize toys that bring out your child’s creativity like art supplies, blocks, and dress-up pieces.
2. Communicate with Teachers
Communicating with your child’s teacher is so important. The teacher spends hours with your child each day and knows him or her in a way that you don’t. By communicating and working together, you and your child’s teacher can profoundly impact your student’s experience. 
  • Be sure to introduce yourself at the beginning of the year. Opening the lines of communication early will ease the way if issues should pop up as the year progresses.
  • Ask teachers how they would like to communicate. Do they prefer email, a call, or a text, and when should you expect a reply?
  • If your child had a great day or was telling you about an activity they enjoyed, share that with your teacher – everyone appreciates positive feedback!
  • If you have a concern (academic or social) about your child, address it early, and stay connected to discuss progress.
  • For more tips, you can read our “Make the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conference” blog.
3. Make Connections
In addition to your child’s teacher, make efforts to engage with the school community. 
  • Touch base with school administrators. You likely met some administrators during the admissions process, but it’s always nice to say hello, offer support, and/or share positive feedback.
  • Reach out to teachers other than your child’s classroom teacher. Maybe you enjoy art or have a musical talent that might support what these teachers are doing in their classrooms.
  • Introduce yourself to other parents. Volunteer to help with a class party, join the Parent-Teacher Organization, or chaperone a field trip to start to get to know them. 
Any time you connect with people at school, you strengthen the community as a whole, which is a great thing for everyone!
4. Attend Events
Simply showing up for activities and events is a very effective way to be an involved member of the community and support your child and the school. These events might include programs, sporting events, recognition assemblies, and fundraisers. While we understand that families are busy and not everyone can attend every event, it is important to attend whenever you can, as these are great ways to build and strengthen connections.

At Mason Prep, we emphasize the importance of parent involvement and prioritize building partnerships between parents and the school. We love bringing parents into the building through activities like:
  • Parent readers: parents of lower school students are invited to read to the class
  • Parent Teacher Organization: our PTO is extremely involved and puts on school-wide events, runs our school lunch program, and raises money to fund field trips
  • Eating lunch with your child: parents are welcome to join us for lunch
  • Family activities: the PTO puts on amazing family events like Bingo Night, Movie Night, Father-Daughter Dance, and the Mother-Son Kickball Game
  • Field trips: parents can volunteer to chaperone day trips to museums and local spots and longer trips like Barrier Island and Washington, D.C.
  • Head's Coffees: parents are invited to attend presentations, book talks, etc. around parenting and education topics
  • Head's Assemblies: these assemblies recognize our students for good character, achievements in academics, and participation in sports
  • Teacher conferences: we address student issues and challenges early in partnership with parents, pulling in administrators, our school psychologist, and learning specialists as needed

Would you like to learn more about Mason Prep? Schedule a private tour to come experience our school and see if MPS might be a good fit for your student and your family.
Mason Preparatory School is committed to the education of the whole child in preparation for secondary education through the cultivation of respect, integrity, and personal responsibility within a nurturing environment that results in a productive citizen of a global community.