February 23rd, 2017
A couple of weeks ago I drafted a post based on the outrage, disappointment, regret, and dissension that I saw scrolling across my timeline in light of the recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as the new Secretary of the Department of Education. In an effort to counter the negative feelings, I offered (3) three ways that we, as parents, could evoke change at the local level: Be Involved, Be Present, and Be Heard.
As you can tell from the title of this post, I want to expound a little on the first point. INVOLVEMENT. To be involved is to participate; to engage or to experience. Effective parent involvement, then, is evident when a true partnership exists between you and the school. I’ll even venture to say that parent involvement is essential for student achievement.
Research shows that regardless of family income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to:
- Earn higher grades and tests scores
- Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school.
- Graduate and go on to post-secondary education.
I find it quite intriguing that by simply participating, you can ensure your child’s success. Don’t you?
This should come as a relief to those parents who experience self-doubt. You know, the “I’m not smart enough” dialogue. Or, “I don’t know what else to do” speech. SNAP OUT OF IT!
Here are two simple ways for you to take immediate action and increase your involvement as a parent.
Sign Up for REMIND Groups
REMIND is a texting tool that has helped me tremendously! This year has been quite the transition for my son as well as my husband and I. As he moved from elementary to middle school, there was one GLARING difference; he has six separate classes. OMG! Can you imagine the nightmare that we faced and are currently still facing in trying to keep up with all of his assignments and when tests are due in addition to his disorganization? It’s torture!
Ok, I digress.
REMIND has helped us in that teachers are able to send out reminders for assignments, tests, and projects via text message. If you are anything like me, my phone pretty much runs my life. It is so convenient to get text messages to my phone and keep me in the know. I am able to now have a FULL conversation (as opposed to the one- word monologue that usually takes place) with my son regarding his assignments for the week.
Tomorrow morning, email your child’s teachers to see if they have a REMIND group. They can then provide you with the code to be added to the group.
This is the second tool that has kept me sane in living with a sixth grader. It truly is a Godsend. POWERSCHOOL allows you to access ALL of your child’s grades.
In order to gain access, you must obtain your Parent Portal information from the front office or your student’s counselor. Once logged in, there are several options available to you. Among the most useful to me are:
- Graded assignments, tests, and projects
- Attendance history
- Email notification
- Teacher comments
- School Bulletin
- Individual Graduation Plan Viewer
There is even an option to have your child’s grades sent to you regularly. I receive my report weekly, promptly at 5am every Monday. I can then click on the overall grade to receive detailed information as to what the assignment was and the grade that was entered. An added plus is that you can access ALL of your children at once if they are in the same district.
I challenge you to take IMMEDIATE action this week in becoming more involved in your child’s education. Stay in the know by signing up for REMIND groups and obtaining POWERSCHOOL access.