Five Types of Parental Involvement

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Joyce L. Epstein, director of the Effective Middle Schools Program at the Center for Research on Elementary and Middle Schools at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has identified five types of parental involvement in education:

Basic Obligations of Parents--Provide for children's health and safety, prepare children for school, teach family-life skills through the school years, and build positive home conditions that support school learning and behavior.

Basic Obligations of Schools--Communicate with parents about school programs and children's progress. Vary the form and frequency of communications such as memos, notices, report cards, and conferences to improve all parents' understanding of school programs and children's progress.

Parent Involvement at School--Serve as volunteers to assist teachers, administrators, and children in classrooms or other areas of the school. Attend student performances, sports events, or other activities, or participate in workshops or other programs for own education and training.

Parent Involvement in Learning Activities at Home--Initiate learning activities at home. Monitor or assist children at home--with guidance from teachers--in activities coordinated with student's classwork.

Parent Involvement in Governance and Advocacy--Serve in decisionmaking roles in parent groups, advisory councils, or other committees or groups at the school, district, or state level. Serve as activists in independent advocacy groups that monitor the schools and work for school improvement.

Vol. 09, Issue 28

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