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Resolutions For The New School Year

By Nancy Berla

Now is a good time for parents to consider ways in which they can become more involved in their children's education. Just as we all make "resolutions" on January 1 of a new year, the beginning of a new school year is the time for parent resolutions about more participation in their child's education, which will improve student attendance, academic achievement, attitude, and behavior.

Here are some important actions parents can take to ensure a successful school experience for their son or daughter:

1. Meet your child's teachers and tell him/her that you want to be more involved in the educational experience of your child. It is more effective to talk with the teacher alone, but if you don't have that opportunity, be sure to attend Back-to-School Night and introduce yourself at that time.

2. Make an appointment to visit your child's classrooms, probably during the second month of school. This will give you a chance to see the teachers in action, observe how your child relates to the teachers and classmates in the classroom, and will show both the teacher and your son or daughter that you are interested and involved in the school.

3. Check your child's school records, to make sure you are familiar with all of the documents and information kept by the school about your son or daughter. Many parents don't realize that the school must keep these records confidential and that they have the right to examine them and request that changes be made if there are errors or inaccuracies.

4. Join the PTA or PTO, to meet other active parents in the school. In such an organization you will have the opportunity to learn about concerns at the school, to work with others to propose solutions to problems, and to speak as a group about needed changes.

5. If you have time, volunteer to work in the school on a regular basis. This will enable you to observe the school in operation and to learn about the policies, practices, and curriculum that affect your child.

6. Resolve to have daily communication with your child about what he/she is learning, what homework is assigned, and any difficulties the child is having with the teacher, other children, or the learning process. If you perceive a problem situation, be an advocate for your child as you speak to the teacher or principal about the issue.

If you follow through on all of these resolutions you can look forward to an exciting and rewarding year at school. Your active partnership with the school will be a key factor in ensuring your child's educational success.

Checkout online resources on parent involvement for more information.