November was National Parent Involvement Month and has been designated for celebrating the important role parents play in their children’s education.
According to the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group (2009), “Engagement among families, schools, and the community is a shared responsibility. It reflects the many ways in which families, community organizations, and the schools engage with and support one another to ensure that every child is academically successful. It is continuous throughout a child’s life and happens everywhere children learn: at home, in school, and in the community.”
Research conducted in this field has consistently found that families have a major influence on their child’s academic, social, and emotional development. Children profit when schools, families, and the community work together. They have better social skills, show improved behavior, and are more involved in school and community activities. Also, student achievement increases. Ultimately, a larger percentage of students graduate from high school and enroll in postsecondary education.
Dr. Joyce Epstein of the Johns Hopkins University has defined six ways families can be involved in their child’s education. These principles are the foundation for Tennessee’s Parent and Family Involvement Policy and are reflected in Cannon County’s Family and Community Engagement Plan. These standards aim to promote participation, raise awareness, and improve student achievement through increased parent involvement.
• Standard 1: Welcoming all families into the school community - Families are active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class and school.
• Standard 2: Communicating effectively — Families and school staff engage in regular, meaningful communication about student learning.
• Standard 3: Supporting student success — Families and school staff continuously work together to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.
• Standard 4: Speaking up for every child — Families are informed and enabled to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.
• Standard 5: Sharing power — Families and school staff are equal partners with equal representation in decisions that affect students and families. Together, they inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.
• Standard 6: Collaborating with community — Families and school staff work together with community members to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation
By understanding and applying these standards, the Cannon County School System organized its Parent Academy in 2010. The purpose of the Parent Academy is to build a collaborative partnership based upon open communication and networking. The membership is composed of two representatives from each school in the district. Members meet monthly to discuss the programs and initiatives of the Cannon County School System. Pictured below are members attending the November 18, 2011 Parent Academy Meeting. The Cannon County School System would like to express its appreciation to the members of the Parent Academy for their support of our school system.