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Action Steps - Standard 5

Getting Started

  • Identify all the ways your school can include and consult parents in decisions that affect the school community.
  • Make sure the PTA/parent group membership and leadership is reflective of the school community.
  • Consider programs and activities that develop social and political connections.

What Parents and Parent Leaders Can Do

  1. Working in partnership with the principal, identify ways the PTA/parent group can support one or more goals of the school improvement plan.
  2. Host a voter registration drive.
  3. Host a forum for candidates running for public office; focus questions on issues that affect children, families, and education.
  4. Work with students, parents, teachers, school and community leaders, and businesses to develop a parent/family involvement policy that establishes the foundation for involvement programs in your community.
  5. Get to know your elected officials at all levels of government, as they influence public policy decisions related to children and education.

 

What School Leaders and Staff Can Do

  1. Conduct an annual survey and/or focus groups to get the input of parents on current and potential school programs and policies.
  2. At a PTA/parent group meeting, discuss the school’s scores on state tests and describe the school’s plans to improve.
  3. Sponsor a school accountability meeting at which school officials describe school programs, services, and performance data.
  4. Make sure the parents on the school improvement team represent the diverse population of the school.
  5. Invite parents to share concerns and ideas by having a suggestion box in the front office, and be personally accessible to all parents.

 

Resources

Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships, by Anne T. Henderson, Karen L. Mapp, Vivian R. Johnson and Don Davies (New York: The New Press, 2007), includes a school climate survey that can be an excellent action research project.

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, developed by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, is a parent leadership training program in education. It has graduated more than 1,500 parents across the state of Kentucky in the past 11 years.

National Issues Forums offers workshops and a starter kit on how to organize public forums on community issues and also helps sponsor forums.