November is Family-School Engagement Month
The month of November is celebrated as Family Engagement Month, in honor of parental engagement with their child’s school.
It recognizes the knowledge and contributions of families across the nation and raises awareness of the important role families play in a child’s education. Danbury Public Schools appreciate our school-family partnerships, which have the goal of working together to improve student achievement and increase attendance, as well as preparing our students for their futures.
As educators, we’re often focused on helping children develop their academic, social, and emotional growth in the classroom. But it’s vital to remember that families are their child’s first teachers and, with that, come the wonderful assets and knowledge that families bring to the school-family partnership. During November, we’re celebrating how to take learning home and support families’ opportunities to impact development and learning through the power of interaction. Throughout the month, there will be events to celebrate the partnerships. Announcements will be sent through your Parent Square account.
One way to learn about what your child is doing in school is to attend conferences. Conferences represent a time to communicate with your child’s teacher about strengths and areas of improvement that can be supported at home. For older students, they may lead the conference. This leadership role helps students to develop a positive image of themselves and to set their own learning goals.
Your child’s teacher or school will be inviting parents to sign up for conferences. When you are invited to the conference, it does not mean your child is in trouble; rather, it is a time to talk with the teacher to learn about how your child is doing academically, ask about any concerns you have, and how to help with homework. Planning before the conference is always helpful. Inform your child you are going to the conference, ask how they feel about school, and make a list of any topics you want to discuss.
Being on time will give you the opportunity to have a productive conference. Relax and be yourself. Interpreters are available for families who need language assistance. Questions to ask can include: what are the strengths and areas that need improvement? Does my child participate in class and make friends” What can I do at home to help?
After the conference, talk to your child about what you discussed. It’s a good time to talk to your child about any concerns the teacher had and to make a plan for improvement.
Family-school partnerships are critical to your child’s success. Opportunities for families to engage with their child’s school include reading to the class, participating in the school’s PTO, being on advisory councils, helping with homework, and attending school events such as math and literacy nights. Talk to your school’s principal or family liaison about upcoming conferences and events. An engaged family is an educated family. Congratulations for all you do to support your child’s learning!!
Anne E. Mead, Ed. D. is the Director of Family, School, and Community Partnerships for Danbury Public Schools. She can be reached at 203-830-6508 or by email at email@example.com.