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Does my child's school have a college-going culture?

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No matter what our own educational background might be, all parents and family members can and should work with schools to ensure that our children have access to the curriculum and the resources needed to excel academically.  Research shows that parent involvement instills pride and interest in schooling, increases student achievement and strengthens a sense of community and commitment.  Furthermore, the research also shows that the more extensively parents are involved in their children's education and learning, the more parents positively affect their children’s achievement.  This holds true for all types of parent involvement in children's learning and for all types and ages of students.  Schools which encourage parents to read with their children, support parents in helping their children with homework, and educate parents on how to use instructional materials show particularly impressive results.

Research also shows that the earlier a parent gets involved in their child's educational journey, the more powerful the effects will be.   That does not mean that if a parent starts to get involved later, that it is too late.  All parent involvement, whether passive or active, provides a positive effect on student achievement.  However, although we may be engaged in our child’s education, this involvement might take on different forms as our children grow and mature.  Regardless of our level of involvement or education, we should never be deterred from becoming knowledgeable about what children are going through to reach their full potential.

There are many ways to look into whether or not a school has a strong college-going culture, and truly believes in all students having the option to pursue post-secondary education.  Some things to look for include:

  1. Students learning about options for their future including career exploration and understanding what kind of education each career requires.  This discussion should happen as early as elementary school, with a specific focus beginning in middle school.
  2. Schools conveying the expectation that all students can prepare for and be successful in post-secondary education.
  3. Schools, families, and communities giving students the same message of having high expectations for their success in the future.

The resources contained in this website will give parents and family members different ways to engage in their child’s school and begin a dialogue with the school about the importance of having a college-going culture that includes college knowledge, high expectations, and academic achievement. Establishing a positive relationship with the school and working together with the staff and faculty, we together can give our children the roots and wings they need to visualize their futures and achieve their dreams!

 

Resources

College-Going Culture Questions For Parents To Ask

Claudia Morales; UCB Center for Educational Partnerships; 2008

Information to help parents see if their child's school has a college-going culture. Parent_Questions_about_CGC.doc (27.65KB)

Guide to Choosing the Right School

Great School Inc.; 1998-2009

This website provides resources to help parents choose the best school for their child. http://www.greatschools.net/school-choice/

greatschools Involved Parents. Successful Kids.

Great School Inc.; 1998-2009

A resource website for parents who want to get involved in their child's education. http://www.greatschools.net/

Going to School

PBS; 2003-2009

The PBS website that has resources for parents. http://www.pbs.org/parents/goingtoschool/

How A School Should Treat You

Intercultural Development Research Association; 2009

As a parent, you have a powerful role to play in your child’s education. You are the expert on your child. And as your child’s first teacher, teachers and others at the school need to recognize how important you are to making the school better for your child and for all students there. http://www.idra.org/Texas_IDRA_PIRC.htm/How_the_school_should_treat_you/

The Public School Parent's Network

The Public School Parents Network; 2001-2004

A resource guide and information source for parents. http://www.psparents.net/

 

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Last modified on 1/14/2010

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