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The Crucial Role Family Engagement Plays in Student Success
Why is Family Engagement Important?
“Families are children’s first and most important teachers.” Here in Cabell County Schools, we know this to be true and we are grateful to partner with you to help our students succeed.
That families play an essential role in assisting their child’s learning;
That families are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school;
That families are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making to assist in the education of their child.
How Can We Work Together?
We are fortunate to have many opportunities to work with the families of our students. Here are several ways you can get involved:
Be Involved with Your Child’s Education
The MOST IMPORTANT way for you to engage with your child’s school is to be actively involved in their education. This may include:
- Getting to know their teachers
asking questions about their school day and school work
- Checking in on their grades from time to time
helping them study or work on projects with them.
- Reaching out for help if you see that they are struggling
Research shows that students who have families that are actively involved in their education perform ½ of a grade level above those who don’t. That’s like gifting your child an extra 6 months of academic achievement, just by being a part of the process! It is the single most effective way you can help your child succeed at school.
Join the Parent Teacher Organization/Association
The PTO or PTA, as it’s commonly called, is an organization in which students’ families and teachers work together for the benefit of the students and the school. They collaborate to put on events and fundraisers to raise money for student experiences. This might also include collaboration with the student leaders of the school. PTOs/PTAs generally have monthly or quarterly meetings and involve paying small dues to help with events put on by the organization. Think of this group as the school’s event committee that plans activities that benefit students, teachers, and the school at large.
To find out more, reach out to your student’s school to ask about the PTO/PTA and how to sign up.
Join the Local School Improvement Council
Every school has a Local School Improvement Council, known as the LSIC. This is a group that includes school leadership, teachers, service personnel, bus drivers, families, and business and community representatives. This council works together on the school’s strategic plan and ways to achieve the school’s goals as they relate to student growth and achievement, family and community engagement, and being a model of continuous improvement. Involvement in this council does not require any monetary dues and anyone is welcome. (is this true?) It does involve election of leadership within the council. Think of this as the school’s steering committee, giving support and ideas to help the school reach the goals of their strategic plan for the benefit of the students.
To learn more about LISCs, check out the West Virginia Department of Education’s information. https://wvde.state.wv.us/lsic/
To become involved, contact your student’s school and ask about the LSIC meetings and process.
Volunteer at Your Child’s School
In addition to being an active participant in your child’s school activities, you can also be actively involved IN the school as your schedule allows. School volunteers are important parts of our school team and do everything from helping with book fairs to planning class parties to helping with clubs, activities, and sports or even being on campus to be a set of extra hands.
While all schools have different needs and opportunities to volunteer, the process begins the same:
Complete our School Involvement Interest Survey to let your child’s school know you’d like to be involved.
Learn more about the steps to become a volunteer on our Volunteer Page.
We APPRECIATE You!
Family integration in our schools is one of our greatest strengths. We have supportive families who participate in our schools in a myriad of ways. While we appreciate all the time, effort, and ideas our families share with us, the most important thing you can do is to engage with your child about his/her learning at school. Whether you help out once a year for a special event or are a weekly volunteer, you are a valued member of our school team. Regardless of how you choose to participate, we are thankful for ALL the ways you support your child’s learning and our schools.