Parent involvement improves student achievement. The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement. (Henderson and Mapp: A New Wave of Evidence). The South Dakota Parent Information and Resource Center is committed to equipping parents to be more involved in their children’s education. The SDPIRC provides a varied array of direct training and information resources designed to support parents in their active and effective involvement in their children’s education. From early childhood through high school, families make key contributions to student learning.
•Students whose families are involved in their learning earn better grades, enroll in higher-level programs, have higher graduation rates, and are more likely to enroll in postsecondary education.
•When parents are involved and take an active interest in what their children are learning, students display more positive attitudes toward school and behave better both in and out of school.
•Children do best if their parents are involved in a variety of roles in their learning such as: learning at home, volunteering at school, planning their children’s future, and taking part in key decisions about school activities and programs.
•Middle and high school students whose families remain involved in these ways make better transitions, maintain the quality of their work, develop realistic plans for the future, and are less likely to drop out.
•Children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when families and parents are involved. (Henderson, Mapp, Johnson, & Davies: Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships.)
When families are involved and join forces with the school to bridge the gap between home and school children do better in school. Parents are partners with educators in assuring students achieve and reach their potential. Involved parents are able to share information with their child’s educators that aid the teacher’s work in the classroom. The more the relationship between families and the school is a real partnership, the more student achievement increases. Parent involvement does make the difference. Well-informed parents can be more effective and productive partners.