Parental involvement can be defined as: “the participation of parents in regular, two-way and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities” (107th Congress, 2002). Students whose parents take an active interest in their school activities generally have fewer behavioural problems and exhibit better academic performance, but this only works if schools encourage parental involvement.
Child Trends reported on a meta-analysis by N. E. Hill and D. F. Tyson that revealed “parental involvement in school life was more strongly associated with high academic performance for middle schoolers than helping with homework”. That is why private schools provide the ideal conduit for parental involvement because parents are viewed as a critical component of the private school experience. Parents are our “accountability partners”. You have invested a significant portion of your hard-earned income towards a private school for a reason: you expect your child to receive a high-quality education. If a parent feels that a private school is lacking in any way, the administration is accountable. They welcome parental involvement in order to ensure they are meeting the high expectations of their clientele. Private schools are built around open communication between parents and the administration, providing opportunities for frequent parent-teacher meetings and the participation of parent committees in fundraising initiatives and social events. Direct accountability to parents results in private schools being directly accountable for the well-being of our students.
In the public school system, the perception of parental involvement is markedly different. The duty of a parent is often limited in scope, constrained to the singular annual parent-teacher conference and evening shifts as your child’s homework helper. Public school teachers can be difficult to get a hold of with so many students assigned to one educator in overcrowded classrooms, making it difficult to receive a progress report for your child before its too late (i.e. final report cards).
Fun Fact: St. Jude’s Academy has a webpage listing all of our teachers’ classroom blogs. They are regularly updated so that parents can view homework assignments and other pertinent information to their child’s daily education progress.