How to Get Involved in Your Child’s Education
Engage in your child’s education and help your student have a more positive attitude toward school and learning.
Join a parent or community group
At many schools, parents meet regularly as a group to discuss ways to support school leadership and identify ways to improve the school. This group is usually called the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). If you are unable to attend these meetings, find out if the school posts minutes on their website.
Volunteer at the school
Ask your student’s teacher or the school administrators what opportunities exist for parents to volunteer in the school. It’s a great way to meet the staff and students, to support the school, and to get involved in your student’s education.
Meet with your child’s teacher
Schools often hold parent-teacher conferences for parents or guardians to meet with their students’ teachers. If you can’t make it during the scheduled time, ask the school if you can schedule a meeting for another time. Some schools even offer parent-teacher home visits.
Participate in parent classes
Parent classes and support groups help parents and guardians develop important tools, new skills, and the confidence to become strong advocates and support their students academically, socially, and emotionally.
Parent Academy focuses on three key pillars: Student Achievement, Personal and Professional Development, and Parenting/Advocacy. Classes are free and offered in convenient locations around Detroit. Note: Parents do not need to have a child in a DPSCD school to participate!
Detroit Parent Network (DPN) offers courses where parents can earn certificates in topics like Parent Leadership and Parent Advocacy. DPN also offers support groups targeting moms, dads, grandparents, and others.
Prepare for your parent-teacher conference
Make the most of your time with your student’s teacher by preparing for the meeting beforehand.
Before the Conference
Talk to your student about their experience in school:
- What do you like about school?
- What are your favorite subjects?
- What is challenging about school?
- What should I ask about or tell your teacher?
- What are you most proud of?
- What are the areas in which you think you can do better? How can the school help you?
Go over your student’s work and ask yourself:
- Do I have concerns about their performance?
- What questions do I have about the class or materials?
- Do I have questions about how my student is assessed in class?
- Does the work match what I expected and what was communicated to me?
Questions for the Conference
- Is my student on track?
- What are my student’s strengths and areas for growth?
- How engaged is my student in lessons and activities?
- How does my student interact with other students and adults?
- How can I help my student improve or thrive?
- How can I best communicate with you?
- What are some things we can do at home to support my student?
- What do you see as my student’s greatest strengths?
Share feedback with your student
- Talk with your student about improvement areas and brainstorm action steps
- Praise your student’s strengths and successes
- Ask your student how you can support their success in school