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Engaging Parents to Support Academic Attainment Over Time

Chances for success are improved when adults offer children, starting at a young age, positive expectations and aspirations about what they can do and achieve. Learn ways to help parents support students’ long-term success in school, career, and life.

Why should we focus on Academic Attainment over time?

Students and their parents need to have shared beliefs and understanding about long-term success and what it takes. In many middle schools, students already face the challenge of tracking to vocational or college bound courses. High school students and their parents especially need a strong understanding of career options and what’s required to pursue them.

What schools can do

  • Help families understand and prepare for transitions into elementary, middle, high school, and beyond.
  • Maintain high expectations for children and convey them to parents and students.
  • Give parents an opportunity, especially with middle and high school students, to be a part of selecting their children’s courses.
  • Help parents and students connect course selection to educational and career aspirations and future hopes.
  • Organize college and career exploration activities for students and their families.

What community agencies can do

  • Inspire families to set high aspirations for their children by introducing them to successful role models possibly through interactions with parents and community members with successful careers.
  • Help parents and students understand available living wage career options and the pathways for gaining the necessary skills.
  • Provide counseling about applying to college and obtaining financial aid, especially when parents did not graduate from college.

What parents can do

  • Talk regularly to your child about the value of education and its importance to their future.
  • Set and maintain high expectations for your children’s achievement while keeping abreast of what is involved in reaching those aspirations.
  • Reach out for help and advice from parents, schools and community agencies about how to apply for college or ensure your child enrolls in an appropriate vocational education program.
  • Seek out and take advantage of programs that expose your child to educational and career opportunities in the community.

Further Reading

For more information on parent engagement, read the following articles: