7 Ways To Improve Family Participation in School Activities

minute read
November 15, 2023

If you're looking to increase the level of participation from families in school activities, you need to throw out the worn-out PTA playbook that calls for more parent-teacher meetings, newsletters for families, or informational emails. Students aren’t the only people who get bored and tired of the same old tactics.

This is a big issue because it has repeatedly been proven that greater parental involvement has positive outcomes on student performance. You’re more likely to have an engaged and motivated student body if parents are involved with school activities. This is the kind of involvement that can also help parents bond with their children.

In this blog, we explore how to create a lively and thriving school ecosystem by incentivizing family participation in school activities.

Ideas To Increase Parental Involvement in Schools 

We’re going to go through a mix of ideas ranging from communication strategies to innovative events that you can use to help liven up your school’s ecosystem and generate high-quality parental involvement.

  1. Communicate Regularly & Effectively 

We know you probably already send newsletters and mass emails to all your students’ parents. But are you putting enough effort into them, or is it just an obligatory activity? Schools need to communicate regularly with families to keep them informed about school events, policies, and their children's progress. 

It’s important to formulate a robust communication plan, one that involves a variety of channels, including emails, texts, social media, in-person meetings, and the school website. If you pick the most appropriate content for each channel, you will see a rise in engagement from parents. 

For example, if you need to communicate about a school event for high schoolers, consider using social media. If you need to gather feedback about individual students, email parents with follow-ups over text.

  1. Create Opportunities For Families To Get Involved

Offering a variety of opportunities to get involved helps accommodate different interests and time constraints. You should make sure that these opportunities don’t feel tokenistic and give parents a chance to contribute meaningfully. 

Ideas include:

  • Volunteering in the classroom or at school events.
  • Attending parent-teacher conferences and other school meetings
  • Chaperoning field trips.
  • Helping out with school fundraisers.
  • Sharing their expertise in a particular area with the school community.

Let’s dive into some creative examples of events your school can host! 

Family Hackathon

Why not host a Family Hackathon to promote problem-solving and creativity? Families can work together to identify real-world problems, propose solutions, and develop ideas to address them. This encourages innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit among students, parents, and teachers. 

Community Skill-Sharing Fairs

Events like community skill-sharing fairs can bring together students, parents, and local professionals who offer workshops on a wide range of subjects. Workshops can include everything from carpentry to coding, gardening to gourmet cooking, and dance to digital marketing. By opening the school to the community, these fairs encourage parents to share their skills and passions with the next generation.

School Adventure Clubs

Adventure clubs can focus on a range of themes, such as outdoor adventure or exploratory forays into science, history, and culture. Whether it's a weekend hike or a trip to the local museum, such adventures allow parents to bond and learn with their children and their classmates. As guardians and chaperones, they are entrusted with responsibility, naturally leading to them being more involved. Such clubs also serve as a great way to expose children to practical learning experiences outside the classroom. 

Digital Storytelling Workshops

Storytelling has been a vital part of human culture for centuries that’s easily incorporated into the school experience. Organizing digital storytelling workshops for families can empower them to share their unique stories, traditions, and perspectives. These stories can then be integrated into the curriculum to enrich the educational experience for all students. Beyond enhancing the school's cultural diversity, it's a powerful way to foster empathy and understanding among the school community.

Family Swap Days

We all know about ‘Take Your Child to Work Day’. How about flipping the script and introducing 'Bring Your Parents to School Day'? Students can become teachers for a day, teaching their parents the subjects they are passionate about. This role reversal not only strengthens the parent-child relationship but also gives students a sense of ownership over their education. It allows parents to better understand the challenges and opportunities in the classroom while creating a fun, shared experience.

Virtual Reality Family Days

Virtual reality (VR) family days allow parents and students to explore classrooms, labs, and even historical simulations together from the comfort of their homes. This innovative approach not only piques curiosity but is also a dynamic way to ensure that parents are an active part of their child's educational journey.

  1. Make Involvement Easy & Accessible 

There are certain limitations to how many families can participate in school activities. That is why, apart from a variety of events, you also need to make each event as accessible as possible. This may involve offering flexible scheduling options, transportation assistance, or childcare services. It is also important to ensure measures are taken to make school activities accessible to families with disabilities. Schools should also be mindful of cultural differences and accommodate them as necessary. 

  1. Recognize & Appreciate Family Involvement

You can create a positive feedback mechanism and set an example by appreciating the efforts of families who are involved in their children's school activities. This is easily achieved through simple gestures such as sending a thank-you note or giving a public shout-out at school meetings. Schools can also host special events such as a family appreciation breakfast or dinner to celebrate family involvement.

  1. Partner With Community Organizations

Schools can partner with community organizations to offer additional opportunities for family involvement. For example, schools could partner with a local library to offer storytelling or homework-help programs for families. Schools can also partner with a local museum to offer family discounts or special events. These partnerships incentivize parents as they go beyond the borders of the school. 

  1. Provide Training & Support 

Some families may need training and support to feel comfortable getting involved in their child's school. Schools can offer workshops and other training opportunities to help families learn about the different ways they can get involved. This can range from comprehensive information guides and one-on-one sessions to offering help with homework or transportation.

  1. Leverage Technology Effectively

Use technology to make it easier for parents to get involved in their child's education. For instance, you can leverage your school’s website as an effective tool for communication. If your school builds a parent portal where parents can access their child's grades, attendance, and other information, they’re more likely to take an active interest in their child’s performance. School mobile apps, likewise, can revolutionize teacher-parent-student interaction. Schools can also use video conferencing technology to allow parents to attend parent-teacher conferences or other school events remotely.

Does Your School Lack Parental Participation?

If so, you don’t need to worry. There are a ton of techniques, strategies, and processes you can implement to change this. Although we have listed just seven here, Solved Consulting has hundreds of more ideas and services to help with family recruitment and engagement

Contact us today to learn about our range of school solutions. We have everything you imagine and more!

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