ERIC Number: ED402115
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Parent Involvement 101: A Guide for Rural Educators. Rural School Development Outreach Project.
Caplan, Judith G.
High levels of parent involvement in their children's education result in higher student achievement; higher attendance levels; a decline in dropout rates; fewer disciplinary problems; and better student motivation, self-esteem, and behavior. Since unacknowledged parents withdraw from the school, schools should acknowledge parent participation. To that end, forms of parent involvement are identified: fulfilling basic parental responsibilities, working with their children, participating in school events, being a learner, volunteering time, being an advocate, and serving on an advisory committee or board. For each form of involvement, questions are posed to help understand why parents might not be active in the area, and strategies to promote parent involvement in the area are presented. Elements common to strong parent involvement programs are formally adopted policies, administrative support, diverse opportunities for involvement, training, a partnership approach, effective communication, acknowledgement of families' culture by the school, evaluation, a school culture that welcomes parents, and a parent involvement coordinator. Special considerations for rural contexts are that schools in rural communities are already integrated into community functions; administrators and staff know the local families and understand their concerns; the small size of rural schools allows for more personal attention, yet also results in overworked staff and a high staff turnover rate; and transportation and scarcity of resources are often a problem. Site profiles of five notable parent involvement programs include location, forms of parent involvement, community and program descriptions, program elements, special rural issues, contact persons, and replication concerns. Contains 35 references in endnotes. (TD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Oak Brook, IL.