November is National Parental Involvement Month. As a mom and grandmother, I know there is no greater joy than watching your children accomplish their goals. As a former teacher, principal, and guidance counselor, I know how much I valued the support that parents, grandparents, and guardians offered my students at home.
Parental participation is a key factor in predicting student academic success. In fact, it is twice as likely to predict academic success as other factors, including socioeconomic status. The earlier we get involved in our children’s lives, the more likely our actions will make a greater impact.
That is why districts across the state are encouraging active school parents to mentor peers, sharing involvement skills and activities. Several school districts have opened parental assistance centers, forging seamless transitions between parents and the services they need for their children. This direct source of information is especially important for parents of exceptional education students and those falling behind traditional milestones.
Later this month, I will be meeting with a group of parents from various backgrounds to discuss how they remain involved and engaged in their children’s lives and in their education. Sharing their best practices is part of what we are doing at the Department of Education to recognize the importance of parental involvement.
Together, teachers and parents, districts and communities, can help ensure that Florida students have the support they need to succeed.