Parent engagement policy
Find out how to help more parents get involved in their child’s learning at home and school.
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The parent engagement policy for Ontario schools:
- recognizes and supports the important role parents have contributing to their children's learning
- encourages and supports many forms of parent engagement
- identifies ways to remove barriers to parent involvement
- supports parents to be engaged and involved in their child's learning
- provides a parent voice at the local level, for example, parent involvement committees, school councils and individual parents talking to teachers an principals
The policy identifies actions to be undertaken at the provincial, regional and local levels by the Ministry of Education, schools and district school boards.
The province, district school boards and schools all benefit from the important work parents do to support their children’s learning. They also benefit from hearing parent opinions and perspectives at the local, regional and provincia levels.
In Ontario’s education system, all partners acknowledge the positive impact of parent engagement on student achievement. Students are supported and inspired to learn in a culture of high expectations in which parents:
- are welcomed, respected and valued by the school community as partners in their children’s learning and development
- have choices about how to be involved in the educational community to support student success
- are engaged through ongoing communication and dialogue with other educational partners to support a positive learning environment at home and at school
- are supported with the information and tools necessary to participate in school life
About parent engagement
There are different forms of parent engagement. Each is an important contributor to student and school success.
Parent engagement includes:
- providing a positive learning environment at home, actively working with children to support what they are learning in school and making learning an important part of the day
- having conversations with teachers so that there is clear communication between the school and the home
- becoming involved in school activities and volunteering to help with school events, trips and other activities
- participating in a school council at the school level and parent involvement committee (PIC) at the school board level, to provide perspective
The parent engagement policy identifies four key success strategies to support parents as partners. This is to ensure parents have the opportunity, skills and tools to work together with education partners and contribute to the success of Ontario’s students and education system.
Strategy 1: school climate
Foster and sustain a positive, welcoming school climate in which all parent perspectives are encouraged, valued and heard.
Strategy 2: eliminating barriers
Identify and remove barriers to parent engagement that may prevent some parents from fully participating in their children’s learning and to reflect the diversity of our students and communities.
Strategy 3: supports for parents
Provide parents with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to support student learning at home and at school.
Strategy 4: parent outreach
Review and expand communication and outreach strategies such as local workshops, presentations, tools and resources, to share information and strategies related to supporting learning at home and parent engagement in schools.
Together, we are building possibilities for our children and transforming these possibilities into a reality.
Students and parents
Research tells us that there is a direct connection between parent engagement and:
- improved academic achievement
- more positive attitudes about school
- more success with homework
- higher rates of high school graduation
- more consistent school attendance
- fewer behaviour problems
- a brighter future for students at school and later in life
Teachers who actively partner with parents enjoy better parent relationships and other benefits:
- parents are more supportive because they understand what is happening in the classroom
- parents help to ensure homework and assignments are done
- parents share the responsibility for student success and work with the teacher
- parents have a more positive view of teachers and the school
- student attendance and classroom behaviour improve
- student achievement improves
- teachers have a stronger connection with parents, feel supported by parents and have higher job satisfaction
Schools are connected to the communities around them. Together, parents, community members and schools can create a powerful support network to provide children and youth with the services they need, develop innovative school-community programs and enrich the life of the school. As a result:
- families and community organizations more fully support the school
- school and individual student achievement often improve
- schools are connected to businesses, agencies and services in the community
- schools gain greater recognition for their achievements and their valued role as an important part of community life
The education system
The Ministry of Education, district school boards and schools benefit not only from the important work parents do to help their children succeed in school, but also by ensuring that parent perspectives are heard and considered in developing policies and programs at the provincial, regional and local levels.