Overview

When you are involved in your children's education, everyone benefits – students, parents, teachers, schools and communities. Good schools can become even better places to teach and learn and student achievement often improves.

Parent engagement means:

  • making learning an important part of a child's day
  • talking with your child and their teacher about their learning
  • supporting your child's learning, both at home and at school
  • participating in the life of the classroom, school and community

Information for parents

Find information about Ontario’s publicly funded education system, including resources for parents of elementary and secondary students.

Children of all ages

Parents of infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-age children can learn about:

Elementary school

Parents elementary students can support their children with:

Secondary school

Parents of secondary school students can learn about programs to:

Parent-teacher meetings

A face-to-face or virtual meeting with a teacher is an important part of regular ongoing communication with the school about your child’s progress, what is being taught in class and how you may support your child’s learning.

Schools try to provide at least one or two face-to-face or virtual meetings with parents a year. These meetings take a variety of forms. For example, they may be parent and teacher; or parent, child and teacher. The meeting may be led by the teacher, or your child.

Tips

Here are a few tips to make sure that you're prepared to learn the most about your child’s progress, and how you can support their learning in partnership with the school:

  • Arrive early to maximize your time. The schedule of parent-teacher meetings may be tight.
  • Keep the meeting focused on your child and their progress as well as how you can support their learning at home.
  • Have your top three questions or issues written down and ready. If the meeting is 15 minutes long, that gives you five minutes for each one.
  • Take notes if you wish.
  • If you run out of time and still have important matters to cover, schedule another appointment.

At the start of a new school year, many teachers will ask the best way to contact you. The parent-teacher meeting is a good time to express your wish to stay engaged in your child’s schooling and confirm arrangements for staying in touch with the teacher – by telephone, email, text or written notes.

Benefits of parent involvement

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. You have an influence on your children's attitudes toward school, learning and future success. When you are involved in your children's learning – from the early years to high school – you are providing them with an important foundation for success in school and in life.

Students and parents can benefit through:

  • improved student achievement
  • more positive attitudes about school
  • increased motivation with homework
  • higher rates of high school graduation
  • more consistent school attendance
  • fewer behavioural issues
  • opportunities for parents to become involved in the life of the school and the community
  • a brighter future for students at school and later in life

Tips to be involved in your child’s education

An engaged parent is an interested parent. Here are some ways you can become more involved in your children's education from the early years to Grade 12:

Demonstrate interest: ask what happened at school today and create an ongoing  dialogue.

  • Have routine discussions with your child about what they are learning
  • Even if what your child is saying appears to be minor, they are communicating with you, and may be seeking your guidance and support.
  • If you notice that they are not talking about school or appear to be withdrawn from school, you may wish to contact your child’s teacher for more information and additional support.

Provide time and support for daily homework: routines support a child’s growth and development.

  • Identify how you can help your children outside of school.
  • For older students, help them to set priorities for schoolwork and out of school activities (that may include part-time jobs, chores, extra-curricular activities and leisure time).

Participate: get involved in any way that is comfortable.

  • Identify means of effective dialogue between you, your child, and your child’s teacher to support joint student-parent decision making as your child gets older.
  • Options include parent information nights, volunteer activities, arts and sporting events, school council or your board's parent involvement committee.

Stay informed: find out what is happening in the classroom, the school and the school community.

  • provide updated contact information to the school annually to help ensure that you receive notice of parent-teacher conferences, activities and events, as well as achievement, attendance, and reporting updates.

Not all of these tips will suit every parent. Get involved in a way that is right for you. At home, at school and in the community, parents matter.

Contact the Ministry of Education or your school board

If you have a question or concern about the education system contact a regional office of the Ministry of Education or your local school board. If you wish to discuss your child’s progress or your school in particular, contact your child’s school:

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