Ways to Engage in Your Child’s School to Support Student Health and Learning

Information for Parents and Families

Research shows that when parents and school staff work together, students are healthier and more successful in school.

Picture of Hispanic family

As a parent, you want your child to do well in school. You also want your child to be healthy and avoid behaviors that are risky or harmful. Through your guidance and support, you can have great influence on your child’s health and learning. One way you can show your support is by being involved in your child’s school.

What is parent engagement in schools?

Parents need to be committed to and involved in actions that can improve students’ health and education outcomes.

Parent engagement in schools is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents. (For this discussion of parent engagement, “parent” refers to the adult primary caregiver(s) of a child’s basic needs [e.g., feeding, safety]. Adult primary caregivers include biological parents; other biological relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, or siblings; and nonbiological parents such as adoptive, foster, or stepparents.)

Why is it important for you to engage in your child’s school?

Studies have shown that students who have parents engaged in their school lives are more likely to have

  • Higher grades and test scores.
  • Better student behavior.
  • Enhanced social skills.

In addition, students who have parents engaged in their school lives are less likely to

  • Smoke cigarettes.
  • Drink alcohol.
  • Become pregnant.
  • Be physically inactive.
What can you do to be more engaged in your child’s school health activities?

Here are some actions that you can take, at home and at school, to be more involved in your child’s school health activities.