Promoting Parent Engagement: Improving Student Health and Academic Achievement

Information for Teachers and Other School Staff

This fact sheet provides guidance for teachers and other school staff to increase parent engagement in school health.

A group of students in classroom

Engaging parents in their children’s school lives is essential to supporting children’s success in the classroom and their overall health and well-being. 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. Studies have shown that parent engagement in schools can promote positive education and health behaviors among children and adolescents. School efforts to promote learning and health among students have been shown to be more successful when parents are involved.

Why is it important for parents to be engaged in their child’s school?

Parent engagement in schools contributes to students’ health and learning. Studies have shown that students who have parents engaged in their school lives are more likely to have

  • Higher grades and test
  • Better student
  • Enhanced social

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

  • Smoke
  • Drink
  • Become
  • Be physically
  • Be emotionally
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What actions can you take to increase parent engagement in school health?

Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health [PDF – 2 MB]pdf icon describes strategies for increasing parent engagement in school health. To increase parent engagement in school health, schools must 1) make a positive connection with parents; 2) provide a variety of activities and frequent opportunities to fully engage parents; and 3) work with parents to sustain their engagement by addressing the common challenges to getting and keeping them engaged. The chart on pages 2 and 3 outlines strategies and presents selected actions that teachers and school staff can take to improve parent engagement in school health.

Strategies and Sample Actions Teachers and Other School Staff Can Take to Increase Parent Engagement in School Health*

* Additional examples are provided in Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health.
† Epstein, J. L. et al. (2009). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action, third edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

What should you consider when planning for action to improve parent engagement in school health?

A team effort is needed to improve parent engagement in school health activities. Your team should involve those in the school and individuals, groups, and organizations outside the school. Your team needs to be committed and involved in planning, implementing, and evaluating actions that can improve students’ health and education outcomes.

Some actions will require minor changes in the ways that the school works — and can be done quickly and easily. Other actions might require more time, money, or administrative changes. Schools and school districts should determine which actions are most feasible and appropriate, based on the needs of the school and available resources.