Home and School Celebrates Parent Engagement Initiatives

Home and School Federation launches initiatives to increase
parent involvement in their children’s learning

Parents, students and educators gathered at Sherwood Elementary School today to launch several new Home and School initiatives that will help parents to become more active partners in their children’s learning.
Bill Whelan, president of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation, provided a progress update on the Federation’s three-part strategy to identify parent needs, increase access to parent information, and develop school-based initiatives that help parents become more involved in schools and learning.

“Research tells us that when it comes to education, parents matter,” says Whelan. “Children whose parents are actively involved in their learning perform better in school and they have higher education and career goals. Schools that encourage parents to be partners in their children’s learning are able to offer healthier school environments.”

The Federation encourages parents to visit the new Home and School web site at www.edu.pe.ca/peihsf. The site contains helpful information such as homework tips, how to prepare for parent-teacher interviews and how to support the development of literacy and numeracy skills. There is a section on education initiatives and events in local school communities. The site also includes information on advocacy efforts such as Home and School resolutions and position papers.

All parents of school-aged children are encouraged to visit the site and complete the Federation’s new online parent survey which includes questions on communications, parent-teacher meetings, volunteering, special needs, use of instructional time and homework. The survey results will identify how parents are involved in learning and what barriers they face at home and in the school. Print copies of the survey are also available in schools.

Mr. Whelan outlined steps taken recently by the Federation and school principals to increase parent involvement in six key areas. These included training parents to become effective school volunteers, introducing newcomer parents to schools, helping parents to understand curricula, increasing father engagement in reading development, engaging parents in family math activities, and providing professional development opportunities for parents to support learning.

Projects were developed in the six areas. Pilot projects are now underway at 12 schools to test their effectiveness. The results of the projects will be shared with all schools and new projects will be supported as part of the second phase of the strategy.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan commended the members of the Federation and thanked them for their excellent work. “Parents know their children best and they have more influence on their learning than anyone else. The extent to which learning is valued and supported at home has a huge influence on a student’s success throughout the school years,” he said. “We are pleased to offer Home and School our continued support because they are very knowledgeable and committed parents who know what works best to increase parent involvement in their own schools.”

For more information on parent involvement initiatives or the PEI Home and School Federation, contact us.