Students whose parents are engaged in their school lives are more likely to practice healthy behaviors and succeed academically. Parent engagement in schools is one of several promising protective factors that help young people make healthy lifestyle choices. CDC recommends several strategies for helping parents and school staff work together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents.
What Can Schools and Families Do to Promote Parent Engagement in School Health?
- Support a positive connection with parents.
- Ensure the school or school district has a clear vision for parent engagement that includes involving parents in school health activities.
- Ensure that school staff members have the ability to connect with parents and support parent engagement.
- Consider asking District and School Health Councils to obtain input from parents on how they would like to be involved in the school's health activities, services, and programs.
- Have a well-planned program for parent engagement in the school.
- Support a variety of opportunities to engage parents in school health activities.
- Provide parenting support: build parents' knowledge, leadership, and decision-making skills to support the development of positive health attitudes and behaviors among students and help build healthy home and school environments.
- Communicate with parents: establish clear communication channels between parents and school staff.
- Provide a variety of volunteer opportunities: involve parents as school volunteers to enrich health and physical education classes, improve the delivery of health services, and help create safe and healthy environments for students.
- Support learning at home: engage parents and students in health education activities at home.
- Encourage parents to be part of planning and decision making in schools: include parents as participants in planning for special health-related events, school decisions, school activities, and advocacy activities through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), the school health council, school action teams, and other school groups and organizations.
- Collaborate with the community: coordinate information, resources, and services from community-based organizations, businesses, cultural and civic organizations, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, health clinics, colleges and universities, and other community groups that can benefit students and families.
- Support working with parents to sustain parent engagement in school health.
- Appoint a dedicated team or committee that oversees parent engagement.
- Identify challenges that keep parents from being connected and engaged in school health activities.
- Work with parents to tailor school events and activities to address those challenges.
Want to know more?
Parent Engagement in School Health
Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Healt...