A father helps his son with homework

How do good parent-teacher relationships establish high-performing districts?

To excel in their studies, students need support from both their teachers and parents. This means that parent-teacher relationships themselves are very important to students. Children tend to see their mom and dad as role models and are easily influenced by them. If parents aren’t up to date on what their sons or daughters are studying, what their grades are or how they’re behaving in class, students may find it difficult to be motivated when it comes to their work at school.

Parents once had to rely on parent-teacher conferences for a review of their kids’ performance and hope that educators would call if any misconduct occurred. However, with the digitalization of documents like report cards and disciplinary notes, staying aware of students’ progress is easier and more convenient.  School Services departments should consider making parent-teacher relationships a priority by offering online school solutions to keep parents informed and streamline communication between teachers and parents.

Why are parent-teacher relationships important?
Numerous studies have shown that when parents have good relationships with their children’s educators, student performances improve. One recent research review called “A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement” by the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, found that when parents are involved with their children’s schooling, they’re able to advocate for their kids and support their progress in the classroom. The research showed that students who had parents who were involved were more confident, displayed higher performance levels and stayed in school longer than those whose parents were uninvolved and rarely communicated with their teachers.

Parents who communicate with their children's teachers will be able to provide more support at home.Parents who communicate with their children’s educators will be able to provide more support at home.

A poll by PBS found similar results. Experts, including doctors and professors, were asked whether parent-teacher relationships were essential to how well students performed in school. The findings showed that respondents agreed that these relationships do contribute to students’ success in school.

“A positive parent-teacher relationship helps your child feel good about school and be successful in school,” Diane Levin, Ph.D., professor of education at Wheelock College told PBS. “It demonstrates to your child that he can trust his teacher, because you do. This positive relationship makes a child feel like the important people in his life are working together.”

“Online student solutions are key to enhanced parent-teacher communication.”

How can school solution software enhance essential relationships?
Student Service departments should offer online school solutions to parents so they can review their children’s important documents and feel more inclined to keep track of their kids’ progress. This is key to enhanced communication between teachers and parents. Electronic student cumulative folders with parent-sharing features enable parents to log on to a secure system and see updates to records like report cards, behavioral evaluations, permission slips and progress reports.

In addition to keeping parents in the loop when it comes to their kids’ progress, online records make it more convenient for teachers to stay organized and keep track of their individual students. This is important, as teachers can have a lot of students at a time, so storing thousands of paper records may become overwhelming and increase the chances that they’ll be misplaced or completed with out-of-date information. During meetings with parents, this could ultimately cause educators to provide the wrong information.

Password protected online records also ensure that safety is a top priority. Schools have to be careful about who can view their student documents. Digitizing records keeps files out of the hands of people who don’t have permission to view them. However, security breaches are always a risk with paper documents.

Parents no longer have to rely on word of mouth to stay posted on what’s going on in the classroom. For a high-performing district, School Services departments should take advantage of secure online solutions to ensure they’re fostering parent-teacher relationships.

a father helps his son with homework, which positively impacts student success

How does sharing academic progress with parents impact student success?

When districts digitize their student documents, many workflows and everyday tasks become easier with less room for error. One such process is keeping academic information accurate and updated. This must be done to ensure parents are aware of student progress and able to provide the right support at home. Why is this important? Research has shown that simply sharing progress reports and similar academic documents with parents can have a major impact on student success.

Sharing academic data leads to greater parent involvement
Parent involvement is key to ensuring that students are continuously making academic progress. One study by researchers at North Carolina State University, Brigham Young University and the University of California-Irvine found that the support parents provide for students has a larger influence on academic progress than any other factors at school, including teaching efforts put forth by educators. When you look at how long students are at home versus in school, this becomes less surprising, as they spend a mere 14 percent of their time in the classroom each year, according to “How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School.”

Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.Sharing academic progress with parents enables them to be more helpful at home.

How do schools make sure that parents are actively working with students to help them excel in their studies? It’s not only up to the school to have all of the relevant academic information ready to share with parents, but to make an effort to include them in discussions that revolve around student performance.

A 2012 survey by MetLife found that parent engagement has increased dramatically over the past 25 years or so, with 80 percent of parents reporting that their children’s school has helped them understand their academic progress and how to provide the right support at home. One of the reasons for this significant improvement is the ability for schools to digitize their student records.

“With student software, schools are able to maintain up-to-date academic data.”

How can online solutions help?
With online school solutions like SRC Solution’s Central Records Gateway, school administrators are better able to maintain student folders with clean and up-to-date academic data. This is challenging with paper documents, as there’s more room for error when completing millions of student forms with accurate information. Security breaches and misplaced files are also common problems that districts face when dealing with paper forms. When these obstacles are in the way, it’s difficult to keep parents in the loop and provide them with the academic data they need to stay involved in their children’s schooling and contribute to any decisions regarding their education.

“Data-driven decision-making can support schools and districts to facilitate more informed decision-making, enhance overall school performance, and improve student achievement,” explained the The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory. “Furthermore, it can help to engage family and community in the process of addressing achievement gaps, improving teaching and learning, and motivating students. Data-driven decision making can also help districts maximize the use of limited funds for the greatest impact on student achievement.”

Online student software like Conference Gateway also streamlines processes required for conference scheduling. Instead of manually signing up for meetings, parents can log into the system at home and choose an open time. After parents book a conference, they can leave messages for the teacher explaining exactly what they want to discuss. This has proven to increase parent engagement at conferences. This is essential, as parent-teacher meetings are where important academic information is shared and teachers are able to suggest ways in which parents can most effectively support their children as they strive to succeed in school.

While parent engagement has increased over the years, districts using paper-based workflows can continue to make improvements by switching to digital student solutions. With software like the ParentShare Gateway from SRC Solutions, updated student data can be shared at the click of a button to keep parents in the know and increase engagement for student success.

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