Family Engagement: Self-Assessment


When my oldest daughter was in the first year of public school, she was enrolled in the Gifted & Talented[G&T] academic program. It was appropriate for her advanced aptitude, and it certainly met my expectations and her learning needs. What I didn’t know was that it was an area of Special Education, since accelerated instruction is not usually associated under that light.

In my efforts to negotiate daily travel, I learned that G&T students were entitled to school bus transportation, and  my desire for transportation sent me on my way to becoming an engaged, involved and actively partnered school parent. Making phone calls, meeting and talking to other parents, attending and co-founding the Parent Association at that school resulted in our being awarded a bus stop on my street corner.

Parent engagement often begins just like that-acting in your child’s best interest as a strong advocate-turned leader-connected to education.

families diverse

Do you want to know how effective and successfully you are supporting parent-teacher partnerships and connecting to education in the best interest of the comprehensive growth, learning and social-emotional development of your child? By answering the questions below, you will have a general idea about where you stand, and then you can begin to discover new ways to encourage learning at home and at school. So, this is a great place to begin.

Each question can be answered with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and from start to finish, the estimated completion time should be no more than 20-25 minutes. When you have your score, you can begin to imagine new ways to promote meaningful learning partnerships-with your child and your child’s teachers- at home and at school. Ready? OK, here goes:

[Results are located at the bottom of the page.]

1. Have you identified a regular time and place in your home for your child to do homework?

Yes No

2. Do you monitor your child’s homework?

Yes No

3. Do you monitor your child’s television viewing habits and regulate online activity ?

Yes No

4. Do you ensure that your child has excellent attendance at school?

Yes No

5. Have you discussed with your child the importance of a good education?

Yes No

6. Did you attend Open House or Back-To-School Night at your child’s school?

Yes No

7. Do you support and reinforce the school’s discipline plan?

Yes No

8. Do you support your child’s learning by providing nutritious meals and adequate time for sleep?

Yes No

9. Do you read to your young child? If your child is older, do you encourage reading by paying attention to what your child reads as well as how often he/she reads?

Yes No

10. Do you hold your child responsible for completing all assignments on time and to the best of his/her ability?

Yes No

11. Are you knowledgeable about what skills your child should master at his/her grade level?

Yes No

12. Did you sign a written parental involvement pledge?

Yes No

13. Have you been a classroom parent volunteer?

Yes No

14. Were you a part of parent patrols or other activities to increase the safety and operation of your child’s school and programs?

Yes No

15. Have you attended at least one PTA, PTO, or other support group meeting this year?

Yes No

16. Have you worked on school-based leadership committees, district level councils and/or committees on issues concerning your schools?

Yes No

17. Did you assist in providing information on school or local district elections for school representatives?

Yes No

18. Have you attended at least one school program? (example: awards event, a school play, an athletic event or a school party)

Yes No

19. Do you insist that your child exhibit good sportsmanship at all times?

Yes No

20. Do you encourage your child to participate in volunteer projects which serve the community?

Yes No

21. Are you a model of “good sportsmanship” when attending school and community events?

Yes No

22. Do you encourage your child to participate in volunteer projects which serve the community?

Yes No

23. Have you read the student code of conduct and/or discipline policy?

Yes No

24. Do you regularly read the school/parent newsletter?

Yes No

25. Are you familiar with the supplemental services provided at your child’s school? (For example: speech therapy, after-school enrichment, resources and services for gifted students, and school counseling.)

Yes No

26. Do you make yourself available for conferences requested by your child’s teacher?

Yes No

27. Have you attended at least one parent-teacher conference with the teacher(s) of your child?

Yes No

28. Do you initiate contact with your child’s teacher or principal just to show your support?

Yes No

29. Are you aware of your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses?

Yes No

30. Do you ensure that your child takes classes to prepare him/her for a chosen career path?

Yes No

Engagement Self-Assessment Scale:

100%-75% EXCELLENT: Congratulations! You are a strong partner in your child’s education.

75% – 50% GOOD: You are making wonderful contributions to your child’s education but there are even more ways that you can help. There’s always more you can do to support your child’s learning at school. You can always learn more, acquire new strategies, and volunteer more time, or volunteer differently-in new ways.

50% – 25% NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Your school and your child needs your help! Your child’s success at school might be increased if you were able to help more. Be sure to acknowledge the ways you help your child already, and vow to do more. Up your game! The more your child learns at school, the more you demand from him/her at home.

No matter the income, location or language proficiency, there are useful strategies to apply right where you are. Change the lens from which you view your resources. Food in the fridge? Mayonnaise, ketchup, jelly, eggs, milk… all useful to you and at your disposal. Furniture in the home? Couches, beds, curtains, rugs, forks, spoons, cups, rubber bands, even….all useful.

25% or less STRATEGY TIME: You might be failing your child. Don’t worry too much, though. It’s not the end of the world, because you can turn it all around and champion your child’s success at home and in school. Begin your journey by talking to your child’s teacher and asking for simple tips and strategies that you can use at home. The more questions you ask, the more information you’ll receive. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you don’t understand any jargon or language familiar primarily between other professionals. Ask for tips and strategies to help you effectively support learning at home.

The most important thing that you can do to support your child’s achievement is to model the behaviors and attitudes that are reinforced and encouraged by the educators at school.

The more parents know, and are equipped with enhanced tools and skills to help their child at home, the more teachers are able to maximize learning progress of your child at school. Teachers help you; you help teachers and everyone helps your child learn and grow. It’s a Win-Win!

Stop guessing or wondering what your child does in school, and begin communicating with teachers to find your answers. Also, ask what you can do at home to support the learning success of your child.

Make it your business to express your interests, concerns and let everyone know that you are involved as a steadfast advocate for your child.

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