Arizona’s 1.1 million students all celebrate one commonality: they thrive when their families, schools, and communities are engaged in their education. In coordination with the Arizona Department of Education’s Family Engagement Initiative, which was established to strengthen those important partnerships, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is pleased to recognize November 2013 as “Family Engagement Month.”
“Family participation in a student’s academic activities not only assists the child but allows for parents, siblings, grandparents and others to contribute in a meaningful way to schools in their community,” stated Superintendent Huppenthal. “I encourage all families with school-age children to see how they can become involved in the classroom, whether as a volunteer, in discussion around the dinner table, or through regular participation at school events.”
In fact, research indicates that consistent family engagement can have a direct impact on positive student outcomes.
Findings from several studies include the following:
- Families who are welcome in a safe and healthy learning environment that respects cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic differences build positive relationships with school staff;
- Schools that establish and maintain effective two-way communication with families increase participation in the learning process;
- Families who engage their children in at-home learning activities and monitor homework help students achieve academic expectations;
- Schools that include families in the decision-making process develop shared goals and actions to improve schools and students’ education;
- Families who understand developmental milestones and academic expectations are confident and guide their children toward scholastic and social success; and,
- Communities that collaborate to strengthen family engagement initiatives impact positive student outcomes.
For more information about Family Engagement Month and the Department’s Family Engagement Initiative, visit www.azed.gov/parents/familyengagement/.