COVID-19 has drastically impacted the lives of our nation’s school-aged children. According to many national surveys, “shifting to remote learning last spring was academically and socially challenging for students, and…families and caregivers felt stretched thin by supporting their students at home” (TNTP, Inc., 2020). Ultimately, every parent is highly concerned about where their child will be academically when the pandemic is over. Now more than ever, parent advocacy is essential in ensuring that the impact of COVID on student learning and achievement is not as detrimental as the research suggests it will be.
Parents, you should voice your concerns about your children’s education with their teachers, campus administration, and district leaders. As this tumultuous year comes to a close, be assured that it is not too late to take action. The following is a list of ideas that will assist you in taking action.
Communicate Openly and Often
Conversations about education should take place often. Always ask your child about the learning that is happening in school–whether the learning is virtual or face-to-face. Additionally, keep the lines of communication open with your child’s teacher especially as the end of the school year approaches. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If something does not appear clear to you, reach out to the school or your child’s teacher for clarity.
Voice Your Concerns
Do you have concerns about the quality of work being provided during this new normal? Does the work seem to be preparing your child for the next grade level or for future careers and/or college? If these questions are a concern for you, take your concerns to the school. There are several things you can do to voice your concerns about your child’s education:
- Email your child’s teacher whenever you have questions.
- Schedule a conference with the teacher or teachers (virtually, in-person, or by phone).
- Share your ideas for improvement.
- Ask for help when your child needs it.
Improve the Quality of Your Child’s School Experience
Although we are all adapting to this new normal in public education and providing our best support during this health crisis, there are challenges that we must also master. Sharing your journey through this process with other parents, school officials, and district leadership can help all of us grow from this uncharted territory. Joining forces with us here at Parents for Public Schools (PPS) can prove beneficial in the long run. Additionally, it is also vitally important that you know your child’s rights as they relate to public education.
Even though this school year will be ending soon, these ideas should assist you now and in the future. Being engaged with your child’s teacher and school is always extremely important, but it is especially so during this time when so much is different from the norm. Hopefully, the bridges built this year between home and school remain in future school years and student achievement soars because of the greater bonds formed between home and school.