Organize a day where students can bring their family members to class.
Welcome families into the school! Organize a day where family members can shadow students and see what it’s like to be a student there.
Very young family members may not do so well during a full day of high school. To make them feel welcome, provide child care (think existing daycare or family and consumer sciences or similar classes!) so the little ones will have a place to go. Older family members like upper-elementary-age and older siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and more can shadow students throughout the day.
Organize a small event like a breakfast, lunch, or assembly to bring all visiting family members together with the school community so they can meet administrators, teachers, and staff.
Tips & Suggestions:
- Consider planning this event for a half-day.
- If it’s challenging for families to attend traditional back-to-school nights or parent-teacher conferences, this might be a good alternative to encourage more family members to visit school.
- When parents are more involved in the school community, students’ engagement levels and academic performance improve (Mo & Singh, 2008).
- Welcoming family members into the community helps bolster school connectedness which helps reduce rates of depression and suicide (Langille, 2015).
- Family engagement is crucial for resilience building, especially in at-risk students (McMillan & Reed, 1994).