Parental Involvement and School Safety

Did you know that being actively involved in your child’s educational process can affect school safety? Children of involved parents typically have higher self-esteem and have fewer behavior problems in school. And students’ grades usually improve when their parents become involved. So keeping an open line of communication with teachers about your child’s progress will not only improve learning but it will also help maintain a safe school environment.

The teacher can be your best ally in an array of areas such as letting you know whether or not your child is giving his/her best effort in class and whether he/she has noticed any significant changes in your child’s behavior or attitude towards learning. It’s also a good idea to find out whether the teacher has concerns about the friends your child has chosen. All of which is paramount to your child’s safety in school as well as academic success.

Jerry L. Parks, author of Help! My Child Is Starting Middle Schoo!l A Survival Handbook for Parents outlined the following tips to help parents become more involved in their child’s school:

Top 5 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Succeed in School

  1. Make sure your child is at school every day possible. “Missed work is generally more of a loss than made-up work is a gain,” Parks says. “There is no substitute for attendance.”
  2. Designate a time and place for your child to do homework. If he does not have homework, have him use the time to read. “Routine is the essence of a child’s life,” he says.
  3. Keep in touch with teachers, but don’t overdo it. “Most teachers appreciate parents caring enough to keep in touch a few times a term but do not appreciate parents expecting contact on a regular basis.”
  4. Teach your child character—it “will improve social and academic skills more than anything else,” Parks says. “Some things are simply wrong, and the world your child will grow up in will punish crimes, so give your child a head start.”
  5. Make time every day to talk with your child about the day’s activities. “Let them know you care, and really listen to what they have to say.”

Parents who take the time to engage and support their children’s education not only help their children succeed, but can reduce danger for their children as well.

Dr. Sonayia Shepherd (Sony) is the Chief Operating Officer of Safe Havens International.  The author of 16 books on school safety and emergency management, Sony’s work has taken her to many countries including Switzerland, Thailand, Indonesia, Haiti, Guatemala, Angola, South Africa and India. A popular keynote speaker, Dr. Shepherd has presented at numerous state, national and international professional conferences and many individual school districts across the nation.  Sony welcomes reader feedback and questions at