Parent Involvement

March 1992 – Revised January 2005 – Family Engagement

Parent Involvement: Individual and Organizational Rights and Responsibilities in the Development of Children

National PTA Position Statement (Adopted by the 1991-1993 California State PTA Board of Managers)

Parent involvement is the participation of parents/guardians in every facet of the education and development of children from birth to adulthood, recognizing that parents/guardians are the primary influence in children’s lives.

Parent involvement takes many forms, including the parents’ shared responsibilities in decisions about children’s education, health and well-being, as well as the parents’/guardians’ participation in organizations that reflect the community’s collaborative aspirations for all children.

Parent’s Responsibilities

The parent/guardian, as a role model and initial teacher, has the responsibility to:

  • Safeguard and nurture the physical, mental, social and spiritual education of the child;
  • Provide opportunities for interaction with other children and adults;
  • Lay the foundation for character development and responsible behavior;
  • Lay the foundation for responsible citizenship, by instilling a knowledge of and respect for our nation’s diverse cultural heritage;
  • Provide a home environment that encourages and sets an example for the child’s commitment to learning;
  • Know, help and work as partners with teachers and school support staff, administrators, and special teachers;
  • Communicate with, serve on, and participate in the selection/election of school officials (e.g., school board members, superintendents, school councils);
  • Develop, through observation, a knowledge of how the child functions in the school environment.

Parent’s Rights

A parent/guardian has a right to:

  • Clear, timely, and concise two way communication and information between home and school;
  • Clear and concise information about the school and the child’s grade level and developmental progress;
  • Confidentiality of information about the child;
  • Clear understanding of the processes to gain access to the appropriate school officials, to participate in decisions that are made and to appeal matters pertaining to the child and the appeal process;
  • Promote inclusiveness and sensitivity to language;
  • Expect a sensitivity to language and cultural differences (inclusiveness);
  • Be informed of disciplinary or investigative action regarding their child.

Be aware that California Law (Chapter 864, Statutes of 1998, gives parents/guardians the legal rights to

  • Classroom Observing: The time and date of the visitation must be arranged in advance with the school.
  • Teacher Conferencing: Parents should contact the school to schedule a date and time convenient for all participants.
  • Volunteering: Parents should contact the school to determine the terms and conditions of this service.
  • Student Attendance: Be notified in a timely manner if their child is absent from school without permission.
  • Student Testing: Be notified of their child’s performance on standardized and statewide tests, and the school’s ranking on these tests.
  • School Selection: To request that their child be enrolled in any school in the district. The district is not compelled to grant the request.
  • Safe School Environment: Parents are entitled to the assurance of a safe and supportive learning environment for their child.
  • Curriculum Materials: Examine the curriculum materials of the class or classes in which their child is enroll.
  • Student Academic Progress: Be informed of their child’s academic progress in school and of persons to contact if they wish more information or assistance with their child.
  • Student Records: Access to their child’s records and to question anything they feel is inaccurate or misleading, or an invasion of privacy.
  • Standards: Receive information regarding the academic standards their child is expected to meet.
  • School Rules: Receive written notification of school rules, attendance policies, dress codes, and procedures for school visitations.
  • Psychological Testing: Receive information on all psychological testing recommended for their child.
  • Councils and Committees: Participate as a member of a parent advisory committee, school-site council, or site-based management leadership team in accordance with established rules and regulations for membership.
  • Policy Development: Have the opportunity to work in a mutually supportive and respectful partnership with the school to help their child succeed.
  • Beyond High School: Be informed of college entrance requirements.

Organizational Responsibilities

In order to protect the education, health and well-being of the whole child, the membership of the PTA has the responsibility to:

  • Ensure access to an equitable and quality education for all children equally;
  • Advocate that all children have the support necessary in the home, school and in the community;
  • Seek information on policies, curriculum and laws that affect all children and youth;
  • Share accurate information about the school—(e.g., its goals, programs and policies)—with the membership and school community;
  • Help and interact with students, teachers, administrators and community;
  • Promote inclusiveness and sensitivity to language and cultural differences of the community;
  • Ensure an active PTA;
  • Work within the PTA, school, and community in a constructive and respectful manner of procedures and a diversity of opinion;
  • Work in partnership with school professionals and parent advisory groups to determine appropriate levels of programs and services;
  • Participate in decisions affecting policies, rules and regulations;
  • Provide educational resources and increase opportunities for the development of parenting skills.

Organizational Rights

A PTA organization has the right to:

  • Function as an independent, nonpartisan child advocacy group;
  • Meet with appropriate school officials to discuss matters of mutual concern affecting all children and youth;
  • Participate, within state law and school board policy, in the setting of the school goals and assist in the review of teaching materials and curriculum;
  • Seek enactment and participate in decisions affecting policies, rules and regulations relating to all children and youth.
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