Numerous studies have shown that parental involvement is associated with higher academic achievement. Garland ISD’s No. 1 priority is student success, which is why the district supports family engagement opportunities, events and initiatives.
While the newly formed Family & Community Engagement Department is helping increase involvement districtwide, the act of inviting parents to become fervent participants in their child’s education is not a new feat. Meet-the-teacher nights, family friendly events and parent education courses are all successful standards. To provide parents with more opportunities to interact with educators, the district offered a two-day parent-teacher conference window Oct. 8-9. Parents scheduled appointments with their student’s teacher, opting for a Thursday evening or Friday morning conference.
Park Crest Elementary School started efforts like these before the first school bell ever rang. The Panther staff visited every student’s home, delivering spirit gear, meeting new students and connecting with families in-person.
“We are working towards increasing our parent involvement,” said Principal Raelyn Scroggin. “Our teachers wanted to make sure that students were excited about returning to Park Crest this year. This event also helped us begin to build a relationship with parents. We brought a gift to welcome them, as well.”
Teachers partnered with colleagues to visit each student in their classes this year. Duos—clad in Park Crest pride shirts—mapped their visits and accompanied each other as they approached doorsteps. Curious students, friendly parents and even surprise run-ins with former Panthers were all highlights of the day.
“The parents and students were overjoyed when they opened the door to see their new teacher,” Scroggin commented. “It eliminated any fears about starting a new school or grade. We are so thrilled that we had this opportunity.”
The day’s events and feedback were so well-received, Park Crest’s staff is already looking forward to next year’s visits.