Parent Checklist

paren_checklist_thumbnail.pngThe parent checklist includes questions and resources that parents and caregivers can use to help ensure their children are getting the education they deserve.
It was created in collaboration with U.S. Department of Education, America Achieves, National Council of La Raza and the United Negro College Fund. The checklist also offers key questions, tips for educational success and resources for parents.
Read the Parent Checklist

Urban Family Engagement Network Map

The Positive Relationship Between Family Involvement and Student Success

In the 2002 research review A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement,Anne T. Henderson and Karen L. Mapp conclude that there is a positive and convincing relationship between family involvement and student success, regardless of race/ethnicity, class, or parents’ level of education. To put it another way, when families are involved in their children’s learning both at home and at school, their children do better in school. The report also points to specific types of involvement as being especially beneficial to children’s academic success.
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The “T” in PTA stands for teachers!

Sometimes we forget that the “T” in PTA stands for teachers. Teachers and school staff members are crucial partners in our children’s success. Encouraging them to join your PTA should be a focus of your membership campaign. Here are some ideas for getting them involved:

Getting Teachers Involved!
  • Arrange to provide a breakfast for teachers prior to the start of the school year. Use this breakfast as an opportunity to talk to the teachers about the value and importance of joining your PTA.
  • Award teachers and staff with a party or lunch when 100% teacher and staff membership is reached.
  • Request a bulletin board or showcase at your school to display current information about PTA activities.
  • Use back to school nights as an opportunity to speak with both teachers and parents about the importance of joining PTA. Prepare a short presentation. Be sure to have the permission of your principal.
  • Include PTA materials in information packets given to teachers and staff at the start of each school year.
  • Enlist the support of your principal. A principal’s encouragement to join can go a long way.
  • Print out personal invitations asking teachers and staff to join and include a membership envelope. Remind them that for the cost of a few coffees at Starbucks they can support our national organization of more than six million members!

Some other ideas: Parent Involvement is what PTA does best and it’s the law. Remind teachers and staff that PTA helps them to fulfill the Parent Involvement mandate of No Child Left Behind.  Get to know your teachers. Sometimes teachers or staff may be reluctant to join because of a prior bad experience with PTA. Apologize for whatever may have happened and talk to them about how PTA’s work benefits not only the children but the teachers as well.  The teachers and staff expect to be asked to join. If they expect it and you don’t ask, they might feel they are not needed or welcomed. Remember to ask.  Remind teachers and staff that PTA is more than a local fundraising group for their school. It is an organization focused on the education, safety, and well-being of children.

Looking for more ways to get engaged?

Check out our Committees page and click on each title to see all of the different ways you can get involved with The Colorado PTA!

Make sure you also check out our resources for advocacy effortscommunities, school accountability committees, male involvement in the PTA, take action/news, and military alliance for parents and partners!

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Colorado Department of Education’s PEP Conferences

Colorado Department of Education’s PEP Conferences are designed to promote family and school partnerships that are essential in supporting students with disabilities and their families in schools and the community.  PEP brings parents and professionals together by sharing ideas, discussing concerns, celebrating successes and obtaining information related to parenting, educating and partnering to support student learning. PEP Conferences are offered at no cost to attendees. To learn more about PEP Conferences and to register, please visit the Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) Website

Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission

Pursuant to state law, the ECSRLC must meet at least four times per year to study issues concerning early childhood and school readiness. Topics to be studied include: health care, mental health, parental involvement, family support, child care, and early learning. The commission is required to solicit input from the public, especially from those who have expertise in early childhood and school readiness issues. The commission is also required to meet with the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, which is a group focused on improving outcomes for young children ages birth to eight, to discuss policy concerning early childhood and school readiness.

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Trainings and Professional Development

More training and resources provided by The Colorado Department of Education

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Family Engagement Promising Practices Training Materials

The purpose of the Family Engagement Promising Practices Training is to help schools and districts implement comprehensive, sustainable partnership structures for student success.

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A Letter from The Colorado PTA President

On behalf of Colorado PTA and our 25,000+ members, we would like to thank Governor Hickenlooper, and the State of Colorado for proclaiming October as Parent Involvement month.  I would also like to thank Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia and Commissioner Robert Hammond for their support of parent involvement. Parent involvement is crucial for student success, and is key to ensuring that we have a viable workforce for the future.  As a co-owner of a small business this is important to me, but student success is especially crucial to me as a parent. A groundbreaking study in 2010 on school improvement found that parent involvement was identified as the key ingredient for school turnarounds.  So not only does parent involvement support student success – it supports effective school reform.  This study specifically evaluated school improvement in low-income, urban schools.  They found that elementary schools with strong parent involvement were 10 times more likely to improve in math and 4 times more likely to improve in reading than schools weak in parent involvement.  For school improvement to be successful, schools must treat parent involvement as an integral part of the school. In 1997, National PTA convened the many different stakeholders whom we represent to develop the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, which for the first time, articulated what parent involvement should look like at the school level.  In 2001, National PTA updated the standards, and now these are in use by schools, PTA and community leaders nationwide including the Colorado State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education, as a framework for thinking about, structuring, and assessing family engagement. While researcher Joyce Epstein paved the way for parent involvement, two researchers and long-time PTA friends, Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp, continued to strengthen the importance of family engagement in their 2002 study, “A New Wave of Evidence:  The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement.”  They found evidence clearly supports that when parents and families are involved at home and at school, children do better in school!  This includes higher grades, passing classes, and regular attendance at school.  This is true no matter what the family income or background may be! Parent involvement is a shared responsibility and my hope is that all parents and families:

  • Feel welcome in their child’s school
  • Experience effective, two-way communication
  • Are given the opportunity to support their student’s success
  • Feel comfortable to speak up for their child
  • Are asked to share the power in their school by being a participant in school decision making

It is through collaboration as parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and community that we will give the children of Colorado the greatest gift of all, a bright future. Michelle Winzent Colorado PTA President

National Standards Implementation Guide

The benefits of family-school-community partnerships are many: higher teacher morale, more parent involvement, and greater student success are only a few. That is why PTA developed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Implementation Guide, a tool for empowering people to work together with an end goal of building family-school partnerships and student success.

For each of the six National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, this online guide provides:

  • An explanation of each standard and its importance
  • Insights to help convince educators of the standard’s value
  • A success story from a school community
  • Action steps for your school community
  • Resources to enhance your understanding

The full guide, downloadable as a PDF, provides additional details, background, research, and success stories.

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The National PTA Urban Family Engagement Network

Increases the number of families in urban areas who understand specific ways to collaborate with schools to support their children’s education. Families learn how to navigate the local school systems and effectively advocate for better educational outcomes for all children.

Download the Flyer in English or Spanish

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TAKE THE PLEDGE!

Every child in the United States should be well-nourished, physically active, healthy and ready to learn. Sadly, they’re not. One in three kids in this country is either overweight or obese. But they don’t have to be. Schools are a big part of the solution and you can be too. It’s going to take a nation of moms, dads and other caring individuals – people just like you – to raise their hands and lend their voices to the fight against childhood obesity so every kid can be healthy and ready to learn. Working together, we can give kids the keys to health and academic success, one school at a time. So take the Every Kid Healthy Pledge and ask your friends and family to do the same.      Visit Action for Healthy Kids now to take the...

PTA E-Learning Library

To access our e-learning courses, you will need an online National PTA profile. For assistance with creating a profile or registering for a course, please read the e-learning registration guide. Also, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. Para obtener instrucciones en español sobre cómo crear un perfil e inscribirse para un curso, por favor lea la Guía de inscripción para aprendizaje electrónico. PTA Essentials PTA Basics: Discover PTA’s history, structure, programs, and the issues for which it advocates. (approx. 40 min) Effective Advocacy for Your Child: Organize around local issues and address them to benefit the needs of children and your community. This course is designed for emerging local leaders, but all are welcome to attend. (approx. 30 min.) National Standards for Family School Partnerships: Explore how the National Standards for Family School Partnerships creates a framework for engaging families in meaningful ways to support student success. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! PTA Nuts and Bolts Series  Board Basics: Learn the basic governance structures behind most PTA units. (approx. 40 min.) Conceptos básicos para las juntas (Board Basics in Spanish): Aprenda las estructuras básicas de gobernación detrás de la mayoría de las unidades de la PTA. (approx. 40 min.) ¡NUEVO! Local Unit President: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA president. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! Local Unit Secretary: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA secretary. (approx. 30 min.) NEW! Local Unit Treasurer: This course is an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of the local unit PTA treasurer. (approx. 40 min.) NEW! Leadership Enhancement Creating and Delivering...

PTA Three for Me

Three for Me is a PTA program designed to effectively involve parents and families in support of children and their education. This program will help PTAs and parents find different ways to volunteer at home, in school, and in the community—all which support student learning. This way, parents can volunteer when they have time during the day, in the evening or on the weekends. Three for Me online resources include: Creative ways to connect all families to their child’s school and education Ideas to strengthen home-school-community partnerships Resources to motivate parent forum for program and idea sharing Helpful ways to track volunteers and the positive impact they are having on student success Get Three for Me started at your school or organization today and put a new face on parent involvement. Resources Promise Cards in English and Spanish to distribute to families who promise to volunteer. Promise Cards (fillable) Promise Cards (Spanish) Promise Cards (non-fillable) Certificates to customize and distribute to families who donate their time to volunteer. Available in English and Spanish, as well as in black and white or full color. Certificate (fillable) Certificate (Spanish) Certificate (non-fillable) Benefits for Your School is a tip sheet for families to help them understand the value of their donated time. Benefits Tipsheet Visitor Badges in English and Spanish. Visitor Badge Visitor Badge (Spanish) Additional Three for Me resources include a leader’s guide and, a volunteer tracking spreadsheet, sign in sheets, and surveys that can be customized and downloaded. Leader’s Guide Volunteer Sign-In Volunteer Badge Volunteer Survey Volunteer Hours Spreadsheet Volunteer Survey (Spanish) Background Language Not a Barrier for Hispanic Parents Looking to...