Strengthening the Home-to-School Connection

Most educators believe in the importance of parent participation. But the concept of "participation" means different things to different teachers. For some teachers, if parents are helping their child with homework and attending required conferences, that’s sufficient participation. But for other teachers, participation can mean much more—for both the parents and the students.

Studies show that a strong connection between home and school benefits children tremendously. Students whose parents stay actively involved in their education do better in school and demonstrate a higher attendance rate, better social skills, and an increased graduation rate. Who wouldn't want that for their child or student?

Building the Connection

Learning A-Z makes it easy to build and support a home-to-school connection. Sending home a Parent Letter is the first step. Parent letters can be found and downloaded in the Student Management area of all Learning A-Z products that include online student access, on the Roster page under the Docs for Home link.

Then through the Kids A-Z student portal, students can access thousands of award-winning digital resources. Once the student logs in at home, their home page displays everything they have access to. From there, students can work on assignments or select from thousands of resources for reading and writing practice.

Parents can also help their child access Learning A-Z resources on mobile devices by downloading the Kids A-Z app.

Sharing Progress Reports With Parents

When parents want an update on how their child is doing, they can request access to progress reports from the teacher. Once the teacher approves access, parents can then view reports about their child and send their child messages by clicking on the Parent link at the top of the screen at www.KidsA-Z.com.

Here are the two best ways for parents to request access:

  • After their child logs in, parents can click on the Parent button at the top right of the screen and enter their email address.
  • Parents can give their email address(es) to their child's teacher.

Involving Parents

With the busy lives parents lead today, it may be challenging for teachers to find the time and opportunities to strengthen the bond between home and school. How can teachers actively and effectively involve students' parents in their child's education?

Here are a few suggestions for teachers to help them achieve this goal:

  1. Ask parents to read at home.
    • Regular reading at home models good reading skills and provides children with the practice they need to become great readers.
    • Parents can download the free Kids A-Z app and students can log in anywhere, anytime.
    • Teachers can also print Learning A-Z books and send them home for practice.
  2. Help parents become great reading partners.
    • Suggest that parents read the same stories over and over again. Ask them to try reading the same stories in different ways or with different voices to make it fun and interesting. Students can repeatedly listen to and read books to strengthen skills, and can even record themselves reading for their teacher to review later.
    • Ask parents to provide their child with plenty of books and encourage them to read. For students, simply interacting with books on a regular basis makes a huge positive difference in the child’s development.
    • Remind parents to give their child access to Kids A-Z, where students can easily access thousands of leveled books, stories, poems, articles, exercises, and other Learning A-Z resources at home.
    • Suggest that parents bring books everywhere. Parents can keep books in the car or in a tote bag so they’re always available, and with mobile access, students can read and listen to books in the car, grocery store, waiting room, or wherever they go.
  3. Keep lines of communication open.
    • Communicate with parents and ask them to get involved in their child’s school.
    • Communicating with parents often helps them understand more about where their child is succeeding and struggling.
    • Remind parents that through the Parent Portal on Kids A-Z, they can view the books their child is reading, see how many books their child has read, review reports, and send their child messages.

Students' success in school often improves with a strong partnership between parents and teachers. Accessing digital Learning A-Z resources at home or on the go is a great way to begin, strengthen, maintain, and improve the parent-teacher partnership and the home-to-school connection.

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Katie Baer
Senior Professional Development Manager - West,
Learning A-Z

Katie is a tenured education professional with more than 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, and curriculum/assessment coordinator. Katie understands that improving and assisting teacher effectiveness leads to student learning and academic growth. Katie is dedicated to providing effective professional learning experiences for all teachers.

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