Jesse Canales

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016

Extra credit: involved parents can improve student grades

PHOENIX – Teachers are expected to help students learn in a classroom, but parents’ involvement with their children may lead to better grades.

Some teachers say learning at home is just as important as learning in school. The Center for Public Education said two-thirds of teachers surveyed said they would like to see more parents reading with their children, attending school events or helping their children with homework.

“Parent involvement is the number one way to go to move your student’s achievement,” said Nan Halpert, Title 1 coordinator at Liberty Traditional School.

Getting parents to attend school and Parent-Teacher Association events is more difficult than expected, some PTA members said.

Erin Larson, treasurer for the Parkview Elementary School PTA, said the school had a session one evening to teach parents how to help their children with homework. The school has 796 students, she said, but only 28 families showed up.

“I was disappointed,” Larson said.

Parkview Elementary School PTA members spend time with their children after helping them finish their homework. Anna Dodge, left, holds her son, Erin Larson, right, comforts her son as AZ North Maricopa Region Director Lisa Fowler watches. (Photo by Jesse Canales/Cronkite News)

Parkview Elementary School PTA members spend time with their children after helping them finish their homework. Anna Dodge, left, holds her son, Erin Larson, right, comforts her son as AZ North Maricopa Region Director Lisa Fowler watches. (Photo by Jesse Canales/Cronkite News)

Parkview Elementary School President Anna Dodge, who has three children in Parkview, said she is motivated to help her children because her parents weren’t involved in her schooling.

“I think had they been it really would’ve changed how I was in school,” Dodge said. “I wasn’t the best student and I want my children to be what I wasn’t.”

She said one son, a Parkview sixth-grade student, improved his grades from C’s to A’s and B’s after she started working with him.

Parents need to check whether their children completed and turned in homework so they don’t find out they received a zero on an assignment only when a report card comes out, Dodge said.

“I check my child’s grades two to three times a week,” Dodge said. “If they have missing assignments, I print them out, the list, make them take it to their teacher, have the teacher sign off that they brought that to them and bring that to me,” Dodge said.

Parents who are short on time can use several free apps or websites. The Dysart district, like many, offers apps and a website for parents to monitor their childrens’ progress on assignments and tests. Parent Portal parent/student portal , is available for Apple iOS and Android.

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