CHICAGO – Today Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released “Engaging Parents: Effective Practices From Chicago Principals” to all CPS principals across the district. This booklet was developed for principals by principals in order to share effective strategies to engage parents in schools and in their children’s education.
“Teachers and principals need the support of involved parents in order to help our students succeed, and as a school system, we can take steps to ensure any barriers between parent participation and schools are taken down,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “This booklet shares effective strategies that principals right here in our city are using to see results, and we encourage all principals to take a look to see what might work for them in their schools.”
The practices included in the booklet are far ranging: for example, at Lowell Elementary, Principal Gladys Rivera ensures that there are translators located on every floor of her school during report card pickup days so that parents are more comfortable and know someone is there to help; at Manuel Perez Jr. School, Principal Vicky Kleros holds a raffle at the end of every report card pickup day and as an additional incentive, offers an extra gym period for the classrooms that see 100% parent participation in report card pickup; and Principal Alan Mather at Lindblom Math and Science Academy has freshman teachers and school counselors call parents who are most in need of talking with their teachers to remind them of the report card pickup days and encourage them to attend.
“The success of a student depends on a dedicated teacher, a strong principal and an involved parent. Those three pillars are essential, and we are invested in making sure that our schools are engaging parents proactively in their students’ education,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This booklet is one tool that can help spark creative ideas among our principals to help ensure that parents are welcomed into schools across the district as partners in their children’s learning.”
The booklet is intended as a starting point for sharing effective strategies among Chicago’s principals and is not a comprehensive list of the practices principals use to engage parents across the district. The booklet was distributed electronically to principals at the end of October 2012 and will be mailed in hard copy this week.
Chicago Public Schools serves 403,000 students in 681 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.