You are your child’s best advocate. Family involvement plays a critical role in preparing students to succeed in school and in life. Walla Walla Public Schools (WWPS) encourages all parents to be advocates for their children by providing them with a safe, nurturing home environment; building strong, positive relationships with school staff members; and staying engaged in their children’s learning and development. You play a key role at every stage of your child’s development by:
- Sharing information with your child’s teacher about his or her strengths, interests and goals.
- Monitoring the development of your child’s literacy, language and social/emotional development.
- Identifying resources to help your child develop mathematic competencies.
- Staying involved and engaged both at home and at school.
Students with parents or guardians who are involved in their education, both at home and at school, earn higher grades, have fewer disciplinary problems, and enjoy better social adjustment. To help your child make sure he or she gets the most value from WWPS programs and resources, you can:
- Attend events: Curriculum Nights, parent/teacher conferences, student performances, family programs, and other school-sponsored events.
- Support and participate in your child’s school by joining the Parent/Teacher Association, mentoring, volunteering and/or serving on committees.
- Communicate with your child’s school by checking in with your child’s teacher, parent/teacher conferences, parent liaisons, community liaisons, newsletters, and home visits.
Children are capable of amazing intellectual development during the first years of their life. Mainly, they learn by watching what their parents or guardians and siblings do. Almost anything your family does together is a learning opportunity for your child. Read a book to encourage an interest in reading, and ask your child questions about the story. Discuss normal activities, such as the day’s events, to increase his or her language skills. Advocate at home by:
- Building Awareness (Create an interesting/stimulating environment; Introduce your child to new objects/people/events; Respond to your child’s interests and share experiences; Show interest/enthusiasm when talking with your child).
- Encouraging Exploration (Encourage your child to explore different things; Extend play into a learning opportunity; Describe your child’s activities as he or she does them; Use open-ended questions, such as “What else could you do?”).
- Ask and Answer Questions (Help your child think through questions and develop possible answers; Give your child information when asked; Help your child connect ideas; Allow time for your child to ask or answer a series of questions). Parents and guardians have both responsibilities and rights. Their first responsibility is to develop a partnership with their children’s teachers and school, and participate in decisions about their children’s education. They are also responsible for making sure their children attend school and follow school system rules and policies.
School personnel are responsible for protecting children’s health and safety, and ensuring that they are treated fairly and not subject to discrimination. It is important for parents and guardians to share information about their children and discuss their expectations and goals. As the parent advocate for an elementary age child you can:
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep at night (10-11 hours per night are recommended for elementary school-age children) and starts the day with a healthful breakfast. Children learn better when they are well-rested and well-fed.
- Read and review information that comes home from the school—welcome letters, information packets, school calendars, newsletters, and handbooks.
- Set clear rules for behavior at school and at home.
- Limit television viewing and monitor what your child is exposed to through the use of electronic media (such as cell phones, the Internet, and video games).
- Attend Curriculum Nights and goal setting conferences to find out what your child’s teachers expect from you and your child, and to learn about the curriculum.
- Monitor your child’s progress and regularly check his or her agenda for homework and class assignments.
Feel free to call 527-3088, or e-mail staff (example: ) listed below to develop a joint strategy for your child’s educational success, and to learn about academic and support programs.