Families & Communities

What Individual Parents Can Do

School Holding Power
What Individual Parents Can Do for their Children

Education is a basic right of all children in the United States.

By working together with other parents, neighbors, students and your school, you can make a difference in strengthening school holding power. Here is what you can do for your child.


  • Talk with your child. Ask questions like…
    Is there anyone at school who talks to you about graduating and going to college? Who can you go to?
    What are the classes that will prepare you for college?
    Do you have friends who have dropped out? Why did they leave? Where did they go? What do you think would have helped them stay in school?
  • Talk with your child’s teachers. Ask questions like…
    What skills and knowledge is my child expected to master this year? – in math, science, history and English?
    Are there any tips for my child to work on his or her skills at home?
    How will my child be evaluated?
    What kinds of assignments, special projects and tests will my child have this year?
    How is my child participating in class?
  • Talk with your child’s counselor. Ask questions like…
    Is my child taking the necessary courses to succeed in college and in work?
    What do I need to know about financial aid so my child can go to college?
    Please explain the gifted and talented programs and the advanced placement classes.


  • Develop a relationship with your child’s teacher and counselor that will support your child’s success. Meet with or call your child’s teachers once a month. Go over the list of assignments and the skills your child is supposed to master for the year.
  • If your child is having learning problems, request that your child be given a diagnostic assessment for dyslexia or other learning challenges. What tutoring is available?
  • Contact your local city, county and university agencies and find out if they have programs for students in your child’s areas of interest, for example art, drama, science or math.
  • Talk to other parents about their children and work together to ensure your children are being supported at school.


  • Make sure that there is translation for parents who do not speak English at school gatherings.
  • Make sure information about your child’s education is presented in a language that you understand.
  • Find out from the site-based decision making team, the PTA or boosters how you can work in partnership with the school to stay more involved in your child’s academic progress.
  • Keep written records of your interactions with the school, including e-mails or notes. As you monitor your child’s progress, especially around a specific concern, keep a written record of your communication with the school.
  • Talk to your child about college and seek out programs that will help him or her realize their career dreams.