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School Stories

How Positive School Engagement Impacts Your Child

By Nan Remington, Head of Lower School
In the late 90s, there was a science fiction comedy film, “Multiplicity,” starring Michael Keaton, about a man who never has enough time for what he wants to do and is offered the opportunity to have himself cloned. As a parent, I thought this was a great idea! One parent can do the after-school pickup, one can organize and drive the Saturday sports carpool, the other can attend the Back-to-School Night, and another parent can make sure your child’s academic and social needs are being met. We have busier schedules than ever before, and you may often ask yourself, how does one manage it all? The good news is you don’t have to.

By engaging with your child’s teacher and the greater Graland community, you have a partner that can impact your child’s educational experience and overall growth. Decades of research outline a clear need for a partnership with the school and home. When families are engaged in school, their children are more likely to perform better academically, have improved behavior, and develop stronger social skills such as:

Enhanced Communication:
A solid home-school connection encourages effective communication. Parents who engage with the school regularly are better informed about their child’s progress, any areas of concern, and upcoming events.

Increased Confidence:
Knowing that their parents are invested in their education boosts a child’s self-esteem and confidence. This confidence can empower them to take on new challenges and excel in various areas.

Strong Character Development:
Recently, Graland launched its Character and Community Framework with character traits that are critical for students as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of our world. Parents who actively engage with the school can support these efforts by modeling the attributes of curiosity, empathy, adaptability, agency, responsibility, and aligned behaviors. 

In addition, it’s important to remember that one of the most productive forms of engagement is the parent and educator relationship. Your child is learning how to connect the pieces between home and school. It is powerful for your child to know that you and your child’s teacher are in good contact and that there is good rapport. Graland teachers understand and appreciate the importance of keeping the lines of communication open. Any interaction with your child’s teacher can feel intentional and built on well-being if you think of the two of you as a team with the same goal: to help your child succeed and feel comfortable at school. If your child shares a concern or issue, sharing those feelings with the teachers is essential. Teachers can often provide a fuller picture of what has occurred and will have ideas for supporting your child.

Keep in mind, there are also other ways to engage and learn more about what is happening in school. Back-to-School Nights are a wonderful glimpse into the classroom, curriculum, and schedules your child experiences at school. Attending other school events, such as GPA meetings (which include opportunities to engage with educators through the Faces of Faculty segment), participating in service learning opportunities, listening to Parent Education Network (PEN) speakers, joining Josh Cobb’s book club, and learning about the curriculum through morning coffees where Graland administrators and teachers present curricular information are just a few avenues for parents engagement. 

Suppose you are unable to attend in-person events on campus. In that case, you can learn what is occurring throughout the day by viewing the teacher’s Instagram posts, reviewing the topics and content on the class pages, and reading the “Graland Online Newsletter,” sent to your email each Friday.

Positive engagement with your child’s elementary school is vital to their educational journey. Parents who actively participate in their child’s school life can help create a supportive and enriching learning environment, leading to academic success, improved behavior, and strong character development. By implementing these practical strategies and recognizing the significance of their involvement, parents can empower their children to thrive in Lower School and beyond. Remember, your active engagement sends a powerful message to your child: that their education is a shared priority and a journey you take together. 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.