Parent Participation

How is it defined?

Parent participation can entail aiding in the classroom, attending school assemblies and meetings, or participating in class field trips (Miedel & Reynolds, 2000). Student learning is enhanced by collaboration between the school, community, and home (Epstein, et al., 2002). Schools have the capacity to influence and increase family involvement, as well as a responsibility to reach out and involve all families (Simon, 2004).

The Learning Bar’s Parent Survey is based on a framework developed by Joyce Epstein designed to foster positive relations between school and community (Epstein et al., 2002). The survey covers parents’ perceptions of their children’s experiences at home and school, as well as the extent to which parents feel the school supports learning and positive behaviour and promotes a safe and inclusive environment.

Why is it important?

  • School, family, and community partnerships help connect parents to the school and, in the process, benefit students (Epstein et al., 2002).
  • Parental participation in the form of volunteering and attendance at parent-teacher meetings is associated with student academic achievement (Sui-Chu & Willms, 1996).
  • When parents attend school activities and events they not only support the school and their own child but other participating students as well (Simon, 2004).
  • Family participation in school declines as a student progresses from the elementary grades through to secondary school (Simon, 2004).

How do we measure it?

In OurSCHOOL, parents respond to three items on a four-point scale which is scored as follows: 0 (Zero), 1 (Once), 2 (Two or three times), and 3 (More than three times) as well as answer a single yes/no question. Reponses for each question are reported as a percentage.



Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Miedel, W. T., & Reynolds, A. J. (2000). Parent involvement in early intervention for disadvantaged children: Does it matter? Journal of School Psychology, 37(4), 379-402.

Simon, B. S. (2004). High school outreach and family involvement. Social Psychology of Education, 7(2), 185-209.

Sui-Chu, E. H., & Willms, J. D. (1996). Effects of parental involvement on eighth-grade achievement. Sociology of Education, 69(2), 126-141.