Washington Teachers' Union

Washington Teachers' Union

Teachers and Parents: Together We Can Make a Difference

The Washington Teachers’ Union recognizes that learning is a shared responsibility that extends far beyond the walls of the classroom and often, begins at home. Teachers and parents are partners in ensuring the academic success of students. 


Research shows that children are more successful in school when parents are in constant communication with teachers and become involved in the school. Family engagement outcomes include:


·         Reduced drop-out rates and higher graduation rates1

·         Increased academic achievement2

·         Better attitudes towards learning3

·         Better social skills and less conduct problems4


Tips and resources for parents to begin effectively collaborating with teachers and support their child’s learning


Preparing your child for a successful school day

A successful school day begins the night before.  Make sure your child has plenty of rest and begins the great habit of going to bed each night with a book to read. In the morning, make sure your child is able to have a nutritious breakfast and start their day with positive words of encouragement. Nutrition and wellness play an often overlooked, but important role in a student’s academic success.


Health and Wellness resources:

 DCPS School Health Guide for Families

10 tips for making healthy foods more fun for children


Helping with homework and understanding standardized tests

Learning extends far beyond the walls of the classroom and you can support your child’s education at home. When your child comes home from school, always ask: what did you learn at school today? Then ask them to demonstrate their new skill. Incorporate learning in everyday life like weighing produce and measuring items at the grocery store. Monitor your child’s progress on standardized tests and understand what they mean—and what they do not.


Educational Resources:

Countdown to School Success

A month-by-month guide filled with the advice, tools, and online resources you'll need to help your children have a school year packed with fun and learning.


Parent Power

What parents can do to support children's learning at all ages.


Parent’s Guide to Student Common Core Standard Success



Getting involved in your child’s school

Today, parents are busier than ever. Take time out to visit your child’s school to meet and talk to teachers and school administrators to learn how you can support your child and the school community. If you cannot make it into the school, you can always send a note to the teacher and correspond via email or written letters.


PTA Resources:

100 Ways to Help Your Child and School Succeed

20 involvement ideas from the National Parent-Teacher Association

DCPS Volunteer Application




1. Bridgeland, J., DiIulio, J., & Morison, K. (2006). The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises.

2. Jeynes, W. (2005). A Meta-analysis of the relation of parental involvement to urban elementary school student academic achievement. Urban Education, 40(3): pgs. 237-269. Hill, N. & Tyson, D. (2009). Parental involvement in middle school: A meta-analytic assessment of the strategies that promote achievement.Developmental Psychology, 45(3): pgs. 730-763

3. Fantuzzo, J., McWayne, C., Perry, M., & Childs, S. (2004). Multiple dimensions of family involvement and their relations to behavioral and learning competencies for urban, low-income children. School Psychology Review, 33(4): pgs. 467-480.

4. Caspe, M. & Lopez, W. (2006). Lessons from family-strengthening interventions: Learning from evidence-based practice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project.

Family Engagement that Drives Student Achievement



Washington Teachers' Union - 1239 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE - Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 517-1477 Fax: (202) 517-0673

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