Annual surveys and interest in school volunteer programs show that parents and guardians are more involved in children’s education.
Katherine Higgins, better known as “Granny K,” is back inside a Michigan second-grade classroom for another year of volunteering.
She found her passion for encouraging young students by way of the Americorps Seniors Foster Grandparent program.
It pairs older adults with students to serve as mentors.
“They love that granny is here because sometimes they want to come to me instead of going to the teacher," Higgins said.
Meanwhile, in Texas, parents are signing up to patrol school campuses as an added layer of safety. The program is new in that district and hopes to train enough adults to have three on campus at all times.
Maria Deochoa a parent in the district, signed up to take part.
“Everything that’s going on at the schools, I just want to be involved with my son and be around him," Deochoa said.
The National Parent Teacher Association, in partnership with Learning Hero, takes an annual pulse of parents’ feelings on their children’s education.
It has seen a significant shift in attitudes from pre-pandemic to now. In 2019 parents indicated that they placed primary responsibility for school success squarely on their children.
In 2020, parents because deeply engaged in remote learning.
Last year, the same survey found parents were increasingly involved but still lacked understanding about academic achievement and if their child was ready for the next grade.
Then in 2022, parents indicated they were more united than ever with educators and ready to overcome barriers to student success.
Anna King is president of the National Parent Teacher Association.
“Even our high school students were able to find their voices to advocate for themselves," King said.
She stressed education involvement could look different for every family. It can mean volunteering for some and attending meetings for others, but it can also be as simple as making sure your child is reading at home.
The National PTA has resources on its website to help caregivers and parents engage with their child’s school.