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SAP Bulletin 5: Parents

Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) Bulletin 5 Parents is designed to support school administrators and personnel, non-profit organizations, and agencies who are involved with SAPs.

Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap

Background

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, children’s earliest interactions with drugs occur in the family, and family situations sometimes heighten a child’s risk for later drug abuse and other risk behaviors. For example, some of these situations are:

Families can provide protection from later alcohol and other drug abuse when there is:

How a Student Assistance Program Can Help

Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) can recommend various parenting programs, such as Active Parenting and Strengthening Families.

Parent Intervention

According to Boys Town External link opens in new window or tab. , there are things parents can do to encourage a sense of closeness and unity, build strong relationships with, and instill values in their children. One factor is school success.

Although schools are primarily responsible for children’s academic learning, parents need to work with schools to make this happen. Parents can do this in various ways:

  1. Participate in their children's education. This means attending parent-teacher conferences, reviewing the papers their children bring home each day, and ensuring that their children are working to their full potential.
  2. Support their children's teachers. Teaching is a difficult job under the best of circumstances. If a teacher calls to report on a child's behavior, parents should take the report seriously. If their children have engaged in inappropriate behavior, parents should address this and correct their children. The parents should make their expectations for their children’s behavior in school clear and the same as the teachers’. If parents disagree with a teacher, they should discuss their concerns in private—never in front of the child.
  3. Be active in their children's school. There are many ways to become involved, and a call to the teacher or the school office is the first step. Often, parents are motivated to work with their children's schools during the early years but tend to lose interest as their children get older. But studies show that preteens are much more likely to succeed if their parents take an active interest in how they are doing in school (America Goes Back to School).

Teacher and School Intervention

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are several ways to encourage parent and family involvement.

Additional Information

Active Parenting External link opens in new window or tab.

Strengthening Families Program External link opens in new window or tab.

America Goes Back to School External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions: Hilva Chan | hchan@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0194 
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