To put it simply, William Lee College Prep cannot provide a high-quality education without including the parent(s) of every student in the learning process. Fortune School educators and parents cannot work in isolation of each other. In order for learning to take place for every student, there must be a continuum of instruction that lasts much longer than the time students are in school. By working together as trusted partners, parents and Fortune School educators can create an educational experience for each student that allows learning to continue at home and beyond the classroom walls. Research states that:
- When parents are involved, students tend to achieve at higher levels in school, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or parents’ education level.
- The more extensive the parent involvement, the higher the student achievement.
- When parents are involved in students’ education, those students generally have higher grades and test scores, better attendance, and complete homework more consistently.
- Students whose parents are involved in their lives have higher graduation rates and greater enrollment rates in postsecondary education.
- In programs designed to involve parents in full partnerships, student achievement for disadvantaged children not only improves, but can also reach levels that are standard for middle-class children.
Because of this overwhelming evidence, William Lee College Prep believes it is paramount to include parents in the learning process. Upon enrollment, William Lee College Prep parents sign a Commitment to Excellence Contract encouraging them to provide 40 hours of completely voluntary service each year to improve the achievement of their child and the William Lee College Prep community. William Lee College Prep also provides structures to involve parents in their child’s learning and coordinate parent communication, workshops, activities, and clubs, to educate, train, and empower parents to better support their child’s pursuit of an excellent education.
Several of the activities that count as Parent Hours are listed below.
- Attending Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences and Parent Orientations
- Participating in Parent Events or Parent Group Meetings
- Buying food for parent events or for your child’s classroom ($5 = 1 hour)
- Completing at home projects for teacher or parent liaison
- Helping during after school Homework Hour
- Homework or Reading time at home with your kids
- Mentoring another Fortune School Parent
- Morning greeting (2 mornings = 1 hour of credit)
- Set up/clean up for school events
- Volunteering in your child’s classroom
There is no consequence to families if they fail to complete voluntary parent service hours. Parent volunteerism is, however, an important part of William Lee College Prep's approach to closing the achievement gap and we stand behind it as a part of our culture that calls for parents to accept responsibility for the education of their children.