Parent Tips: How you can help your children succeed

Reading TogetherPartners for Public Education get timely updates on education policy decisions impacting Pennsylvania children and their schools as well as resources on issues important to parents and caregivers. Get a tutorial on the Keystone Exams, tips to spur creativity in your children, the facts about school funding, and hear what Pennsylvania educators advise to help your child learn, grow, and stay safe.

Check out these Partners for Public Education web posts with tips and resources for you to help the children in your life succeed.

     


Story Archive

Bring good questions to parent-teacher conferences

October 2017

Take the opportunity to get valuable insights into your child's strengths and the areas needing improvement.

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Let's #PromotePeace this year

August 2017

We asked Pennsylvania school professionals how students and parents can #PromotePeace in schools, homes, and communities.

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Welcome back. Now take a breath.

August 2017

It's time to start a new school year. Time to meet new teachers, make new friends, learn new lessons, and embark on new adventures. For some kids, all this can come with anxiety and apprehensions about what lies ahead.

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Got active kids? Keep them safe on the playing field

July 2017

More than 38 million children and adolescents participate in sports in the United States, so there are bound to be some injuries. Here's what you can do to limit potential injuries when your child participates in sports.

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#FindYourPark and take a hike

July 2017

Going for a nature hike is another great way to get kids outside and appreciating nature.

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There's nothing to do … are you kidding?

July 2017

Sometimes you can send kids outside to play, and that's that. Sometimes, you hear those dreaded four words: "There's nothing to do." Your response? "Sure there is. And here are a few ideas."

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What should adults do if they observe signs of anxiety in children?

January 2017

When children show signs of anxiety, experts say it is important to reassure them without denying the feeling.

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What are common signs of anxiety in children?

January 2017

Children may show signs of excessive worrying in and out of school. Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, such as stomachaches, headaches, problems sleeping, and dizziness.

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Supporting children with anxiety

January 2017

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Parents, guardians, and other caring adults may become concerned when children experience feelings of excessive fear or anxiety out of proportion to the situation or inappropriate to their age.

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Talk to your kids about online threats

December 2016

The digital world is teeming with opportunities to learn in new ways and connect with friends. It can also be a dangerous place for kids and teens in the age of cyber bullying.

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Not all screen time is created equally

December 2016

The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed new tools and recommendations to help parents navigate the digital world.

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Staying safe on the school bus

August 2016

When your kids head for the bus each morning, you want to know that they will be safe throughout the day. Here are some tips to keep in mind as a new school year gets underway.

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Meet the new teacher

August 2016

Pennsylvania school professionals suggest questions you may want to ask during parent-teacher meetings this fall.

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The most wonderful time of the year

August 2016

It's the most wonderful time of the year. That's right. Back to school.

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Mix it up this summer

July 2016

School's out for the summer, but kids continue to learn - every day, in all types of situations. Sometimes all they need is a caring adult to listen to their stories and talk about what's going on in their lives.

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Reducing kids' screen time starts with grownups

December 2015 

We've all been there. Some household chore needs to be done, but a child is demanding our attention. Fire up the iPad or turn on the TV, and the child is silently staring into the warm glow of a screen. The problem is that as tablets, smartphones, and gaming devices become ever-present in our lives, more and more children are spending too much time in front of those screens.

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Simple steps to reduce student absenteeism

October 2015

Partners for Public Education surveyed Pennsylvania educators and support professionals about what parents and guardians can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom.

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Talking to your child's teachers about the PSSAs and Keystone Exams

October 2015 

Parents and guardians may have questions for their children's teachers about the Pennsylvania System of School Assessments (PSSAs) and Keystone Exams.

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Make the most of parent-teacher conferences

October 2015

Parent-teacher conferences should not be an after-thought — another thing to rush to before or after work. Take the opportunity to get valuable insights into your children's strengths and the areas on which they need to work.

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Parents who advocate 'make change happen'

October 2015 

When something needs to change for the better in our public schools, parents are the ones who get it done. That is how Tara Purcell of the Pennsylvania PTA sees it.

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So how was school today?

October 2015

Ask your children questions that will engage them and get them thinking about their day. Blogger Liz Evans of Simple Simon and Company offers some help, with 25 ways to ask your child and 28 ways to ask your teen, "So how was school today?"

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Parental involvement is key to student success

October 2015 

When schools, families, and communities work together to support learning, students tend to earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, stay in school longer, and enroll in higher-level programs.

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Want your kids to stay healthy at school? Teach them to wash their hands.

August 2015 

American students miss nearly 22 million school days each year just because of the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

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Steps to take when your child needs to use an EpiPen at school

August 2015 

A growing number of students have allergies and many of these students may need to be treated with an epinephrine auto-injector, known more commonly as an EpiPen, when they have an anaphylactic allergic reaction at school.

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What this year's PSSA scores mean (and what they don't)

August 2015 

Last spring, Pennsylvania students in grades 3-8 were the first to take a new set of PSSA exams, developed following the state's adoption of the PA Core Standards in fall 2013.

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Pa. will waive background check fees for school volunteers

June 2015

Beginning July 25, Pennsylvania will waive fees for adults who must obtain background checks in order to volunteer their time with children at Pennsylvania schools.

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After-school programs help kids succeed

May 2015

As one school year ends, many parents are already thinking about the next one, including which after-school program their children will attend. High quality after-school programs keep kids safe, inspire learning, and help working families.  

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Testing tips to help students succeed

April 2015 

Standardized tests can be stressful for students, parents, and educators. Parents and other caring adults can employ strategies to help make test-taking less stressful for students:  

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Inspiring a lifelong love of music and the arts

March 2015 

Arts and music are a vibrant, vital, and necessary part of the curriculum for Pennsylvania's students, schools, and communities. The lessons learned in the classroom, the theater, the art museum, the concert hall, and the world beyond are helping to produce the next generation of critical and creative thinkers.

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New background check requirements for parent volunteers in schools

February 2015 

Act 153 of 2014 (known as the Child Protective Services Law) requires any unpaid, adult volunteer who has direct contact, routine interaction, or responsibility for the welfare of children in public schools to provide a series of background checks.

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New requirements for parents volunteering in schools

February 2015 

Pennsylvania's new Child Protective Services Law requires any unpaid, adult volunteer who has direct contact, routine interaction, or responsibility for the welfare of children in public schools to provide a series of background checks.

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28 ways to ask your teens 'How was school today?' without asking them 'How was school today?'

January 2015

Often when parents ask, “How was school today?”, they get one-word answers like “Fine” or “Good.” Blogger Liz Evans and her husband -- both high school teachers -- came up with 28 ways to ask your teen “How was school today?” WITHOUT asking “How was school today?”

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Safe driving starts with involved parents

January 2015 

Teens with parents who monitor and set rules for driving "reported fewer risky driving behaviors and half the crash risk in the last year as teens who described their parents as less involved," according to TeenDriverSource.org.

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Reading the warning signs of suicide in a young person

January 2015 

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people between 10 and 19 years of age. The good news is parents, teachers, and friends are in key positions to identify the warning signs in young people and to get them help.

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Got active kids? Here's how you can keep them safe on the playing field

January 2015 

With more than 38 million children and adolescents participating in sports in the United States, there are bound to be some injuries. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the most common types of sport-related injuries among children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness.  

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A parent's guide to social media apps

December 2014 

With new technology comes a seemingly endless rollout of social media apps marketed to tweens and teens — and headaches for parents and families struggling to keep track of children's screen time, stay involved, and keep an eye out for bullying and other problems often associated with social media.

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How much screen time should your child have?

December 2014 

Children today have seemingly unending choices when it comes to media. As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes, many children and teens have few rules guiding their use of media and, as a result, are spending way too much time staring at screens.

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Migrating the digital divide with our children

December 2014 

"What century are you teaching in?" This question was posed by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author and internationally recognized education expert, speaking at a professional learning session I attended. She asks this question to point out that a great many of the classrooms of today look eerily similar to those of our own and even our parents' childhoods.

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Education in the digital age

December 2014 

The digital age also has brought with it numerous opportunities for young people to learn and has opened the door to new careers in science and technology.

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Teach your children to be safe on the school bus

October 2014 

When you kiss your children goodbye each morning as they head out the door to school, you want to know that they will be safe throughout the day. For most children, the school day starts on the way to the bus stop.

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Wonder which questions to ask during parent-teacher conferences?

October 2014 

We asked professionals who work in Pennsylvania schools to recommend questions for parents and guardians to ask in order to have productive parent-teacher meetings. Here are some ideas to consider.

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Parent engagement has significant impact on student achievement

October 2014 

The research is clear and consistent: Parental, family, and community involvement in education has an effect on both academic performance and school improvement.

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What parents can do to reduce absenteeism

September 2014 

Partners for Public Education asked educators and school support professionals from across Pennsylvania what parents can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom. Here are some of the suggestions they had to offer.

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Staying healthy reduces absenteeism and helps students succeed

September 2014 

Did you know that the “common cold” results in 22 million missed school days each year for American students? That’s a lot of lost learning time for students, not to mention the discomfort, medical bills, additional care arrangements, and other concerns that come with unexpected sick days.  

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Preparing your child for kindergarten

July 2014 

If you have a child who will be entering kindergarten this year, you no doubt have high expectations, as well as some stress and uncertainty for the new experience. 

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Get involved: it’s essential for student success

July 2014 

Even though the kids are still enjoying summer break, it’s not too early to think about the coming school year. The good news is that parents, families, and communities can help students be more successful.

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Understanding Keystone Exam remediation

June 2014 

Last October, the Pennsylvania Board of Education passed regulations that require all students to take state exams, initially in three subjects – algebra, biology, and English literature. Known as the Keystone Exams, these end-of-course tests will be administered up to three times each year, in the winter, spring, and summer.

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Help your child avoid the summer brain drain

June 2014 

School’s out, but that doesn’t mean that your child should stop learning. There are plenty of online resources to help students focus on learning while still enjoying summer break.

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Tips to avoid the summer learning slump

May 2014 

The Pennsylvania State Education Association's Solutions That Work (STW) initiative includes compelling information about policies and practices to maximize academic learning time in school while supporting learning outside of school.

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Understanding college and university financial aid offers

May 2014