Using the Family Guide to Engage Middle School Parents and Guardians

Posted by Texas OnCourse Leader Fellow Jennifer Sullivan on Sep 27, 2019 11:59:06 AM

As educators, we know that having buy-in at home is imperative when it comes to college and career readiness. Parents and guardians have enormous influence when it comes to deadlines, timelines, and planning for the future.

The transition from middle to high school is a critical touch point for family engagement. New responsibilities, new exams, and the ever-nearing prospect of high school graduation abound. Many parents do not understand the language educators use, nor do they grasp the expectations and requirements their child will soon face. That’s where the Texas OnCourse Family Guide comes in.

This free resource not only provides opportunities for discussion and clarification at home, it’s also a great tool for a parent night. Hosting a parent night at your school is the perfect opportunity to introduce parents to the Family Guide in person and review its helpful resources.

Download the Family Guide

What can I expect from the Family Guide?

Texas OnCourse’s Family Guide introduces parents and guardians to topics that will aid them as they prepare to transition their child from middle school to high school. The family guide is broken into two units – Purposeful Planning and Personal and Professional Toolkit – that make the guide family friendly. The chapters include topics like college and career readiness, exploring career pathways, understanding endorsements, and the high school personal graduation plan. Each chapter is full of valuable articles and discussion points for parents. 

How do I use the Family Guide on parent night?

  1. The Family Guide is easily printable. The most effortless approach is to simply give it to parents to take home.

  2. You could also set up stations for each of the four units. This way, parents will have the opportunity to connect with their child’s counselors and educators in person, using the discussion topics included in the guide. For example, in unit 2 chapter 1 there are several resources that discuss what it means to be college and career ready. This information could easily be disseminated to parents. 

  3. Unit 1 chapter 2 includes a Career Portfolio Activity. Students could complete the associated worksheet together with their parents or guardians.

Career Portfolio Worksheet

4. The Family Guide is full of student success tips that would be helpful for parents to hear. Sharing the tips in a platform-type manner is one suggestion.Life Skills for Your Student

5. At the conclusion of unit 1 chapter 2, there is a fun activity that encourages each middle school student with the help of their parent or guardian to create a Six-Year Dream Plan. This could be a stand-alone activity at your family night.
6 Year Dream Plan

We see students for 8 hours a day, but the other 16 hours need to be stable and supportive for students to succeed. Involving parents and guardians in the educational journey will ensure 360-degree coverage for your students. Be sure to check out the Family Guide today, and if you like it, share it with a colleague!

Download the Family Guide

Topics: Middle School, Lessons & Curriculum, Educators