That means that one of the best things that school districts can do to help students continue their college and career readiness journeys over the summer is to engage parents, guardians, and families in the process.
1. Start with proactive, transparent communication
If your district uses SchooLinks, the easiest way to foster open communication with parents is built-in. When you welcome new students, SchooLinks will create a custom code for their parent or guardian as a part of the onboarding process. Not only does this give parents a transparent view of student plans and progress, but it also puts students in charge of facilitating parent connection, making that connection more likely to stick.
2. Enlist guardians in helping to jump-start student success next year
Many states require students to create individual learning plans that parents need to approve with a signature. Even without a mandate, giving parents a clear picture of how their student's plan evolves over time is essential for building out the framework that supports it
When a parent can see that their student's individual learning plan is pointing them toward a particular career or course of study, they'll be better equipped to keep their student engaged in the summer months. That means that students can come in fresh in the fall, ready to learn and continue to work toward achieving the goals they'll continue to set in the planning process.
Pulling parents into the planning process is easy to do in SchooLinks, where individual learning plans function as living documents, not a series of forms to be filed away. Collect required guardian signatures digitally through the guardian portal or through a unique link via email. With a guardian account on SchooLinks, parents can always see the most current version of the plan and use the Message Center to talk to both counselors and students. At the same time, the information (and any questions they might have) is still top of mind.
3. Get parents involved with summer test prep support
4. Make applying for scholarships a family affair
Many families assume that students need to wait until their senior year to start applying for the scholarships that will help them offset college costs. They don't know that students can apply for good-fit scholarships much earlier!
5. Get parents engaged in college and career readiness throughout the resume-building process
A whole-student preparedness approach isn't just about planning for college. Whole-student readiness also takes long-term career goals into consideration. For a growing number of students, it includes work-based learning experience.
CTE coordinators can engage families in more than one way regarding work-based learning and logging experience hours. First, by relaying information about the opportunities that their students can take advantage of over the summer and then potentially engaging with them or their networks as industry partners in their own right.