Column by State Representative Charlotte Douglas

When it comes to student achievement at school, the research is clear about one thing: when parents are involved students get higher grades, have better social skills, and are more likely to continue their education.

In fact, recent studies have even indicated that when parents are involved at school, the performance of all children, not just their own, tend to improve.

That is why the Arkansas Department of Education in partnership with the Arkansas Board of Education launched the “My Child/My Student” campaign.

The campaign is now in its third year. To encourage conversation, the campaign provides parents with helpful information and tips they can use to discuss their child’s educational progress and goals. Additionally, the campaign provides teachers with questions, tips and resources they can use to talk with a student’s parents or guardians. For example the topics in August include questions and answers about back to school routines. It provides parents with questions to ask teachers such as “How can we make our morning schedule ensure my child is ready to learn?” and “How often should I communicate with my child’s teacher?”

And in September, the department will provide helpful information for parent teacher conferences. Each month you will find information on a new college and career readiness topic and a student safety topic.

The topics and information are posted regularly on the website www.arkansased.gov , however the most convenient way to stay up to date is to follow the agency on social media. You can find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArkansasEd and on Twitter at @ArkansasEd.

The state board of education says it is proud to take the lead, both in the state and in the nation, in being a bridge builder between schools and parents through the use of social media. The resources shared are tremendously valuable, and social media is another tactic in making sure that teachers and communities have equal access to those resources.

As you prepare to head back, we wish every parent and child a successful school year.