Parent Resource Center

spencer_mg_9563Parent involvement is an essential ingredient in a student’s school success, but finding the best way to get engaged in your child’s education can sometimes be a daunting task. How do I find the best school? What do I do if my child has special needs?  How can I have a better relationship with my child’s teacher?  Our resource center provides access to resources and stories on topics beneficial to parents.

Catalyst coverage

Attendance matters for success
What do you think is the most important factor in determining whether your child will graduate? The type of school he or she attends? The quality of the curriculum? The caliber of the teachers? Test scores? Race or economic status? Would you believe the answer is none of the above? According to researchers from the University of Chicago, there is one key factor that trumps all these others, and that is your child’s attendance record. (Also in Spanish)

Common Core State Standards: New Expectations for teaching and learning
The Common Core State Standards are national learning goals for kindergarten through 12th grade, aimed at preparing students for college or a career.  Find out how these new goals impact schools, how they will affect students and what you as a parent can do to help your child meet these more rigorous academic goals. (Also in Spanish)

Special education: A primer for parents
Here are the rules of the road for obtaining specialized services for your child, such as how to get your child evaluated for a possible learning disability, how to find an appropriate program and advice on what to do and who to turn to if you run into roadblocks. (Also inSpanish)

Improving parent-teacher relationships
Here are ways to build a relationship with your child’s teachers and what steps you can take if your parent/teacher relationships and communication are less than ideal. (Also in Spanish)

Parent-friendly schools boost learning
When parents are involved in a school, the climate is better and schools are safer. Children also tend to thrive. Find out how one school rolled out the welcome mat for parents and how a second school relies on the clerk to make the environment friendly. (Also in Spanish)

Preschool matters: Here’s why
It may look like children in preschool are playing, but important learning is going on. Research has proven the importance of high-quality early learning.  Take a visual tour to see the elements that make for good early education. (Also in Spanish)

Middle grades are more important than you think
Middle-school students have different needs than their younger counterparts and their older peers in high school.  Educating pre-teens requires more than just providing academic instruction.  Find out why and what you can do. (Also in Spanish)

Freshman year: the make-it or break-it year
Grades and attendance in the first year of high school lay the foundation for success—or failure—in the next three.  Find out what research says about the importance of freshman year and read about how one school specifically supports its 9th graders, as well as what parents can do to find the best high school for their teenager. (Also inSpanish)

Teaching skills for school and life
Find out how children and teens can benefit in school from learning social and emotional skills.  Also, a former CPS student, now an adult, reflects back on how social-emotional skills helped shape his life. (Also in Spanish)


Parents: Having their say
In four guest columns, parents talk about issues that hit home for them.

Elise Burks: South Side children will be hurt most by plan to move ChiArts

Joy Clendenning: Facilities plan lacked parent, community involvement

Jahwoundee Mason: Why charters gave me a stronger parent voice

Laura Rabb Morgan: Teach social-emotional learning for better schools, safer neighborhoods