To help improve students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills, more than 40 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards, a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy that focus on problem solving and are relevant to the real world. The standards outline what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.

Potential outcomes

The goal of the standards is to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete globally and thrive in their studies and the workplace, regardless of where they live.

Parental involvement

The Common Core State Standards have given rise to a new approach to teaching, learning and assessing student knowledge. To help navigate the changes and support student achievement, it is essential that families are engaged and work with their child’s school to determine how best to assist him or her.

Here are five ways to help your student thrive in the classroom.

  1. Find out your child’s learning goals for his or her new grade.

  2. Know where your child excels and where there is room to grow.

  3. Spend time in your child’s school and develop a relationship with their teachers and principal.

  4. Get the best tools to support your child’s learning at home.

  5. Look in your child’s backpack every day and frequently view the school’s parent portal.

High-quality academic standards like the Common Core are vital to raise the bar and ensure every student receives a world-class education that prepares him or her for success upon graduation from high school.

And as these standards are implemented, it is critical that families are involved in the process and that meaningful partnerships are established between families and schools.

To build effective family-school partnerships, here are five ways they can work together:

  • Welcoming all families into the school community.

    Families should be active participants in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued and connected to each other, school staff and to what students are learning and doing in class.

  • Communicating effectively.

    Engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning.

  • Supporting student success.

    Continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school.

  • Speaking up for every child.

    Families should be empowered to be advocates for their own and other children to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.

  • Sharing power.

    Be equal partners in decisions that affect children and together inform, influence and create policies, practices and programs.