Question: Parent Involvement in Middle School

Why does parental involvement seem to drop so drastically in middle school, and is it more drastic depending on the area you live, i.e. rural, suburban, or urban?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
Parent involvement changes in middle school. Kids aren't as enthusiastic to have mom and dad around. Class structure changes significantly, as kids move from teacher to teacher rather than staying in the same room all day. And the curriculum becomes more sophisticated. As a result, the elementary school model of involvement, with room parents, lots of family events, and parents interacting in a very direct way with kids doesn't work as well. But there are lots of effective middle school parent groups, and middle school parents still tend to be involved in their own children's education--supervising homework, communicating with the teacher, etc. While some of the day-to-day mechanics of involvement may change based on factors like how close parents live to the school, how comfortable parents feel about school and education in general, etc., I'd say the biggest difference is in how well an individual school focuses on building involvement and a sense of community -- whether that school is urban, suburban, or rural. You might try one of of the Regional Educational Laboratories to see whether any research has been done on that specific topic. I know REL Northeast and Islands runs an excellent reference desk.

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