CDC Releases New Resource for Involving Parents in School Health

Posted on May 7, 2012


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) has announced the release of Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health. This new resource defines and describes parent engagement and identifies specific strategies and actions that schools can take to increase parent engagement in school health activities. This document was developed in collaboration with expert researchers, public health practitioners, and educators.

Parent engagement in schools can promote positive health and academic behaviors among children and adolescents. Research shows that parent engagement in schools is closely linked to better student behavior, higher academic achievement, and enhanced social skills. Parent engagement also makes it more likely that children and adolescents will choose healthier behaviors, such as avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.

CDC synthesized research and best practices related to parent engagement in schools to develop the strategies and actions recommended in this publication.  Specifically, the document describes strategies for connecting with parents, engaging parents in school health activities, and sustaining parent engagement.

In a school setting, these three overarching strategies need to occur simultaneously to foster successful parent engagement. It is important to note, though, that not every strategy and action in the document will be appropriate for every school. Schools and school districts should determine which actions are most feasible and appropriate, according to the needs of the school and available resources.