Parents as Partners in Education: Your Role in Supporting Black Student Success

Investigator:

Funding Program:

Ontario Ministry of Education

Funding Amount:

$20,000

Funded through the Parent's Reaching Out Grant program, the overall goal of this project is to provide parents with the tools and resources to engage as effective and confident partners in the education of their children.

Decades of research have found that Black students experience worse outcomes than their peers, including other racialized peers in the Toronto District School Board. The recently completed study Towards Race Equity in Education: The Schooling of Black Students in the Greater Toronto Area, ongoing media reports of student and parent experiences, and other research confirm the persistent nature of anti-Black racism in Ontario's education system.

One key finding in this recent research is that a large proportion of Black parents are not engaged in their students' education. This was attributed to a number of factors, including parents' lack of understanding of the school system and of their need to engage with the education system in order to support the educational success of their children. Resources currently do not exist that address the specific needs and issues facing Black students in Ontario's education system nor are there supports for their parents to understand and navigate the school system to support their educational success and well-being.

With this in mind, the objectives of this project are to:

  • Increase the knowledge and understanding of parents about the experiences of Black students in the education system and the need for them to be active participants in their children's education;
  • Increase their understanding of Ontario's public education system;
  • Educate parents about their responsibilities to be partners in their children's education;
  • Educate parents about their specific roles and responsibilities at each of the various stages from JK to grade 12;
  • Provide parents of Black students with the tools and resources to effectively and confidently engage with the school system to support the academic success and well-being of their children; and to
  • Leave a legacy of tools and resources that can be accessed across the province and beyond the lifetime of the project.

This project will develop the tools and resources needed by Black parents to forge a better parent–school partnership and build positive relationships by educating parents about the Ontario school system, how to effectively engage with teachers, what questions to ask, and how to advocate for their children's right to a high-quality education.