Start the school year off right by discussing and signing the Parent-Child School Contract reprinted below. The Contract emphasizes some basic habits and principles that have been shown to contribute to academic success, including school attendance, persistent effort, practice and studying, positive attitude, and high expectations. The Contract allows you and your child to agree on rewards for following the Contract principles and consequences for not doing so. This gives you the chance to have a heart to heart discussion about school and studying and to reinforce your expectations that learning takes even more than going to school and doing homework. It also takes a lot of additional hard work to really know and master a subject. There may even be some “teachable moments” in just having the discussion about what the child “deserves” for success and how hard the child needs to work both at school and home. It’s a good idea to revisit the Contract at least every report card period to see what is working and what is not. You should make your own changes and adjustments to the Contract to fit your child’s situation.
The Contract was created by uthe W.E.B. Du Bois Society, a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving parental engagement and bridging the achievement gap between Black students and their peers. The Society is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is headed by Ms. Etienne LeGrand.
Sustained parental commitment to set high expectations, instill success-oriented habits of mind, and establish the conditions for School success can contribute to their child’s academic achievement. It’s time to make sure that all of our children are prepared to be academically successful and ready to compete.
Students who miss too many classes end up doing poorly, withdrawing, or requiring significant help in the form of one-on-one meetings or tutoring in order to catch up. Overall, evidence suggests regular attendance matters.
Master what you learn
Students who “practice” what they’ve learned in the classroom by studying alone or with others have improved mastery and increased knowledge. Successful practice may lead to success in test taking which can lead to improved self-confidence, and improved test-taking ability more generally.
Effort is key
Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Persistence, tenacity and dedication are behaviors exhibited by successful people. Succeeding in school is no different.
Behave as though you believe you can achieve
Jesse Jackson often says, “It’s your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude.” You make the difference between your success and failure. Make no excuses.
Do your best
Set high expectations, realistic goals and work your plan. Keep raising your sights and never give up.
I promise to abide by the contract outlined above. If I meet the terms of this contract, not only will I create positive options and choices for myself, in addition my family will recognize my behavior and performance as we have agreed. If I break any part of this contract, I will accept the consequences as we have agreed. I understand this is an evolving contract and promise to make myself available to discuss these rules and their consequences when necessary.
Signature of Student & Date
I promise to do all I can to help my child succeed in meeting the terms of this contract. I promise to encourage my child to persist, when giving up may be the easier thing to do. I promise to inspire my child to believe that he or she can expand his or her intellect and achieve anything with consistent, dedicated effort. I promise to acknowledge in small and big ways the effort my child undertakes to succeed in school. I understand this is an evolving contract and promise to make myself available to discuss these terms, their consequences and incentives when necessary.
Signature of Parent(s)/Guardian(s) & Date