Parents Matter

Project Website

Parents, family members and guardians are a child’s first teachers. They instill the foundational values, habits and attitudes their children need to succeed in school and in life. Schools must communicate effectively to parents the pivotal role that they play in their child’s education. Parent nights, group emails and a list of resources may increase involvement, but they do not promote engagement, and certainly do not create a partnership. Schools at all levels must foster an enduring partnership between parents, family members, guardians and educators.

To make a significant, positive impact on students’ academic, social and emotional success, parents must become part of the fabric of the school. True partnerships are built on trusting relationships over time. Each week shared together, each activity shared, each conversation staff and parents have, and each barrier acknowledged and removed encourages forward steps down the successful collaborative pathway.

The purpose of Parents Matter is to provide parents, school districts and educators with the most current research, the "best of the best" resources and practical tools in order to create a school community that integrates all stakeholders in student learning in a way that is:

  • Systemic - aligned to core goals
  • Integrated - embedded into structures and processes designed to meet goals
  • Authentic - based on real conversations, real interactions and relationships
  • Sustainable - operates with adequate resources that are continually strengthened and improved

Parents Matter instills in parents and family members, the confidence they need in their own lives so they can steward and advocate for their children. Parents Matter offers a mix of theory, strategy and practical takeaways that create the building blocks for long-term success. It includes implementation guides, field-tested workshop activities, highly regarded books and in-person and webinar training. Parents Matter moves interactions to a deeper level, so parents are a part of decision making, goal setting, deeper learning, mentoring other parents and new teachers, collaborating with the entire school community to enhance the culture.

Pathfinder Services of ND (PSND) will be implementing a new initiative in 2019, called Parents Matter. This initiative will offer activities to increase the

understanding of engagement and to offer strategies and resources that promote sustainable partnerships with parents, schools, and community. PSND will meet this goal by offering in-person facilitator workshops on how to build sustainable relationships with families using the Parent Matter pathway. This pathway utilizes a needs assessment for parents recognizing the challenges that parents face, an attitudes and aspirations assessment assessing what matters most and why, a mattering survey assessing the beliefs, attitudes and perceptions that inform how parents view their role, a teacher survey assessing how teachers perceive their role and the role of parents, and strategies to identify and overcome the barriers to partnership.


  • Access to Technical Assistance
  • Resources to Support Effective Home/School Communication
  • Supporting Peer-Mentoring
  • Access to National Speakers in Parent Engagement

Parents Matter’s objective is to addresses partnership problems and challenges and provides a framework with which to begin. Using the strategies and ideas in Parents Matter will encourage movement beyond the traditional parent and teacher roles and encourage every parent to be involved as a full partner in their child’s education.

  • Parents Matter offers a differentiated and proven way to accomplish this goal.
  • Parents Matter is more than a program – it‘s a research-based catalyst in the creation of a powerful and enduring parent-educator partnership.
  • Parents Matter instills in parents and family members the confidence they need to steward and advocate for their children resulting in academic success.
  • Parents Matter provides educators with tools and strategies for building a classroom community.