Parent engagement in schools is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents (See Box 1). School staff may already engage parents in a variety of ways that support teens’ academic success, such as through parent-teacher conferences and open houses. Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health, a resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), presents six types of engagement that can support not only academic success but also physical health and well-being: Communicating with parents; Providing parenting support; Providing a variety of volunteer opportunities; Supporting learning at home; Encouraging parents to participate in decision-making; Collaborating with the community. These six types of parent engagement activities can further support school-based efforts focused specifically on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Parent engagement in schools has largely been discussed in relation to academic success and other health outcomes not specific to HIV/STD prevention. This document is unique in that it presents information that links parent engagement in schools to HIV/STD prevention. Combined with available implementation guidance (see resources section, page 3), this information will help state and local education agency staff better select and implement parent engagement strategies specific to HIV/STD prevention. This resource can be shared directly with school staff, parents, and other stakeholders so they better understand how engaging parents in schools may improve teens’ sexual health behaviors and outcomes.
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