Parent and Community Engagement

Parents and educators are natural allies in the effort to provide children with the best education possible.

The UFT works closely with thousands of parents across the city to help ensure that their children and all New York City students receive a great education. The union has full-time parent liaisons who engage directly with parents in every borough. We also work with parents through our many community partners. The UFT website features tools and information for parents on everything from navigating the school system to understanding the college application process.

Dial-A-Teacher

The UFT sponsors a homework help program for elementary, middle and high school students called Dial-A-Teacher. Classroom teachers answer homework questions at (212) 777-3380, Monday through Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. during the school year. The experts taking calls speak different languages, including Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and Fukanese), English, French, Haitian-Creole, Russian, Slovak and Spanish.

Albert Shanker College Scholarship Fund

Each year, the United Federation of Teachers proudly awards nearly $1 million in undergraduate and graduate scholarships to academically excellent and financially eligible students from New York City public schools.

Home-School Connections

Cordial and forthright conversations with parents can create a true home-school partnership, and it’s best to foster that throughout the school year when students are doing well, and not just when there’s a problem.

Here is some advice for arranging and conducting productive meetings:

  • Find out what your school’s policies and procedures are;
  • Begin with a positive statement about the child;
  • Focus on joint goals for student achievement;
  • Enlist the parent’s/guardian’s support for student success; and
  • End with a summary of next steps for yourself, parents and the student.

In addition to holding face-to-face meetings with parents or guardians, individually or as a group, members may also want to:

  • Have telephone conversations with parents;
  • Correspond in writing, such as e-mails;
  • Create newsletters for parents or guardians; and
  • Create content for school or class websites.
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