The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships focus on what families, schools, and communities can do together to support positive student outcomes. Each of the six standards includes quality indicators for successful partnerships. The standards are available on the National PTA website. Additional information on family engagement is available at the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center.
Within the VTSS framework, an empowering culture is a key component that supports the effective instruction of students. Families should be involved from the beginning as a school creates an empowering culture to support the implementation of VTSS. Families need information on how data for VTSS will be collected, how it will be used, and what supports will be provided to their child. The supports provided through VTSS do not replace a parent’s right to request an assessment of their child for special education or any other entitlement services offered by the school.
We are pleased to offer Family Engagement as a new roster of our webinars. During the webinars, you will find helpful resources dedicated to supporting you in the promotion of family engagement for families and schools and learning how it supports school improvement. The Family Engagement Webinar home page lists all the webinars per school year and provides topics, registration links, materials, and recordings of all as they occur.
Requirements for family engagement are found in almost every federal and state education statute and regulation. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 defines parent involvement as "the participation of parents in regular, two-way and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring that parents play an integral role in assisting the child's learning." The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures parents have the opportunity to be members of any decision-making team for their child. The Virginia Board of Education recognized the importance of family engagement.
Enhancing Family-School Collaboration with Diverse Families This brief is designed to help inform school leaders about how intentional collaboration with diverse families can be created through environments in which educators work alongside families on behalf of the students they serve. Recommendations for action are included.
This publication outlines concepts and strategies for promoting family engagement for families and schools. Key contexts include foundations for supporting families and children at all grade levels, engaging families through School-wide Positive Behavior Support, translating strategies to practice, aligning family engagement strategies with school themes, and navigating education systems and PBIS from the perspective of a parent and teacher.
America’s Promise created this document that helps families and schools understand why we should focus on attendance and how attendance impacts school success. It offers suggestions for what schools, community agencies, and parents can do.
Hanover Research’s brief reviews the importance of creating a welcoming school environment, outlines three steps for developing an equitable communication plan, and offers a checklist of strategies.
Note: this link takes you to Hanover Research’s website, but the user still has to enter the name, organization, email, etc., then they will get a link to view the PDF.
In this publication, Dr. Joyce Epstein of Johns Hopkins University has developed a framework for defining six different types of parent involvement. This framework assists educators in developing school and family partnership programs. The six types of involvement include: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community.
This interview with Karen Mapp shares her description of family engagement and how it can support school improvement. She addresses how schools need to know their school’s culture and build trust to make sure the best practices are in place. Karen discusses how ESSA is a step forward in building the language for this work.
The Center for Disease Control offers this publication to define and describe parent engagement and identify specific strategies and actions that schools can take to increase parent engagement in schools’ health promotion activities. Strategies are organized around a “Connect, Engage, Sustain” approach to family engagement.
From the PBIS Leadership Forum Roundtable Dialogue comes a practice brief that provides an overview of family engagement, and offers family engagement measures and engagement strategies at all tiers.
The Kansas Technical Assistance System Network (TASN) has created this families’ guide that describes the basic components of any MTSS process and includes questions families might want to pose to schools to learn more about the MTSS process. The guide offers families ways to get involved in the process.
This overview offers indicators and related goals and strategies for each of six key components of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) in MTSS. This is a useful framework for districts’ efforts to measure and implement FACE.
This document from Pennsylvania State University is a helpful resource for Pre-K and Family Engagement. It addresses the barrier of educating low-income families on the importance of preschool for positive outcomes.
This resource from Head Start and the Early Childhood and Learning Center reviews the What, How and Why of Family Engagement. The focus is on why and how parents should be engaged with young children in preparing for school.
Families and caregivers should consider using positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in their homes on a daily basis. It is especially helpful when events disrupt normal routines – events like worldwide health pandemics. This practice brief provides recommendations for families and caregivers on how to use PBIS to continue to support their students’ social and emotional growth and minimize behavioral disruptions in the home.
This guide highlights 5 key practices for teachers and families to support all students, including students with disabilities, at school and home. For each practice, the guide provides (a) tips for teachers to support students with disabilities during instruction; (b) tips for families that educators can share to support or enhance learning at home, especially during periods of remote instruction; and (c) free-access resources that include strategies shown to be effective by research (e.g., informational guides, downloadable materials, research-based programs).
In partnership with Formed Families Forward, a community parent resource center, the VTSS produced a set of three brief trauma training videos designed for wide use by educator and family audiences. The videos focus on building trauma awareness, responding to trauma and traumatic stress, and supporting trauma-sensitive schools. Videos feature cited best practices content as well as personal interviews with educators, clinicians, and families impacted by trauma. All videos emphasize the value of and strategies for building resilience at home and at school.
Three Family Engagement in VTSS videos were created to highlight specific strategies for school teams to consider as they build momentum around family-school partnerships and strengthen skills to meaningfully engage families in multi-tiered systems.
A new video, Family Engagement with Schools: Strategies to Build Strong Partnerships (designed for families and community members), offers practical and specific tips for supporting children and youth through family engagement. Fact sheets accompany all videos.