Education is a vital component of any community. A quality education provides society with college and career-ready citizens. The engagement of a community in support of VTSS ensures the continued ability of the schools to maximize student outcomes.
Family Engagement in VTSS is “...an active, interactive, dynamic, and ongoing process in which family members and key stakeholders engage as equal partners in decision-making, planning, and implementation to support children and adolescents across settings.”
Family engagement is a critical component in creating an empowered culture within schools and is a key aspect of VTSS. For this reason, schools must make a concerted effort to involve families as early and as often as possible.
For educators, in elementary schools, teacher perceptions of parents as partners in students’ education are strongly related to their decisions to remain in their school. Across all levels, there is increased trustful relationships with families, increased communication with families, and increased teacher longevity.
For students, engagement shows higher math and reading achievement, higher social skills, students adapt better to school and attend more regularly, and exhibit lower aggressive behaviors.
For families, perception of their “job description” shifts, care-givers gain confidence in their ability to share and influence their children’s learning and development, develop an increased sense of accountability to their school or neighborhood, and advocate for all children versus their children, feel more empowered to take on new challenges in terms of their educations and careers and link their personal growth with civic and political action.