How can schools partner with families?

Families Matter!

  • “A child educated only at school is an uneducated child” (George Santayana)
  • “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” (Benjamin Franklin)
  • “They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel” (Carol Buchener)
  • “Family Engagement is a strategy, not a program” (Karen Mapp)

Family-School Partnership Resources

  • Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnership  – This evidenced-based framework identifies the capacities and conditions necessary to develop and sustain effective family-school partnerships that support student learning and school improvement. This is supported by the US Department of Education and aligns with mandated requirements for schools receiving Title 1 funding.
  • National Standards for Family-School Partnership: an Implementation Guide – This is a tool for empowering families and schools to work together with an end goal of building sustainable partnership and student success. An explanation of the six standards, their importance and actionable suggestions are provided. Numerous SEA’s and LEA’s are using these standards in family engagement initiatives. To use in conjunction with the Dual Capacity Building Framework.
  • National Standards, Goals, and Indicators for Family-School Partnerships (pdf)
  • ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) – ACE Study confirms, with scientific evidence, that adversity early in life increases physical, mental and behavioral problems later in life. Severe and chronic trauma (such as living with an alcoholic parent, or watching in terror as your mom gets beat up) causes toxic stress in kids. Toxic stress damages kid’s brains. When trauma launches kids into flight, fight or fright mode, they cannot learn. It is physiologically impossible. Children who experience trauma struggle with interpersonal relationships, face cognitive deficits (including memory and language development), and overreact to everyday stress. In school, because traumatized students view the world as dangerous and misread social cues, minor events may trigger defiant, disruptive, or aggressive behavior. Alternately, they may withdraw and seem not to care. We need to change our approach from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what’s happened to you?” What is predictable is preventable!

Standards for Family-School Partnership Webinars

Standards for Family-School Partnership, webinar series facilitated by Lacy Wood, Principal TA Consultant at American Institutes for Research (AIR).

Family-School Compacts

The following examples can be adjusted to meet LEA needs.

Family-School Relationship Survey

  • Downloadable free Perception Survey tools to help educators gather feedback and engage families in their school. Panorama Education
  • Family Engagement– the degree to which families become involved with and interact with their child’s school.
  • School Climate– perception of the overall social and learning climate of the school
  • Barriers to Engagement– factors that can create challenges for families to interact with or become involved with their child’s school.
  • Family Efficacy– how confident families are with regard to key parenting skills
  • Learning Behaviors– families’ perception of their child’s learning related behaviors
  • Family Support– families’ perception of the amount of academic and social support that they provide their child with outside of school.

General Resources