Family Engagement

Family engagement and community involvement in education correlate with higher academic performance, student well-being, and school improvement. Regardless of socio-economic status, parent education, or family structure, ongoing and consistent family engagements contribute to school and community success. Family engagement is a critical component of Expanded School Mental Health.
At the school level, practices that promote family engagement include:

  • formal policies and practices are in place to ensure family access to the school and to strengthen family engagement.
  • opportunities throughout the school year to enhance family/staff relationships (e.g. family meetings with teachers and counselors to share grade level expectations, sharing strategies to support student work at home
  • frequent and clear communications with families about services and supports through the student handbook, website, social media, text messaging, and family events
  • two-way communication (positive phone calls, open door policies, family home visits by relevant school staff to build relationships and provide support)
  • a welcoming environment, family friendly culture, including a welcoming space to engage families (i.e. parent friendly signage and customer service training for staff)
  • programs and activities that engage families in promoting student achievement (e.g., student work displayed throughout the building, advisory councils, volunteers for workshops, family grade level meetings, open houses, school projects and fairs, etc.)
  • activities to develop families’ self-confidence related to school/family partnerships (e.g., community schools, inviting families to be involved in planning and making decisions, a school that is open and accessible)
  • professional learning for families and staff, including opportunities to learn together (i.e. course content, school crisis plans, student and parent support services, parenting skills, health, personalized education plans, child development and learning expectations, etc.)
  • helping support families meet basic needs using a community schools approach (connecting families, program staff, schools, and community resources)