Schools and children can benefit when educators support families’ involvement in school governance and other ways to influence school practices.

Click on a grade level below to find resources on how to encourage family engagement in shared decision-making and help parents advocate for their children and schools.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Articles

  • A New Study Reveals Much About How Parents Really Choose Schools
    This report on a study of what parents are looking for in a school focuses on four charter schools in New Orleans Parish.
    (2015) NPR
  • ABCs of Male Involvement
    This article presents several effective strategies for engaging men in school-related decision-making, particularly for involving them in PTA.
    National PTA (NPTA)
  • Building Parent Leadership
    This manual for school personnel addresses benefits of parent leadership, a variety of potential leadership roles for parents, and effective ways to engage parents in leadership positions.
    (2013) Georgia Department of Education
  • Connecting with Parents in the Early Years
    This book covers a broad range of issues and related research regarding interactions between early childhood programs and the families they serve, including the role of relational trust and the need for a variety of ways of communicating with families.
    (2003) Early Childhood & Parenting Collaborative
  • Families as Advocates and Leaders
    This resource, part of a Research to Practice series, discusses practices that research has shown to be promising or effective, related to involving parents in advocacy and leadership in early childhood programs.
    (2013) Office of Head Start
  • Family Engagement and Ongoing Child Assessment
    This article discusses the principles and effective practices involved in sharing information from assessment with families.
    (2011) Office of Head Start
  • Family Engagement Within Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
    This article presents a framework for systematic family engagement in the context of school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), with the goal of enhancing support for students across settings.
    (2016) Preventing School Failure Journal
  • Handbook on Family and Community Engagement
    This collection of brief papers covers a wide range of topics related to family and community engagement, including the “curriculum of the home,” parents as leaders, and students’ readiness for college and career.
    (2011) Academic Development Institute
  • How Can High-Poverty Schools Engage Families and the Community?
    The authors discuss a range of issues related to high-poverty schools and family/community engagement, and describe some promising practices for enhancing how such schools engage families and their communities.
    (2016) Edutopia
  • How Districts Can Lay the Groundwork for Lasting Family Engagement
    This newsletter discusses 6 “insights” from research into family engagement and suggests approaches districts can take to specific related issues.
    (2014) SEDL
  • Illinois Family Engagement Framework Guide
    This guide is meant to be a resource for Illinois school and district leaders, as well as families, to use in planning, implementing, and evaluating family engagement practices.
    (2016) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • Illinois Family Engagement Standards for Effective Practice
    The four main standards for effective family engagement practice are linked here to more detailed descriptions to assist with planning and implementation.
    (2015) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • Improving Family and Community Engagement Through Sharing Data
    This briefing paper focuses on general strategies and approaches to improve the sharing of data with family and community to foster improved engagement, with some specific suggestions for ways to disseminate information to families and other stakeholders.
    (2012) Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC)
  • Involving Refugee Parents in Their Children’s Education
    This article addresses cultural, language/literacy, and logistical considerations often encountered by school staff when working with refugee families, and suggests optimal practices for engaging the families in their children’s schooling.
    (2007) Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS)
  • Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships
    This article describes the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for family-school engagement, and presents three case studies to discuss specific goals and conditions that help schools move toward toward effective family engagement efforts.
    (2013) SEDL
  • PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
    NPTA’s standards, based on research into family involvement, are a useful resources for school personnel as they design and evaluate efforts to engage families.
    (2009) National PTA (NPTA)

Videos / webinars

Podcasts

Websites

  • Family and Community Involvement in Student Learning
    This Web page provides brief descriptions and links to Webinars and other resources produced by SEDL for professionals involved in efforts to engage families with their children’s schools.
    SEDL
  • Family Engagement in Illinois
    This ISBE Web site has links to the Illinois Family Engagement Framework Guide and related resources for educators and administrators.
    (2016) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement
    This Website is a portal to a wide range of information about family and community involvement in Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
    Office of Head Start
  • Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit
    This Web page has links to multiple NPTA resources that can assist school personnel in engaging families, including resources about military families and urban families.
    National PTA (NPTA)

Modules

  • Communication for Collaboration
    This multimedia CONNECT module uses a problem-based approach to communication between early childhood professionals and families. Specific practices are described and recommended for particular situations, including active listening, seeking, and verifying.
    Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge
  • Family-Professional Partnerships
    This multimedia CONNECT Module takes a problem-based approach to helping early childhood professionals learn effective practices for building relationships with families.
    Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge
  • Refugee and Immigrant Family Engagement in the Schools
    Using the National PTA Standards for family involvement as a framework, this training module covers key issues in and optimal practices for engaging refugee and immigrant families with their children’s schools.
    Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS)
  • School Community Network Family Engagement Tool
    This web-based tool can assist school teams in assessing all aspects of their family engagement programs and practices.
    (2012) Academic Development Institute
Elementary School

Articles

Videos / webinars

  • School Community: Connection
    These professional development video clips focus on strategies that enhance relationships within a school community, including activities that bring families together.
    (2013) Academic Development Institute

Podcasts

Websites

  • Family and Community Involvement in Student Learning
    This Web page provides brief descriptions and links to Webinars and other resources produced by SEDL for professionals involved in efforts to engage families with their children’s schools.
    SEDL
  • Family Engagement in Illinois
    This ISBE Web site has links to the Illinois Family Engagement Framework Guide and related resources for educators and administrators.
    (2016) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit
    This Web page has links to multiple NPTA resources that can assist school personnel in engaging families, including resources about military families and urban families.
    National PTA (NPTA)

Modules

  • Refugee and Immigrant Family Engagement in the Schools
    Using the National PTA Standards for family involvement as a framework, this training module covers key issues in and optimal practices for engaging refugee and immigrant families with their children’s schools.
    Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS)
  • School Community Network Family Engagement Tool
    This web-based tool can assist school teams in assessing all aspects of their family engagement programs and practices.
    (2012) Academic Development Institute
Middle School

Articles

Videos / webinars

  • School Community: Connection
    These professional development video clips focus on strategies that enhance relationships within a school community, including activities that bring families together.
    (2013) Academic Development Institute

Podcasts

Websites

  • Family and Community Involvement in Student Learning
    This Web page provides brief descriptions and links to Webinars and other resources produced by SEDL for professionals involved in efforts to engage families with their children’s schools.
    SEDL
  • Family Engagement in Illinois
    This ISBE Web site has links to the Illinois Family Engagement Framework Guide and related resources for educators and administrators.
    (2016) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit
    This Web page has links to multiple NPTA resources that can assist school personnel in engaging families, including resources about military families and urban families.
    National PTA (NPTA)

Modules

  • Refugee and Immigrant Family Engagement in the Schools
    Using the National PTA Standards for family involvement as a framework, this training module covers key issues in and optimal practices for engaging refugee and immigrant families with their children’s schools.
    Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS)
  • School Community Network Family Engagement Tool
    This web-based tool can assist school teams in assessing all aspects of their family engagement programs and practices.
    (2012) Academic Development Institute
High School

Articles

Videos / webinars

  • School Community: Connection
    These professional development video clips focus on strategies that enhance relationships within a school community, including activities that bring families together.
    (2013) Academic Development Institute

Podcasts

Websites

  • Family and Community Involvement in Student Learning
    This Web page provides brief descriptions and links to Webinars and other resources produced by SEDL for professionals involved in efforts to engage families with their children’s schools.
    SEDL
  • Family Engagement in Illinois
    This ISBE Web site has links to the Illinois Family Engagement Framework Guide and related resources for educators and administrators.
    (2016) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit
    This Web page has links to multiple NPTA resources that can assist school personnel in engaging families, including resources about military families and urban families.
    National PTA (NPTA)

Modules

  • Refugee and Immigrant Family Engagement in the Schools
    Using the National PTA Standards for family involvement as a framework, this training module covers key issues in and optimal practices for engaging refugee and immigrant families with their children’s schools.
    Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS)
  • School Community Network Family Engagement Tool
    This web-based tool can assist school teams in assessing all aspects of their family engagement programs and practices.
    (2012) Academic Development Institute

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