Families are more comfortable interacting with the school when they feel welcomed and supported.

Click on a grade level below to find resources on a variety of approaches to welcoming families to the school community.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Articles

Videos / webinars

  • ABCs of Parent Involvement
    This video shows innovative family engagement practices in a Pre-K – 12 program, and includes interviews with school personnel and parents.
    The Teaching Channel
  • Best Practices in Family and Community Engagement
    This collection of videos from the Office of Head Start covers a range of topics related to program/family relationships in the early years.
    Office of Head Start
  • Engaging Teen Parents: Lessons from Teens about What Works for Them
    This video (with transcript) about Head Start and Early Head Start provisions offers ideas to enhance program relationships with adolescent parents.
    (2014) Office of Head Start
  • Program Environment: Responsive Programming for Migrant Families
    Testimonials from parents and educators show the importance of early childhood programming that is responsive to the needs and interests of primarily Latino migrant workers.
    (2014) Office of Head Start
  • Resource Library: Video, Family
    This page links to several CONNECT Module videos related to professional-family communication. Included are samples of real conversations from the beginning and later stages of a teacher-parent relationship.
    Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge

Podcasts

Websites

  • Building Capacity for Family Engagement in the Early Education Field
    This Web page provides links to issues of the Harvard Family Research Project’s FINE Newsletter that address engaging families as decision-makers for their children’s education.
    Harvard Family Research Project
  • 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)
  • Harvard Family Research Project
    The Harvard Family Research Project has produced a wide range of research based materials for educators regarding family involvement in children’s learning, in and out of school.
    Harvard Family Research Project
  • Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing
    Libraries are excellent places for families to obtain resources and for children to engage with learning. This website offers ideas to support creating libraries that foster family engagement with educational resources.
    (2017)
  • 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
  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
    Hispanics represent the largest and one of the fastest-growing minority population subgroups in the U.S. To help programs and policies better serve low-income Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates, together with university partners, launched the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.
    (2017) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • One And ALL
    This website contains resources to help teachers and school leaders with strategies for treating each other respectfully, managing hostility, supporting vulnerable students, and talking across divisions.
    (2017) Harvard Graduate School of Education

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 Connections Training Modules
    These four modules focus on ways that early childhood program staff can support mental health while engaging families in their programs.
    Office of Head Start
  • 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
  • Head Start’s “Interactive Homelessness Lessons”
    These six interactive lessons for educators define homelessness and address such topics as outreach to homeless families, using cases of specific families as examples.
    (2014) Office of Head Start
  • Reaching Out to Hispanic Parents of English Language Learners
    This “toolkit” describes recommended practices for educators, and includes detailed suggestions for 5 literacy-related family workshops, handouts in English and Spanish to give families, and lists of recommended children’s books.
    (2012) Colorin Colorado
  • 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

  • ABCs of Parent Involvement
    This video shows innovative family engagement practices in a Pre-K – 12 program, and includes interviews with school personnel and parents.
    The Teaching Channel

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)
  • Harvard Family Research Project
    The Harvard Family Research Project has produced a wide range of research based materials for educators regarding family involvement in children’s learning, in and out of school.
    Harvard Family Research Project
  • Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing
    Libraries are excellent places for families to obtain resources and for children to engage with learning. This website offers ideas to support creating libraries that foster family engagement with educational resources.
    (2017)
  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
    Hispanics represent the largest and one of the fastest-growing minority population subgroups in the U.S. To help programs and policies better serve low-income Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates, together with university partners, launched the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.
    (2017) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • One And ALL
    This website contains resources to help teachers and school leaders with strategies for treating each other respectfully, managing hostility, supporting vulnerable students, and talking across divisions.
    (2017) Harvard Graduate School of Education

Modules

  • Reaching Out to Hispanic Parents of English Language Learners
    This “toolkit” describes recommended practices for educators, and includes detailed suggestions for 5 literacy-related family workshops, handouts in English and Spanish to give families, and lists of recommended children’s books.
    (2012) Colorin Colorado
  • 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

  • 9 Reminders and Tips for Back-to-School Night
    A teacher describes back-to-school night practices that she has found can help create rapport while informing families about what to expect during the school year.
    (2014) The Teaching Channel
  • Creating a Welcoming Environment: 4 Key Tips for Administrators
    This brochure addresses four important principles for engaging families and suggests several related practices.
    WestEd
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • ABCs of Parent Involvement
    This video shows innovative family engagement practices in a Pre-K – 12 program, and includes interviews with school personnel and parents.
    The Teaching Channel

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)
  • Harvard Family Research Project
    The Harvard Family Research Project has produced a wide range of research based materials for educators regarding family involvement in children’s learning, in and out of school.
    Harvard Family Research Project
  • Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing
    Libraries are excellent places for families to obtain resources and for children to engage with learning. This website offers ideas to support creating libraries that foster family engagement with educational resources.
    (2017)
  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
    Hispanics represent the largest and one of the fastest-growing minority population subgroups in the U.S. To help programs and policies better serve low-income Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates, together with university partners, launched the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.
    (2017) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • One And ALL
    This website contains resources to help teachers and school leaders with strategies for treating each other respectfully, managing hostility, supporting vulnerable students, and talking across divisions.
    (2017) Harvard Graduate School of Education

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

  • 9 Reminders and Tips for Back-to-School Night
    A teacher describes back-to-school night practices that she has found can help create rapport while informing families about what to expect during the school year.
    (2014) The Teaching Channel
  • Creating a Welcoming Environment: 4 Key Tips for Administrators
    This brochure addresses four important principles for engaging families and suggests several related practices.
    WestEd
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • ABCs of Parent Involvement
    This video shows innovative family engagement practices in a Pre-K – 12 program, and includes interviews with school personnel and parents.
    The Teaching Channel

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)
  • Harvard Family Research Project
    The Harvard Family Research Project has produced a wide range of research based materials for educators regarding family involvement in children’s learning, in and out of school.
    Harvard Family Research Project
  • Libraries for the 21st Century: It’s a Family Thing
    Libraries are excellent places for families to obtain resources and for children to engage with learning. This website offers ideas to support creating libraries that foster family engagement with educational resources.
    (2017)
  • National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families
    Hispanics represent the largest and one of the fastest-growing minority population subgroups in the U.S. To help programs and policies better serve low-income Hispanic children and families, Child Trends and Abt Associates, together with university partners, launched the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.
    (2017) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • One And ALL
    This website contains resources to help teachers and school leaders with strategies for treating each other respectfully, managing hostility, supporting vulnerable students, and talking across divisions.
    (2017) Harvard Graduate School of Education

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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