What impact can we make, if we tap a typical student’s most invested partners: their family? What does effective family engagement actually look like?
Resources on our new Engaging with Families webpage are designed to help educators and librarians answer those questions. The answers can help improve student outcomes and embrace a recent shift in federal education laws.
The resources include:
- an animated example of what effective family engagement could look like, from the perspective of a student and her family;
- a two-page handout outlining district-wide strategies for meaningful family engagement;
- a short video profiling how one out-of-state district saw increased student success after making family engagement a central strategy; and
- links to family engagement efforts for specific programs and topics on the Department of Public Instruction website.
Over 40 years of research shows that students are more likely to attend school regularly, perform better, pass to the next grade level, graduate, and continue their learning when their families are engaged.
Provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) move schools away from involving families only at school and on an occasional basis, and toward deeper engagement in an ongoing way. That also means meeting families wherever they are, and not just within the confines of the school building.
The new DPI resources are intended to help educators and librarians:
- connect families to student learning,
- build trusting relationships with families from diverse backgrounds, and
- collaborate with families across grade levels and buildings.