Family Engagement Professional Learning Modules

Overview


"By age 18, children have typically spent only 13% of their waking lives at school; families have a role in shaping the remaining 87%."
- Education Policy Studies Laboratory—School Reform Proposals: The Research Evidence, as cited in NASA's NES Family Involvement Handbook

Successful schools recognize that parents/families are children's first and most important teachers. They understand the fundamental role that relationships play between schools, families and communities. This site was built to help districts and communities build authentic, effective family engagement systems. Below, essential information on family engagement is organized using modules. Since family engagement work is hands-on and must be tailored to meet the needs of families in your community, it is recommended that districts/programs utilize this resource with a professional learning community (PLC). Participants should choose which resources and tasks are most pressing and relevant to their work.

Part I: Family Engagement Professional Learning Modules: Learning and Exploring

Introduction to Family Engagement

I. Module 1: Introduction

Effective, authentic family engagement plays a critical role in the educational experiences and outcomes of children and families. In this module, you will be focusing on important definitions associated with family engagement. You will be exploring your understandings of families and family engagement, examining what they mean to you, your colleagues, and to families. At the same time, you will be considering the school's role in establishing relationships and working in partnership with families. You will also learn about the benefits of family engagement and common barriers to effective family engagement.
Throughout this course, our approach to learning about and working with families is strength-based. We need to be authentic and intentional about building relationships having academic and life success at the core. Relationships with families are the foundation. All staff need opportunities to not only learn about families and family engagement, but also how to build relationships and work collaboratively and effectively with families. District and community leaders need to learn how to implement and lead integrated, systemic family engagement.
From the start, your leadership and organization need to buy in to the importance of family engagement. This module contains a small sample of the abundance of information related to the benefits of family engagement. Organizational beliefs and priorities can be a tremendous asset or they could be a barrier. With this in mind, it is essential that programs/districts examine and address barriers to engaging families and to families being engaged. This analysis will play a critical role in your family engagement work, from professional learning needs to strategies and plans.
Lastly, we will "begin with the end in mind" by looking at a plan for family engagement. That is, what do we want to create by the end of this course? As you plan your approach to designing and implementing your family engagement system, you will want to keep two key resources in mind: The Dual-Capacity Framework and the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework. Elements of these frameworks have been built into this course.

II. Module 1: Objectives and Learning Activities

Learning Objectives
1. Participants identify diverse interpretations of the meanings of key terms, like family, family engagement, and involvement.
2. Participants understand the benefits and potential barriers of family engagement.
3. Participants investigate and understand ways of planning for and implementing family engagement work/systems that are coherent and sustained.
Suggested Learning Activities
1. Read at least one resource from each section in this module. Resources marked with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
1a. Read/view resources as assigned by your family engagement professional learning committee/group.
2. Participate in group discussion, either face-to-face or an electronic platform, as organized by your group/organization.
3. Complete and submit learning reflection or another learning task/project as assigned by your group/organization.

III. Module 1: Topics

1. Family Engagement Overview

Don’t Forget the Families: The Missing Piece in America’s Effort to Help All Children Succeed
Click Here, Search Institute

Family Engagement Is a Public Good: Past, Present, and Future
Click Here for PPT or Here for Video, Heather Weiss, Harvard University

Harvard EdCast: The Role of Family in a Child’s Success
Click Here, Harvard Graduate School of Education

2. Definitions Important to Family Engagement

Policy statement on family engagement from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED)
Click Here

Redefining Family Engagement for Student Success
Click Here, Harvard Family Research Project

3. Moving from Parent Involvement to Family Engagement

Beyond Random Acts Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform
Click Here, Harvard Family Research Project

Differences Between Parent Involvement and Parent Engagement, The
Click Here, Larry Ferlazzo

Parental Involvement to Parental Engagement: A Continuum
Click Here, Janet Goodall and Caroline Montgomery (2014), Educational Review, 66 (4), 399–410, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131911.2013.781576

4. Benefits of Family Engagement

A New Wave of Evidence; The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement
Click Here, SEDL

Benefits of Family Engagement
Click Here, Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Early Parent Involvement and School Achievement: A Longitudinal Path Analysis
Click Here, Hayakawa, M., Englund, M., Warner-Richter, M., & Reynolds, A. (2013). Early parent involvement and school achievement: a longitudinal path analysis. NHSA Dialog, 16(1).

Effects of Parental Involvement on Academic Achievement: A Meta-Synthesis
Click Here, Wilder, S. (2014). Educational Review, 66(3), 377-397.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network
Click Here, Clemson University

The Impact of Family Involvement on the Education of Children Ages 3 to 8: A Focus on Literacy and Math Achievement Outcomes and Social-Emotional Skills
Click Here, Van Voorhis, F. L., Maier, M. F., Epstein, J. L., & Lloyd, C. M. (2013). MDRC. www.mdrc.org

5. Barriers to Effective Family Engagement

Addressing Common Barriers to Family Engagement (starts on page 7.16)
Click Here, Ohio Community Collaboration Model for School Improvement

Barriers to Family Involvement
Click Here, January 2010, Technical Assistance and Training System (TATS) eUdate

Barriers to Parental Involvement in Education: An Explanatory Model (full text not free)
Click Here, Hornby, G., & Lafaele, R. (2011). Educational Review, 63(1), 37-52.

Building Trust with Schools and Diverse Families
Click Here, WEDA, All About Adolescent Literacy

Identifying Barriers: Creating Solutions to Improve Family Engagement
Click Here, T. L. Baker, J. Wise, G. Kelley, and R. J. Skiba (2016). The School Community Journal, 26(2), 161-184.

Parental Involvement: The Missing Link in School Achievement (addresses barriers)
Click Here, LaRocque, M., Kleiman, I., & Darling, S. M. (2011). Preventing School Failure, 55(3), 115-122.

6. Developing Your Process for Implementing Family Engagement

Establishing a Framework for Family Engagement
Click Here,
Key strategies for involving parents in their child's education at home and at school. Presenter: Dr. Karen Mapp, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships
Click Here, SEDL

Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework
Click Here

Three Lessons in Developing a Systemic Approach to Family Engagement
Click Here, Allison Rowland, Harvard Family Research Project

Working Systemically in Action - Engaging Family and Community: A Guide for Facilitators
Click Here, SEDL

IV. Module 1: Discussion

In each module, there are two discussion forums. The first focuses on exploring and learning about topics and information related to family engagement. The second focuses on the actual practice of family engagement, applying and practicing strategies (participants may also choose to discuss evaluation in this part).
These are suggested discussion questions. Participants, or those leading group work on this course, may wish to generate new questions.

Explore and Learn

  1. What is your organization's definition of family engagement? Based on what you have read in this module, what would you change?
  2. List a benefit of family engagement and why you think it is important.
  3. Discuss a benefit of family engagement that you have seen in your work with families. What does the literature say about this benefit (e.g. Does it support your observations?)?
  4. What is a barrier to family engagement that resonated with you? Discuss what this barrier provoked you to think about.

Apply and Evaluate

  1. Discuss ways that your organization's definition of family engagement impacts the way family engagement is thought of and practiced in your organization.
  2. List a benefit of family engagement and share a strategy for implementing/improving it in your organization/community.
  3. List a barrier to family engagement and share a strategy for removing/reducing the barrier.

V. Module 1: Synthesis

To demonstrate completion of the module and receive clock hours, participants will conclude each module by submitting a synthesis.
Click Here

VI. Module 1: Project

Create a map, or inventory, of all family engagement work occurring in your district/organization. At this point, your map does not need to be extensive, but you may find it especially helpful to build on the map as you work through the modules. Below are some sample questions:

  • What programs and people have contact with or work with families?
  • What requirements are there for parent contact or family engagement?
  • What district/organization plans and policies relate to parents and families?
  • What family engagement events/activities are currently taking place?
  • Who do you partner or collaborate with to provide family engagement? (or what other programs in your community have contact with families?)
  • What data do you collect to inform your family engagement work?

Part II: Family Engagement Professional Learning Modules: Applying and Practicing

Leadership

I. Module 7: Introduction

Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and community engagement. See how positive interactions with families are modeled by school leaders who see family engagement as a shared responsibility for student learning, and are committed to building partnerships of mutual respect and trust with their families and community.

II. Module 7: Objectives and Learning Activities

Learning Objectives
1. Participants explore the role of leadership in effective, authentic family engagement and how it impacts their leadership.
2. Participants understand the responsibilities on leaders who work with families.
3. Participants understand ways of expanding, evaluating, and enhancing their family engagement work.
Suggested Learning Activities
1. Read at least one resource from each section in this module. Resources marked with an asterisk are strongly recommended.
1a. Read/view resources as assigned by your family engagement professional learning committee/group.
2. Participate in group discussion, either face-to-face or an electronic platform, as organized by your group/organization.
3. Complete and submit learning reflection or another learning task/project as assigned by your group/organization.

III. Module 7: Topics

1. Leadership

Collaboration and Collaborative Leadership
Click Here, The Ohio Community Collaboration Model for School Improvement

Community & Family Engagement: Principals Share What Works
Click Here, NAESP, NASSP, MetLife Foundation, Coalition for Community Schools

Five Lessons Learned About District Leadership for Family Engagement
Click Here, Michele Brooks, Harvard Family Research Project

Fostering Family Engagement through Shared Leadership in the District, Schools, and Community
Click Here, Patricia Martinez and Joshua Wizer-Vecchi

“It all comes down to the leadership” The role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement.
Click Here, Barr, J., & Saltmarsh, S. (2014). Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 42(4), 491-505.

Walking the Walk: Portraits in Leadership for Family Engagement in Urban Schools
Click Here, Susan Auerbach (2009). The School Community Journal, 19 (1), 9-31.

Additional Resources:
Dr. Dana Barnes, Principal, Chisholm Trail High School, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD
Click Here

Moving Beyond Monitoring: A District Leadership Approach to School, Family, and Community Partnerships
Click Here, Steven B. Sheldon, Sheldon, S. B. (2016). In Family-School Partnerships in Context (pp. 45-63). Springer International Publishing.

Parent Engagement and Leadership
Click Here, Child Welfare Information Gateway

2. Laws, Regulations Relevant to Family Engagement

Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013
Click Here

IDEA and Parent Participation
Click Here, Center for Parent Information and Resources

Parent and Family Involvement Policy
Click Here, Minnesota Statutes, 124D.8955

State Laws on Family Engagement in Education
Click Here, National PTA® Reference Guide

Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement
Click Here, SEDL

3. Legal Rights of Families

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Click Here, U.S. Department of Education

FERPA Frequently Asked Questions
Click Here, Family Policy Compliance Office

Parents' Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Rights Regarding Children’s Education Records
Click Here, U.S. Department of Education

4. Family Engagement and School Improvement/Reform

Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform
Click Here, Harvard Family Research Project

Strategies for Community Engagement in School Turnaround
Click Here,

5. Standards

Family and Community Engagement Standards
Click Here, WestEd, Maria C. Parede

Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts
Click Here, California Department of Education

Integrating Family Engagement Matrix
Click Here, Illinois State Board of Education
Click Here for Guide

National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
Click Here, National PTA

District Examples:
Oakland Unified School District
Click Here

6. Developing Family Leaders

Engaging Parents in Education: Lessons From Five Parental Information And Resource Centers
Click Here, U.S. Department of Education

Family Connectors University
Click Here, Seattle Public Schools

Family University
Click Here, Fayette County Public Schools

National Parent Leadership Institute
Click Here

7. Family Engagement and Health

Parent Engagement: Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health
Click Here, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012

8. Parent Liaisons, Family Advocates and Other Support

How Parent Liaisons Can Help Bridge the Home–School Gap
Click Here, M. Sanders (2008). The Journal of Educational Research, 101(5), 287-298.

How Parent Liaisons Connect Families to School
Click Here, Joan Montgomery Halford (1996). Educational Leadership, 53(7), 34-36.

Parent Liaison Program in Urban District Helps Schools Reach Hard-To Reach Parents
Click Here, Educational Research Newsletter and Webinars

9. Collaborative Strategies

Collaboration and Collaborative Leadership
Click Here, The Ohio Community Collaboration Model for School Improvement (OCCMSI)

Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0: Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student Learning
Click Here, National Education Association, Priority Schools Campaign

The Power of Family-School-Community Partnerships
Click Here, National Education Association, Priority Schools Campaign

Strategies for Effective Collaboration with Parents, Schools and Community Members
Click Here, Rutgers Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Project

10. Parent Organizations and Advisory Councils

Minnesota PTA
Click Here

Parenting Education Networks, Organizations, and Programs by State
Click Here, National Parenting Education Network (NPEN)

The Role of the PTA
Click Here, www.greatschools.org

IV. Module 7: Discussion

These are suggested discussion questions. Participants, or those leading group work on this course, may wish to generate new questions.

Explore and Learn

  • When, or for what purposes, are schools required to connect with parents and the community?
  • What are some benefits of parent liaisons (include in this discussion any other roles, like family advocates, connectors, etc.)?
  • What are some ways family engagement can contribute to school improvement or reform?

Apply and Evaluate

  • Identify important parent groups in your community and describe potential benefits of collaboration.
  • Describe a standard for family engagement and how you would implement it.
  • Based on what you have read or discussed in this module, how has your leadership for family engagement been impacted?

V. Module 7: Synthesis

To demonstrate completion of the module and receive clock hours, submit your synthesis of what you learned in Module 7.
Click Here

VI. Module 7: Project

Create a plan/chart describing how you will lead family engagement work in your program, building, and/or organization.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License