Because we understand the importance of family engagement, below is an article that we believe might be of interest to you.
The Teacher Quality Programs staff
Capacity Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships
Many states, districts, and schools struggle with how to
execute partnerships and cultivate and sustain positive relationships with
families. A common refrain from educators is that they have a strong desire to
work with families from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and to develop
stronger partnerships of shared responsibility for children’s outcomes between
home and school, but that they do not know how to accomplish this.
cradle-to-career educational partnerships between home and school are to be
implemented with fidelity and sustained, engagement initiatives must include a
concerted focus on developing adult capacity, whether through pre- and
in-service professional development for educators; academies, workshops,
seminars, and workplace trainings for families; or as an integrated part of
parent-teacher partnership activities. When
effectively implemented, such opportunities build and enhance the skills, knowledge,
and dispositions of stakeholders to engage in effective partnerships that
support student achievement and development and the improvement of schools.
There are many types of effective capacity-building opportunities for LEA staff and
families. Research on promising practice suggests that there are certain process conditions that must be met in
order for adult participants to come away from a learning experience with not
only new knowledge but with the ability and desire to apply what they have
learned. Research also suggests
important organizational conditions
that must be met in order to sustain and scale these opportunity efforts across
districts and groups of schools.
The term process here refers to the series of
actions, operations, and procedures that are part of any activity or
initiative. These conditions are key to the design of effective initiatives for
building the capacity of families and school staff to partner in ways that
support student achievement and school improvement. Initiatives must be:
to Learning: Initiatives are aligned with school and
district achievement goals, and connect families to the teaching and learning
goals for the students.
major focus of the initiative is on building respectful and trusting
relationships between home and school.
initiatives focus on building the intellectual, social, and human capital of
stakeholders engaged in the program.
is conducted in group versus individual settings and is focused on building
networks and learning communities.
Participants are given opportunities to test out and apply new skills. Skill
mastery requires coaching and practice.
Research on the
conditions necessary for educational entities to successfully implement and
sustain family engagement identifies the following organizational conditions
that support fidelity and sustainability.[i]
Initiatives must be:
designed as a core component of educational goals such as school readiness,
student achievement, and school turnaround.
Embedded into structures and processes such as training and professional
development, teaching and learning, curriculum, and community collaboration.
with adequate resources and infrastructure support.
Policy and Program Goals
The goals of policy and programming directed at improving
family engagement efforts must include a dual focus on building of the capacity of staff and families to engage
We break down this capacity into four components — the
Capabilities: Human Capital, Skills and
Connections: Important Relationships and
Networks — Social Capital
Confidence: Individual Level of
Cognition: a person’s assumptions, beliefs,
Staff and Family Partnership Outcomes
Once staff and families have built the requisite
capabilities, connections, confidence, and cognition, they will be able to
engage in partnerships that will support student achievement and student
Staff prepared to engage in partnerships with families can:
- Honor and recognize
families’ existing knowledge, skill, and forms of engagement
- Create and sustain school
and district cultures that welcome, invite and promote family engagement and
- Develop and connect all
family engagement initiatives to student learning
Families, regardless of their race/ethnicity, educational
background, gender, disability or socioeconomic status, are prepared to engage
in partnerships with school and districts can engage in diverse roles such as:
of their children’s learning and development
of an achievement identity, a
positive self image, and a “can do” spirit in their children
of their children’s time, behavior, boundaries and resources
of lifelong learning and enthusiasm for education
for improved learning opportunities for their children and at their
of educational options for their children, the school, and community
with school staff and members of the community on issues of school
improvement and reform
As a result of this enhanced capacity on the part of
district and school staff and families, districts and schools are able to
cultivate and sustain at scale active, respectful, and effective partnerships
with families that are linked to learning and support children’s learning and
development and school improvement.
 Weiss, H. B., Lopez, M. E.,
Rosenberg, H. (2011). Beyond random
acts: Family, school, and community
engagement as an integral part of education reform. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Family Research Project. Retrieved from http://www.nationalpirc.org/engagement_forum/beyond_random_acts.pdf
M.C. (2005). Career
imprints: Creating Leaders across an industry. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass