Family Engagement: For Schools


The evidence is clear when families are actively engaged with their child’s school and involved in their learning, students:

  • Receive higher grade point averages and scores on tests or rating scales, 
  • Enroll in more challenging academic programs,
  • Pass more classes and earn more credits,
  • Have better attendance,
  • Improve behavior at home and at school; and
  • Exhibit better social skills.

The responsibility for building partnerships between school and home rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders. A partnership is a relationship where both parties lend their unique skills to the other and benefit equally and share decision making. Parents and families are the child’s first teacher and should be the school's true partner in the work.

To learn more about how to build partnerships with families and encourage active participation to visit our resource page.

Resources to help schools reach out to families and the community

Title Description
Attendance Works

Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance. They promote tracking chronic absence data for each student beginning in kindergarten, or ideally earlier, and partnering with families and community agencies to intervene when poor attendance is a problem for students or schools.

Coalition for Community Schools

A Community School is a public school - the hub of its neighborhood, uniting families, educators and community partners to provide all students with top-quality academics, enrichment, health and social services, and opportunities to succeed in school and in life.

Center for Disease Control - Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC)

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model expands on the eight elements of CDC’s coordinated school health (CSH) approach and is combined with the whole child framework. CDC and ASCD developed this expanded model—in collaboration with key leaders from the fields of health, public health, education, and school health—to strengthen a unified and collaborative approach designed to improve learning and health in our nation’s schools.

Council of Chief State School Officers

Family and community engagement is an important component of improving and, most importantly, sustaining improvement in schools and districts identified for low performance. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements enhance this area for a number of reasons...

Early Childhood Learning and Resource Center

The Office of Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework is a guide to learning how family engagement promotes positive, enduring change for children, families, and communities.


Teachers, administrators, and other school personnel will find relevant and valuable tools and resources here for strengthening bonds between schools, families, and communities.

Flamboyan Foundation

Since their beginnings in DC, Flamboyan has worked to develop the capacity of educators to partner effectively with families so that children succeed. Transformation happens when teachers reach out to establish trust, build relationships, and partner with families to support children’s academic progress.

Global Family Research Project

The Global Family Research Project is an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that supports all families and communities in helping children find success in and out of school. They create a worldwide exchange of ideas to further the understanding and implementation of anywhere, anytime learning for all.

Institute for Educational Leadership

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has worked for half a century to equip leaders to rise above institutional barriers and to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship.

National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement

To advance high-impact policies and practices for family, school, and community engagement to promote child development and improve student achievement.

National Conference of State Legislators

NCSL helps strengthen state legislatures by providing research, publications and technical assistance about the legislative institution, and its processes and procedures.

National Network of Partnership Schools

Established at Johns Hopkins University in 1996, NNPS invites schools, districts, states, and organizations to join together and use research-based approaches to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement that will increase student success in school.

Parent Camp

The ParentCamp experience, by design, is a hybrid “un-conference” opportunity for parents and teachers to come together and model the four core beliefs highlighted in Beyond the Bakesale. The experience levels the playing field, putting all stakeholders in a circle for actual, face-to-face discussion about what is best for kids. It’s important to understand the difference between a traditional conference and the un-conference feel we worked to bring to ParentCamp.

Parent Teacher Association

PTA's mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

Parent Teacher Organization

PTO Today is committed to helping parent group leaders serve their schools more effectively and run their groups more efficiently.

Search Institute

For more than 50 years, Search Institute® has been a leader and partner for organizations around the world in discovering what kids need to succeed. Their research, resources, and expertise help their partners in organizations, schools, and community coalitions solve critical challenges in the lives of young people.

United States Department of Education

Striving to support growing populations of diverse students, states are increasingly employing family engagement strategies as a tool to promote educational equity. Many states are developing new and innovative approaches to integrate family engagement programs into their education systems.


For other questions, please feel free to contact our Office of Family and Community Engagement at 405-522-6225 for assistance.


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Last updated on March 13, 2019