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Family and Community Engagement

Families and communities are active partners and key collaborators in achieving success and equitable outcomes for every learner.

Families are key partners in their child’s educational experience

It’s important for schools to recognize families as the first teachers of and foremost experts on their child. As children proceed through the school system, staff will want to engage actively with families in making decisions that impact their children’s learning.

Embrace, engage, and empower relationships between families and school

Schools and districts use the “three Es” to form the foundation of relationships with families throughout their child’s educational experience.

  • Embrace: Through words and actions, staff conveys a welcoming environment, respectful of families’ home cultures, values, and languages.
  • Engage: Family perspectives are intentionally sought through two-way communication, paying particular attention to family input from populations underserved by the school and district.
  • Empower: Schools and districts empower families through respectful relationships, by providing information and resources, and by connecting families with community assets that fully support their child’s educational journey.

Communities extend reach

Community partnerships extend the reach of a school’s and district’s system of supports. Partnering with community agencies as assets creates accessible supports for learners and families beyond the limits of the school day and school year. Community leaders and organizations also build cultural and linguistic bridges between families and the system.

How do you know your system has family and community engagement in place?

  • Create a welcoming environment
  • Be respectful of families’ home cultures, values, and languages
  • Recognize families as first teachers of and foremost experts on their child
  • Include families as meaningful participants in school-level decision making
  • Seek out family perspectives through two-way communication, especially from underserved populations
  • Partner authentically in finding solutions and making decisions that impact their child’s learning
  • Empower families through respectful relationships, information and resources, and by connecting families with community assets
  • Partner with community agencies to create more comprehensive and accessible supports for learners and families, beyond the limits of the school day and school year
  • Build cultural and linguistic bridges between families and the system