School districts have the lead responsibility for engaging families and coordinating community resources. Their success is dependent on establishing high standards for how they conduct outreach and support to maximize family engagement. Districts must develop system-wide policies and practices that welcome families, bridge class and cultural differences, listen to parents’ ideas and concerns, and promote fair and open ways to collaborate on improving student achievement.
Local school districts that do this well take action in three key areas by:
• Creating a culture of partnership throughout the district by setting consistently high standards for family-friendly schools and expecting district and school staff to meet those standards.
• Connecting family-school partnerships directly to the district’s school improvement initiative in order to meet student achievement goals.
• Organizing district resources, including professional development, to build a structure of support so that all schools can develop strong family-school-community partnerships.
District Leaders Network
The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), which is represented on the NAFSCE governing board, convenes a family engagement peer network of school district leaders in family and community engagement. Leaders from about 120 districts across the nation share up-to-date resources, professional development, and promising practices. Each year, the Network hosts a National Meeting and Learning Lab to discuss the federal landscape and introduce new research and innovative applications.
Tell us about what is happening in your district. It is our goal for NAFSCE.org to be the first stop for districts seeking resources on improving their policies to support high-impact family engagement.