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Bringing It All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action

Webinar date: November 16, 2011, 1:002:30 p.m. (EST)

Listen to a recording of the webinar.

This will be the final webinar in the Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement series. Presenters will revisit prominent themes discussed throughout the series while focusing on how family, school, and community engagement (FSCE) can bring value to education reform initiatives.

This webinar will examine the different roles of federal, state, and local entities in promoting FSCE policy; highlight innovative examples of systemic, integrated, and sustained FSCE in action at every level; and identify opportunities for practitioners, program staff, advocates, and education officials to weave FSCE policies into their own work.

Karen Mapp, Consultant to the U.S. Department of Education on Family Engagement, will discuss the research base for her work at the Department in developing a policy framework for family engagement as it applies to Title I and other nationwide federal school improvement efforts. Kiersten Beigel, from the Office of Head Start, will discuss how the new National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement is reshaping how Head Start centers work toward family and child outcomes. Ruth Anne Landsverk and Betsy Prueter from Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction (DPI) will discuss how the DPI promotes family engagement in school districts across the state. And Karren Dunkley, from The School District of Philadelphia, will talk about the district’s efforts to accelerate achievement through family and community engagement.

Featured speakers include:

  • Keynote Speaker: Karen Mapp, Lecturer on Education and Director of the Education Policy and Management Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education; Consultant to the U.S. Department of Education on Family Engagement
  • Moderator: Catherine Jordan, Program Manager, SEDL
  • Kiersten Beigel, Family and Community Partnerships Specialist, Office of Head Start
  • Ruth Anne Landsverk, Family–SchoolCommunity Partnerships Coordinator, Community Learning and Partnerships, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Betsy Prueter, VISTA and AmeriCorps Coordinator, Community Learning and Partnerships, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • Karren Dunkley, Deputy Chief, Office of Parent, Family, Community Engagement, and Faith-Based Partnerships, The School District of Philadelphia

WEBINAR 8 RESOURCES

Systemic Engagement

Turnaround Model: Family Engagement

  • The State of School Turnarounds (U.S. Department of Education, 2010)
    The School Turnaround newsletter provides insight into effective strategies for turning around schools and suggests resources to assist in this process. This issue highlights a model for parent–teacher partnerships at Creighton School District in Arizona.

  • Successful School Turnarounds: Seven Steps for District Leaders (The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, 2009)
    This brief draws from the cross-sector research base on successful turnaround efforts to offer seven steps for district leaders to support turnaround principals and maximize their chances of success.

Resources from the Webinar’s Presenters

  • Having Their Say: Parents Describe Why and How They Are Engaged in Their Children's Learning (Academic Development Institute, 2003)
    This article in The School Community Journal examines the factors that led to a successful partnership between a Boston elementary school and its parents.

  • The Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework (Office of Head Start, 2011)
    This framework is a vital tool for early childhood education and care providers seeking to build effective family engagement strategies. While the framework is intended for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, its lessons are applicable to a much broader audience of early childhood programs.

  • Bringing the Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework to Your Program: Beginning a Self-Assessment (Office of Head Start, n.d.)
    This tool helps early care and education providers make parent, family, and community engagement a dynamic part of their program. The descriptions of practices and reflective questions will help to identify current practices, highlight what more the program could do, celebrate successes, and determine the information needed to measure progress.

  • Partnership Action Team Online Toolkit (2010)(Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction, 2010)
    This toolkit is designed to help a school or district launch or strengthen a “partnership action team.” The toolkit provides videos, presentations, resources, and activities that partnership action teams can explore and discuss together.

School District Websites
Many school districts host web pages dedicated to sharing important resources with families, including resources that guide and encourage a family’s engagement in their student’s education. For example:

  • Washoe County School District (Nevada)
    The Washoe County School District hosts a comprehensive web page for parents that lists helpful resources, tips for becoming involved in their child’s education, the district’s parent involvement policy, and other information designed to enhance a family’s ability to connect with the district and promote student learning.

  • Federal Way Public Schools (Washington)
    Federal Way Public Schools’ website includes a section devoted to student and parent learning. This section provides “do-at-home” activities for parents and students in k–6 to complete together; information about grade-level expectations; and details about the district’s student-led conferences, which replaced the traditional parent–teacher conference format in some of the district’s schools.

  • Creighton Elementary School District (Arizona)
    Creighton Elementary School District’s website hosts grade-level skill guides, at-home activities families can do to foster those skills, and information about the Academic Parent–Teacher Team conference structure—the district’s version of parent–teacher conferences.

  • Boston Public Schools (Massachusetts)
    Boston Public Schools’ website includes information about the district’s commitment to forming strong family–school partnerships, suggested summer activities to sustain student learning over the summer break (including grade-level book lists), and information about the district’s Parent University program offerings.

  • The School District of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)
    The School District of Philadelphia’s website includes the course catalog for the district’s Parent University initiative, links to their parent newsletter, information about school advisory councils, and learning packets by grade level to help strengthen children’s literacy and math skills.

© 2014 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project