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WORKING WITH TEACHERS AND FAMILIES DEVELOPMENT PERIODS
COMPLEMENTARY LEARNING CONNECTIONS

Drawing on Parents’ Strengths: The Role of Districts and Schools in Empowering Families to be Effective Partners in Learning

Trise Moore, Family Partnership Advocate for Federal Way Public Schools Washington state, discusses her work in the district’s Family Partnership Office to promote strong partnerships among parents and district- and school-level staff.

Trise Moore (May 2011) Research Report

Re-thinking Family Engagement: Moving Beyond the Program Model Toward Systemic Engagement that Promotes Student Learning

Anna Hinton, Director of Parental Options and Information in the Office of Innovation and Improvement for the U.S. Department of Education, shares her vision for transforming family engagement at the federal, state, and local levels.

Anna Hinton (May 2011) Research Report

Teaching the Teachers: Preparing Educators to Engage Families for Student Achievement

Harvard Family Research Project and the National PTA® have teamed up to bring you the third brief in our ground-breaking series about family engagement policy, highlighting the need for teacher education programs to prepare teachers to better work with families.

Margaret Caspe , M. Elena Lopez, Ashley Chu, & Heather B. Weiss (May 2011) Research Report

Book Review: Inviting Families into the Classroom: Learning from a Life in Teaching

This book by Lynne Yermanock Strieb provides readers with insights on family engagement from the perspective of someone with 31 years of experience teaching kindergarten and first and second grade in Philadelphia public schools. While Inviting Families into the Classroom discusses parent–teacher relationships more broadly, this book review focuses on its valuable lessons on building relationships with families whose children are transitioning into elementary school.

Ashley Chu (April 14, 2011) Research Report

Commentary from the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group on the Promise Neighborhoods Program

The Working Group submitted recommendations to the National Register Notice regarding the Promise Neighborhoods program's proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group (April 2011) Research Report

Bibliography of Family Involvement Research Published in 2009

Harvard Family Research Project (March 2011) Research Report

Voices from the Field: How Can Elementary Teachers Collaborate More Effectively with Parents to Support Literacy Learning?

In this FINE Newsletter Voices from the Field article, Carol St. George, EdD, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Rochester and Title I Family Involvement Coordinator for the Greece Central School District in New York, discusses her use of the Collegial Circle, a professional development activity that engages teachers with parents.

Carol St. George, EdD (March 2011) Research Report

FINE Commentary: The Challenge of Cross-Cultural Family–School Communication

Guest commentator Elise Trumbull, EdD, an Independent Educational Consultant and co-creator of the Bridging Cultures Project, discusses the challenges of communicating with families from different cultural backgrounds. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over one-third of students in Pre-K through grade 12 classrooms are from minority groups, and the families of an increasing number of students are immigrants, many with native languages other than English. However, many new teachers are unprepared to deal with the challenges of this diversity in their classrooms. Dr. Trumbull addresses these concerns and presents a framework to help teachers understand cultural patterns, as well as guidelines for cross-cultural parent–teacher conferences.

Elise Trumbull (March 2011) Research Report

Successful Family Engagement in the Classroom: What teachers need to know and be able to do to engage families in raising student achievement

HFRP invited the Flamboyan Foundation—a private foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in Washington, DC and Puerto Rico—to share its classroom family engagement rubric with FINE. This rubric, and accompanying article, provides districts, school leaders, and teachers with a clear picture of what effective family engagement looks like in the classroom through concrete descriptions of how teachers demonstrate strong family engagement through their conversations and daily practice.

Lela Spielberg (March 2011) Research Report

Book Review: The Power of Family–School Partnering

Beth Schueler reviews the new book, The Power of Family–School Partnering: A Practical Guide for School Mental Health Professionals and Educators (FSP), a user-friendly handbook for developing and implementing a sustainable and effective Family–School Partnering strategy.

Beth Schueler (March 2011) Research Report

Update: New Skills for New Schools

Since the 1997 publication of New Skills for New Schools by HFRP, the education reform landscape has changed, making it necessary to align teacher preparation and professional learning for family engagement with the goals of a twenty-first century education. Harvard Family Research Project is working to gather information about promising teacher education practices to prepare teachers to partner with families for student success. A preview of these practices—to be published in our forthcoming policy brief—is summarized in this update.

Margaret Caspe , M. Elena Lopez, Ashley Chu, and Heather B. Weiss (March 2011) Research Report

Preparing Teachers to Engage Families Around Student Data

Maria C. Paredes is the Director of Community Education at Creighton School District in Arizona. Our October 2010 FINE Newsletter: Using Student Data to Engage Families, profiled Creighton District’s work with Academic Parent–Teacher teams. In this follow-up to the October article, Paredes describes how Creighton prepares teachers and parent liaisons to share student data with families through Academic Parent–Teacher Teams.

Maria Paredes (March 2011) Research Report

Family Involvement News: March 2011

We at Harvard Family Research Project are committed to keeping you up to date on what's new in family involvement. This list of links to current reports, articles, events, and opportunities will help you stay on top of research and resources from HFRP and other field leaders.

Harvard Family Research Project (March 2011) Research Report

Ongoing Child Assessment and Family Engagement: New Opportunities to Engage Families in Children’s Learning and Development

This paper by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, a new center formed by HFRP and Brazelton Center at Children's Hospital Boston and other partners for the Office of Head Start, focuses on child assessment data as a tool for parent and family engagement in the early childhood arena. It is the first in a series that will help early childhood care and education programs identify ways that they can share information in order to strengthen partnerships and work toward common goals.

National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (March 2011) Research Report

Commentary from the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group on the Extending the Grant Period for the Parental Information and Resource Centers

The National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group, a collaborative of leaders in the family engagement field including Harvard Family Research Project’s Heather Weiss, submitted recommendations for the U.S. Department of Education's proposal to extend the grant period for the National Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRC) program. This extension period would allow the centers to operate through fiscal year 2012. The Working Group recommended that the extension place an emphasis on data collection, research, best practices, and program outcomes that will assist in the development of a strengthened PIRC program.

National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group (February 2011) Research Report

Community Partnerships to Support High School Success

Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to keeping teens in school and successfully completing high school, AT&T Foundation and United Way Worldwide (UWW) started a new initiative—Family Engagement for High School Success. The goal of this grant was to identify promising family engagement strategies with a strong likelihood of raising high school graduation rates, and to share that information with communities around the country. Together with HFRP, UWW worked with communities to develop plans for high school success. This report highlights the innovative approaches developed and the early outcomes at eight of the UWW grantee sites

Harvard Family Research Project (February 2011) Research Report

Breaking New Ground: Data Systems Transform Family Engagement in Education

HFRP and the National PTA® have teamed up for the second issue in our series of ground-breaking policy briefs. Breaking New Ground cites six case studies from across the country that reveal innovative efforts by early childhood programs and school districts to use student data systems to improve family engagement. Each profile illustrates a segment of a data pathway beginning in early childhood and continuing through students' academic careers. The brief also includes a set of policy recommendations to help support the current trends in education that focus on twenty-first century learning and the vital role of technology.

Heather B. Weiss , M. Elena Lopez, & Deborah R. Stark (January 2011) Research Report

Family Engagement: Looking Back and Moving Forward

In this issue’s commentary, Heather Weiss, M. Elena Lopez, and Heidi Rosenberg honor FINE's 10th anniversary by looking at the growth and learning in the family engagement field over the last decade. Family engagement is shifting from a “random acts” approach—numerous social, fundraising and educational activities that lack broad and deep connections to school improvement goals—to a more systemic, integrated, and sustainable framework of true family engagement. This commentary discusses what that means for HFRP and FINE in 2011 and beyond.

Heather Weiss , M. Elena Lopez, and Heidi Rosenberg (December 2010) Research Report

Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform

This paper, authored by Harvard Family Research Project, served as the foundation for panelists’ discussions at the National Policy Forum for Family, School, and Community Engagement. Beyond Random Acts provides a research-based framing of family engagement; examines the policy levers that can drive change in promoting systemic family, school, and community engagement; and focuses on data systems as a powerful tool to engage families for twenty-first century student learning.  Because education reform will succeed only when all students are prepared for the demands of the twenty-first century, the paper also examines the role of families in transforming low-performing schools.

Heather Weiss , M. Elena Lopez, and Heidi Rosenberg (December 2010) Research Report

Data on Data: A Resource Guide to Engaging Families with Student Data

This resource from HFRP offers a compilation of articles on families’ use of data to support, guide, and advocate for student achievement and schoolwide improvement. Resources are grouped into three categories: Perspectives that offer lessons learned from family and community use of data, program examples that illustrate what it takes to make data actionable for families, and tools that help everyone understand how data can be analyzed.

Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report

Logged In: Using Technology to Engage Families in Children’s Education

Based on research of promising practices in school districts and communities, Harvard Family Research Project has identified a range of technological innovations that have the potential to boost key dimensions of family engagement: positive parent–child interactions, home–school communication, and parent responsibility for a child’s learning.

Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report

Featured Teaching Case: Defining “Fine”—Communicating Academic Progress to Parents

Harvard Family Research Project’s Teaching Cases are designed to support teacher training and professional development by highlighting challenges that schools, families, and communities may encounter in supporting children’s learning. In this month’s newsletter, we feature Defining “Fine”—Communicating Academic Progress to Parents, a case that highlights one elementary school’s efforts to use and understand data about student progress toward state standards and to communicate the meaning of these data clearly to parents.

Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report

Breaking New Ground: Data Systems Transform Family Engagement in Education

In this issue’s commentary, Heather Weiss and M. Elena Lopez from Harvard Family Research Project and Deborah Stark, Commissioner of First 5, Alameda County revisit the new definition of family engagement—as a shared responsibility, across multiple settings, from cradle to career—as applied to student data use. They discuss how data can effectively bring families, teachers, and administrators to the table, and engage everyone around student learning and performance.

Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report

Family Involvement News: October 2010

We at Harvard Family Research Project are committed to keeping you up to date on what's new in family involvement. This list of links to current reports, articles, events, and opportunities will help you stay on top of research and resources from HFRP and other field leaders.

Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report

ARIS Parent Link: Five Lessons in Linking Families to Student Data Systems

In this Voices from the Field article, Shael Polakow-Suransky, the New York City Department of Education's Deputy Chancellor in the Division of Performance & Accountability, discusses five lessons gleaned from the ARIS Parent Link data system, one of the many tools NYC schools employ to help educators and families evaluate student learning and support student achievement. 

Shael Polakow-Suransky (October 2010) Research Report

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Published by Harvard Family Research Project