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Family involvement is a shared responsibility, consisting of three major dimensions: the opportunities that schools and communities offer parents and other family members to support and enrich their children’s learning; mutually agreed upon, or co-constructed, roles; and learning from personal experiences, peers, research, and other resources about how to engage families in children’s learning.
In this issue, we apply our new, broader definition of family engagement to the ways in which families, communities, and schools work together to share responsibility for student learning. Two new articles illustrate how co-constructed roles can work in practice: Voices from the field recounts the story of a parent, school principal, and family advocate sharing responsibility for creating a solution to school problem, and our featured teaching case describes how a mother enlisted the help of a community organization to communicate with a school principal after her son was suspended.
In addition, we introduce a tool to help school districts and other organizations think through the development of systemic family engagement policies and programs. We also introduce a newly developed section of our website that houses all of Harvard Family Research Project’s policy-related work in one convenient location. And, as always, we provide a listing of new family involvement articles, news, and resources.