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Today, the nation’s education system is poised for transformation. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is investing $100 billion in education with a long-term objective to implement evidence-based solutions and accountability systems that will help all students succeed.  Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need to promote a research-based definition and a coherent and comprehensive strategy for family, school, and community engagement that will, in turn, increase the return on program investments and, ultimately, student success. 

This policy brief offers a definition of family, school, and community engagement that builds on the definition in the No Child Left Behind Act (Title IX, section 9101, 32) and is based on research about when and how children learn and the relationships among families, schools, and communities in supporting that learning.  We also lay out some of the elements we believe are necessary to enable states, districts, schools, families, and community organizations to develop effective approaches to family engagement from birth to young adulthood.

About The National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group
The National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group was created to inform educational policy on family engagement and in so doing, to increase educational opportunities for all children, from cradle to career.  We present a broadened definition of family engagement and a platform to strengthen it in education reform efforts.

Free. Available online only.

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