Research over the past 30 years has shown that engaging families in their children’s education increases student achievement and decreases dropout rates. Effective family engagement is not a one-time program or the choice of a good school, but rather a set of day-to-day practices, attitudes, beliefs and interactions that support learning at home, at school, after school, and during the summer. Educators can and should promote engagement that is systemic, sustained, and integrated into school improvement efforts.
There are many innovative family and community engagement efforts in schools today that successfully integrate family engagement into student learning. Research indicates that educators who apply the six types of parent engagement (listed below) as core standards and practices in their work get excellent results in student achievement.
Schools committed to stronger and more effective family engagement provide ongoing, embedded professional development for staff in strategies for increasing family engagement that supports student achievement. They increase staff awareness and implement practices that engage parents as full partners in the educational process.
Communicating – Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful.
Parenting – Parenting skills are promoted, taught, and supported.
Student Learning – Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning.
Volunteering – Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought.
School Decision-Making and Advocacy – Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families.
Collaborating with Community – Community resources are used to strengthen schools, families, and student learning.