School, Family and Community Engagement

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Asian families # 2

The Minnesota Department of Education has provided a resource on Family Engagement based on current research and best practices for school and districts

.Developing Family, School and Community Partnerships

The development of strong collaborations between schools, families, and communities is an essential component for student academic success. The resources on this site are intended to assist parents, schools, and districts in strengthening partnerships between schools, families, and their communities to increase student achievement, and may be copied and distributed freely.The Resource is provided within eight modules.

Each module contains:

  • A needs assessment to assist schools/districts in identifying strengths and areas needing improvement.
  • Research, best practices, and resources related to the topic.
  • A toolkit, which includes handouts, presentations, action plans, examples, SMART goal templates, and more to help school teams develop strategies and plans for that topic.
  • Policy and procedure samples and ideas.



The following resources are the research and best practices in School, Family and Community Engagement. These resources assist schools, districts and families in developing programs, activities, events and systemic updates and transformation in the field of family engagement and its practices. It’s vital that we collaborate with our students first and continuing educators (the family) in our practices to achieve the goal of student achievement and lifelong success. Our community stakeholders and partners also play a significant role in reaching those goals.

The National Network for Partnership Schools (NNPS )was established at Johns Hopkins University in 1996, with a goal of  inviting schools, districts, states, and organizations to join together to use research-based approaches to organize and sustain excellent programs of family and community involvement for the purpose of increasing student success in school.

Harvard Family Research Projectlogo.hfrp

The Harvard Family Research Project has done extensive research and work in the area of family engagement.  Its work centers around several key area, and its website contains many resources, research findings, and links to other useful family engagement practices and strategies.

Harvard’s Key Focus Areas

Complementary Learning focuses on linking families, schools, and communities to support success in school and in life.

Family Involvement promotes strategies to support family involvement in children’s learning and development.

Out-of-School Time supports the accessibility, quality, and sustainability of out-of-school time programs and initiatives.

Early Childhood Education promotes innovative program development, family-provider relationships, community collaborations, and successful transitions.

Evaluation helps organizations get the information they need to develop and execute effective strategies.

Other Research Areas explore new ideas and new research areas.

School Community Network (SCN)

The School Community Network (SCN) provides resources, training, and tools to build strong school communities focused on student learning. SCN is sponsored by the Academic Development Institute (ADI), a not-for-profit organization located in Lincoln, Illinois. Its website offers resources, newsletters, handbooks, webinars, and other tools for work in school, family, and community engagement. Resources, activities, and tools are available for parents and school staff, and are in both English and Spanish.

Research Article from the Field Linking Family Engagement to Achievement

Steve Sheldon, PhD, is a Research Scientist with the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University, and is Director of Research with NNPS. In this article, Sheldon shares how research-based school–family–community engagement practices can play a vital role in education reform and student achievement.

Project Appleseed:  A National Campaign for Public School Improvement

Project Appleseed is an outstanding educational resource for families in public education.  This web-based tool utilizes the six types of involvement fromDr. Joyce Epstein’s research to engage with families, schools, and communities for student success and achievement in K-12 education. It has many useful resources for both staff and parents including tips, tool kits, and handouts.
The Parental Involvement Pledge is a learning compact, providing an opportunity for parents to formalize their commitment to working with their child’s school through a written agreement, which they can complete and take to their parent leader, school secretary, teacher, or principal. The Pledge is based on the Six Types of Parental Involvement developed by Dr. Joyce Epstein at John’s Hopkins University.This resource also includes an example of a survey of parent volunteer interests. The survey identifies areas in which parents can volunteer in school, outside the classroom, and at home.