Family Engagement


Research shows that family engagement is one of the most powerful predictors of student academic success. As more research is conducted it becomes more and more clear that family engagement is not just for those parents with social capital who seem comfortable with their role as active parent volunteers, nor is it just for the parents who do not show up consistently, it is for all parents (family members/leaders).

Research confirms that when families are meaningfully involved in their child’s learning, the student is more successful in school. Some families understand this and how to become involved; some families know this, but are unsure about ways they can participate. Other families, however, do not realize the significance of their impact on student learning and success.

Educators may have a sense that it is important for families to become involved in their child’s education, but have very little formal preparation to effectively interact with parents. It can even be threatening to classroom educators and principals to have parents that are active participants in the learning process.

What we have learned is that it is important for all stakeholders, parents, educators and community partners to work together from the early formative years through college to transform learning and increase opportunities for student success. Community partners can be out of school time providers, faith based groups, health and human services organizations, and any other member of the community that is actively involved in the school’s learning environment.

In the Connections section of this website, resources can be found that guide family engagement and family-school-community partnership work.

Pennsylvania Department of Education's Division of Federal Programs

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