August 11, 2022

Developing the Conditions for Family-School-Community Partnerships

  1. Invest in Infrastructure to Promote Equity and Diversity

School leaders drive the vision and commitment to family and community engagement and create the infrastructure for its success. This can mean hiring dedicated staff, such as parent coordinators and facilitators, whose roles are to reach out to families and share the engagement work with educators. It might also mean hiring social workers who connect with and advocate for families, make referrals and community connections, and provide counseling.

School leaders can also provide opportunities for educators to grow their family engagement knowledge and skills, such as flexible time and resources to expand upon what students are learning in other contexts.

  1. Invest in Supplies and Resources

When educators and schools invest in updating their digital resources (e.g., e-books, textbooks) to make them culturally relevant, families and students see their experiences and lives represented, valued, and honored. Educators can also provide translation and interpretation services for families to access relevant information about health, safety, and any current changes being proposed around the school. Given the emphasis on the digital divide, providing all families with access to technology (computers, printers, etc.), training on how to use it, high-speed internet (broadband access, local hotspots), and programming (software, online services) that supports remote learning requires updating services and systems.

  1. Invest in Programs and Strategies

Successful family and community engagement is cultivated through the everyday actions of families, principals, teachers, and other school staff who intentionally build relational trust. Schools can create new systems and strategies to communicate with and reach out to families—whether in the form of websites, home visits, community festivals, transition events, or partnering with community-based organizations.

Adeyinka Meduoye

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