There are many ways schools can promote family engagement. Here are six types according to Joyce Epstein's Framework for Parent Involvement. Each type is accompanied by synonyms of “caring”, and Epstein emphasizes two defining synonyms that underlie all six types - Trusting and Respecting. It may be useful to think of these types of engagement as different expressions of care, which families may be accustomed to doing in some way.
1: Parenting - supporting, nurturing, and rearing: Help all families establish home environments to support children as students
2: Communicating - relating, reviewing, and overseeing: Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children’s progress.
3: Volunteering - supervising and fostering: Recruit and organize parent help and support
4: Learning at Home - managing, recognizing, and rewarding: Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning
5: Decision-Making - contributing, considering, and judging: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives.
6: Collaborating with the Community - sharing and giving: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development.
Download the infographic in the tools (Six Types of Family Involvement)
There are two surveys available as resources. If you would like to use them with your school community, contact the PRT for direct access through Google Forms.
Each school has committees and groups that include parents as leaders, participants or volunteers. There are official groups, like the Governing Board and PPO (Parent Participation Organization) and/or Home and School. Parent volunteers are also invited to help with events, activities, and programming during the school day.
Does your school have a family involvement committee?
Consider asking for parent representatives to join the group.
Would you like to offer training for staff members on family engagement strategies?
Contact the PRT (provincial Resource Team) to schedule a PD session in person or online.