SEDL Monthly: August 2008
SEDL Monthly: Advancing Research, Improving Education August 2008
Mom working on homework with daughter

Family Involvement: Crucial to Student Success
With the new school year upon us, it is time for principals and teachers to begin thinking about family involvement—especially family involvement that can make a difference in student achievement.

new at SEDL

August Issue of SEDL Letter: Afterschool, Family, and Community

SEDL letter
SEDL Letter

A strong family involvement plan means more than inviting parents to an open house at the start of the school year, then hoping for the best. According to Catherine Jordan, SEDL’s program manager for Afterschool, Family and Community, “Unless schools, families and communities work together to raise student achievement, their efforts will be too fragmented to make a difference in student achievement.”

There is a great deal of evidence that supports a variety of practices for family involvement to make a difference in student achievement. The latest edition of SEDL Letter includes a summary of a systematic review that is focused on parent involvement. Systematic reviews reflect the most rigorous research in the field and can provide guidance about which practices or interventions make a difference. This review concluded that parent involvement strategies that focus on the active engagement of a parent with their child outside of the school day in an activity that centers on academics can make a positive difference in achievement—especially in reading. You may download the full review from the Campbell Collaboration Web site.

View other family and community involvement in student learning products in the SEDL Store. SEDL products support high-quality teaching, improved learning, and increased student performance.


tips and tools

Get the Latest Family Involvement Tips & Tools from Your State PIRC

The No Child Left Behind Act has encouraged state and local education agencies to provide more information to parents regarding school choice, supplemental services and other accountability issues. To help states and schools, the U.S. Department of Education has funded Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) in every state, the District of Columbia, and outlying U.S. territories. SEDL and its partners—the Harvard Family Research Project and the Miko Group—have been providing technical assistance to the PIRCs through the National PIRC Coordination Center. Thanks to this assistance, the PIRCs are now providing more comprehensive services and information. To find out more about the PIRC(s) in your state, visit

The PIRCs offer a variety of resource materials, workshops, and networking to make the most of family involvement programs at your school.

Free Resources

Resources Rooted in Research

SEDL has resources galore that can help you learn about best practices and research in family involvement. Visit to see our searchable database of family involvement research literature, download copies of SEDL’s research syntheses, and useful handouts.

The Harvard Family Research Project , also has a wealth of information on family involvement, including the Spring 2008 issue of the Evaluation Exchange, which is devoted to family involvement promising practices and evaluation topics.

View other free family and community involvement in student learning resores available on the SEDL Web site. Sign up for AfterWords, the newsletter of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning or subscribe to SEDL Letter, our award winning magazine that examines issues that affect schools and districts today: teaching, reading, hiring and supporting quality teachers, and improving student achievement.

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Questions or comments should be directed to:
Leslie Blair
4700 Mueller Blvd.
Austin, TX 78723
Phone: 512-391-6507
Fax: 512-476-2286