ADVANCING RESEARCH, IMPROVING EDUCATION                               

The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools

Supporting School, Family, and Community Connections to Increase School Success

About the Center

A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement

Overview of the Toolkit

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act) reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and provided a framework through which families, educators, and communities can work together to improve teaching and learning. Four principles guide this framework:

  1. accountability for results,
  2. local control and flexibility,
  3. expanded parental choice, and
  4. effective and successful programs that reflect scientifically based research.

The parental involvement provisions of Title I, Part A of the ESEA reflect these principles. Specifically, the provisions stress the following:

The new Title I, Part A is designed not only to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers, but also to change the culture of America's schools so that success is defined in terms of student achievement and in each school's investment in every child.1 As indicated by the parental involvement provisions in Title I, Part A, the involvement of parents in their child's education and schools is critical to that process. Secretary Paige put it succinctly when he stated, "Schools can't improve without the help of parents."2

Three decades of research provide convincing evidence that parents are an important influence in helping their child achieve high academic standards. When schools collaborate with parents to help their child learn and when parents participate in school activities and decision making about their child's education, children achieve at higher levels. In short, when parents are involved in education, children do better in school and schools improve.3

Purpose for the Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to provide information to those who are implementing Title I Part A parental involvement provisions.

Toolkit Sections

This toolkit is divided into sections that align to the legislation and previous guidance the Department has provided on Title I, Part A. Each section includes an explanation of relevant statute as well as sample forms or practices to assist in the implementation of the parental involvement provisions. The toolkit contains the following sections:

Section 1: Introduction to the Toolkit—Information on the focus, content, and organization of the toolkit

Section 2: Overview of Applicable Requirements—General information regarding the Title I, Part A regulations and non–regulatory parental involvement provisions

Section 3: State Responsibilities—Parental involvement requirements for SEAs

Section 4: LEA Responsibilities—Parental involvement requirements for LEAs

Section 5: School Responsibilities—Parental involvement requirements for schools

Section 6: LEA and School Responsibilities to Build Capacity—Parental involvement requirements for LEAs and schools to build parents' capacity for becoming involved in improving their child's academic achievement

References: Complete list of sources cited in the toolkit

Appendix A: List of Tools—Name and description of tools by section

Appendix B: Other Resources—Title of other U.S. Department of Education resources

Unless otherwise indicated, forms, letters, and other information provided in the toolkit are not official U.S. Department of Education documents, and they are not endorsed by the Department. Instead, these are documents that LEA and private school officials have found helpful in carrying out Title I, Part A parental notification and involvement requirements and are willing to share with other practitioners. These sample documents may be useful to you as is, or they may need to be adapted to meet your local circumstances.

How to Use the Toolkit

The toolkit is designed to provide two types of information:

  1. Explanations for Title I, Part A notification and involvement provisions—This text describes the actions and processes SEAs, LEAs, and schools must take to meet the provisions of Title I, Part A.
  2. Possible tools—These tools provide examples of information sheets, checklists, letters, surveys, and other resources SEAs, LEAs, and schools use to assist them in implementing Title I, Part A notification and involvement provisions.

Documents included in the toolkit have been adapted to fit the purposes and format of this publication. However, users will find the sources listed in Appendix A.


  1. U.S. Department of Education. 2002. Testing for results: Helping families, school and communities understand and improve student achievement. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education.
  2. Paige, R. April 8, 2002. Schools can't improve without help of parents. USA Today: A13.
  3. Armbruster, B., Lehr, F., & Osburn, M. B. 2003. Proven ideas from research for parents: A child becomes a reader (K–3). Second Edition. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation.

    Henderson, A., & Mapp, L. K. 2002. A new wave of evidence: The impact of school, family, and community connections on student achievement, annual synthesis 2002. Austin, TX: SEDL.

    Henderson, A. T., Mapp, K. L., Johnson, V. R., & Davies, D. 2007. Beyond the bake sale: The essential guide to family–school partnerships. New York: The New Press.

    Lewis, A. C., & Henderson, A. T. 1997. Urgent message: Families crucial to school reform. Washington, DC: Center for Law and Education [ERIC Document No ED418480].

    Starkey, P., & Klein, A. 2000. Fostering parental support for children's mathematical development: An intervention with Head Start families. Early Education and Development, 11, no. 5: 659–680.

Free Webinar Series
The U.S. Department of Education and its partners invite you to view the archive for the webinar, Bringing it All Together: Family and Community Engagement Policies in Action, which took place on November 16, 2011.

This is the ninth and final webinar in the series, Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement.

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