Family and Community
Families and communities play an integral role in children’s school success. With partners such as National PTA, we work at all levels to help educators engage families and communities in ways that directly support schools and student learning.
Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships
Produced by SEDL in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, Partners in Education presents a new framework for designing family engagement initiatives that build capacity among educators and families to partner with one another around student success. Based in existing research and best practices, this report is designed to act as a scaffold for the development of family engagement strategies, policies, and programs. Read more
National Center for Family and Community Connections With Schools: Housed at SEDL, this national center disseminates research-based information and resources to foster connections among families, communities, and schools that support school improvement and student learning. Available products include toolkits, an online database of resources, research syntheses and briefs, and webinars.
Family Engagement State Leaders Network: SEDL has operated the Family Engagement State Leaders Network since 2012. The purpose of this national collaborative is to help state education agencies implement, support, scale-up, and sustain family and community engagement initiatives. Through the Network, participants have a forum for sharing information, resources, and strategies about family engagement that support student success.
National PIRC Coordination Center: Through October 2012, the National PIRC Coordination Center, a partnership of SEDL, the Harvard Family Research Project, and the Miko Group, Inc., supported the work of the nation’s 62 Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs) by providing training events, research-based materials, new grantee orientation, on-site visits, and regional and national conferences.
National Institute for Literacy Dissemination Project: SEDL helped the National Institute for Literacy get its free booklets, which provide parents with tips for developing children’s early reading skills, into the hands of parents nationwide.
Collaborative Action Teams: SEDL staff evaluated and refined the process for creating Collaborative Action Teams, which worked to develop partnerships among students, families, communities, and schools at the local level. These teams identified pressing issues in a community and took action to address them.
Supporting Family Involvement in Education: In the 1980s, SEDL provided guidance and tools to assist businesses, schools, and communities in helping working mothers be more involved in their children’s education. We also conducted field-based research on building successful school-family-community partnerships, particularly in lower-income and minority communities.
Family and Community Research Studies: In the 1970s, SEDL undertook three projects that sought to study and improve relationships among schools, families, and communities. The most significant was a groundbreaking 6-year study examining the beliefs and attitudes about parent involvement in children’s elementary education. The results revealed that educators supported more traditional roles for parent involvement, whereas parents supported more active roles such as school advocate.