dimensions are described at length in the Effective Family Engagement section of the toolkit, district and can change over time, be sure to use current.
72 pages

261 KB – 72 Pages

PAGE – 2 ============
The family engagement toolkit was developed by the California Department of Education (CDE) in collab -oration with the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd, the Alameda County O˜ce of Education, the Nevada County O˜ce of Education, the Riverside County O˜ce of Education, and the Sacramento County O˜ce of Education. This work was supported in part by the California Comprehensive Center through funding by the U.S.˚Department of Education, PR/Award Number S283B120012. It does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education and one should not assume endorsement by the federal government. AuthorsNancy Bodenhausen California Department of Education Margit Birge California Comprehensive Center at WestEd Contributors Jason Arenas Alameda County O˜ce of Education Melissa Bazanos Riverside County O˜ce of Education Shar Johns Nevada County O˜ce of Education Jan Mayer Sacramento County O˜ce of Education Production Team Joy Zimmerman, Editor WestEd Christian Holden, Graphic Designer WestEd Copyright 2017, California Department of Education. Permission to reproduce with the California Department of Education copyright notice is hereby granted. Suggested citation: California Department of Education. (2017). Family Engagement Toolkit: Continuous Improvement Through an Equity Lens . Sacramento, CA: Author.

PAGE – 3 ============
Family Engagement Toolkit Contents Introduction 1Toolkit Overview 5Effective Family Engagement .7Laying The Foundation 10Getting Started: Where Are We Now? 14The Process of Continuous Improvement: Plan, Do, Reflect, Adjust ..20Conclusion .35Appendix A: Development of Toolkit and Key Themes from Literature on Family Engagement 36Appendix B: Resources .43Appendix C: Examples of Tools from a Fictitious District 48Appendix D: Methods of Collecting Information 66References .68

PAGE – 4 ============
1INTRODUCTION Introduction The integral role of family engagement 1 in school improvement has been the focus of increased a˛ention throughout the United States in recent years, perhaps more so than at any time since the 1960s when the importance of parental involvement was recognized in the original Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA), which was part of the War on Poverty legislation. Driving this more recent push has been the growing recognition, grounded in research, that e˝ective family engagement can contribute to improved student outcomes and to closing persistent achievement gaps among students of di˝erent racial and ethnic backgrounds and family income levels. Moreover, experts advocate for family engagement as an essential strategy for building the pathway to college and career readiness for all students, as well as an essential component of a systems approach to school turnaround (Weiss, Lopez, Rosenberg, 2010; Center on School Turnaround, 2017). State and federal legislation re˙ects this increased a˛ention. By 2013, 39 states and the District of Columbia had enacted laws calling for the implementation of family engage -ment policies (Mapp & Ku˛ner, 2013). The 2015 reauthorization of ESEA, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), continues to emphasize family engagement as a necessary element for improving student outcomes. For example, Title I of ESSA continues to require parent and family engagement policies and programs (Section 1116); Title III requires local education agencies (LEAs) to strengthen parent, family, and community engagement in programs that serve English Learners (Section 3111 [b][2][D][iv]). As a result of all this, growing numbers of districts and schools around the country have been engaging families in creative and e˝ective ways. Yet the authors™ broad experience working closely with districts and schools throughout California suggests that many educators continue to struggle with the fihow-tofl of translating positive research ˆndings about family engage -ment into e˝ective and sustainable structures and practices Š especially ones that embrace the full range of diverse families in their community. This toolkit was developed to help dis -tricts and schools by providing practical planning and evaluation tools that support e˝orts to engage all families, particularly those of underrepresented and underserved students. 1 The term fifamily engagementfl is used in this toolkit for a number of reasons: to re˙ect the term used in the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015; because the research and practice in the ˆeld has evolved from using fiparentfl to including the broader term fifamilyfl; and because fiengagementfl denotes a shared responsibility for designing and building a partnership between home and school.

PAGE – 5 ============
2INTRODUCTION As is the case for much of the family engagement research, this toolkit uses the term family in its broadest sense, to include any adults who serve a parental role in children™s lives. This term includes, for example, birth and adoptive parents, grandparents and other adult relatives, foster parents and other non-related legal guardians, and adults who are close to children although they may not have a guardian role, such as a pastor or a youth group counselor. Development of the Toolkit Each of the six individuals involved in developing this toolkit comes from a di˝erent California- based education entity that has extensive responsibility for, and experience with, supporting districts and schools on a range of education improvement e˝orts, including strengthening fam -ily engagement. Those entities are the California Comprehensive Center at WestEd; California Department of Education, speciˆcally its Title I Policy and Program Guidance O˜ce; and four California county o˜ces of education Š Alameda, Nevada, Riverside, and Sacramento. In our work with districts and schools, we frequently hear some version of the following questions: How can we increase the engagement of underrepresented families? How can we help teachers and administrators become more skilled and comfortable working with all families? What kind of family engagement activities are likely to lead to the biggest learning advances for students? How can we know if our family engagement e˝orts are having the desired e˝ect? In considering how to help educators address these important questions in the unique con -text of their district or school, we reviewed the research on family engagement, re˙ected on our collective years of technical assistance work in districts and schools, and conducted a review of district-level plans for family engagement from across California. (Details about the research on family engagement and our review of district plans are included in appendix A). In the course of this preparation, we identiˆed a handful of particular chal -lenges related to family engagement that motivated us to develop this toolkit: Family engagement activities are oˇen isolated from other initiatives in districts; Family engagement sta˝ in districts oˇen work in a silo, not in collaboration with other district departments; Families of low-income students and families of students of color are oˇen under -represented in family engagement activities; Educators struggle with how to evaluate family engagement programs and activities, beyond tracking the number of participants a˛ending events; While opportunities for family members to gain skills and knowledge are growing, building educators™ capacity to partner with families is not yet a focus in many districts. The toolkit is designed to address the above questions and challenges.

PAGE – 6 ============
3INTRODUCTION Unique Aspects of the Toolkit Addresses the importance of integrating family engagement with each district™s student learning goals Engaging families will contribute to improving student learning outcomes only when family engagement is integrated into all district goals and initiatives for student learning, including both academic and social-emotional 2 learning goals. Accordingly, this toolkit shows how fam -ily engagement can be tied to speciˆc student learning goals. The toolkit does not provide a one-size ˆts all model of family engagement, nor a do-it-once-and-you™re-done model. Instead, it identiˆes key ingredients of a successful program, describes how to make sure family engagement activities are matched to the unique conditions and initiatives of each district, and outlines a process for continuous improvement of family engagement e˝orts. Includes an explicit commitment to equity in every phase of family engagement Engaging diverse families has the potential to contribute to closing achievement gaps between groups of students, but to realize that potential requires a dedication to using an equity lens in all aspects of the work. The types of diversity among students and families include di˝erent racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, and di˝erent gender identities, sexual orientations, family structures, and abilities or special needs. All of these characteristics and more must be considered when engaging families. The toolkit describes two critical dimensions of family engagement Š building relationships and con -necting to student learning Š˚that are speciˆcally designed to engage diverse families. These dimensions are described at length in the E˝ective Family Engagement section of the toolkit, starting on page 7. Equally important, the toolkit provides an equity lens, in the form of equity questions to consider in planning, implementing, and evaluating family engagement. It also provides strategies and tools to help districts overcome the challenges to engaging under -served and underrepresented families in order to engage families from all student groups. Uses the dual capacity-building framework in planning and implementation of family engagement The toolkit is grounded in the concepts set forth in Partners in Education: A Dual Capacity- Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (Mapp & Ku˛ner, 2013), a research- based framework funded by and published in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education in 2013. As its name suggests, the Dual Capacity-Building Framework calls on districts to increase the family engagement-related knowledge, understanding, 2 Social and emotional learning (SEL) refers to the process through which children and adults acquire and e˝ectively apply the knowledge, a˛itudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Deˆnition from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning: retrieved 9.19.16 at h˛p://www.casel.org/social-and- emotional-learning

PAGE – 8 ============
5Toolkit Overview This toolkit is organized into several sections that are brie˙y introduced immediately below. Each one includes key questions for a district family engagement team consider, along with equity questions to help the team apply an equity lens, to dig deeper and strengthen the engagement of all of the diverse groups of families in the district. In addition, each section includes tools to support the work of the district team. An example of each tool ˆlled out with data from a ˆctitious district is included in appendix C. The tools themselves are available as editable Word versions in the companion document, Family Engagement Tools: Editable Templates ; they can be revised as needed to meet the needs of a district. Because context, strengths, and challenges are unique in each district and can change over time, be sure to use current information from your own district in completing the tools .Effective Family Engagement This section includes a description of the two critical dimensions of family engagement: building trusting relationships and connecting to student learning. It describes what educators and families will know and be able to do if these dimensions are strong, and it includes a matrix showing how districts can strengthen activities on these critical dimensions. Laying The Foundation This section addresses the importance of establishing a district-level family engagement team, creating a district vision statement for family engagement, discussing core beliefs, and ensuring that the vision statement and implementation plans for family engagement are re˙ected in district and school policies and plans. The family engagement coordinator works closely with the team to plan, implement, and evaluate the family engagement work in the district. Even if your district cannot establish this team right away, you can still use the suggestions and tools in the subsequent sections of the toolkit. The toolkit includes icons to identify the critical dimen-sions and important elements in each section:Trusting relationshipsConnect to learningKey questionsEquity questionsTools

PAGE – 9 ============
6Getting Started: Where Are We Now? This section provides guidance on mapping community and family assets that can support positive student outcomes, identifying the district™s current strengths and challenges related to family engagement, and determining how strong your current family engagement pro -gram is in relation to the two dimensions in the matrix. The Process of Continuous Improvement: Plan, Do, Reflect, Adjust This section includes suggestions for strengthening the two dimensions of family engage -ment through a four-phase continuous improvement process: Plan, Do, Re˙ect, and Adjust (PDRA). In this process, the family engagement team works on building capacity for edu -cators and families, using an equity lens to ensure engagement of all families. The section describes high-leverage strategies and activities and includes examples of what each PDRA phase might look like in a district. If a district already uses a similar process, these PDRA activities can be integrated into it. The section also introduces tools to support work in each PDRA phase. The tools themselves, in editable form, are available in the companion Word document, Family Engagement Tools: Editable Templates .Appendix A: Development of Toolkit and Key Themes from Literature on Family Engagement This appendix describes how the toolkit came to be and lays out the themes in research and promising practices that inform toolkit content. It also describes the toolkit developers™ review of Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) in California, as well as highlights from an LCAP review by the Public Policy Institute of California. Appendix B: Resources This appendix includes a listing of resources available to support the work of family engagement. Appendix C: Examples of Tools from a Fictitious District This appendix includes examples of tools included in this toolkit that have been ˆlled out using data from a ˆctitious district. Appendix D: Methods of Collecting Information This appendix consists of a table that compares the advantages and disadvantages of eight di˝erent data-collection methods.

PAGE – 10 ============
7EFFECTIVE FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Effective Family Engagement E˝ective family engagement has been described as fian intentional and systemic part -nership of educators, families, and community members –[who] share responsibility for a student™s preparation for school, work and life, from the time the child is born to young adulthood [Weiss, Lopez & Rosenberg, 2010]. To build an e˝ective partnership, educators, families, and community members need to develop the knowledge and skills to work together, and schools must purposefully integrate family and community engage -ment with goals for students’ learning and thrivingfl (California Department of Education, 2017a, Deˆnition, para.˚3). This description of family engagement is grounded in the work of key family engagement scholars and researchers of the last four decades, including Joyce Epstein at Johns Hopkins University, Karen Mapp at˚the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Anne Henderson at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. It also aligns to the 2013 Dual Capacity -Building Framework. Two Critical Dimensions of Family Engagement We suggest that having schools in which educators and families work as partners to sup -port student learning requires the continuous strengthening of two critical dimensions of family engagement: trusting relationships between educators and families, and the connec -tions of family engagement activities and e˝orts to student learning, referred to hereaˇer as connections to learning. Trusting relationships are weak when Educators make assumptions that some families don™t value education or are not interested in supporting student learning Educators do not communicate e˝ectively with families Families do not feel welcome at their child™s school and do not a˛end events at the school

PAGE – 11 ============
8EFFECTIVE FAMILY ENGAGEMENT Trusting relationships are strong when Educators are culturally responsive and reach out to families to build partnerships All families feel welcome and respected at their child™s school Educators and family leaders jointly plan and lead family engagement activities Connections to student learning are weak when Educators do not understand how to engage families to support student learning Families do not feel knowledgeable or conˆdent about how to provide support for˚learning Family engagement activities are not related to student learning outcomes Connections to student learning are strong when Family engagement activities are aligned with district goals for student outcomes Families and educators engage in two-way communication about what students are learning at school Family engagement activities help families to provide support at home for learning The matrix on the following page shows how these two dimensions of family engagement are complementary, and it includes an example of activities in each of the four quadrants.

261 KB – 72 Pages