Family Engagement Works...

for everyone.

Mother and father reading to a young girl

Benefits for Students

  • Higher grades and test scores
  • Higher rates of attendance and classroom engagement
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Positive attitude
  • Fewer instances of challenging behaviors
  • Increased sense of efficacy and self-esteem
When students witness the adults in their lives, including parents, teachers, and other school staff, working together to support their education, they are supported, reassured, and recognize the value of their education. These benefits are strengthened when family engagement and collaboration between home and school are present from early childhood through high school.

Benefits for EDUCATORS

  • Strengths-based mindset toward families
  • Increased multicultural awareness and appreciation
  • More tools to motivate and engage students
  • Increased support from families
  • Increased morale
  • Increased professional satisfaction
As teachers learn more about their students’ skills, passions, culture, and experiences, they can better enrich instruction, motivate students, and individualize lessons to meet student needs. In addition, partnerships with families support teachers and reduce their sense of isolation.

Benefits for FAmilies

At School
  • Increased rapport with teachers and other school staff
  • Better able to advocate for their child.
  • Increased social connections with teachers, school staff, and other families
At Home
  • Stronger relationships with children
  • Greater understanding of children’s current skills, progress, and challenges
  • Increased ability to support learning at home
Families who partner with their children’s school develop skills and confidence in supporting learning both at home and at school. More engaged families can advocate for their children and take a proactive approach to influence policies that better meet the needs of families in their community. Parent leaders become models and a source of support for other families.

Benefits for Schools

At School
  • More positive school climate
  • Greater retention of teachers
  • Higher staff morale
In the Community
As schools develop partnerships with parents and families within the school, they become more equipped to develop related partnerships between the school and their community. As a result, schools begin to reflect their community and enhance their value to the community making it more attractive for current and future families.

Benefits for DISTRICTS

Student Outcomes
  • Reduced suspensions and referrals
  • Improved health with increased mental and physical health resources
School Outcomes
  • Increased student and family engagement
  • Increased participation in extracurricular activities
  • Increased high school graduation rates

When families and community members partner with school leaders, policies and practices better meet the needs of families and other community members. The result is greater investment in both the school and the community.

Selected References

Allensworth, E., Ponisciak, S., & Mazzeo, C. (2009). The schools teachers leave: Teacher mobility in Chicago Public Schools. Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Ascher, C. & Maguire, C. (2007). Beating the odds: How thirteen NYC schools bring low-performing ninth graders to timely graduation and college enrollment. Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Baker, T.L., Wise, J., Kelley, G., & Skiba, R.J. (2016). Identifying barriers: Creating solutions to improve family engagement. School Community Journal, 26(2), 161-184.

Byrk, A.S. & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. Russel Sage Foundation.

Geller, J., Luiz, J., Asher, D., McAlister, S., Henderson, A.T., Kressley, K.G., Perez, W., & Sanzone, J. (2019). The ripple effect in action: What seven parent leadership initiatives learned from participatory evaluation. NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools.

Ishimaru, A.M. (2019). From family engagement to equitable collaboration. Educational Policy. 33(2), 350-385.

Ishimaru, A.M. (2020). Just schools: Building equitable collaboration with families and communities. Teachers College Press.

Kraft, M.A. & Dougherty, S.M. (2013). The effects of teacher-family communication on student engagement: Evidence from a randomized field experiment. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 6(3), 199-222.

MacIver, M.A., Epstein, J.L., Sheldon, S.B., & Fonseca, E. (2015). Engaging families to support students’ transition from high school: Evidence from the field. The High School Journal, 99(1), 27-45.

Mapp, K.L., Henderson, A.T., Cuevas, S., Franco, M.C., & Ewert, S. (2022). Everyone wins: The evidence for family-school partnerships & implications for practice. Scholastic: New York.

McLaughlin, M., Fehrer, K., & Leos-Urbel, J. (2020). The way we do school: The making of Oakland’s full-service community school district. Harvard Education Press.

Mediratta, K., Shah, S., & McAlister, S. (2009). Building partnerships to reinvent school culture: Austin Interfaith. Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Sheldon, S.B. & Jung, S.B. (2018). Student outcomes and parent-teacher home visits. Johns Hopkins University.