Interactive Parent-Teacher Conferences

Mother, daughter, and teacher meeting at school

Parent-teacher conferences are an important time for parents and teachers to come together and discuss a child’s progress, strengths, and areas of improvement. However, traditional conferences where the teacher talks and parents listen are becoming less and less effective. Interactive parent-teacher conferences, where both parties actively participate, are essential to parent engagement. Benefits of Interactive […]

Why Schools Should Survey Parents

Woman smiling while on a phone in front of a laptop

Schools have a vital role in shaping the future of our children and society. They not only educate and equip students with the necessary skills but also create a supportive and inclusive environment that fosters learning and growth. Given the critical role that schools play, it is essential to gather feedback from all stakeholders, including […]

Engaging Families: The Most Important Goal

Mother smiling at daughter wearing a backpack at school

Increasing effective and efficient parent engagement strategies is the most important thing you can do for your school. Okay, that may sound extreme, but take a good look, and you will see the point. Engaged families support your school, keep their kids enrolled, tell others how great your school is, work with teachers to make […]

Resolutions for Your School

Silhouette of a man jumping from a cliff with 2022 above it to another cliff with 2023 above it

A new year is upon us. For many, that means New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps you resolved to spend more time with family, to take that long-desired vacation, to exercise, or to eat healthier. As you reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next, don’t forget to make resolutions for your school, too. […]

What is ThinKTank?

Students sitting in a classroom; Text reads "A program for current and future families"

Where do your students’ parents go when seeking information about a new school or how to help their children? Like most parents, they likely Google the school’s name or their question and hope for the best. The result, however, can be far from helpful. Google results often provide links to only basic information about a […]

Family Engagement for Enrollment and Retention

Mother helping daughter with homework

Educators have long known that increased family engagement results in increased student achievement, fewer disciplinary issues, and higher quality parent-teacher relationships. But the benefits don’t stop there. As schools throughout the country experience declining enrollment and struggle to retain existing students and families, strategic family engagement is emerging as one way to address this challenge. […]

Family Engagement Roadblocks: What Can I Do?

Mom helping daughter with homework

Without effective communication, even the best family engagement activities will fall short of desired outcomes. Educators must engage in reflective practices to ensure we’re not using any of these five family communication roadblocks. Roadblock #1: Not listening to parents’ perspectives Roadblock #2: Not responding promptly Roadblock #3: Talking at instead of with parents Roadblock #4: […]

Family Ambassadors: Why Every School Should Have Them

Two black men talking to each other

What is your dream vacation? Maybe you want to visit Florida and spend a week on the beach. Or you may prefer an Alaskan cruise where you can see snow, mountains, and wildlife not found anywhere else in the United States. Now pause and ask yourself, “Why do I want to go there?” Most likely, […]

Why is Student Enrollment Dropping?

Black and white photo of students walking away

This week, the Department of Education released its latest report card on our nation’s schools (National Association of Educational Progress, 2022). It’s not good. Test scores are down. Attendance is down. Retention is down. It’s easy to blame the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s an honest cause. But it’s not the only cause of these declines. Even […]

What Keeps Families from Being Engaged?

Teacher meeting with student and his mother

Family engagement has many definitions. Generally, it’s the process caregivers take to be involved in their child’s life at various stages of development. Many social service organizations (federal, state, and private) approach family engagement as a collaborative process whereby families are “empowered” to help their children thrive. K-12 schools have often taken this traditional approach, […]