How Welcoming is Your School? The Connecticut Welcoming Schools Initiative. Educators understand more than ever that the key to engaging parents is to make their schools feel “like family.” Schools that extend a genuine welcome to parents have stronger partners in the education process. The CT Welcoming Schools Initiative was created to improve family involvement in schools and after-school programs.
The Welcoming Schools tool is designed to allow schools to assess their “family friendly” practices. This tool gives school leaders the opportunity to evaluate how inviting their school appears to the parents and community of the school.
Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Parents and Community as Partners in Education developed by the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Pacific (REL Pacific). The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Parents and Community as Partners in Education is designed to guide school staff in strengthening partnerships with families and community members to support student learning. Each part can stand alone or be used in conjunction with the other parts for a more comprehensive approach to family and community engagement, depending on the varying needs of the staff and school community.
- Part 1: Building an Understanding of Family and Community Engagement
Part 1 offers an integrated approach to family and community engagement, bringing together research, promising practices, and a wide range of useful tools and resources with explanations and directions for using them.
- The tools in Part 2 focus on tapping into the strengths of families and community members and helping families to establish active roles within the school community in support of student learning.
- Part 3: Building Trusting Relationships with Families and Community through Effective Communication
Part 3 tools focus on cross-cultural and two-way communication as ways to enhance family and community engagement.
- Part 4: Engaging All in Data Conversations
The tools in Part 4 help school staff understand what data are important to share with families and community members and how to share such data.
This short video was created by parent leaders from Highline Public Schools (WA) as a training tool for school-based secretaries. It covers the importance of welcoming and greeting parents, making eye contact, and providing language access. In this video, real parents talk about how the welcoming climate in their children's school affects their decision whether to visit and be engaged.
The Family-School Relationships Survey was developed to provide schools with a clear picture of family attitudes about an array of topics. The free K-12 survey tool covers topics like parent engagement, parent support, school climate, and parent efficacy. It was developed by Harvard Graduate School of Education in partnerships with Panorama Ed and is available in 11 languages. Districts may use Panorama's platform to administer the survey and interpret results.