This section includes materials and resources that support the case for strong school, family and community partnerships. Some of the work is based on the research of Dr. Joyce Epstein from Johns Hopkins University. Her efforts and research on strong school, family, and community partnerships is ongoing, and the work of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), founded by Dr. Epstein, has been in existence since 1995.
For most schools and districts, this module is the place to begin work developing and improving efforts in family engagement. This section focuses on how to develop systems and strategies around family engagement. There are seven additional modules or sections that support the work found here. Effective parent engagement is rarely obtained without good systems, plans and practices in place.
Multiple Benefits of Strong School, Family and Community Partnerships
The research on family engagement shows significant benefits to students in schools that have prioritized the development of school, family and community partnerships. Schools, families and community stakeholders are in partnership for a common purpose—that is, all students achieving at the highest level.
Research shows that high-quality family engagement results in many excellent outcomes:
- Higher grades and improved test scores.
- Improved attendance rates.
- Better behavior at home and at school.
- Increased graduation rates.
- Increased social and transition skills.
- Reduced class failures.
- Increased awareness of student progress and effective responses to problems.
- Greater self-confidence in guiding students through school.
- Deeper appreciation of teachers and trust for school systems.
- Stronger support for schools and from schools.
- Greater sense of community within schools.
- Increased respect for families’ strengths and levels of involvement.
- Increased understanding of families.
- Increased level of trust to engage with all families.
- Partnering with community resources to enrich students’ experiences.
- Greater level of work satisfaction and enjoyment.