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What Works Brief #9: Family Engagement

By Maria Paredes, Meagan O Malley, Angela Amarillas


Family engagement is a key fundamental element of any school improvement effort. The term describes behaviors and practices that can be supported in the school environment, such as:

  • Parent/guardian-child and parent/guardian-teacher communication practices
  • Parent/guardian roles and responsibilities in the home
  • Parent/guardian roles and responsibilities at school

How can schools get families involved in their children’s education to achieve academic success? This What Works Brief, cowritten by WestEd’s Maria Paredes and Meagan O’Malley, provides research-based strategies for thoughtful planning, mentoring, encouraging open communication, modeling high expectations, and much more.

Note: Developed by the California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Technical Assistance Center,What Works Briefs summarize state-of-the-art practices, strategies, and programs for improving school climate.

Based on the most current research, each of the ten briefs provides practical recommendations for school staff, parents, and community members and can be used separately to target specific issues (e.g., family engagement), or grouped together to address more complex, systemwide issues.

What Works Briefs are organized into three sections:

  • Quick Wins: What Teachers and Adults Can Do Right Now
  • Universal Supports: Schoolwide Policies, Practices, and Programs
  • Targeted Supports: Intensive Supports for At-Risk Youth

In addition to Brief #9: Family Engagement, download these What Works Briefs:

Information about California Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) can be found at the S3 website.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2012
Format: PDF
Pages: 7
Publisher: WestEd