This Spotlight features articles and resources centered on family and community engagement—cultivating high-quality, equitable family engagement through culturally responsive practices, improving family engagement at school events, and supporting children’s and young people’s mental health and well-being.

Family Engagement: Authentically Integrating Essential Competencies

California Center for School Climate. Family Engagement: Authentically Integrating Essential CompetenciesImproving family engagement is critical to school transformations that address the whole child, the whole family, and the whole community. All students thrive when parents and teachers form partnerships where diversity and cultural values and beliefs are recognized.

This California Center for School Climate brief presents evidence-based insights for family-facing practitioners to support and cultivate high-quality, equitable family engagement through culturally responsive practices.

The brief explores the following questions:

  • How can educators build partnerships with families that invite knowledge-sharing and collaboration?
  • How might families and school-based educators learn from each other?
  • What actions can be taken together?

The resource includes a unifying set of tools, strategies, and dispositions that help practitioners engage in deep, reflective conversations with each other and the families they serve.

Download this resource.

Six Strategies for Effective School Family Engagement Events

Student with parent or caregiverBuilding positive relationships with families and teachers strengthens students’ learning, social competencies, and emotional well-being. Everyone benefits when families feel connected and included in their children’s education.

Feeling a sense of belonging is particularly important for students from historically underserved families, such as low-income families, families from communities of color, and families whose primary language is not English. Making genuine connections with underserved families opens doors to communication, problem-solving, and mutual support on behalf of students’ learning and achievement.

Try these six strategies to improve family attendance at school events and to make event planning and family outreach more intentional and effective.

Family Guide to Supporting Young People’s Mental Health and Well-Being

Family Guide to Supporting Mental Health and Well-Being. Information, Tips, and ResourcesProject Cal-Well, led by the California Department of Education, produced this easy-to-use guide with input from families, educators, mental health professionals, and youths.

The guide helps parents, other adult family members, and caregivers support the overall well-being and mental health of school-aged children, offering information about young people’s social and emotional development and explaining warning signs that may signal mental health challenges. It equips caregivers with targeted strategies, tools, and resources that help them advocate for their family, address each child’s specific needs, and get professional help.

Download the guide.

Subscribe to the E-Bulletin

Stay informed about WestEd’s research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities by subscribing to our E-Bulletin. Our November 2023, Volume 2, issue explores strategies for effective family and community engagement. The issue features resources about the following:

  • Family Engagement: Building Essential Competencies
  • Supporting Young People’s Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Building Strong Family-School Partnerships
  • Six Strategies for Effective School-Based Family Engagement Events
  • Participate in Academic Parent-Teacher Teams
  • A Community-Based Approach to Student and Family Well-Being
  • Centering Community Engagement in Collaborative School Design

View the November 2023, Volume 2, E-Bulletin.

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