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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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Dear FINE Members,

In this issue of the FINE Newsletter, we discuss how education data can be used to connect parents and teachers as active partners in children’s success. We highlight the importance of making data sharing an ongoing activity rather than one that happens only at specific times during the school year. We also stress the value of data-focused conversations in helping families understand their child’s progress and learn what they can do to advance their child’s learning at home, at school, and in the community.

We are also releasing a new resource,Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families: How to Share Data Effectively, which offers each of these groups tips on how to prepare for and have conversations about data that go beyond traditional measurements of student progress such as grades and test scores. These tip sheets build on our Parent–Teacher Conference Tip Sheets to help administrators, teachers, and families understand how they can share data throughout the year and make data sharing a cornerstone of family–school communication.

As you read through and try out the tips, we invite you to share your feedback with us. Were the tips useful? Did following the tips help strengthen your family–school communication around data sharing? We’ll be crowdsourcing your feedback and using it to help improve our resources and tools, so please share your ideas with us by emailing with the subject line: Data Sharing Tips Feedback.

We also have some exciting news—we are in the process of making the FINE Newsletter interactive and plan to include some special features in future issues. In the spirit of using data to connect with you and others in our audience, we will be sending out a member survey to solicit your thoughts. Look for a survey from us in your email in the coming months!

As always, we invite you to pass on this issue to interested friends and colleagues and hope that you will encourage them to sign up for FINE at . We've made it even easier to share the FINE Newsletter content with your social networks: Find the "share" button on the left side of every page, and send interesting articles via email or through other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.


Making Data Meaningful

Christine Patton

In this Commentary, Harvard Family Research Project’s Christine Patton explores how the conversations that people are having about education data have changed, and outlines key components of effective data-sharing practices.

Voices from the Field

Helping Parents Become Interventionists Through the Use of Child Assessment Data

Heather Schrotberger, Andrea Clements, and Elizabeth Nichols of Project EAGLE

Heather Schrotberger, Andrea Clements, and Elizabeth Nichols of Project EAGLE talk about sharing data with families and illustrate how program staff and parents work as partners to review child assessment data and co-create goals for children.

Research Digest

Data Sharing Through Parent Portals: An Exploration of Parental Motivation, Data Use, and the Promise of Prolonged Parent Involvement

Barbara Starkie

In this Research Digest, Barbara Starkie highlights key findings from her recent study that examined why and how parents use online parent portals to view student data.

Resources & Research From Harvard Family Research Project

Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families: How to Share Data Effectively

Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families:  How to share data effectively

This new set of tip sheets helps administrators, teachers, and families identify the best ways to share student data in meaningful ways, on a regular basis, to strengthen family–school partnerships and promote student learning. The tips can be used to guide the formal conversations that take place during parent–teacher conferences, but they are especially designed to help promote less formal, ongoing communication about student progress among teachers, families, and students throughout the year.

Family Involvement News

April 2013 News

Father and daughter reading together We are committed to keeping you up to date on what's new in family engagement. View our list of links to current reports, articles, resources, and events in the field.

Contact Us

If you experience a problem reading this newsletter or have questions and comments concerning our work, we would love to hear from you. Please send an email to


The FINE Team at Harvard Family Research Project

© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project