You are seeing this message because your web browser does not support basic web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing and what you can do to make your experience on this site better.

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.

Terms of Use ▼

Dear FINE Member,

This month, our newsletter focuses on new research and resources related to parent involvement in middle and high school. While family involvement in these years often looks different from involvement in the early childhood and elementary school years, it still plays an important role in students’ school engagement, academic success, and overall well-being.

Other resources this month include examples of successful parent organizing, a new public awareness campaign focusing on parent involvement from birth to age 5, and a study guide to accompany the book Beyond the Bake Sale. In addition, we invite you to share your suggestions about the content of future FINE newsletters.

New From Harvard Family Research Project

  • HFRP on Nevada Public Radio

    Nevada Public Radio's "State of Nevada" program recently featured Suzanne Bouffard, Project Manager at Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), along with Philip Brody, Chief Information Officer of the Clark County (NV) School District (CCSD), in a discussion of CCSD's new Parent Link family involvement program. Parent Link connects schools and families through telephone and online communication.

New From FINE

  • Coming in the New Year: The New FINE Newsletter!

    As family involvement policy and practice evolve, FINE is also evolving. With a new format for our newsletters in 2009, we will continue to reflect the voices of FINE members and the other researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who are moving the family involvement field into the 21st century. 

    Beginning in January, the family involvement section of HFRP’s website will continue to feature updates about current research, resources, and examples of practice, while our bimonthly newsletter will begin to focus more closely on themes related to your interests and other timely issues in the field.

    The new FINE newsletter will feature original resources—such as commentary from family involvement experts, examples of family involvement research, best practices, and resources—created explicitly for and, in some cases, by FINE members. 

  • Do You Have a Resource to Share With the FINE Community?

    If you have a family involvement resource that you would like to share with your fellow FINE members—a course syllabus, a teaching case, a tool you’ve created, or a favorite text—we would love to hear from you! While we may not be able to include everything we receive, your input will shape future newsletters and help us to incorporate a growing number of FINE members’ voices. 

Middle and High School Family Involvement News and Resources

  • Parents’ Perspectives on American High Schools 

    A recent report from Civic Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation presents findings from a nationally representative survey of parents of U.S. high school students. Findings show a correlation between parental involvement and academic success. Results also show that most parents in America have high aspirations for their children and want to be involved in their education; however, many parents report needing better information and tools from schools to do so.

  • Parent Support and Girls’ Math and Science Study

    A recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) examined factors that influence girls’ interest in math and science courses from middle school through college. The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, found that parent support and encouragement was the strongest type of support for middle- and high-school students in math and science.

  • Parent Involvement and Boys’ Well-Being

    A recent brief released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services presents research-based information to highlight the positive impact that caring adults in families, schools, and communities can have boys’ well-being. Among the findings presented in the brief is the importance of supportive, involved parents and families to boys’ mental and social well-being.

  • Student Attendance and Parent Engagement 

    A recent report released by the National Center for Children in Poverty at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University presents research on the effects of chronic absenteeism on student’s school success. The report, which was commissioned by the Casey Foundation, addresses the role of parents in child attendance and possible solutions to chronic absenteeism.

  • Parents’ Involvement in Efforts to Stem Dropout Rates

    A recent article in The New York Times profiled a new year-long effort to reduce dropout rates in New Jersey. New Jersey High School Graduation Campaign, part of national initiative of the Washington-based children’s advocacy group America’s Promise Alliance, aims to bring community support to schools and families as part of a comprehensive effort to increase graduation rates among the state’s high school students.

Policy Resources

  • Family Involvement Lacking in School Improvement Plans

    The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory recently released findings from a review of school improvement plans from five states.  Results suggest that that the majority of school improvement plans did not include the parent involvement activities that are required by law, and the prevalence of family involvement provisions in school improvement plans decreased across grade levels.

Other Articles, Resources, and Reports

  • Parent Involvement in Recent Presidential Campaign

    A recent article on Education Week’s website,, comparing the two presidential candidates stances on education notes the prominence of parent involvement in President-Elect Obama’s campaign speeches about education. Obama has suggested that he will support parent involvement in education while also emphasizing the role of families and home environments to support learning. (Please note that you must log in to Ed Week in order to read this article.)

  • Parent Organizing in Community Schools

    A recent report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation profiles community schools that Casey’s education foundation has supported. Included the report are examples of successful parent organizing for school improvement and innovative parent engagement policy.

  • “Talk, Read, Play” Campaign

    The City of Boston announced a new public awareness campaign focusing on the role of parents as their children’s first teachers from birth to age 5. The campaign provides information and resources to support parents in educating their young children. In recognition of the campaign, Mayor Thomas Menino declared November 12 “Talk, Read, Play” Day in the City of Boston.

  • Book Study Activities

    The New Press, publisher of Beyond the Bake Sale, offers free online book-study activities to accompany Anne Henderson, Karen Mapp, Vivian Johnson, and Don Davies’s book about creating meaningful home–school partnerships. The online activities, created by Melissa Whipple of the Parent Academic Liaison Program in San Diego, are designed to stimulate creative discussion on issues from the book.

Awards and Events

  • Family Support Conference Invites Presentation Proposals

    The 16th annual Family Support Conference, Unlocking Resources: Parent Leadership is the Key, will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2009. The conference is meant for a range of practitioners, providers, policy makers, in the family support field, as well as for parents themselves. One of the the goals of the conference is to identify best practices and strategies for building parent leaders and advocates. Those interested in presenting are encouraged to submit proposals by January 5, 2009.

  • National Parental Involvement Day

    Project Appleseed, the national campaign for public school improvement, will be sponsoring a National Parental Involvement Day on November 20, 2008. The Project Appleseed website includes ideas for schools and families to mark the occasion.

  • National Family Week

    The Alliance for Children and Families will be sponsoring National Family Week (NFW) from November 23–29, 2008.  The NFW website provides tools and suggestions for how families, schools, other organizations, and policymakers can participate in the week.

Job Openings

  • Cool Culture Consultant

    Cool Culture seeks a consultant who will be responsible for implementation of Literacy Without Walls, a cultural involvement program designed to support parents’ involvement in their children’s education through the arts by providing families of children enrolled in Title I public school prekindergarten and kindergarten programs with free, unlimited access to 80 New York City cultural institutions, and providing family assistants, parent coordinators, and social worker staff with strategies to support parent involvement via a series of professional development workshops. The consultant will be responsible for developing and leading the seven-part workshop series. To apply, submit resume and cover letter to Candice Anderson. For a complete description, visit the link above.

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