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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 the value of using data for continuous program improvement as schools, early childhood education programs, and youth- and family-serving organizations seek to understand whether their family engagement strategies are achieving desired outcomes. We stress the importance of cultivating a culture of inquiry that encourages staff members to ask questions about the organization’s policies and practices, collect data to understand the organization’s progress toward goals, and use data to identify the organization’s strengths as well as areas for improvement.

As part of our own continuous improvement efforts, we surveyed our FINE readers in May to learn what you find valuable about the FINE Newsletter, what topics you are interested in, and how we might create a more interactive experience for you through FINE. We were delighted to hear back from more than 1,000 of you—thank you!—and listened to your feedback about the topics you would like to see us cover in future newsletters. Our current issue topic, continuous improvement, and the topic of the next issue, professional development, were among survey respondents’ top choices. We are in the process of following up with a subset of survey respondents to find out how we can help you strengthen your family engagement practice through our active network. In the coming months, we will compile what we’ve learned from the survey and interview feedback, and share the data with all of our members to keep you informed about the exciting changes taking place with FINE.

In the meantime, we will continue to roll out new, interactive FINE activities to engage our growing FINE membership. In June, we hosted a popular online chat through CoverItLive on data-sharing practices—more than 400 of you participated or listened to the archive! The chat featured a panel of experts and practitioners, including several of the contributors to the April FINE Newsletter, on “Changing the Conversation: Sharing Education Data with Families.” For those of you who missed the chat, you can access the archive here. We will host another CoverItLive chat on the topic of using data for continuous program improvement this fall, and we also plan to host a web conference on the topic of using culturally competent practices to help Latino families build their capacity to enhance their children’s school readiness and advocate for their needs. Look for emails about these exciting events soon!

As always, we thank you for your interest and invite you to pass this issue on to interested friends and colleagues. We hope that you will encourage them to become part of our FINE family of more than 13,000 members by signing up 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.

Our best wishes,

Harvard Family Research Project FINE Team  


Embracing the Use of Data for Continuous Program Improvement

Harvard Family Research Project's Heidi Rosenberg

In this Commentary, Harvard Family Research Project’s Heidi Rosenberg discusses how continuous improvement processes can strengthen family engagement strategies, and outlines the mindset and key practices that organizations need to adopt in order to use data to understand and improve upon their work.

Tips and Tools

Helping Head Start and Early Head Start Programs Create a Culture That Embraces Data

Office of Head Start National Center logo

A new interactive online learning module, Data in Head Start and Early Head Start: Creating a Culture That Embraces Data, developed by the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations, helps Head Start/Early Head Start leaders understand how to use data to inform their decision making.

Voices from the Field

Continuous Improvement: Being Responsive When There is Need for Change

Save the Children logo

Deborah J. Brown, external evaluator for Save the Children, discusses how continuous improvement processes have helped strengthen one of Save the Children’s language development and pre-literacy programs, Early Steps to School Success. 

Leading the Field / Liderando el Ramo

Parents as Agents of Change
/ Padres of Familia como Agentes de Cambio

Sandra Gutierrez, national director of the Latino family-focused Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program

In this Leading the Field profile, Sandra Gutierrez, national director of the Latino family-focused Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program, shares her vision of how families are fundamental to transforming the lives of our children and our communities.

En este Perfil de Liderando el Ramo, Sandra Gutiérrez, la directora nacional del programa Abriendo  Puertas/Opening Doors, programa que está enfocado en la familia latina,  comparte su visión de cómo las familias son fundamentales para transformar las  vidas de nuestros hijos y de nuestras comunidades.

Resources & Research From Harvard Family Research Project

Bibliography of Family Involvement Research Published in 2011

Screen Shot of Family Involvement Research Bibliography 2011

This latest update to the Family Involvement Bibliography series provides faculty and others interested in family involvement with a compilation of journal articles, dissertations, theses, research briefs, papers, reports, and books on family engagement from 2011.

Family Involvement News

September 2013 News

Father and daughter reading together. Family Involvement News 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


Harvard Family Research Project FINE Team

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