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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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Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) and the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) have teamed up to bring you this ground-breaking policy brief that examines the role of school districts in promoting family engagement. 

Seeing is Believing: Promising Practices for How School Districts Promote Family Engagement spotlights how six school districts across the country have used innovative strategies to create and sustain family engagement “systems at work.”  Our findings point to three core components of these successful systems: creating district-wide strategies, building school capacity, and reaching out to and engaging families.

Drawing from districts’ diverse approaches, we highlight promising practices to ensure quality, oversight, and impact from their family engagement efforts. We also propose a set of recommendations for how federal, state, and local policies can promote district-level family engagement efforts that support student learning.

Key policy recommendations include:

  • Creating infrastructure for district-wide leadership for family engagement
  • Building district capacity for family engagement through training and technical assistance
  • Ensuring reporting, learning, and accountability for family engagement
  • Helping districts understand, design, and implement strong evaluation strategies

Read this report to learn how to:

  • Help administrators, educators, parents, community members, and policymakers understand that family engagement is a shared responsibility
  • Approach family engagement by fostering district-wide strategies, building school capacity, and reaching out to families
  • Compare your district’s family engagement strategies to an emerging set of promising practices
  • Talk with stakeholders about ways that public policies can support district-level family engagement efforts

Free. Available online only.

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