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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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Our nation’s high-school graduation rate―82%―is higher than ever before. One way to ensure that graduation rates continue to climb for all students of every economic and ethnic background is to strengthen the role of families in children’s education, from early childhood through high school, and particularly during times of transition. In this issue of the FINE Newsletter, we offer educators tools and resources for learning and developing the skills to promote family engagement across time. 

We invite you to share this issue with interested friends and colleagues. We also hope you’ll send us any comments that you have!


graduation cap and diploma

Why Thinking of Family Engagement as Continuous Across Time Matters
A key principle in the definition of family engagement is that it is continuous across time. In this commentary, we explore why thinking of family engagement in this way matters, and we learn about tools educators can use to develop the skills to promote it. 

Tips & Tools

 image of Marisela

Making a Decision About College Interactive Case: Family Engagement in the Transition to College
Marisela is a high school senior who has been accepted to a handful of top-tier universities to pursue her medical studies. Marisela’s mother is proud of her but worries that her daughter will be traveling far from home. She thinks maybe it’s better that Marisela goes to a nearby community college, but she has no one to talk to about her concerns.

image of Paulo

Staying on the Path Toward College Interactive Case: Family Engagement in the Transition to Middle School
Paulo is an intelligent sixth-grade boy who has recently become disengaged from schoolwork and is hanging out with peers whom his parents fear are a bad influence. As Paulo transitions to middle school, both parents are worried he is no longer on the path to college. They feel unwelcome when they turn to the school for support.

 image of Maya Bridging Worlds Interactive Case: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten
Maya is a 5-year-old who is struggling as she makes the transition to kindergarten. Her mother feels lost and unprepared to help her, and worries that this difficult time will negatively affect how Maya thinks about school for a long time to come.

Expert Commentary

photo of Sylvia Acevedo

“Do Your Best and Make Us Proud”: Family Engagement and Latino Students’ Decisions About College
Sylvia Acevedo, chair of the Early Learning Subcommittee of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, writes about the struggles first-generation students and their families face when making decisions about college, interwoven with her own personal story. 

Research & Resources from Harvard Family Research Project

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Bibliography on Family Involvement and Adolescence 2009-2014
This bibliography provides a compilation of journal articles, dissertations, theses, research briefs, papers, reports, and books published from 2009-2014 that focus on family engagement during the adolescent years.

Family Involvement News

March 2016 Family Involvement News
Are you looking to break free of traditional strategies for promoting family-school-community partnerships? Discover how video games, human-centered design thinking, and digital media resources are making this happen!  

The FINE Newsletter shares the newest and best family engagement research and resources from Harvard Family Research Project and other field leaders. To access the archives of past issues, please visit To subscribe to the FINE Newsletter, please visit our subscription center


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