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 ▼

Family and community engagement is one of eight educational priorities in California. To guide schools and districts in their family engagement efforts, the California Department of Education, in collaboration with WestEd, created the Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts. Our newest state profile describes the framework, which provides a research base, a common language, and a set of standards for all districts in implementing family engagement activities across the various federal and state program requirements and funding streams, such as Title I and Special Education.

For California practitioners, the framework is just one component of a systemic approach to family engagement. One district in California, the San Diego Unified School District, encouraged families and educators to partner through a Design Thinking workshop. Allison Rowland's account of this collaboration between families, educators, and a local nonprofit illustrates how listening to families---in their native language and uninterrupted---fostered empathy among educators. This empathy enabled educators and families to co-create prototypes, or solutions, to a family engagement design challenge. This approach also led to a shift in thinking, to a mindset of "us with them"---a critically important element emphasized by the US Departments of Health and Human Services and Education in a newly released joint policy statement.

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