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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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As part of our evaluation work with United Way Worldwide on the Family Engagement for High School Success Initiative, HFRP worked with 15 local United Way chapters to develop comprehensive family engagement strategies through partnerships with schools, students and their families, and the local community, in support of boosting high school graduation rates and academic achievement. This grant report details the planning process with the 15 grantees and the lessons learned during the process. Eight of the local grantees have since received implementation grants for their plans, and HFRP is documenting their progress now.

In particular, this report highlights the obstacles to engagement that communities encountered along the way, including cultural and language issues, unclear expectations from schools and families, lack of understanding of graduation and attendance requirements, and lack of a welcoming environment for parents at schools.  By identifying these obstacles, schools and communities were able to work with families to overcome challenges and identify ways to successfully reach families in support of student progress.  In addition, schools identified specific indicators to use to identify at-risk students, and specific measureable outcomes to aim for.


For more information about this initiative and HFRP's evaluation work with United Way Worldwide, visit the Family Engagement for High School Success project page.

And stay tuned as the sites begin to put their plans into action and see which strategies emerge as the most effective to boost high school success in their communities. A forthcoming Planning and Implementation Toolkit will further detail the project, with the intent of helping other communities to take action.

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