Why Engagement?

Increased Student Performance

Meaningful family engagement is a key component in collaborative relationships between families and schools. Studies show that students with involved parents were more likely to:

  • Earn higher grades and test scores, and enroll in higher level programs
  • Be promoted, pass their classes and earn credits
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school
  • Graduate and go on to post-secondary education

This relationship holds across families of all economic, racial/ethnic, and educational backgrounds and for students of all ages. (A New Wave of Evidence, Henderson and Mapp 2002)

Federal Expectations

  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB)-Section 1118
    NCLB defines parental engagement as the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring:
    • that parents play an integral role in assisting their child's learning
    • that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child's education at school
    • that parents are full partners in their child's education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and
    • that other activities are carried out, such as those described in section 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (Parental Involvement). [Section 9101(32), ESEA]
  • The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs established "key performance indicators" that each state must report on annually in their Annual Performance Plan. States collect this information from each district to determine the overall performance of the state. One of these indicators refers to schools creating opportunities for family engagement.
    • Indicator 8:
      "Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities."