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Family/Community Engagement: Classroom Resources

Topics: Standard 1 | Standard 2 | Standard 3 | Standard 4 | Standard 5 | Standard 6

Standard 1: Connect families to community resources that support their goals, interests, and needs.

Resources for Immigrants
This guide will connect you with information and resources for Pennsylvania immigrants.

The National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated
This directory lists programs in the United States and around the world that offer services specifically for children and families of adult offenders.

Incarcerated Fathers Library and Biblioteca sobre hijos de padres encarcelados – En castellano
This Library contains a number of pamphlets with helpful information for incarcerated fathers and those that serve them. Topics include how to prepare a child for a prison visit to how to tell a child that their father is incarcerated.

Standard 2: Build partnerships with families that are strengths-based, authentic, reciprocal, and respectful.

TED Talk – Megan Olivia Hall (VIDEO)
Megan Olivia Hall Discusses the importance of building relationships between parents and teachers.

Six Steps to Partner With Diverse Families
The article offers steps for principals in effectively establishing collaboration between teachers and diverse families which has become more challenging due to racial, linguistic, and socioeconomic diversity of student populations. Steps include setting the expectation for teacher leadership, learning about the child, family, and community, and acknowledging a shared commitment between both parties.

Teachers' Desk Reference: Communicating With Parents
This issue of Teachers' Desk Reference offers communication tips for developing effective parent-teacher communication.

Create a Welcoming Classroom
An important first step in helping English language learners succeed is building their confidence and comfort level by making them feel welcome in the classroom and building positive relationships with students. This resource recommends starting by reading the popular article How to Create a Welcoming Classroom Environment and related blog post by ELL expert Judie Haynes on the TESOL website.

ELL Strategies and Best Practices
There are a number of ways to support the language and literacy development of English language learners (ELLs) that also allow students to participate more fully in classroom activities and lessons. This section provides specific ideas and strategies, such as tips for planning lessons and the use of language objectives, as well as broader approaches such as using informal assessment and differentiation for varying language levels. Educators may already be doing some of these things without realizing it!

What Parents Have to Teach Us About Their Dual Language Children
Parents provide insights through a question and answer format about dual language children.

Standard 3: Partner with families to identify information, resources, and strategies to support them in their roles as teachers, models, encouragers, monitors, leaders, and advocates as they support their child's learning and development.

Connecting with ELL Families: Strategies for Success
How can schools form strong partnerships with ELL and immigrant families? How can school leaders make that happen? This resource provides tips for getting started! These strategies appear in Engaging ELL Families: Twenty Strategies for School Leaders. These strategies offer tips for building relationships with the families of English language learners (ELLs), getting to know their strengths and stories, and creating a welcoming environment.

How to Keep Families Involved in Their Children's Learning Development
Formal education may stop when the bell rings at the end of the day, but children can and should keep learning and exercising their development at home. However, with many families being too busy or unprepared to aid in their children's learning development, how can educators ensure the young children under their care are being active and engaged after they leave the classroom?

Engaging Families in Early Childhood Education
Collaborative problem-solving requires that parents, educators, specialists, and administrators work together to determine appropriate resources and supports as well as specific information-sharing practices that facilitate parental engagement.

16 ways parents can be involved in the classroom this school year
When parents are involved in their children's education, children succeed at higher rates. Analysis from the National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools concluded that when schools and parents work together, students earn higher grades, perform better on tests, enroll in more advanced courses, and more often graduate and continue onto post-secondary education.

5 Tips for Engaging Parent Volunteers in the Classroom
Do you find yourself wanting (more) help from parent volunteers, but are either not getting it, or not getting the kind of help that would be truly useful to you and your students? Is managing parent volunteers time-consuming or burdensome? If so, you're not alone, according to a new survey (see infographic) of a thousand educators and parents by WeAreTeachers and my organization, VolunteerSpot. Even though guardians and teachers overwhelmingly agree that parent volunteers in the classroom are an important ingredient in student success, the study also reveals big gaps in expectations and problems with communication. These issues leave teachers feeling unsupported and parents feeling left out!

Menu: Special Today: Attendance
Agenda outline for a parent meeting, complete with discussion starters.

ESL and Immigrant Students and Families
Newcomers to the United States are a highly heterogeneous group. This chapter of the toolkit discusses diverse situations and circumstances among newcomers; the assets they bring; and ways schools can support newcomer students and their families as they adapt to U.S. schools, society, and culture.

How to Support Immigrant Students and Families: Strategies for Schools and Early Childhood Programs
Across the country, educators are looking for ways to support immigrant students and families facing great uncertainty. This comprehensive guide includes more than 50 strategies that educators, staff, and administrators can use to ensure that schools and early childhood settings remain safe, welcoming places for immigrant students and their families.

Standard 4: Provide intentional opportunities for families to connect and engage with each other.

Ways to Foster a More Meaningful Connection with Families
Family engagement means that we work to connect schools, families and the community, to work together to support students during their education. By being intentional in fostering these connections, it leads to a network of support for students and their families, and amplifies the learning potential of all students.

Promoting Family Engagement: 5 Ways to Foster Meaningful Connection
Involving families in the education of our students is crucial to their success. Beyond just involving families, schools need to strive for family engagement and the creation of partnerships between school, home, and community. These partnerships, or connections between "stakeholders", are important for promoting student well-being and success.

The Beginners' Guide to Connecting Home and School
Here are five steps to engage parents in their children's education, whether through at-home activities or in-class participation, to help foster academic success.

3 Ways to Make Meaningful Connections with Your Students
Edutopia blogger Nick Provenzano believes there's more to teaching than dispensing curriculum, and he shares three practices that lead students and their families to trust him on a personal level.

Family and Community Engagement – U.S. Department of Education
Check out the resources on this webpage supporting the framework for building greater support and capacity in schools, homes and communities, so ALL students have the chance to succeed. Get ideas for how to bring your passion, talents, and energy to help students and to make your neighborhood schools stronger.

Talk, Read, and Sing Together Every Day!
Research has found that providing children from birth to five with consistent, language-rich experiences – such as talking, reading, and singing – can have important benefits on their brain development and future school success.

Standard 5: Support families as they develop their leadership and advocacy skills.

Tips for Administrators, Teachers, and Families: How to Share Data Effectively
This resource provides guidance to educators on sharing data with families about their student's achievement, strengths and challenges, and learning styles. It also includes tips for families about talking with teachers about their child's progress. It is available in Spanish and English.

Family Agency and Voice: Designing the Next Generation of Family Engagement
Three family-staff activities to develop agency and voice.

A Template for Conversations between Families and Teachers
This resource is designed for families to discuss their child's learning and developmental progress with teachers, as well as to plan for how to support their child in his or her developmental growth.

OSEP English to Spanish Translation Glossary – Special Education, Latino
This second edition of the OSEP Glossary of Spanish Translations of Common IDEA Terms includes over 400 terms related to IDEA Parts B and C (the parts of IDEA that cover special education and early intervention services, respectively). The terms were selected by experienced translators from Parent Centers who have worked with families with children with disabilities representing the majority of Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America and Spain.

Standard 6: Build partnerships with families during times of transition

Four Important Things to Know About the Transition to School
Transition is an equity issue. Studies have shown that upon kindergarten entry, children from higher socioeconomic backgrounds begin school with higher average achievement scores in comparison with children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. These preparation gaps can be explained, in part, by families from low-income households having less access to high-quality preschool opportunities, fewer resources, less social support, and higher family stress than families from high-income households.

ESL and Immigrant Students and Families
What impact does the immigration status of students and family members have on schools? Learn more from these resource pages and find recommended resources related to specific topics such as school enrollment, DACA, and immigration enforcement.

ESL and Immigrant Students and Families
English language learners can face a number of difficult situations, such as moving to a new country, trying to fit into a new school, and learning a different language. They may also have significant family responsibilities or experience with trauma. These resources provide guidance on how to help address some of these needs as well as draw on student strengths and resilience.