LCFF Priority 3
LCFF resources for this priority include family engagement in decision-making, promotion of family participation in the education process for all students, and including students with disabilities.
Issues of Equity
Educational research and practice has long lauded the positive effects of strong parental engagement practices. School systems must understand that this is largely their responsibility. Specifically, historically marginalized populations have not been welcomed into our school systems and have been silenced by structures, practices, and policies. Educators need to be proactive in healing that generational pain and truly working collaboratively with parents to gain the trust necessary to do right for our shared children.
ENGAGING FAMILIES IN THE EDUCATION PROCESS
School leaders and LEA administrators understand that actively involving parent and community voices at the leadership table and designing healthy feedback loops are key to high levels of family engagement.
- Design an intentional welcome and intake process
- Integrate diverse voices and perspectives in district committees and advisory groups
- Co-construct (with family) graduation plans for every student
- Develop strong communication systems (beyond progress reports and attendance)
- Support and expand successful outreach programs for parents, intentionally focusing on historically marginalized populations
- Invest in an on-campus space for a parent center staffed with a parent academic liaison and stocked with books, materials, and resources for a family library
- Create parent action teams at each school with training on advocacy for students and their academic, physical, and social-emotional needs
- Invest in parent education programs designed to build strong home-school relations
- Provide networking opportunities across district parent centers
- Use strengths-based language to describe and understand students’ families; interrupt and reframe deficit language practices
- Partner with community leaders and organizations
- Partner with community resources to offer wrap-around services on school campuses
Design a healthy welcome and intake process. While this suggestion might seem like common practice, we might ask:
- Do we have the same definition of “welcome” as the community we serve?
- How well do we know the community we are serving?
- How are we building cultural sync to welcome communities that have been historically marginalized?
- Do we have accurate translations and multiple points of entry for families?
- If our families are new to the American public school system, how are we teaching and engaging in service of student achievement?
- Does our welcome include care and interest for each individual child?
- When a student is enrolling mid-year, are school leaders meeting with families to both understand and provide immediate support and welcome?
- Do we have a welcome kit for students in order to make them feel a part of their new school mid-year?
- Are we actively creating graduation plans as we welcome new families?
- How are we collecting data about our parent engagement?