[ Families & Communities
as Important Partners

Educators Want to Work in Partnership with Families to Support Student Learning

Both teachers and principals across all school poverty levels hold strong, positive views around the importance of family involvement in student learning and the need for partnerships between schools and parents.

Teachers’ & Principals’ Agreement with Statements

Educators Want to Improve Their Strategies for Engaging Families

While educators agree that family engagement is important, the majority (62%) also report that their school’s staff is not “very or extremely” effective in engaging families in their children’s learning.* Therefore, it is not surprising that three-quarters of educators (74%) say they need help engaging the families of their students. While this need is especially great in high-poverty schools–where there is also the strongest call among teachers for PD around this issue–more than half of educators in low-poverty schools also agree.

Teachers’ & Principals’ Agreement with Statement: I need help engaging the families of my students in support of their children’s learning

Communication Is the Cornerstone of Family Engagement

Educators say that it is important that communication be two-way and take many forms. They also say that barriers to communication must be addressed, including accommodating family schedules or making information available in multiple formats and languages.

Activities Educators Say Are Among the Most Important to Help Families Be Engaged with Their Children’s Learning

Base: Total Teachers & Principals Combined

Gaps Exist Between What Educators Value in Family Engagement and What Is Happening in Schools

There are often wide gaps between the percentage of educators who say certain activities are important and the percentage who say these activities are happening to the degree they should, most notably around communication with families.

Comparison of Educators’ Views on Which Activity Is Among the Most Important to Support Family Engagement and Whether Each Is Happening to the Degree It Should

Base: Total Teachers & Principals Combined

Many Family Engagement Activities Are Less Likely to Be Happening to the Degree They Should in High-Poverty Schools

Across school poverty levels, educators in high-poverty schools are less likely to say that many family engagement activities are happening to the degree they should. At the same time, they are more likely to say that school information is being made available in multiple languages often enough.

Activities Educators Say Are Happening to the Degree Each Should at School, by School Poverty Level

Base: Total Teachers & Principals Combined

Community Partners Can Play a Key Role in Promoting Family Engagement and Addressing Barriers to Learning

Many educators see the value of community partnerships to support students and families. This is true across poverty levels. Forty-five percent of teachers and 60% of principals say reaching out to community partners to offer services to families is among the most important things to help families be engaged with children’s learning. At the same time, fewer teachers (35%) and principals (38%), say these partnerships are happening to the degree they should.

The partnerships that are in place help address many barriers to learning such as health services, programming outside of the school day, as well as food for students. The percentage of principals who say community organizations provide each type of service shown does not vary across school poverty levels, with one exception: providing food for students outside of the school day.

Types of Programs & Services Principals Say Are Provided by Community Partners

Next: Educators' Commitment to the Profession →