Using the Toolkit

Family & Community Engagement: The Four Phases

-Creating the Profile

-Setting the Goals

-Planning to Improve

Guiding Questions
Step-by-Step Process

-Implementing the Plan


-Guiding Questions

-Program Requirements (PDF)
-Targeting Areas of Low
-Community Involvement Strategies
Research Articles
- Administrator Days' presentation material 2013
Administrator Days' presentation material 2014
- Beyond the Bake Sale

Topic Guides for CIP Plans

Equity and Diversity

Family & Community Engagement

Instructional Strategies

Nebraska Literacy Plan

PreK-12 Curriculum Alignment

Special Education: Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities (ILCD)


Improvement Plan Requirements


Early Childhood

The Nebraska Framework:
A Handbook for Continuous Improvement in Nebraska Schools

Nebraska Statewide Assessment (NeSA)

Professional Development, Data Resources, and Links

Rule 10

State of the Schools Report

Nebraska Department of Education

US Department of Education


Contact Us

Planning to Improve


Now that you have selected goals and have buy-in from all the partners, consider how staff will be prepared to be more inclusive of family and community. What supports do they need? How will families and community members become prepared to be more involved in student learning?

Based upon your earlier assessment of staff perceptions, strategies should be planned to move them forward from wherever they are. Start with your highest priority and develop some short and long term objectives. For example, if you need to improve 2-way communication, and if a school goal is to improve student achievement in language arts, staff may have a brainstorming session to formulate creative methods to communicate the district’s grade level standards so families can be intentionally supportive of those standards. The options should meet the needs of their diverse array of families. The longer term objective would include all families gaining an understanding of language arts expectations for each of their children’s grade levels. Click here for helpful tips for linking to learning.

Providing professional development opportunities for staff will be important, to support them in developing meaningful family engagement strategies.  Wisconsin DPI developed “What Parents Want School Staff to Know.”   http://fscp.dpi.wi.gov/files/fscp/pdf/prnt-ldrshp3rs.pdf

As you plan for continuous improvement, consider input from family and community partners when reviewing your school processes such as developing the school calendar and the school safety plan, interviewing and hiring practices, and creating the school-wide behavior expectations. For more strategies refer to the action plans included in the National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs , 2004, developed by the National PTA . Click here for examples of levels of family engagement and strategies for promoting family participation.


Realistic timelines set a tone for positive accomplishment. Logical, sequential planning which gradually adds new or improved practices to existing structures provides stability and may ensure more staff support. For example, if your school sets aside time for staff to develop homework strategies which promote language arts the month before conferences, staff could share/demonstrate those strategies with families at conference time. It is helpful to include staff representatives when determining timelines, based on the existing calendar and school priorities.


Family and community engagement does not require a huge expenditure in terms of dollars or time, however, it may require the entire school community to revisit current practices and perceptions.

Schools may already have a vast array of resources available for partnering with family and community. There may not be a need to create new resources, but rather to capitalize on the existing assets of certified and non-certified staff, families and community agencies or partners. Designating one staff member who always “advocates” for families, in all school actions, has proven to be a successful and practical resource. Cooperative arrangements may provide resources to carry out the plans such as reallocation of space to form a family resource center or processes for translation of information for families , or procedures for making a home visit.

Guiding Questions


Ideas for Teacher Preparation in Family Involvement
www.hfrp.org/family-involvement/pubications-resources, click on teacher preparation and professional development



Step-by-Step Process

The following strategies have been proven to strengthen a school plan to enhance family and community engagement, to impact student success. Schools may choose one or two in each area.

Improve communication

Improve families’ role in student learning

Increase community resources to strengthen schools, families, and student learning

To continue the continuous improvement process, click on:
Implementing the Plan

Nebraska Department of Education, 2010