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Community Partnerships

Systemic Family Engagement 

Making the Case for Family–School–Community Partnerships: Linking Partnerships with Student Achievement.     
Steve Sheldon, the author has a vision to develop a strong evidence base to support a transformation in the way that educators view their work, and to ensure that school–family–community partnerships play a vital role in education reform. 

Heartland Center for Leadership Development
Heartland Center for Community Development provides leadership resources for communities that are creating or maintaining partnerships. 

School, Family and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Actionthird edition, Joyce Epstein and Associates, Johns Hopkins. Corwin Press, 2009. 

The National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools (SEDL)
Supporting School, Family, and Community Connections to Increase School Success

Afterschool, Family, and Community
August 2008
This compilation of research focuses on the positive impact on student achievement created by Family, Community and After School Involvement.  Studies include Parent involvement, Parental information and Resource Centers (PIRC), Staff Development for After School, Homework Supports Student Learning, and two examples of family and community organizations working with schools.

Family and Community Involvement: Reaching Out to Diverse Populations
SEDL resource that provides information regarding inclusion of diverse populations in partnership activities. 

National Network of Partnership Schools
Established by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, The National Network of Partnership Schools brings together schools, districts, and states that are committed to developing and maintaining comprehensive programs of school-family-community partnerships. 

U.S. Department of Education Webinar Series:  Archive
Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement

Academic Development Institute:
Assisting families, schools, and communities with children’s academic and personal development. ADI focuses on three areas of research and practices; 1) the school as a community including family engagement; 2) personal competencies that propel student learning; and 3) the dynamics of change and the science of indicators.

VUE – Voices in Urban Education from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform explores how school systems, other agencies, and the community can build their capacity to nurture partnerships that support student learning.




Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers, and Parents

A Toolkit for Title I Parental Involvement


A Toolkit for Family Involvement in Education

National Association for the Education of Young Children (naeyc)

National Center for Families Learning

Head Start: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center


College Scorecard
The College Scorecard gives everyone access to data verified by the U.S. Dept. of Education on thousands of institutions across the nation in an easy-to-use online tool.

Engaging Families During the Transition to School

Engaging Families During Transitions:
To initiate a public dialogue about transition issues and help educators and administrators engage families during transitions, Harvard Family Research Project’s Christine Patton, in partnership with Shannon Wanless, of the SEED Lab at the University of Pittsburgh, launched an open discussion board, Let’s Talk Transition! Family Engagement During the Transition to School.

Early Childhood to Kindergarten Transition:
How to help your child transition to Kindergarten:
Children experience many big and small transitions. The adults in their world can assist those transitions by establishing patterns that can help sustain gains for the future.

Four Important Things Research Tells Us About the Transition to School (posted 1.20.16)
Caspe, Lopez, Chattrabhuti
Harvard Family Research Project, March 2015
In this commentary (PDF), researchers from the Harvard Family Research Project highlight four important things that research tells us about the transition to school, including:

  • Transition is a matter of equity
  • A smooth transition to school makes a difference for children’s outcomes
  • Families play an important role in the transition to school
  • Relationships among families, early childhood programs, schools, and communities are the foundation of effective transition practice.

Ready for Success – Nebraska Department of Education

Ready for Success. The Ready for Success booklet is in response to commonly asked questions and entering kindergarten.

Office of Early Childhood | NDE
Activities of the Office of Early Childhood include the development and implementation of policy, data collection and evaluation, leadership for systems development of early childhood initiatives, and collaboration among programs and agencies.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten: What Early Care & Education Providers Need to Know to Support Nebraska’s Children & Their Families
When schools, families, and communities work together to support learning, children enjoy school more, do better in school, and stay in school longer.

Resource Guide for Early Childhood Transitions: Annotated Bibliography
April 14, 2011, updated September 2011
Resource Guide for Early Childhood Transitions: Annotated Bibliography
Harvard Family Research Project, Briana Chan
This bibliographic resource provides a selected listing of journal articles, research briefs, and reports that focus on early childhood transitions and school readiness. They cover a variety of topics central to the issue of early childhood transitions, including family engagement and home–school and program–school partnerships.

Ensuring School Readiness Through Successful Transitions
Webinar date: April 14, 2011, 2:00–3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Ensuring School Readiness will explore how and why smooth transitions among early learning environments are critical for school readiness and are the first step toward preparing students for success in college and career. Presenters will focus on what it takes to foster continuity as children move from early learning programs to preschool to kindergarten, and will discuss the specific roles of early learning programs, schools, and families in preparing young children to enter school ready for success.

Middle School Transition

Middle School Transition: Smooth transitions from middle to high school and from high school to college are associated with students’ improved academic achievement, emotional well-being, and college readiness. Supportive transition practices that engage families and schools help students enter ninth grade prepared to be successful in high school, college, and career.

Transitions into and out of High School

June 2011
Resource Guide for High School Transitions: Annotated Bibliography
Harvard Family Research Project
This bibliographic resource provides a selected listing of journal articles, research briefs, and other resources that focus on the transitions into and out of high school as well as general high school and college readiness.

Webinar date: June 23, 2011, 2:00–3:30 p.m. (EDT) Successful Transitions to High School.
Webinar 7—Successful Transitions to High School: Promoting High School Success and Facilitating College Readiness

Transitioning from High School to Post-Secondary Experiences
Research and experience point to the importance of high quality transition services in preparing students for college, careers, and opportunities. The following websites will give parents and educators successful strategies for a positive post-school outcome.

Nebraska’s Career Readiness Standards
Nebraska Standards for Career Ready practice describe learning experiences that are valuable to every student regardless of career path or college plans.

AQuESTT for Nebraska
Accountability for a Quality Education System, Today and Tomorrow
Nebraska Department of Education
By integrating components of accountability, assessment, accreditation, career education, and data into a system of school improvement and support, NDE is building a broader, bolder, and better education system for all Nebraska students.

It’s time to get ready for work.
This document explains the role of Career Education in developing career ready graduates.

Nebraska Career Connections
Nebraska Career Connections provides education and career planning resources to bring Nebraskans together—students, parents, educators, adults, and employers. Whether you’re planning for life after high school, exploring career options, or creating a portfolio of materials for a job search, this system can provide you with the tools needed.

Resource Guide for High School Transitions: Annotated Bibliography
Harvard Family Research Project (June 2011)
This bibliographic resource provides a selected listing of journal articles, research briefs, and other resources that focus on the transitions into and out of high school as well as general high school and college readiness.

Successful Transitions to High School
Webinar date: June 23, 2011, 2:00–3:30 p.m. (EDT)
Webinar 7—Successful Transitions to High School: Promoting High School Success and Facilitating College Readiness

NEBRASKA.GOV – Education Information for Parents


Successful School Initiatives

Academic Parent Teacher Teams
Maria Paredes developed a system to actively engage parents in their child’s learning. Parents partner with their child’s K-8 teacher to examine test data, set goals and practice methods to use at home to increase academic achievement. October 21, 2013

Engaging Families in Early Childhood Education
Two studies that offer insight into the benefits of parent-school partnerships and suggestions as to build productive parent partnerships.

Family Success at the Heart of Engagement Efforts in Mass. District
February 25, 2015

The Georgia Parent Involvement Coordinator (PIC)

Leveraging (FREE) Digital Tools To Engage Families – Webinars,, recorded April 3, 2014

Waverly’s Parent University, East Chester, NY

Program Quality

 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education
IES: Institute of Education Sciences; U.S. Department of Education (posted 5.25.2017)
This toolkit is a four-part resource that brings together research, promising practices, and useful tools and resources to guide educators in strengthening partnerships with families and community members to support student learning.

Part 1: Building an Understanding of Family and Community Engagement
pdf fileView, download, and print Part 1 as a PDF file (328 KB)

Part 2: Building a Cultural Bridge
pdf fileView, download, and print Part 2 as a PDF file (236 KB)

Part 3: Building Trusting Relationships with Families and the Community through Effective Communication
pdf fileView, download, and print Part 3 as a PDF file (290 KB)

Part 4: Engaging All in Data Conversations
pdf fileView, download, and print Part 4 as a PDF file (950 KB)

Five Resources for Family Engagement: Quality Standards in Family Engagement
These five free resources will provide you with examples of quality standards in family engagement for afterschool and school day programming.

Family Engagement Surveys
Kansas Parent Information Resource Center






Parent and Family Engagement Provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act
Updated January 19, 2016
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This brief seeks to provide advocates with a full overview of the ESSA’s requirements, and opportunities, for parent, family and community engagement. (posted 3.22.2016)

Parental Involvement: Title I, Part A

Nebraska State Board of Education Policy for Expanded Learning Opportunities (9.16.13)

Engaging Families Whose Children/Youth Attend School in a Unique Facility

Service providers can foster a more trusting relationship when they approach parents as the experts on their own children, listen openly to their concerns and perspectives, and seek solutions with them (rather than provide solutions to them). Parents engaged in this way are more likely to invite and welcome providers’ support in evaluating needs, developing goals, and identifying effective ways to strengthen the family and provide care for children. Service providers can also promote self-confidence and empower parents to take a leadership role in their communities and the agencies with which they are involved.

Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) is a program established by the Palix Foundation. The AFWI’s aim is to apply emerging research about experienced-based brain and biological development as it relates to early childhood development and children’s mental health, and its lifelong impact on addicion and other negative health outcomes.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Developing Solutions to Build a Brighter Future for Children, Families and Communities
The work of the Annie E. Casey Foundation focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity, because children need all three to succeed. They advance research and solutions to overcome the barriers to success, help communities demonstrate what works and influence decision makers to invest in strategies based on solid evidence.

California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
The mission of the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) is to advance the effective implementation of evidence-based practices for children and families involved with the child welfare system.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Welfare Information Gateway promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more.

Circle of Parents
Circle of Parents provides a friendly, supportive environment led by parents and other caregivers. It’s a place where anyone in a parenting role can openly discuss the successes and challenges of raising children. It’s a place where they can find and share support.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children
The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, together with its state and local member programs, supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy so every abused or neglected child in the United States can be safe, have a permanent home and the opportunity to thrive.

Family Engagement Inventory
The Family Engagement Inventory (FEI) is designed to assist professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, early education, and education to learn how family engagement is defined and implemented across these fields of practice.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation supports children, young adults and families at risk with the overall goal of giving our state’s most vulnerable kids what they need to reach their full potential. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive, adults.

Partnering4Students: Nebraska’s Systems Tool Kit
The Nebraska “Tool Kit” of resource materials has been developed to assist the primary systems involved in the education of children and youth in out-of-home care.

Expanded Learning Opportunities

Position Statement for Expanded Learning Opportunities
Nebraska State Board of Education, October 6, 2017
Quality Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) programs build on, support, and enhance learning during times when students are not in school (before and after school, weekends, and summer) are, therefore, a critical component of Nebraska’s educational landscape and one that should be intentionally supported and developed in communities across our state.

Building Powerful Partnerships With Parents and Communities: Integrating 21st Century Community Learning Centers With Education Change and Reform
Arnold F. Fege & Anne Foster

Family Involvement as a Critical Element of Quality Expanded Learning Opportunities
Delia Pompa

Evidence-Based Strategies for Supporting and Enhancing Family engagement
Priscilla Little

Effective Strategies for Engaging Parents: Real-Life Experiences That Make a Difference
Loras Osterhaus

Engaging Families in Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs for Middle School Youth
Anne T. Henderson & Carol Sills Strickland

Family Involvement in Expanded Learning Programs for High School Students
Paula E. Egelson





Bibliography on Family Involvement and Adolescence 2009-2014
Harvard Family Research Project
A bibliography of research on family engagement in adolescence from the Harvard Family Research Project.