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Family Engagement in School

Educator Toolkit for Family Engagement

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Our Educator Toolkit for Family Engagement is designed for anyone who engages in educating children or promoting family engagement. Whether you work in a school building, a district office, a community organization, or serve on a committee that supports the education of children, there are resources in this toolkit to support and inspire you.

Resources are organized by topic, indicated on the tabs below. Each resource has a color code indicating which staff level it most applies to.

Classroom Level
teachers, paras, etc.

Building Level
principals, staff trainers, etc.

District Level
district-wide decision makers


Current, research-based frameworks on effective family engagement models.

Family Engagement Model to Support Schools (by Minnesota Department of Education)

This framework model applies research-based guiding concepts for effective family engagement.

Presents the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships (Version 2)


Embracing a New Normal: Toward a More Liberatory Approach to Family Engagement (by Karen Mapp)

Equity focused family engagement framework and resources (Carnegie Corporation-commissioned report, June 2021).


Strengthening Partnerships: A Framework for Prenatal through Young Adulthood Family Engagement in Massachusetts (by Massachusetts SFEC)

Applicable to school systems in other U.S. states.

Reframing Family, School, and Community Engagement-A communications toolkit (by The FrameWorks Institute and NAFSCE)

Resources to change the public narrative around family, school, and community engagement.

Trusting Relationships First: A Toolkit for Healing and Recovery (by Parent Teacher Home Visits)

Guiding questions and activities to rebuild trust in light of Covid-19 and social unrest.


Research-based strategies and action plans for implementing a family engagement framework/plan.

Family Engagement Action Plan process and template (by Minnesota Department of Education)

Action plan providing starting point for school leaders who want to strengthen their family engagement efforts.

Family Engagement Digital Playbook (by Kentucky Collaborative for Families and School-The Prichard Committee)

Interactive playbook/action plan with: grab and go templates, online training, and more. Relevant to schools in the U.S.

Collaborating to transform and improve education systems: a playbook for family-school engagement. (by Brookings Institute)

Complete action plan/playbook that provides evidence-based strategies and hands-on tools to improve family engagement. Applicable for school system leaders, teacher organizations, community partners.


Enhancing Family School Collaboration with Diverse Families (by Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)

Provides key strategies for promoting equity in family-school partnerships. Written for school leaders.

Planning for Family Engagement in the Charter School Life Cycle: A Toolkit for School Leaders (by National Charter School Resource Center)

Applicable to any school. This report details how family engagement strategies can influence the core work of charter schools.


Strategy Finder to improve family engagement and transform education systems (by Brookings Institute)

This interactive database features more than 60 actionable strategies to use for family engagement.

Introduction to Building School-Family Partnerships: A Guide for School Leaders (by Ohio SFEC)


The School Leader Tool: Building Your School Wide Approach to Family Engagement (by Flamboyan Foundation).

Outcomes-focused approach for family engagement and rubric.


Resources to enhance family-school and teacher-family communication.

Building Effective Family-School Partnerships (by PACER Center)

Document which provides best practices in family-school communication.

Talking Points

Free communication and translation app for teachers to build capacity in families in under-resourced, multilingual communities.

Family Engagement Digital Playbook-Communications section (by Kentucky Collaborative for Families and School-The Prichard Committee)

Multiple resources to enhance family-school and family-teacher communication.


FASTalk is a family engagement text messaging tool with built-in translation into 100+ languages.


Resources for building positive family-school and/or teacher-family relationships.

Beginning of the Year Relationship Building Toolkit (by Flamboyan Foundation)

Actionable steps and checklists for administrators (and teachers) applicable to back to school.

Educators Matter Too! (from PACER Center)

Articles and resources for building positive relationships with families. Special focus on partnering with culturally diverse families.

Working with Culturally Diverse Families (from PACER Center)

Articles, training videos, parent interviews that address building relationships with culturally diverse families.

Academic Partnering Companion Guide for School Leaders (by Flamboyan Foundation).

Companion guide checklist for supporting teachers in their REAL family engagement partnerships.

Academic Partnering Toolkit for Teachers (by Flamboyan Foundation)

Best practices, tips, and tools for teachers to maximize academic partnering.

Professional Development

Ready to use Items for personal or group professional development.

Teacher training modules for working with diverse families (by PACER Center).

Multiple recorded professional development workshops in slideshow format.

KY Family and School Partnership 101 Training Module (by The Prichard Committee)

Series of free professional learning modules in video format which use the Dual Capacity framework of family engagement.


Professional Learning Modules (by Ohio SFEC)

Series of free professional learning modules in video and podcast formats.

Grab & Go

These items are quick and easy to use right away.

Family Engagement Needs Assessment (by Ohio SFEC)

Tool for school leaders to access what they are doing well and what needs to be improved.

Ask About My Selfie (by Kentucky Collaborative for Families and School-The Prichard Committee)

Classroom project for students to share with families.

Script for family-student wellness check-in (by Flamboyan Foundation)

Can be used during in-school or distance learning.

Parent-Teacher Conference Tip Card (by MNSFEC/PACER Center)

Conference tips that enhance family engagement. Can be downloaded or ordered.

Self-care for Educators Video Series (by South Dakota SFEC)

Multiple 5-7 minute videos that present actionable steps in topics of self-care.

Achieve the Plan Game (by PACER Center)

A fun game to foster staff conversations about family engagement. Free, downloadable, 15 minute game play.

Positive Interactions with Diverse Families (by PACER Center)

Applicable to regular ed and special ed.

Resources teachers can give to families from diverse cultures (by PACER Center)

Hands-on, translated items teachers can use with families from diverse cultures to foster family engagement.

Resource Finder

Use these items to search and filter for the precise family engagement resources you want to find.

NAFSCE Searchable Resource Library (from National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement).

Searchable library of over 700 resources compiled by NAFSCE.

List of research articles on family engagement (from National Center for Families Learning-NCFL)

Searchable articles by NCFL and other authors/publishers.

Ohio's Whole Child Framework (by Ohio Dept of Education)

Interactive toolkit with hundreds of resources.

We acknowledge the Minnesota educators who gave valuable input during this toolkit’s development.

Version 2 has been adapted from the first version of the framework. Mapp, K. L. & Bergman, E. (2019). Dual capacity-building framework for family-school partnerships (Version 2). Retrieved from:

Embracing a New Normal: Toward a More Liberatory Approach to Family Engagement. Karen L. Mapp, Eyal Bergman; Carnegie Corporation of New York.

COLLABORATING TO TRANSFORM AND IMPROVE EDUCATION SYSTEMS: A playbook for family-school engagement. Co-authored by Rebecca Winthrop, Adam Barton, Mahsa Ershadi, and Lauren Ziegler from the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings.

Boone, B., & Wellman, M. (2019, April). Introduction to Building School-Family Partnerships: A Guide for School Leaders. Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center.

National Charter School Resource Center (2020). Planning for Family Engagement in the Charter School Life Cycle: A Toolkit for School Leaders. Bethesda, MD: Manhattan Strategy Group.

Professional Learning Modules. Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center at The Ohio State University.

Tricia Adkins Andrea Bellinghausen
Jorge Brene Michelle Kilroy
Jartue McCoy Jacquelyn Thomas
Amy Vanderlin Ong Xiong