Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Family Engagement

Family Engagement


Students whose families are involved and feel valued within the school community are less likely to miss school, which research has shown can cause students to fall behind academically. Parental and family involvement in students' academics from early on and continuing into middle and high school can have positive effects on their reading achievement throughout their development. This strategy also supports the practice of culturally responsive teaching and can be used with other strategies that allow representation of all learners in the curriculum.

Use It in the Classroom

Starting at 1:29, watch how this high school has family-community resource centers that provide support and engagement opportunities for families to be part of the school environment. By bringing in students' families and culture, students feel a greater sense of belonging, which improves their Motivation to learn.

  • Actively involving families in decisions regarding their child encourages family engagement and can result in positive changes in their student's self-esteem. Collaborative and culturally sensitive communication between teachers and families also fosters a sense of inclusiveness, reducing Stereotype Threat for students and improving Motivation. Teachers can also benefit from more regular communication with families, fostering stronger relationships and building off of their community's funds of knowledge.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Watch how Remind provides a way for families, teachers, and students to communicate quickly and easily through a mobile app about student progress, assignments, and other school-related activities.

  • Developers can support this regular communication between teachers and families by making apps that are mobile and multilingual. Products can also include spaces for families to share their out of school literacies and encourage the incorporation of individual Background Knowledge, particularly for marginalized students.