School leaders learned about best practices in effective family and community engagement today as the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) hosted a summit for district and school teams from across the region. The first in a planned series, today’s event focused on using family engagement to increase student achievement, improve schools, and ensure families have equitable access to opportunities.
Research shows a strong connection between family involvement and academic achievement. A National Parent Teacher Association report found many benefits of family–school–community partnerships, including greater student success and higher teacher morale.
“This is such important work because the best predictor of student success is the extent to which families not only encourage learning at home, but also involve themselves in their child’s education,” Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon said in his welcoming remarks. “We know students aren’t the only ones who benefit from family engagement. Parents and educators also benefit. Having quality family engagement means we all win.”
At the summit, more than 90 participants explored research on family engagement, discussed equity and engagement, and exchanged ideas for improving student outcomes and school improvement.
Michele Brooks, Principal Consultant for Transformative Solutions in Education, was the featured speaker. Her presentation was titled, “Leveraging Engagement for Equity and Achievement.” She told attendees, “From the moment that child is born, that parent is engaged. What is incumbent upon us is to do all we can to be invited into that circle.”
Brooks also said that, when family engagement is done correctly, it has a serious and positive impact on teachers and how they view themselves, building their capacity to help students achieve.
The summit was a collaboration between the SCOE Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Network and Seeds of Partnership, a program of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.