Hawaiʻi Statewide Family Engagement Center

High Impact Strategies for Educators

#1 Impact on Students 

A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement (2002)

This publication, A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, includes 51 studies that sheds light on the positive relationship between parent and community engagement and student achievement. This includes studies on effective strategies to connect schools, families, and communities and parent and community organizing efforts to improve schools. Stay tuned for an updated publication that will be coming out in 2020. 

To find out more, view the Hawaii Family Engagement in Education Summit Slides by Dr. Karen Mapp.

Examples of high-impact family engagement in education strategies and their impacts on students:

  1. Parent Teacher Home Visits: This research by Johns Hopkins University and RTI International includes three rigorous studies that show Home Visits significantly strengthen school-family relationships, improve teaching, and bolster student outcomes. These findings validate the experiences that teachers and families have long reported. You can also access the Full Report on “The Student Outcomes and Parent Teacher Home Visits”.

  2. Academic Parent Teacher Teams: Academic Parent Teacher Teams is a new model of classroom-level parent-teacher conferences. In this model, teachers provide parents with real-time data on their child’s academic performance relative to the grade-level standards and their peers. Teachers also share learning activities with families and facilitate goal-setting for their child’s progress. See above link for impact videos and reports.

#2 Impact on Educators and Schools 

Family Engagement is one of the five Essential Supports for School Improvement

This publication, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, identifies proven formulas for successful school reform in Chicago. Using massive longitudinal evidence, the research reveals the Five Essential Supports that improve student and school outcomes. These five essential supports are: school leadership, professional capacity, parent-community ties, student-centered learning climate, and instructional guidance. The research was conducted by The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research.

#3 Impact on Families and Communities

A host of benefits to families have been documented in the A New Wave of Evidence publication, including parents gaining a better understanding of teachers’ role and curriculum, being more responsive to teachers’ requests for help at home, and more frequently communicating high expectations to their children, etc. 

A small but growing number of parent leadership initiatives provide opportunities for parents to develop civic and leadership skills. Some parent leadership initiative curriculum covers knowledge development about the educational system, and supporting child’s academic, physical, social, and emotional learning and development. Through leadership training and development, parents can become strong advocates for greater opportunities for children. Visit the Parent Leadership Indicators Project to find out how these leadership training and development institutes are making a difference.

Parents for Public Schools, Parent Engagement Program (Curriculum) 

The Parents for Public Schools works to advance the role of families and communities in securing a high quality public education for every child. Visit Parents for Public Schools Hawaii for the programs available in our state. 

National Parent Leadership Training Institute

Through this National Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) curriculum, parents and caregivers learn to be an effective advocate for children and a change agent for their communities. Find more about the outcomes of the PLTI on parents and local PLTI training opportunities.

Parent Institute for Quality Education

The Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) provides programs that engage, empower, and transform parents to actively engage in their children’s education and strengthen parent-school collaboration in order to improve the academic success of students. Find more about the outcomes of the PIQE programs on parents.

National Center for Families Learning

The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. The NCFL has a history of working in Hawai’i with certified trainers on family literacy and outreach. They provide free resources, professional learning and literacy programs to support Family Engagement across communities. They also have a free subscription for the NCFL’s monthly newsletter which provides an abundance of resources and the newest evidence-based research for strategies and implementation for family engagement. 

#4 Strategies for Schools to Work with Families

5 New Ways for Schools to Work with Families 

Families play an important role in the educational success of their children. This resource provides a different set of approaches to co-design more equitable collaborations among schools and with families. This research is based on the Family Leadership Design Collaborative

  1. Start with the families’ and communities’ priorities, not the school’s agenda. Understanding family stories, experiences, knowledge and cultural practices will help to develop a curriculum for other parents to build relationships with each other and support cultural identities for their children. 

  2. Recognize and treat families as experts on their own children. Families can become powerful leaders in school change when they build relationships with each other and recognize their expertise. 

  3. Give families and communities the resources, time and space to envision solutions, not just share their pain. Families as part of the school decision-making body is possible with enough resources, time, space, and capacity building including outreach to families that do not usually participate or feel heard. 

  4. Help families and educators learn to facilitate meetings across racial, cultural and other differences. Collaborating across lines of race, culture, and roles requires skillful facilitation. 

  5. Ensure families have real influence on important educational decisions. School and district leaders, in this study, found the decisions they made in their jobs are critical opportunities for family and community influence and input.