Family and Community Engagement

Engaging parents and community members effectively in the life of schools and districts is both complex and vital to the success of the students in the system. Given this challenge and imperative, educators must develop ways of engaging parents and community members successfully with the goals of their schools. For example, families should be encouraged to participate in all facets of their child's education. Public schools should develop partnerships with businesses, civic organizations, and other community groups to promote adult participation in children's education and to maximize the resources available to support learning. Teachers and other school personnel should be trained in effective practices that support parenting and parent involvement.

Alliance Resources

Living and Learning with Mobile Devices: What Parents Think About Mobile Devices for Early Childhood and K-12 Learning (May 2013)
Mobile learning advocates believe that mobile devices could transform education, engage students and personalize learning. But for this vision to become a reality, parents must support it. Living and Learning with Mobile Devices, a report by Grunwald Associates and the Learning First Alliance, with generous support from AT&T, highlights the perceptions of parents of a mobile generation, from preschoolers through high school-age students. The findings are visualized here.

Models of Meaningful, Productive Parent Engagement (September 2012)
Parent trigger laws have been attracting a great deal of attention lately. At least 18 states have considered legislation including parent trigger language in the past two years, with seven states enacting some version of a parent trigger. While we know that active parents are a critical component of a successful education system, and while parent trigger laws provide one avenue for parents to engage, their energy might be better directed at collaborating with educators. See models of schools and districts where educators and parents are working together to improve outcomes for students.

Success Stories about Family and Community Involvement
The Learning First Alliance website offers accounts of what is working in public schools and districts across the country. Click here for additional examples of schools and districts that are using family and community involvement to raise performance.

Resources for Families
Many Alliance publications provide guidance for families and communities on enhancing the educational lives of children’s and engaging in broader school improvement efforts. These publications can be found under specific topic areas or in our publications list. In addition. See the Resources for Families page for additional information.

Alliance Member Organizations' Resources

Alliance member organizations provide a wealth of resources on parent and community involvement and its effect on student achievement. Below is a compilation of our member associations’ on-line resources dedicated to this topic.


The Forum for Youth Investment and AASA have come together with Ready by 21, a partnership to strengthen local and state action toward "blurring the lines" between school and community and between education, prevention and youth development. Click here for more information

AASA has assembled articles, reports and other resources on Parent and Community Involvement. Click here for more information


The AFT believes that a strong partnership between schools and parents is essential to the academic well-being of students. AFT has dedicated a special section on its website to resources for parents, including tips on how to improve homework time, select rigorous courses and help children succeed in school. Click here for more information


ASCA’s website has a page for parents and the public, which presents information including back to school tips, recommended reading, parenting articles and a comprehensive description of the role of today’s school counselor in our public schools. Click here for more information


Communicating with parents, community members, and local businesses is vital to a school's success. NAESP provides a wealth of information to help principals keep parents informed and involved. Click here for more information


The NEA believes that when parents are involved in their children's education, kids do better in school. The NEA website offers suggestions to parents on how to get involved in their children’s education. Additionally, NEA offers comprehensive parent guides.
Click here for more information


The National School Public Relations Association provides school communication training and services to school leaders. This organization offers tools to help educators improve their communications with parents and the community. Click here for more information.


The National Parent Teacher Association is dedicated to promoting children’s health, well-being, and educational success through strong parent, family, and community engagement. Their website offers information for parents on issues like the Common Core State Standards and Health and Safety, as well as Family Engagement more generally.