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Community & Family Engagement


The video / webinar below was made available by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory with funding from the US Department of Education Parental Information and Resource Center. Recorded on June 30, 2010, this was the second webinar in the “Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement” (FSCE) series.

Community & Family Engagement

Webinar Description

We are approaching a new day where family engagement is not just a program but a strategy used to improve student achievement and school performance, and where family engagement is seen as an innovation in and of itself. The Title I program, in particular, provides a key opportunity for innovations to emerge within family engagement to strengthen capacity and improve implementation.

Engaging families and communities in the education of children can be an innovative and effective practice for boosting student achievement and school success. Yet, until recently, family involvement has been overlooked as education reform has focused primarily on the learning that occurs within school walls. However, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s recent proposal to double the Title I set aside for family involvement from 1 to 2 percent has made it more important than ever to bring effective family engagement strategies to the forefront of the discussion about how to improve student achievement.

The Title I program provides an opportunity to be creative and innovative. Many promising practices in family engagement develop from the work of dedicated school staff and parent groups in Title I schools. While the first webinar in the Achieving Excellence series framed the discussion about family engagement as a systemic, integrated, sustainable practice to improve student performance, the second webinar—A New Day: Family, School, and Community Engagement in Education Reform—examines what these innovative and successful family engagement programs look like on the ground, especially within Title I schools.

Presenters include: Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; Anna Hinton, Director, Parental Options and Information, Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education; Mishaela Durán, Director of Government Affairs, PTA National Office of Programs and Public Policy; Barbara Scherr, Family Involvement Coordinator, Maryland State Department of Education; Susan Shaffer, Director, Maryland State Parental Information and Resource Center; and Michele Brooks, Assistant Superintendent of Family and Student Engagement, Boston Public Schools.

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