Practices and Tools for Schools

The value of parent engagement has been documented for many years through research by professionals such as Joyce Epstein, Karen Mapp, Anne Henderson and others.  Turning that research into practice has been a challenge for many educators who have multiple responsibilities.  A project is currently underway in Connecticut, funded by the CSDE, called “Enhancing Collaborative Relationships between Families and Schools.” The Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, in conjunction with four CT school districts, have been working on developing meaningful activities to increase staff knowledge and competencies to support engagement of families in their children’s education.

Below are a few examples of emerging practices and ideas that these district-wide teams have developed as well as some nationally developed materials:

Please click each link for more information.


FAST Team Leadership

Staff Meeting Discussion

Training Opportunities for Families and Staff

Soliciting Family Feedback

Administrative Council Sharing

Parent Leadership Committee


  • Case Manager Checklist
    This tool has been developed for use by Case Managers to track their communication with families.
  • Parent Packet
    The Parent Packet was developed to welcome parents with children new to special education or to the district and offer them information about special education and their specific school system.
  • Monthly Family Contact Log
    These tools have been created for teachers to use to help document contacts they have with students’ families. The individual family contact record provides more detailed information about the contact. The monthly family contact log is in spreadsheet format in order to provide an organized list of contacts with each students’ family.
  • One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships (School Level, Form G-Goals). National Network of Partnership Schools.
    This tool has been created for use at the school-level; the action plan is organized by school improvement goal, including two academic goals, one behavioral goal, and one goal to promote a welcoming school climate.
  • One-Year Action Plan for Partnerships (School Level, Form T-Types)Areas to Consider When Preparing for Your PPT Meeting. National Network of Partnership Schools.
    This tool has been created for use at the school level; the action plan is organized by Joyce Epstein’s Six Types of Family Involvement: Parenting, Communicating, Volunteering, Learning at Home, Decision Making, and Collaborating with the Community.
  • Preparing for the Planning and Placement Team This is sent to the family with the PPT invitation and lets them know their input is important and is designed to help them prepare to share their thoughts on their child’s program.
  • Use of District and School Websites
  • Automated Phone Messenger Services
  • Online Homework and Grade Tracking Programs

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