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​​It is widely acknowledged that ​learning begins at birth and takes place in the home, school, and community. Meaningful family engagement is based on the premise that parents, educators, and community members share responsibility for the academic, physical, social, emotional, and behavioral development of youth. Family engagement is fostered through a deliberate process that is embraced throughout the school. It empowers adults to jointly support student growth, addresses any barriers to learning, and ensures college and career readiness. Foremost, effective family engagement systems, policies and practices are mindful of diverse school-communities that are rich in language, culture, and school experiences. They are responsive to student and family needs.​​

 FACEmpowerment Monthly Parent Liaison Network Meeting

​The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Learning Technology Center, and other Illinois Educational Advocacy groups host a monthly virtual networking series for parents, caregivers, and community-facing personnel across the state. Meetings will focus on capacity building, networking, sharing best practices, and empowering attendees with the tools and skills needed to make an even greater impact in their communities.

Recordings of previous meetings can be found on our Running Agenda here​.

 Upcoming National and State F.A.C.E. Events

 Statewide Family Convening Summary Report

Why do we engage families?

  • The Illinois State Board of Education works to ensure that every student is prepared to succeed in careers and postsecondary education. Likewise, parents and communities also share the same desires for their children. When families, schools and communities partner in promoting learning and healthy development for all children, schools thrive and student outcomes increase. Research indicates that when parents are engaged with their children’s education, whether in school or at home, students do better academically. Regardless of socio-economic background, students with involved parents are more likely to earn high grades and test scores, enroll in higher level programs, attend school regularly, show improved behavior, and develop better social skills (Henderson & Mapp, 2002).

Where do partnerships with families happen?

  • Integrating family engagement efforts with learning and healthy development is important to achieving positive student outcomes. Multiple opportunities exist for districts and schools to partner with families which include but are not limited to:
    • promoting academic, physical, social, emotional, behavioral development and a positive school climate
    • engaging and re-engaging learners
    • addressing barriers to learning
  • Family engagement efforts are integrated and/or supported by the 8 Essential Elements for Effective Education. The elements provide a framework for building successful school systems and implementing a continuous school improvement process. The 8 Essential Elements adopted by ISBE’s Statewide System of Support include: Comprehensive Planning, Curriculum, I​nstruction, Assessment, Leadership, Conditions for Learning, Professional Development, and Family and Community. Families are engaged in activities related to:
    • At-home learning opportunities
    • Promoting family assets
    • State, district, school, and classroom level opportunities
    • ​Individual educational programming

How to engage families:

  • Families are engaged by developing family engagement systems, building welcoming and supportive environments, enhancing communication with parents, and including parents in decision making. Effective family engagement efforts occur on an ongoing basis and are embed​​​​​​​​​ded in school policies and practices.Districts an​d schools partner with families by developing family engagement systems, building welcoming and supportive environments, enhancing communication and including parent​​​​​s in decision making. The ways families are engaged occur on a regular basis and are seen across the 8 Essential Elements of effective education. When families, communities, and schools partner to build educational and support systems for children, those systems are stronger and more effective.​​
  • The term “parent” includes, in addition to a natural parent, a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or step parent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare). [Section 9101(31), ESEA.]​​​​​​​

ISBE Statewide Family ConveningVimeo Video Link

  • Regional Convening Dates - Forthcoming​​

 Family & Community Resources


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