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“I wish parents would take the time to make their kids do homework.”

“Once again, we have a field trip and I can’t get any volunteers.”


Too often, these statements can reflect how educators feel about families and their involvement in schools. Parents are not supportive of the school’s efforts and parents who are active in their children’s education can be seen as “too involved." Meanwhile, educators find the task of communicating with families tedious due to time constraints in their schedules. These factors can lead to a major disconnect between home and school, with each operating under a different sphere and ignoring collaboration. Consider your experiences interacting with families in schools as you engage in this OLE. If you’ve had positive results in developing relationships with families, think about why that happened. Challenge yourself to conduct an honest assessment of your views on families and family engagement - you may be surprised by what you find out!




Sit with your teams and view the video, "Family Engagement -- Lessons Learned", courtesy of the Flamboyan Foundation and SWIFT.  You can access the video by clicking here.

Examine and discuss the video:

  • Describe the attitude of the teachers in the video and speculate as to why they feel that way.
  • Reflect on a time you received training/professional development on communicating with families. Was it useful? If you haven’t received such training, why do you think you haven’t?
  • Does socioeconomic status or demographics play a role in a family’s engagement in school activities? Why/why not?
  • What strategies did the teachers in the video employ to engage families?

Take the Challenge! Review and discuss the Challenge Question:


Challenge Question:  How do effective, research-based strategies for family engagement increase the likelihood of improved math achievement for students with disabilities?



You will construct a meaningful response to this question during the Assessment component of this Online Learning Event.