September 27, 2017

Members, Partners and Stakeholders,

We hope you'll join us for our first Effective Practices Webinar of the new school year, next Wednesday, October 4 at 3pm ET. Guest presenters Ron Mirr of Scholastic and David Park of Learning Heroes will share their takeaways from two important studies that shine a light on what parents, teachers and principals say they need to create effective parent-teacher partnerships.

While webinars let us learn from the comfort of our desks, there's nothing like the face-to-face networking that comes with in-person gatherings. We've highlighted a couple of upcoming events in our Professional Development section. If you attend one of these events, please stop by the NAFSCE table to say hello.

We hope you'll enjoy reading an interview with NAFSCE Board Member and Professor of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Karen Mapp, in which she provides her thoughts on the next steps for growing effective, meaningful family engagement.

Today's newsletter is full of information on new studies, effective local efforts and tools for helping family engagement professionals in their careers. We hope you enjoy it.

Best regards,
Vito Borrello
NAFSCE Executive Director

programsNAFSCE Programs
Effective Practices Webinar Series
Creating Effective Partnerships: What Parents & Educators Say They Need to Succeed

Do parents believe their children are reaching their academic and personal potential? What do teachers say they need to create effective teacher-family relationships that will help ensure that success?

What can family engagement professionals learn from recent research to help them strengthen their own programs?

Join us to learn how two research studies have shined a light on the hopes, dreams and expectations of both parents and educators when it comes to ensuring the success of today's children.

Guest Presenters Ron Mirr of Scholastic and David Park of Learning Heroes will provide their insights on the findings from Scholastic's  Teacher & Principal School Report  and Learning Heroe's  Parents 2016: Hearts and Minds of Parents in an Uncertain World and how this research can be applied by today's educators. 

Our Presenters:

Ron Mirr  is Senior Vice President of Learning Supports and Family and Community Engagement (FACE) at Scholastic. Ron has nearly 30 years of experience working with K-12 schools and social service agencies on how to engage families and community partners in the learning process. He is a co-author of the Family Engagement Assessment-a tool that measures a school's capacity for developing effective partnerships with families. At Scholastic, Ron focuses on helping schools address barriers to learning by engaging families and strengthening wrap-around services for students.

David Park is the Executive Vice President of Communications and Strategy at Learning Heroes. Prior to Learning Heroes, David was Vice President of Mission Advancement at America's Promise, where he helped develop and implement the GradNation campaign to increase the high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020. David also held senior level positions at several communications firms including Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Porter Novelli International, and taught communications courses at Georgetown University. A proud public school alumnus, David is committed to helping public school students and families thrive. David graduated from American University with a BA in communications.

Date: October 15 - 18, 2017
Location: Harrisburg, PA

The Family Involvement Conference is presented by the Pennsylvania Coalition for Parent Involvement in collaboration with NAFSCE. This gathering brings together school administrators, teachers, community members, and parents around the common belief that active family involvement in the education process is the key to effective schools and student achievement.  

Date: March 20 - 23, 2018
Location: Richmond, VA

The National Family Engagement Summit will help support your goals to promote collaborative family and school partnerships and strengthen the capacity building of your staff. With three keynote speakers, ten breakout sessions and multiple networking breaks, the 2018 Summit is your opportunity to learn from some of the nation's top experts in education. Save $125 if you sign up before October 2nd.
Liliana Guillen attended Foothill College and graduated last spring from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in economics. Like many students who return home after completing school, she took a temporary job while trying to determine a career path. But as one of California's 222,795 residents covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Guillen's future - much like the policy itself - is in limbo.

A new law in New York puts schools, child care programs and day care centers on the list of acceptable sites for telehealth services, expanding opportunities for new programs and reimbursement. The TeleHealth Bill "ties in nicely with the community schools model that seeks to expand services to meet all of our students' needs," New York Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne stated. "We know it's hard to focus on learning if a student is sick or suffering from dental or mental health issues. The expansion of telehealth offers the potential to address the health issues more quickly."
In this interview, Karen Mapp, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and NAFSCE Board Member, shares her thoughts on what she considers the next phase of her longtime efforts to improve family engagement in schools: Namely, preparing and persuading every educator to actually do it. She also touches on policies and programs school districts can use to improve family engagement. Read the article.

Teacher attrition in the United States is about twice as high as in high-achieving jurisdictions like Finland, Singapore, and Ontario, Canada.  Addressing early attrition is critical to stemming the country's continuing teacher shortage crisis. It is also important for school effectiveness.

Why Teachers Left the Profession 2012-13

A new study examines the dimensions of parent participation in the urban school district of Lawrence, MA, with surprising results.  The data suggests that income and very recent immigration, but not educational attainment, can be important factors in involvement, while family circumstances are the main correlate of engagement. Learn More

trenches In the Trenches
The Scholastic Family and Community Engagement team would like to learn from practitioners like you on how you engage with families in your schools and community. Please take a moment to complete this survey. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential.

All respondents will receive a copy of book Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher's Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success by Karen Mapp, Ilene Carver, and Jessica Lander, a $30 value.
"While a loving mother plays an integral part to the healthy development of a child, the balance of having a father's love is just as important. Not only can they provide stability and structure, numerous studies demonstrate that children with involved fathers or positive male role models are much more likely to do well in school," according to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families website.
The Active Schools movement just presented Nolensville Elementary School with its Let's Move! Active School Award.  The award, which is based on the melding of physical education, staff involvement and community and family engagement, selected five schools in Tennessee, and works to make families, and the community, healthier.
The U.S. Department of Education found that what a family does is more important to a child's school success than how much money the family makes or how much education the parents have. To help your parents get off to the right start this school year, Education Minnesota provides these ten tips.

" In order to effectively synergize the parent-teacher unit, much like the way in which two parents must co-parent with similar goals and expectations, this short-term team depends on regular feedback from both parties to ensure that the educational environment is maximized." by Angela Farmer
As the new school year continues to advance, so will students' interaction with technology in the classroom. While school leaders are working hard to make sure that teachers and students are ready to engage with new technology, they also need to make sure that another stakeholder is just as informed: parents. Learn More

Scholastic is looking for a FACE Family Engagement Trainer.  Responsibilities include training on the following:

  • Dr. Karen Mapp's Family Engagement Workshop Series
  • Parent Coordinator Training
  • Foundations of Family Engagement
  • How to Implement an Effective Family Literacy Night
Baltimore City Public Schools is looking for a Bilingual Family and Community Engagement (FCE) Specialist.   Interested?  Learn More

NAFSCE Members, let the world of family engagement professionals know all about your unique talents and skills by posting your resume in our Career Center. Members can also post listings for jobs that are available in their organization or school.
To post your resume, sign in to NAFSCE's Member Connect (click the Sign In button on the top of the NAFSCE website), then visit the Create a Resume page. This page is also found under My Profile on the right side of
Not yet a NAFSCE Member? Learn more about these and other benefits of membership now! Join NAFSCE today.