May 23, 2018
Members, Partners and Stakeholders,

This issue of NAFSCE News highlights the critical importance of sharing best practices in family, school, and community engagement across states, districts, schools, and communities. From social-emotional learning (SEL) efforts in Columbus, OH to early learning literacy program development in Minneapolis, MN, we have so much to learn from each other.

That is why I am so excited about NAFSCE's work with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to develop and advance family engagement frameworks in 16 states. As I explain in my latest blog post, this effort is bringing together teams of administrators and family engagement advocates who are joining forces like never before to share and build upon their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm for family engagement in their communities. I feel so fortunate to be part of this ground-breaking work.

Stay tuned for more information about these state coalitions and the work they are doing to champion family, school, and community engagement. Their efforts will surely benefit all of us who embrace family engagement as an essential strategy to promote child development and improve student achievement.

Best regards,
Vito Borrello
NAFSCE Executive Director

Wednesday, June 6, 2018, 3:00 ET
Effective Practices Webinar Series
In this webinar, Flamboyan Foundation will share the essential elements of its fellowship model and its work with teams across the country to design and implement effective family engagement in their communities. We'll hear from three communities that are working with the Foundation to build district, city, and statewide approaches to family engagement that 1) build their knowledge of family engagement, 2) operate with an equity lens, and 3) implement user centered design principles in their programs.  

Our presenters:
Samantha Cohen
Senior Managing Director
Nelson Butten
Director, Family, Community & Student Engagement
Lawrence Public Schools

Reilly Pharo Carter
Executive Director
Climb Higher Colorado

Cokethea Hill
Community & Family Engagement
School Smart Kansas City

Date: July 11-13, 2018
Location: Cleveland, OH
The 2018 National Family and Community Engagement Conference, hosted by NAFSCE partner, the  Institute for Educational Leadership,  is an excellent capacity building opportunity for educators, other professionals, parent leaders and a range of stakeholders to learn strategies and best practices that focus on solutions that enhance and expand engagement through family-school community partnerships. With 3 pre-conference sessions, 6 site-visits and over 75 workshops covering six strands, participants are sure to walk away with new skills and strategies that they can immediately apply to
 their work.  

These programs, hosted by NAFSCE partner, the Harvard Graduate School of Education Professional Education department, address an urgent challenge or priority - from narrowing achievement gaps to leading inclusive schools - and provide educators with important context and data, as well as concrete solutions for expanding opportunity and achieving excellence with equity. Download the brochure.
June 28-29 - Redwood City, CA
July 24-25 -  Colorado Springs, CO
August 2-3 - Lincoln, NE
Families In Schools, with funding from The Kresge Foundation, is offering free facilitator curriculum trainings on Transition to College for school and organizational staff. Transition to College is a six-week program that helps address the transition of low-income and immigrant students from high school to college. Click here to find out more.
NAFSCE is seeking volunteers for several different roles in our new NAFSCE Ambassador Program including Group Leader, Resource Librarian, Engagement Liaison and New Member Welcome Ambassador. Find out what it means to be a NAFSCE Ambassador. Complete our interest form today.

When asked about school segregation in New York City,  Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that schools are segregated because neighborhoods are: "We cannot change the basic reality of housing in New York City."   Now  a  report released on Wednesday  undermines that notion. It found that a full 40 percent of New York City kindergartners do not attend the nearby school to which they are assigned. 
Across New York City, desegregation efforts are being driven by shifting demographics, as more white, middle-class families are choosing the city over the suburbs, and once-poor and immigrant neighborhoods in Manhattan and swaths of Brooklyn and Queens are becoming gentrified. "There are opportunities that didn't exist before to create more integrated schools," said Pedro Noguera, an education professor at U.C.L.A.
Teachers unions will have to become more "creatively nimble" in order to keep and recruit new members if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiff in  Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees , said Julia Koppich, a consultant and researcher who studies teachers' unions.  Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association said,  "We're not going anywhere, but it is going to be difficult."
Higher ed leaders across the country are realizing the need to see education as more of a continuum, rather than focusing exclusively on the students on their campuses, and many are reaching out to provide additional supports to students as young as elementary school to make sure they - and their families - are prepared for life after high school. 
The key to effective service learning is knowing how to dovetail what students are learning in school with volunteering they do outside the classroom.  "For example, they might spend a week learning about global warming in school. The following week, they could visit a park and help clean it up as part of their efforts." wrote Basil Sadiq, of the San Francisco-based volunteering recruitment site VolunteerMatch.
In December 2017, the California Department of Education released statewide chronic absence data. To better understand chronic absence at the school level, Attendance Works collaborated with the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis and Children Now to analyze the data.  The analysis looks at how chronic absence varies across different types of schools, and how it is distributed geographically. It also examines the connection between school-level chronic absence and educational outcomes for schools.  The report closes with action recommendations for key stakeholders.
University of Connecticut researcher Angran Li has found that one size does not fit all students when it comes to parents helping with homework, and that parental involvement in homework can be particularly beneficial among economically disadvantaged African-American and Hispanic students. "When kids are not doing well at school, parents are more likely to help with their homework. That's why we observe this negative correlation between parent help with homework and student achievement," noted Li. Read the article.
Over the past year, The Century Foundation analyzed roughly 5,700 charter schools in all 50 states in an attempt to produce the first-ever nationwide inventory of diversity in the charter sectorThe findings were both sobering and promising. Although the number of diverse-by-design charter schools is still small, the research showed that integrated charter schools are not just possible, they are possible nearly everywhere - in communities of different sizes and demographics, at all levels of education, and in a variety of educational models and forms.
Two new studies have tackled the topic of early education "fadeout." And though they use different data sets, the researchers point to similar conclusions: For positive benefits to last, early-childhood programs have to be of high quality and can't be seen as a one-shot inoculation that will sustain children throughout their academic careers. Learn more about the studies.

As part of Hilliard City School's whole-child vision, the community identified growth mindset as an important social-emotional attribute to build in students. Research shows that growth mindset, or the belief that you can grow your talents and abilities, is linked to higher academic achievement in the classroom. In response, Hilliard launched a growth mindset parent program that brings educators, families, and students together to focus on this skill. Data from Hilliard's first survey of elementary students reflected positively on their efforts. Learn more.
Texting parents instead of calling them is just one of the strategies that the state is using in its critical effort to double the number of students in On My Way Pre-K, which pays for 4-year-olds from low-income families to attend a high-quality pre-K program of their choice for free. Staff in newly participating counties have needed to get creative about signing up families. While larger cities have seen a crush of families interested in pre-K opportunities, rural counties are working with a pool of far fewer eligible families and providers, who may be unaware the program exists.
"The biggest challenge for closing the literacy gap is to address its cause: an opportunity gap," says Nell Duke, professor of literacy, language and culture at University of Michigan.  Children in higher socioeconomic classes tend to have greater access to high-quality child care and pre-K programs that extend literacy from school to home, Duke says. To close this gap, district leaders across the country are forging  partnerships  with organizations that already serve early learners.  "It's important for programs to include  parents  because they are their child's first teacher," says Kim Latterner, an early childhood coordinator at Shakopee Public Schools near Minneapolis. The district's homegrown Parent, Adult, Child and Education (PACE) literacy program aims to change that by boosting literacy before students enter their formal schooling years.
Hundreds of black parents from northeast Denver attended the Black Empowerment Summit last Saturday at Shorter AME Church to discuss strategies for advocating for their children inside Denver Public Schools. The inaugural Black Empowerment Summit attracted a crowd of nearly 400 people, including members of the school board, district employees, concerned parents and community members, all of whom acknowledged their respective roles in addressing concerns expressed by the Our Voice Our Schools movement.
The "Parents' Report Card" program began in 2004 and recognizes the parents' involvement in the school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA), as well as for the roles they play in their children's achievements in areas such as homework completion, classroom attendance, observation of the school's dress codes and demonstration of positive behavior throughout the school year. Commenting on the annual event, Dr. David Clark, CEO of Chester Community Charter School, said, "We give this awards dinner every year to show our appreciation and to honor our parents who have dedicated themselves to not only their own children but also to the entire CCCS community, throughout the school year."

The new grant will support East Hartford Public Schools' ongoing efforts to implement sweeping systemic change in district family and community engagement practices through its Partners in Achievement Initiative.  East Hartford Public Schools is especially excited to continue to enhance and expand training for teachers and school leaders on family engagement and cultural competence.

When you support NAFSCE, you are supporting initiatives that have the potential to change the way our country thinks about the family's role in our children's education. From our partnership with the NEA to develop higher-education training for future teachers, to our work with the Frameworks Institute to create a fundamental shift in the way people think about engaging parents and caregivers, NAFSCE's work will have a profound effect on how we all think about family engagement.

Learn more about our membership benefits for individuals and organizations

Providence Connections is currently seeking a Fatherhood Engagement Specialist that will create, plan and implement various programs and activities to engage fathers in programs that will enhance their well-being, strengthen their parenting skills and provide opportunities to meet other dads and find support among their peers.
MAEC is looking for a detail-oriented and dynamic individual who is comfortable prioritizing multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.  Learn more. 
NAFSCE's Career Center features a searchable job bank focused solely on family engagement opportunities. Posted positions are promoted in NAFSCE News, reaching thousands of family engagement professionals each month. 

Members can also post their resume in our searchable Resume/CV database.

NAFSCE Members receive one free job or resume posting. Organizational members receive five postings. Not a NAFSCE member? Join today to enjoy this exclusive member benefit.