News You Can Use
September 30, 2021
Change is in the air!
Cambria Russell
Cambria Russell
Director of MASFEC
It is officially autumn, and change is in the air! We likely all agree that some of these changes are great, like colorful leaves and the extra hour of sleep we will soon add to our day. We may have mixed feelings about other changes - returning to school buildings and offices, renewed mask mandates, and pumpkin-spiced everything.

One positive change we see is an expansion of interest in equity-driven family engagement! Let me share a few examples:
  • The MA Department of Early Education and Care has trained staff on the Strengthening Partnerships Framework and is working to bring the Framework to life in the work of CFCEs.
  • School districts around the state are adding new positions for family engagement specialists.
  • Our conversations with some schools now include families in the discussion!

We'd love to hear from you about the changes experienced in your schools and communities. How has the work of school-family partnerships changed? Write to us at [email protected] with your thoughts!
A Focus on Middle School
This school year we are excited to welcome back Mathangi Subramanian, our virtual educator-and-author-in-residence. Last year her posts focussed on supporting the young children in our lives. This year she is writing about tweens, teens, and middle school!

We kicked off this series with a post on Debunking the Myths of Middle School. In the coming months, we look forward to sharing posts about Teens and Materialism, Talking about Relationships with Teens, Healthy Habits for Middle Schoolers, Choosing a High School, and more.
Let’s Revisit Reframing!
In the fall of 2020, MASFEC hosted a Reframing Institute that offered concrete strategies for generating buy-in and investment in family engagement. Over 150 Massachusetts professionals from diverse roles touching on family engagement participated in these sessions. One year later, we want to revisit the ideas about reframing family engagement. We are excited to continue this work with you on October 25th, 2021 from 1 pm – 3 pm via Zoom.

Fall Science for Young Children
Autumn means falling leaves, hot apple cider – and lots of opportunities for preschool science! Young children are natural scientists, asking endless questions, conducting countless experiments, and making innumerable observations. The following quick and easy activities capitalize on children’s natural inquisitiveness and require little or no preparation.

Family Engagement Framework ToT

To support the implementation of the framework, MASFEC is hosting a Training of Trainers (ToT) four times this school year, in October, November, January, and April.

Participants will be trained on how to use the training modules in community and educational settings. Anyone interested in advancing family engagement and committing to implementing the framework is invited to register. We are particularly interested in working with community teams that include both family members and professionals.

Help improve information about Career, Vocational and Technical Education!
Career, vocational and technical education provides a great entry-point for college and high-paying careers. Yet, not all students and families are aware of these benefits.

Supported by funding from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, FCSN is coordinating a statewide effort to develop parent-friendly, language-accessible information about vocational, career and technical education programs in Massachusetts. Our goal is to ensure that all families have equal access to information about their options for high school.

You can help!

Take Your Family Engagement
Program to the Next Level
MASFEC and the Federation stand ready to assist organizations and districts who are ready to go deeper in the direction of equity-driven partnership.

Check out our statements on new resources and opportunities available through these new policy initiatives:

Then, reach out! We'd love to work with you.
In Case You Missed It!
A look at school absenteeism in MA pre-k programs and why we need to pay attention to it from the Rennie Center.

MASFEC and our parent organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, provide a variety of printable resources designed to provide plain language information about important education topics. New tip sheets are routinely added.

Our family literacy calendars offer seasonally themed, silly and serious read-alongs and activities aimed at exploring sounds, letters, words and themes from home.

March - April - May - June

Help Spread the Word!
If you like the ideas shared in this newsletter, please:

Forward this email to a friend!

Follow us on Twitter @MAFamEngage

Write to us with YOUR ideas for future issues, at [email protected]

Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center
A program of the Federation for Children with Special Needs
529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129
617.236.7210 |