Educators have long recognized that creating connections between the school and the home has far-reaching positive benefits for individual students and the broader community. Effective family engagement both enables school readiness and creates opportunities for families to reinforce and extend learning at home. It also works to establish a mutually supportive network of educators, families, and students, creating a climate that promotes learning and success.

Common channels of engagement include family night events, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and community-building social events. The pandemic and the need for physical distancing has disrupted many of these traditional strategies to engage families. Concomitantly, educators are relying on family contributions of time and support more than ever with so many students learning from home for at least some portion of the school week. And all involved—educators, parents, and students—have faced tremendous disruption to their own personal circumstances, limiting the overall emotional, financial, and logistical capacity for added responsibilities.

In the face of these challenges, but with a recognition of the importance of engaging and supporting families during this time, many educators have found ways to connect and partner with families. They have approached these obstacles with creativity, resilience, and resourcefulness to find meaningful ways to move learning forward.

Emerging Best Practices 

  • More Inclusive Outreach
  • Building Families’ Teaching Toolkits
  • Access to Academic Content and Resources
  • Grace, Compassion, and Support

Read the full article about family engagement during COVID-19 by Erin Gohl at Getting Smart.