Family Engagement

Building Partnerships with Families & Communities Jan 2022

Families and schools working together, because our students are worth it!

Family engagement promotes equitable partnerships among schools, families, and communities to actively advance student achievement through shared commitment, decision making and responsibility.

It takes effort and purposeful planning to build effective and meaningful family engagement with the families of our students and within the community. Often, it means new ways of thinking, responding, approaching, and including families, across the daily spectrum of activities, decisions, and information sharing that our school promotes. It can be doing something in a different way, or several methods, or changing a bias, or thinking outside the box. But, it is always worth it! Engaging families in our school system promotes real benefits for students in academics, behavior, transition, and their futures. It also can help staff and faculty gain better results, have a sense of partnership, and enjoy their jobs more, while building a sense of community - both inside and outside the walls of the school.

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What is the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Network?

The FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network (F2MAX) is an organization of families and professionals advocating to presume competence and increase opportunities for students with disabilities who have not, historically, received the same grade-level, standards-aligned instruction provided to their same-age peers.

ALL students can reach their maximum potential

That is the fundamental belief of the FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network (F2MAX). This dedicated group of families, professionals, and community members is leading change in our homes, schools, and communities. By building awareness, empowering families, presuming competence, and fostering high expectations of students with disabilities, the Network is leading change in Pennsylvania.


We presume that every child:

  • Has unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas to share
  • Interprets and communicates language in different ways, and for children whose first language is not English, communication may be even more diverse
  • Has the ability to learn challenging academic content and skills
  • Belongs and contributes to his class, school, family, and community
We believe every child deserves to be:
  • Respected, recognized, and treated with dignity
  • Regarded with the presumption of competence
  • Listened to and provided with structures and supports, if needed, to be understood
  • Taught the grade-level, academic content as same-age peers, with high expectations for learning
  • Valued as a person
  • Prepared for a life beyond school
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Why Should I Join?

  • Do you believe that students with diverse needs should be provided the same opportunities as students without disabilities? COME JOIN US!

  • Do you presume competence in all children’s abilities, regardless of their diagnoses or learning differences? Would you like to learn more? COME JOIN US!

  • Are you interested in meeting and networking with dynamic parents across the state who share your same vision? COME JOIN US!

  • Would you like to learn how to lead educational change for your child, as well as other students throughout Pennsylvania? COME JOIN US!

How Do I Join?

To join the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Network, click here for free membership enrollment.

For more information and to learn more about how you can make a difference, contact the F2MAX Network at Or you can call 1-800-441-3215, ext. 3262 or one of the Parent Partners listed below


Who is in F2MAX?

The FAMILIES TO THE MAX: Pennsylvania Statewide Family Network is comprised of hundreds of dedicated family members, educational professionals, related service providers, community members, and young adults with disabilities. The Network is coordinated through funding and efforts of the FAMILIES TO THE MAX Parent Partners.
Families 2 the Max - family network HELIX Season 2 Episode 21

F2MAX Parent Partners

The Parent Partners are a group of federally funded organizations that assist Pennsylvania families in helping their children achieve successful post-school outcomes, with oversight by the BSE (the Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education) – a division of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The BSE works collaboratively with the Parent Partners, educators, schools, agencies, and other stakeholders across Pennsylvania to ensure students have access to quality and meaningful education supports, services, and opportunities.

F2MAX Parent Partners


Coming in 2022!

Transition Tuesdays Series - Engaging Families in Transition Planning: Before, During, and After the IEP

This series will provide families, students, and educators with information and insights to enhance youth and family members’ participation in the secondary transition process of the IEP. Interviews with families and students, sharing their experiences with transition planning will be used to guide discussions and learning. Participants will experience how to be active members in transition planning - before the IEP, during the IEP, and after the IEP. Sessions are on January 25, 2022 and April 26, 2022 from 2-3 pm. Register here.

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Survey for Youth and Adults on Person-Driven Planning.

We need your help - calling all Pennsylvania youth, young adults, and their families! Help the PA Community on Transition learn more about how youth and adults set goals and plan for their future. Please distribute the survey and flyer to your students and families. Responses are due in January 2022. Click here, or on the QR code on the attached flyers, to access the survey. It is also available in Spanish.