Family Engagement Findings

November 13, 2018

A Note from Kimberly

"Our lives are filled with wonderful people. Make sure that those that have become a part of your life hear your words of appreciation." ~Ace Antonio Hall

As we embark on the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take the time to express my gratitude and appreciation to you. Most of you that receive this newsletter our paths have crossed and others maybe not (I hope we can meet soon!). We all share a common goal of supporting families and education which is what I most appreciate! As you know, the work we get to do in supporting families is HUGE and so important. AND it takes all of us working together, being open to change and new ideas so that we can keep investing in families that will transform positive change and impact student success.

Thank you for your commitment, hard work and the passion that you give on a daily basis in the work you do! It is hard work so I do hope that during the Thanksgiving break you will find some rest and joyful times with your family and friends.

When you love what you have, you have everything you need!

Many blessings to you,


LAST CHANCE to REGISTER for the 2018 Statewide Parental Involvement Conference, One Team One Dream.

  • December 6-8, 2018
  • Frisco Embassy Suites Convention Center, Frisco, TX

Current Registration Fee $185.00 per person

Beginning Friday, November 16, $300.00 per person

Session Presentations:

  • The TX State Board of Education will present their long-range plan.
  • TEA presenters - Title I, Title III, Special Education, Early Childhood, and TX Department of Agriculture.
  • Texas School Safety Center.

Online Registration


Alex Dominguez & I will be in attendance at the Statewide Conference! We hope to see you there and connect with you!

If You Missed Today's School-Parent Compact & PI Policy Training.....

The training PowerPoint and supplemental materials/resources are posted at Click on the red dropdown box!
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Register & Plan to Attend!

Family Engagement Network Meeting #2

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Session ID# 50797


  • 9:05 a.m.—9:30 a.m. Welcome & Connecting/Networking Activity
  • 9:30 a.m.—10:00 a.m. Community Resource Spotlights

U.S. Census Bureau

Autism Lifelinks

  • 10:00 a.m.—10:30 a.m. Hot Topic Training

Be SMART (gun safety)

  • 10:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m. BREAK
  • 10:45 a.m.—11:45 a.m. Community Education Spotlight

Project Worth (DreamSA)

  • 11:45 a.m.—12:00 p.m. ESC-20 Family Engagement News

Register HERE!

Family Engagement: Have you HEARD?

December 13, 2018

9:00 AM—12:00 PM

Session ID#: 52881

Fee: $25

HEARD is a simple technique that will guide you while dealing with customer/workplace conflict and still provide great customer service. We will explore strategies and tips for dealing with difficult people, effective practices for fighting frustration in the workplace, and steps to take when communicating with any difficult person. If you want to truly set yourself apart and go the extra mile for every customer, learn how to hear each customer, create effective first impressions, and how to deal with the difficult while maintaining your professionalism.

Register NOW!


January 17, 2019

8:30 AM—3:30 PM

Session ID#: 50811

Fee: $50

Communicating with parents is one of the most challenging and potentially stressful tasks that teachers and administrators face on a daily basis. Research has shown that establishing strong communication and relationships with parents can have positive and tangible effects on a student's success in school. Whether trying to resolve an argument caused by miscommunication or sharing difficult information, this session will provide tips and tools to help you know how to handle tough situations and foster positive relationships with your students' parents.

Register NOW!

Title I School-Parent Compact & PI Policy WORKDAY

Date: January 23, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m.--12:00 p.m.

Location: ESC-20

Session ID: 50813

Come be a part of a work session toward your parent involvement policy and school parent compacts. Come and go as you would like. Bring copies of your current policy and compact so we can look at ways to make them more engaging with families and linked to student learning.

Please note: You do not need to have attended the November Title I: Compact & Policy training to participate in this workday.

Register NOW!

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Strategies for Principals, Teachers, and Parents

This tip sheet outlines what principals, teachers, and parents can do to better prepare for and make the most of parent-teacher conferences. These meetings, usually held in the fall, are just one part of successful family engagement programs, which also include working with parents as partners in understanding data related to their children’s progress—both in and out of school. We hope you will download and use these to form stronger connections with the families in your school.

Download Parent-Teacher Conferences: Strategies for Principals, Teachers, and Parents!

Parent-Teacher Questionnaire

Ready Rosie has created a free bilingual printable resource that parents and teachers can download and complete with students before the parent teacher conference.

The “You Know Your Child Best! Questionnaire”

  • Emphasizes through carefully worded communication that families are assets and have valuable insights into their child’s learning (You know your child best!). Language is a powerful way to let families know you value them, their role is important, and you’re eager to partner with them to support their child’s education.
  • Provides a structured opportunity for families to prepare and share information during the meeting. A piece of paper might not feel mind-blowing but it can help serve as a physical reminder and touchpoint during a hectic time. This can help both educators and families feel more comfortable talking about topics that might not come up otherwise and might feel more personal (for example the discussion of a child’s feelings and personality). Let parents know that you welcome their questions and comments - this is the right time to mention those new glasses or a change in living situation.
  • Supports families with different levels of literacy or speakers of languages other than English or Spanish by including images to provide visual supports for the questions. Even if the document isn’t filled out at home, it can still be used by an educator to refer to the visuals and talk through the questions during the meeting.

Download the You Know Your Child Best Questionnaire and Read "Are you making space for true partnership in your Parent-Teacher Conferences?"

ESC-20 Family Engagement Resources

Check out the listing of professional family engagement resources!

5 Ways to Foster Meaningful Connection

When there is a greater focus on fostering more meaningful and personal connections, the school, community, and families can work together to provide the support, structure and make decisions for the benefit of student achievement.

Dads Shape Their Kids Education in More Ways...

Though much of the parent involvement research focuses on mothers, emerging studies show involved fathers can significantly improve their children's educational progress, too.

Math in the mail Delivers Fun Foundational Math to Homes of Three Year Olds

Math in the Mail brings ideas for exploring mathematical thinking to children’s homes throughout Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region while building equity and math learning ecologies along the way.

What Is Math in the Mail?

Math in the Mail kits are designed to develop mathematical skills in three-year-olds by providing the tools that parents, guardians, and other caregivers need to build positive family relationships around math learning. Research has shown that young children are eager and developmentally ready to build their foundation of math skills in the earliest years of life. However, parents want ideas for how to help their children build those foundational math skills, and are often impeded by their own negative experiences with math. Math in the Mail kits provide the materials and information necessary to make math fun and accessible—for both children and their parents. Each kit includes:

  • Materials designed for hands-on play.
  • Ideas for activities with the provided materials and extension activities using items found in any home, as well as a description of how these activities help children learn.
  • A storybook that corresponds to the kit’s main topic that parents and children can enjoy together.

Watch the video below and read more HERE.

Engaging Families to Transform Education

Commissioned by Carnegie Corporation of New York, Joining Together to Create a Bold Vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement: Engaging Families to Transform Education is intended to spark a conversation around the power of family, school, and community engagement.

The paper begins with a challenge, namely: How do we work with families and communities to co-create the next generation of family and community engagement, providing equitable learning pathways—both in and out of school and from birth to young adulthood—that will enable all children to be successful in the 21st century?

Read Joining Together to Create a Bold vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement: Engaging Families to Transform Education

Download below Executive Summary: Joining Together to Create a Bold Vision for Next-Generation Family Engagement


Chronic absenteeism is becoming recognized as a widespread problem in today’s schools. In a new study conducted by the research and advocacy groups Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, about 1 in 7 students were chronically absent (that is, absent 10% or more of the year) during the 2015-2016 school year. The reigning belief of school administrators is that absenteeism is a home issue that they have no power to change. However, the effects of chronic absenteeism can no longer be ignored.

Students who are chronically absent score significantly lower in reading and math than peers with better attendance. Chronic absenteeism can have a lasting impact, resulting in lower graduation rates and increased risk of dropout. Poverty also plays a leading role in national attendance numbers. Among schools in low-income areas, chronic absenteeism was 13% higher than in middle- and high-income schools. With so much emphasis placed on equity in education, are we missing a chance to deliver the highest quality of education for all students?

Schools have a remarkable ability to make lasting impacts on student attendance, and procedures for reducing absenteeism can be easy to implement. In a recent article in Education Week, author Evie Blad describes the complex approach needed to effectively combat absenteeism:

"Reducing absenteeism will require a whole-school approach that may include an examination of discipline policies, encouraging academic engagement to keep students motivated to show up, and coordinating resources to tackle nonacademic factors that keep students out of school, like illness or a lack of transportation."

In 2015, the staff of Barnes Elementary in rural Kelso, Washington, decided to tackle their attendance challenges. After attending a Safe & Civil Schools workshop on absenteeism, staff began to look at attendance differently. They realized that many of the behavioral and academic issues they were working hard to improve had direct correlations with student attendance.

“The impact of a student’s absenteeism can be wide ranging.” says Jessica Sprick, Chief Development Officer at Safe & Civil Schools.
“There are negative academic effects, there are negative social effects. It’s hard to build trust in the classroom community if kids are frequently absent. There are also many negative behavioral effects. Students coming back to school feel frustrated because they’ve fallen behind, so they act out or don’t have a positive relationship with their teacher.”

When administrators at Barnes saw the correlation between attendance and the academic and behavioral data, their perspectives changed, and they made reducing absenteeism a top priority. They assembled their teachers and staff to look at the startling attendance data and develop a series of multi-tiered approaches. First, they formed an Attendance Team to monitor the attendance "health" of the whole school and adjust approaches accordingly. A school-wide motivational/rewards program tracks school-wide attendance each month, displaying attendance numbers and goals throughout the school. In each classroom, attendance is also tracked, and the class is rewarded with special attendance-themed activities anytime attendance is over 90%. Individual student attendance is also rewarded—students with the best attendance are entered into school-wide contests and special events. In addition to motivational systems, preventions and support strategies are also employed. By collecting and analyzing all the attendance data throughout the school, the Attendance Team is able to identify students at risk and intervene with tailored support.

By developing a multi-tiered approach, Barnes Elementary was able to improve its overall attendance by 16% and reduce chronic absenteeism by 10% in only one year. With more students in regular attendance, the administrators, staff, and teachers can now deliver on their promise to their students, to provide a solid education and opportunities to succeed.

Watch the video below and read more HERE!
Parent/Family Newsletters to SHARE

Check out the GREAT parent/family newsletters below FULL of great information on a variety of topics! Click the IMAGE below to open each newsletter!


SPEDTex has developed resources and short videos in English and Spanish based on frequently asked questions by parents. They also have the procedural safeguards and ARD Guides posted in 12 different languages.

Please share with your families!

SPEDTex Resources and Videos

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