February 2018

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  • Quick Brief on Family Engagement in Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): The purpose of ESSA is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. This is an overview of parent and family engagement. The items highlighted in yellow are new items within ESSA.
  • ESSA Parent and Family Engagement Resources: Despite its flaws, one knew what to expect from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). For over a dozen years, schools provided “strategies to increase parental involvement,” involved parents "in the activities of the schools," and even provided "materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy training and using technology to foster parental involvement. “The key word in NCLB was "involvement.” With the passage of the ESSA, the emphasis shifted from “involvement” to "engagement.”
  • Parent and Family Engagement Provisions in ESSA: The ESSA serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) which was last reauthorized in 2002 as the NCLB. Since its inception, the intent of the law has been to raise achievement for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged children. Parent and family engagement and consultation have always been a key piece of the law, focused on the low-income parents of “Title I-participating” children. We know that gaps in educational opportunity and achievement will only be remedied when those closest to the affected students – parents, families, and communities – are driving decision-making. This brief seeks to provide advocates with a full overview of the ESSA’s requirements, and opportunities for parent, family and community engagement.
  • Read Aloud 15 Minutes is a non-profit organization that is bringing together partners nationwide to make 15 minutes of daily reading aloud the new parenting standard. When every child is read aloud to for 15 minutes every day from birth, more children will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten, more children will have the literacy skills needed to succeed in school, and more children will become lifelong readers. Reading aloud, starting at birth, is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child's readiness to learn. This site offers several colorful parent handouts with tips and milestones for communication with children from birth to age 5, as well as activities to help their children become readers, downloadable bookmarks and posters, and printable reading trackers.
  • Elementary Math Games is an educational website that was founded in the belief that learning mathematics can be fun. For a lot of people, math is a difficult subject, but math does not have to be boring or complicated. It can be taught in a form of games, which many children find enjoyable. The website includes free math worksheets and games for grades 1-8.
  • Engaging Families from the Start is a strong relationship between families and Head start staff which is essential to promoting healthy child development and positive learning outcomes. Strong relationships are rooted in trust and comfort, which you can build by being genuine, sincere, curious about them and their goals, and supporting them as they work toward those goals. Explore communication techniques you can use to build relationships with families. While these techniques are especially relevant to the first visit with a family, they can be applied to all interactions with families.