Family Engagement

Coming Soon- MiFamily: Michigan’s Family Engagement Framework

Michigan Department of Education’s Family Engagement Definition: 

Family Engagement encompassing families, providers, community supports, and educatorsFamily engagement is an integral component of Michigan’s Top 10 in 10 goals. Goal 5 of 7 strategic goals necessary to move Michigan forward as a premier education state is to ensure that parents and guardians are engaged and supported partners in their child’s education. Family engagement has been integrated as a priority in the Michigan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan and various other initiatives such as the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Whole Child definition.

The Definition: A CLEAR CONSENSUS 

The first step in supporting Michigan’s learners and their families was to develop a consensus definition of family engagement for the state, inclusive of the MDE, local districts, and community partners. After researching several definitions from other statewide family engagement frameworks, and research, Michigan’s Family Engagement Framework Stakeholder’s Committee constructed a shared definition stemming from MDE’s “Top 10 in 10” strategic plan and stakeholder voice. The definition is: Family engagement is a collaborative relationship between families, educators, providers, and partners to support and improve the learning, development, and health of every learner.

Michigan’s Family Engagement Principles

RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF FAMILY ENGAGEMENT. 

  • Offer getting-to-know-you meetings in smaller, informal settings. 
  • Make relationship-building home visits. 
  • Co-design with families a pre-school-elementary school transition program.  
  • Create welcoming spaces in the program and schools. 
  • Learn the names of all families. 
  • Develop parent advisory committees. 

FAMILIES ARE ENGAGED AND SUPPORTED PARTNERS IN THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION. 

  • Peer-to-peer family groups. 
  • Volunteer opportunities. 
  • Linking families to community resources. 
  • Provide leadership opportunities for families. 
  • Parent-Teacher Home Visiting Program. 
  • Student-led conferences. 
  • Curriculum showcases.

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS ARE PURPOSEFUL, INTENTIONAL, AND CLEARLY IDENTIFY LEARNER OUTCOMES. 

  • Share how families can engage children in interactive play, reading, and hands-on math activities that promote problem-solving. 
  • Invite families to visit the after-school program, meet staff, and join the activities. 
  • Host “classroom visits” for families to see firsthand what their kids are doing in class and how the classroom is set up for linking learning to current events. 

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT EFFORTS ARE TAILORED TO ADDRESS ALL FAMILIES SO ALL LEARNERS ARE SUCCESSFUL.  

  • Talk about the skills that will help children upon their transition to kindergarten and discuss children’s progress with families regularly. 
  • Explain your school or program’s high achievement goals and ask families about their ideas to help their kids reach them. 
  • Seek barriers and remove them.

POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS CONTRIBUTE TO FAMILY ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING. 

  • Provide opportunities for parent and student input on Title I school-parent compacts to make them more personalized.
  • Respond to what students say about social and emotional issues.
  • In middle and high school, set up an advisory system, so that all students have someone who knows them well and who can be their advocate in the school and the primary contact for their families.

For more information, please contact the MDE Family Engagement Core Team Members: 

Archive: Parent Engagement Toolkit