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MDE COVID-19 Family Engagement Resources

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is providing family engagement resources for families, programs, and schools.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in reducing the coronavirus risk to Michigan residents. For more information on statewide efforts, please visit the coordinated Michigan Coronavirus website.

Additional Education Information and Resources can be found on the MDE website at the COVID-19 Education Information and Resources page.

Fulfilling Title I Family Engagement Legislative Requirements During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Principle #1: Relationships are the cornerstone of family engagement


  • Frequently communicate with families, addressing both learning and social emotional needs
  • Conducting frequent check-ins with families, including surveys and two-way communication


Overview and Activities


New York University Steinhardt Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools

Tools for Educators to Listen to and Learn from Families During the COVID-19 School Closures

Tools for Educators

Wellness Check-in Guidance from the Flamboyan Foundation

This guidance provides school staff with a framework to connect with families during this difficult time and to let families know that you are thinking of them, concerned about them, and are available as a resource.

Keeping Relationships Strong as Students Stay Home

Flamboyan Education

Resource for calling families.  Includes a check for family wellness.

Phone Call- Family Wellness Check Questions

Culturally Responsive Education (CRE) Hub

Not sure how to initiate a conversation with families?  This resource includes an open-ended script for calling families and conducting listening sessions.

Script for Calling Each Family- Brief Listening Session

Principle #2: Families are supported partners in their child’s education


  • Connect families with community resources to support development and learning
  • Develop and provide peer-to-peer family groups virtually to keep families connected


Source Overview and Activities Resource

Family Engagement on Demand by Successful Innovations, Inc.

Tips for families to support their children through the Coronavirus Pandemic video (6:00 minutes)

Tips for Families video

Michigan Alliance for Families

COVID-19 resources to support students, families, and schools

Resources for families

University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Includes seven support strategies designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with autism during this period of uncertainty.

Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times

National College Attainment Network

Immediate next steps for helping high school seniors transition to college.

Helping Seniors Transition to College

Principle #3: Family engagement efforts are purposeful, intentional, and clearly identify learner outcomes


  • Share resources with families and offer opportunities for families to share with each other to engage in interactive reading, play, and problem-solving activities
  • Provide resources to families to support online learning, including training and aligned support
Source Overview and Activity Resource

Michigan Department of Education

Includes resources to assist with supplemental online distance and virtual learning opportunities for all students.

MDE Online Instructional Resources

Online sessions demonstrate to students and families how to understand learning concepts using Facebook Live, YouTube, Zoom, and other platforms

Provides access to tutorials for parents to help their child learn at home.

Khan Academy

School-based supports and student check-in resource

No internet access?  Call families to ask what they need help with or offer “office hours” for families to call and ask for help.

Google Form Student Check-In Template Example

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Talking with Children about Coronavirus Disease 2019:  The CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.

Talking with Children Guide

Principle #4: Family engagement efforts are tailored to address all families so all learners are successful


  • Provide communication and resources in multiple languages for families
  • Identify and address potential barriers to learning
  • Offer multiple locations and times to access food and school resources, and if transportation is unavailable, provide a delivery service
Source Overview and Activity Resource

Provide multiple learning options to families based on need, not just one mode for all.

Survey families both online and by phone to identify and overcome potential barriers to learning.

Sample Survey Questions- Includes ELL

Michigan Department of Education and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Educator’s Guide to Supporting the Social Emotional Needs of Students

Social Emotional Guide

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Collaborate with Family Resource Centers to support families.  Family Resource Centers, support the needs of the community in a one-stop location.

Family Resource Center Overview

Principle #5: Positive learning environments contribute to family engagement and learning


  • Involve families within the program or school in the creation of COVID-19 guidance and responses
  • Ensure school personnel are connecting with every family and, when possible, are visible at food and school resource distributions

Connect with community resource providers


Overview and Activity


American Academy of Pediatrics

Talking About COVID-19

Talking to Children about Tragedies & Other News Events

Talking to Children About Tragedies & Other News Events

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

CASEL CARES: Social Emotional Resources During COVID-19- Support for children, families, and educators

CASEL CARES:  Social Emotional Supports