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Family Engagement – Online Technical Assistance Package

Family Engagement

Few people question the value of parents being involved in schools. But many school leaders labor with traditional strategies that have little meaning or success.

Families can be their children’s strongest advocates for promoting quality neighborhood schools and to ensure excellent academic instruction – where children are safe, happy, learning and engaged.

This IDRA EAC-South‘s Family Engagement Web-based Technical Assistance Package is designed to provide educators tools for embracing what, for many, is a new vision for engaging with families and community members.

This web-based package includes five chapters, each with a video and supporting resources.

The IDRA EAC-South provides technical assistance and training to schools that request services to increase equity and effectively serve diverse students and families.
To ask about the availability of services for your school or school district, complete an intake form.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Family Leadership in Education

This video defines family leadership in education and describes its benefits. 5:15 min.

See Chapter 1 & Video

Chapter 2: Authentic Outreach

See how authentic family outreach differs from traditional ideas of parent outreach. And get specific strategies for implementing authentic outreach. 4:30 min.

See Chapter 2 & Video

Chapter 3: The Six Principles of Family Engagement

Explore the six principles of creating meaningful family leadership in education. 4:52 min.

See Chapter 3 & Video

Chapter 4: School Strategies for Family Engagement

Get some strategies for schools that support family leadership in education which is the key path for families to influence policy and practice. 5:43 min.

See Chapter 4 & Video

Chapter 5: Education CAFE Overview

Find out how Education CAFEs work and hear from members on how it has helped them and their schools. 3:08 min.

See Chapter 5 & Video

Family Engagement for School Reform – Literature Review

Collaboration and building common ground between schools and their communities are central to developing family and community engagement practices that work. This includes resolving issues faced by communities of color who have been historically excluded by traditional parent engagement models.

This literature review by the IDRA EAC-South presents the latest material on building capacity at the top, eliminating assumptions and stereotypes, engaging immigrant and low-income families, creating a school culture that values diverse families, fostering family empowerment, working with community-based organizations, relationship building and effective family engagement models.


6 Principles for Family Leadership in Education – Infographic

Family and community engagement in education is critical to school success in providing academic excellence and preparation for college of all students. IDRA’s model for family leadership involves building strong parent-educator partnerships to improve schools and raise students’ academic achievement.

See Infographic

IDRA Education CAFE –

A Structure for Families Transforming Schools in their Communities

by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

An Education CAFE (Community Action Forum for Excellence) is a parent group that is rooted in a community-based organization, rather than in a single school. Its sole purpose is to collaborate with schools to improve the success of students in the community. IDRA’s Family Leadership in Education principles assert that families are the strongest long-term advocates for quality public education. When families are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, their leadership can lead to transformational change that benefits all children. This article outlines the progression of Education CAFEs.

See Article

Liderazgo Familiar Intergeneracional

Intergenerational Family Leadership as a New Paradigm of Family Engagement

by Aurelio Montemayor  and Nancy Chavkin, for VUE Voices in Urban Education

Comunitario projects in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley offer a community-based alternative to the traditional PTA model, fostering the participation and collective leadership of youth. (Note: The Comunitario name changed to Education CAFE.)

See Article

Hear Classnotes Podcast episode #167- Intergenerational Family Leadership for Schools

5 Steps on How to Start an Education CAFE – Infographic

An Education CAFE (Community Action Forums for Excellence) is a parent group that is rooted in a community-based organization, rather than in a single school. Its sole purpose is to collaborate with schools to improve the success of students in the community. Learn more about IDRA’s Education CAFE work.

See Infographic in English and Spanish

Families Using Data for School Improvement

IDRA’s model family engagement emphasizes parents’ ability to lead and partner with schools to improve the education they provide. A key element of the model is that groups of parents and community members examine data and then take action on a specific project. Every community is different, and the concerns of one are not necessarily the top concerns of another. So, it is critical that each project be identified and carried out by the community it affects.

See Video: Communities Using Data

See Article: How to Use Actionable Education Data to Strengthen Your School

See Sources of Education Data List

See Sources of Education Data List

Hear Podcast Episode 146 – Building Parent Voice for Action

Training Kit Series

IDRA created a series of packages that schools can use in sessions with families. Topics include:

  1. ESSA Requirements for Schools and Parent Involvement – Training Kit
  2. Community-Based Parent Involvement – Training Kit
  3. Public Money for Public Schooling – Training Kit
  4. Texas Graduation Requirements and Opportunities – Training Kit
  5. Career Awareness for College Planning – Training Kit

See training kits

Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute

Grounded in our unique model of family leadership in education, the Annual IDRA La Semana del Niño Parent Institute is an event where families lead each other in advocating for equitable and excellent education in their communities.

Get details