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Classroom Lecture


Our Mission

CA-FEN is dedicated to supporting and promoting equitable, culturally responsive, and transformative family engagement practices in TK-12 and early childhood education settings across California.  CA-FEN shares best practices, influences state-level policy, and seeks to build consensus among students, families, practitioners, and advocates to promote family engagement as an essential pillar to improve student outcomes.

What is Family Engagement?

Effective and authentic family engagement has been described as an intentional partnership of educators, families, and community members who share responsibility for a child from the time they are born to becoming an adult.  To build an effective partnership, educators, families, and community members need to develop the knowledge and skills to work together, and schools must purposefully integrate family and community engagement with goals for students' learning and thriving.

- CCEE-CEI (Consistent with CDE's Family Engagement Toolkit)

The History of Family Engagement

Family engagement in education has evolved, with a growing recognition of the importance of families being actively involved in their children's learning.  We still have a long way to go when it comes to implementing research-based family engagement practices, but the trajectory has been towards valuing families as equal partners in a child's education and school decisions.

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The Importance of Family Engagement on Students and Schools

Family engagement is regarded as a best practice in education and is a strategy for improving student outcomes.  Over fifty years of research has shown that parent engagement is a powerful influence on children's educational success.  More specifically, when families and educators partner together in a child's education, studies have proven it results in:

  • Increased student achievement

  • Improved attendance and behavior

  • Improved social-emotional skills

  • Increased graduation rates

Moreover, family engagement is a critical element to achieve and sustain school improvement.  When families are engaged and physically present in schools, the school climate improves, and teacher morale increases.

Given the impact of family engagement, our society's current challenge is how and when to increase educators' capacity to implement research-based practices that unlock families' power to help transform education.

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