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Family Engagement Practices for Learning

Educators have the ability to equip families with the tools to extend learning to the home and community. Enabling families to support learning at home helps students apply what they learn at school to real life. Read on to learn more about how educators can help families support learning outside of school.

Empower Families to Support Student Learning

Educators involve families in the learning process to help students continue to learn outside of school.

Actions to include families in the learning process:

  • Share what students learn in school through a class website or parent portal.
  • Provide families with talking points to discuss what students are learning in school.
  • Provide families with supplemental resources to take part in learning at home.
  • Host workshops for families to engage in learning with their students.

Check out all of the CITES Family Engagement practices.


Aki's Story

Aki is a ninth-grade history teacher at a high school in a South Central state. Spanish is the first language for a third of the students at Aki’s school. Aki uses Google Classroom to share learning materials and assignments with his students. He set up his virtual classroom to send parents weekly emails in their preferred langauge about their student’s progress and missing assignments.  

Paz was a student in Aki’s class who was fluent in both English and Spanish. Paz lives with mother and grandmother who only speak Spanish. In the middle of the school year, Paz learned from home for eight weeks due to an illness. Aki enabled Paz’s family to support his learning at home by sharing Spanish versions of the assignments with them and links to history websites related to the content in Spanish. 

When Paz returned to school, Paz’s mother suggested that Aki send home resources regularly to all Spanish speaking families. Aki was concerned about the amount of time required to support this request. So, he started a quarterly workshop for families, hosted in-person and shared online, that reviewed the topics that would be covered that quarter in English and Spanish. He also started a shared document with a list of internet resources related to topics covered in his class that his students and their families could add to.


Borup, J., Chambers, C. B., & Stimson, R. (2019). Online teacher and on-site facilitator perceptions of parental engagement at a supplemental virtual high school. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 20(2).

Mac Iver, M.A., Sheldon, S., & Clark, E. (2021) Widening the portal: How schools can help more families access and use the parent portal to support student success, Middle School Journal, 52:1, 14-22,

Michaelson, K. J., Matz, L., & Morgan, D. (2015). Using a new electronic brailler to improve Braille learning at the Florida School for the deaf and blind. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 109(3), 226–231.

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