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The School Leader Tool: Building Your School-wide Approach to Family Engagement

Toolkit , Family Engagement

In 2011, Flamboyan introduced the Schoolwide Family Engagement Rubric. Born from the family engagement research at the time, as well as conversations with practitioners, many found the rubric to be a useful resource. The School Leader Tool is an updated version of that widely used rubric with a few distinct differences. First, while grounded in research, the School Leader Tool is informed primarily by learnings gathered through our work with educators, school leaders, and school districts in Washington, DC and nationally over the last ten years. Next, where the rubric attempted to rate family engagement practices and initiatives, the School Leader Tool is outcomes-focused and less prescriptive – an approach based on our experience coaching DC school leaders toward family engagement sustainability. Finally, the School Leader Tool explicitly calls out bias, beliefs, and equity as key components to building a school-wide approach to family engagement.

REAL Family Engagement is not just the strategies or practices teachers use to partner with families; it is a way of being. The purpose of this Tool is to:

  • Support school leaders to create the conditions for REAL Family Engagement to thrive;
  • Illustrate what high-quality, equitable school-level family engagement looks like by providing examples, tools, and resources; and
  • Guide those who are coaching school leaders – such as district or CMO family engagement personnel – on what to prioritize and how to support REAL Family Engagement in schools.

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