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Family Enagement

Does your


do a good job

of reaching out

to parents and families? 

Family Engagement Checklist

The old Parental Involvement Checklist has been updated and revised to reflect the most recent National PTA Standards, which serve as the foundation for Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Family Engagement. This popular tool is designed to evaluate and improve the partnerships between families and the school. The following questions will assist in assessing current practices and identifying areas for improvement:

Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Family Engagement
  • What partnership practices are currently working well at each grade level?

  • What practices need to be improved or added in each grade?

  • What are your goals for family involvement practices in the next three years?

  • Which current practices should be continued and which should be changed?

  • Which families are currently being reached and which are difficult to engage?

  • What steps can be taken to improve communication with hard-to-reach families?

  • What are the potential costs associated with the desired improvements?

  • How will you measure the success of your efforts?

By following this checklist and addressing each point, the school, PTA/PTO and the families can work together to improve family engagement and student success. Each Slice in the checklist is designed to measure progress, identify areas for improvement and make sure the efforts are sustainable and inclusive.

Family Engagement Parent Involvement

Slice 1. Welcome All Families

GOAL 1. Build a Community of Belonging:

  • When families engage with the school and PTA/PTO, do they feel respected, understood and connected to the school community?

    • Employ the Red Carpet Treatment tool, the ultimate solution for schools looking to improve family engagement. Our comprehensive walk-through process guides schools in creating a welcoming environment for all families.

    • Use National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week to ask families to take the Parent Engagement Pledge as a way to build a community of belonging and ensure that families feel respected, understood and connected to the school community

    • Learn about families and foster respectful attitudes

    • Provide time, training, and resources for relationship-building

    • Facilitate opportunities for restoration and connection, especially with historically marginalized families and students

    • Use culturally and linguistically responsive engagement practices

    • Invite families to contribute to the school community

GOAL  2. Create an Inclusive Environment:

  • Do the school’s and PTA/PTO's efforts encourage engagement with and among the diversity of families in the community?

    • Encourage school staff to see engaging all families as part of their responsibilities

    • Create an accessible, family-friendly campus and/or virtual school

    • Track family engagement data and regularly examine it to identify gaps in access

    • Learn about and remove barriers for families to participate fully

    • Family engagement activities can help to increase the overall level of involvement among diverse families. 


Summary of changes:

  • Expanded focus on school efforts that foster families’ sense of belonging

  • Broadened indicators on providing opportunities for volunteering to providing opportunities to contribute and on removing economic barriers to participation to removing barriers to participation

  • Added indicators for using linguistically and culturally responsive outreach, creating opportunities for connection with marginalized families, building sta capacity, learning about families and using family engagement data​

Family Engagement Parent Involvement

Slice 2. Communicate Effectively

GOAL 1. Exchange Information Between School and Families:

  • Are families able to receive and share information in culturally and linguistically sustaining ways?

    • Family engagement activities can help to improve communication between schools and families, which is crucial for ensuring that students have the support they need to succeed

    • Learn about and meet families’ communication preferences

    • Address access by providing interpretation, translation, and/or accommodations

    • Coordinate information-sharing across communication outlets

    • Gather family input and report back with how input was used

    • Foster transparency and enable families to follow-up

    • Co-create engagement plans for times of crisis

GOAL 2. Facilitate Parent-Teacher Communication:


Summary of changes:

  • Expanded focus on school efforts to use two-way communication that is proactive and timely

  • Separated one goal on information-sharing and parent-teacher communication into two goals

  • Broadened indicators on surveying families to gathering input and circling back, on accessing the principal to fostering transparency, and on using multiple communication outlets to coordinating across outlets

  • Added indicators for learning about and meeting communication preferences, addressing language and disability access, co-creating engagement plans for times of crisis, building sta capacity and co- developing and reviewing expectations on parent-teacher communication

  • Moved indicator on providing information on current issues to Standard 4

Family Engagement Parent Involvement

Slice 3. Support Student Success

GOAL 1. Team-Up For Student Success: