Project Appleseed utilizes the Six Types of Family Involvement to engage with families, schools, and communities for student success and achievement in K-12 education.

Slice 1. Volunteering

Goal: Recruit and organize parent help and support.


Sample Best Practices:

  • Distribute Project Appleseed's learning compact known as the Parent Engagement Pledge to recruit and organize parent volunteers.

  • Distribute Project Appleseed's Parent Engagement Report Card. The Report Card is intended to help parents evaluate their contributions to their child's success at school.

  • Use the Parental Involvement Pledge/Volunteer Information Survey to identify all available talents, times, and locations of volunteers.

  • School and classroom volunteer program to help teachers and administrators students and other parents. Parent room or center for volunteer work, meetings, resources for families.

  • Class parent, telephone tree, or other structures to provide all families with needed information.

  • Parent patrols or other activities to aid safety and operation of school programs.


Slice 2. Parenting

Goal: Help all families establish home environments to support children as students.


Sample Best Practices

  • School provides suggestions for home conditions that support learning at each grade level.

  • School provides workshops, videotapes, and/or web based information on parenting and child-rearing at each grade level.

  • Parent education and other courses or training for parents (e.g., GED, college credit; family literacy).

  • Family support programs to assist families with health nutrition, and other services.

  • Home visits at transition points to preschool, elementary, middle and high school; and neighborhood meetings to help families understand schools and to help schools understand families.

Project Appleseed

Slice 3. Communicating

Goal: Design more effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications with all families each year about school programs and their children's progress.


Sample Best Practices

  • Conferences with every parent at least once a year, with follow-ups as needed.

  • Language translators assist families as needed.

  • Weekly or monthly folders of student work are sent home and reviewed, parental comments returned to teacher.

  • Parent and student pick-up of report card, with conferences on improving grades.

  • Regular schedule of useful email notices, memos, phone calls, newsletters, and other communications.

  • Clear information on choosing schools, or courses, programs, and activities within schools.

  • Clear information on all school policies, programs reforms, and transitions.

Slice 4. Learning at home

Goal: Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curricular-related activities, decisions, and planning.


Sample Best Practices

  • Information for families on skills required for students in all subjects at each grade.

  • Information on homework policies and how to monitor, and discuss schoolwork at home.

  • Information on how to assist students to improve skills on various class and school assignments.

  • Regular schedule of homework that requires students to discuss and interact with families on what they are learning in class (e.g., TIPS).

  • Calendars with activities for parents and students at home.

  • Family math, science, and reading, activities at school.

  • Goal setting for students with families each year, and for future plans for college or work. Increased ability in two-way communications for family views of children's programs and progress.


Prepare your child for school and lifelong success

Learning styles and study needs are personal and different for each individual child. Take note of your child's study preferences: where they prefer to work, acceptable noise levels, break times, and lighting. It is important to encourage consistancy with the developed preferences, so talk with your child's teacher about how you can both support and encourage your child's achievement.


Slice 5. Decision Making

Goal: Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives.


Sample Best Practices

  • Active PTA/PTO or other parent organizations, school advisory councils, or committees (e.g., curriculum, safety, personnel, and other committees) for parent leadership and participation.

  • Independent advocacy groups to lobby and work for school reform and improvements.

  • District level councils and committees for family and community involvement.

  • Information on school or local elections for school representatives.

  • Networks to link all families with parent representatives.


Slice 6. Collaborating with the Community

Goal: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development.


Sample Best Practices

  • Information for students and families on community health, cultural, recreational, social support, and other programs or services.

  • Information on community activities that link to learning skills and talents, including summer programs for students.

  • Planned service integration of school in partnership with businesses, civic, counseling, cultural, health, recreation, and other agencies and organizations.

  • Service to the community by students, families, and schools (e.g., recycling, art, music, drama, and other activities for seniors or others, etc.) Alumni to link to school programs for students.

The Six Slices of Parent Involvement were adopted by Project Appleseed in 1996 from the framework developed by Dr. Joyce L. Epstein, director of the Center on Families, Communities, Schools, and Children's Learning at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The Center's mission is research, evaluation, policy analysis and dissemination in order to produce new and useful knowledge about how families, schools, and communities influence student motivation, learning, and development.