Skip to Main navigation Skip to Left navigation Skip to Main content Skip to Footer

University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Family > School success > Professionals > Family engagement tools

Print Icon Email Icon Share Icon


Family engagement tools

parents and child with teacher at conference

Teachers, school administrators, and other school staff play a critical role in children's school success. That being said, if schools are able to partner with children's parents and caregivers, it can magnify children's school success potential. Getting parents and caregivers engaged and informing them about their child's school experiences, school policies, opportunities, and resources is key.

Explore the following resources to strengthen your engagement and communication with parents.

Creating school-family connections — Use this inventory to look at the conditions that enhance productive school-family relationships: approach, attitude, atmosphere, and actions.

Nuts and bolts of communication with parents and families — Get communication tips relating to attitudes, behaviors, and more.

Effective communication — Explore these guidelines and practices that school staff can use for effective communication.

Building shared responsibility for educational outcomes — Gain a better understanding for how to turn common school events and activities, like Back to school night, into a partnership building opportunity.

Practices that promote schools as welcoming activities — Try these family outreach efforts to create a welcoming environment for parents.

Four models of parent involvement: Which one represents your school? — Review four models of parent involvement and identify where your own school is at on the spectrum.

The eight 'P' philosophy for effective school-parent partnerships — Enact these eight “P”s in your school to help build effective school-parent partnerships.

How to engage the uninvolved parent — Consider these suggestions for engaging parents from removing barriers, improving communication, and more.

Positive discipline: A guide for parents — Review tips for overcoming common parenting challenges from birth through early elementary years. Booklet available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali; customization is also available.

Related resources

Facilitator training for family engagement — Get trained to deliver the Education: Our best legacy program to parent or caregivers to engage in their middle school child's education.

Starting a conversation at school discussion questions (PDF) — These questions are meant as discussion starters following viewing of the video "Mental Health: Yours, Mine and Ours", which outlines a public health approaches that improve mental health for all children, not just those diagnosed with mental illness. 

Parenting for school success: A guide for parents — Access this handbook which gives parents practical ideas on supporting school success.

Parent teacher conference tips sheetsHarvard Family Research Project — Quick tips on parents teacher conferences. English | español

Relationships — Review what the research says about how adults in the home, in the school, and in the community help youth to be learners. Part of the Research on the factors for school success series.

Child trauma toolkit for educatorsThe National Child Traumatic Stress Network — Explore "trauma facts" for educators, suggestions, the psychological and behavioral impact of trauma on students of different ages, and more.

  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy