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FSCP Research and Evaluation

Research on impactful family, school, and community partnerships has been ongoing for almost sixty years, both in the U.S. and internationally. These efforts have found that all families care for their children and want them to succeed; students want their families to be partners with their school; and teachers who have trusting partnerships with families have higher job satisfaction (Epstein, 2019). Below, we highlight some of the most important findings from studies over the past six decades.

The Office of Family, School, and Community Partnerships encourages programs, schools, and districts to regularly evaluate their FSCP programs and practices to ensure equitable and impactful family engagement. Evaluation is key to understanding where you are, and what you need to do in order to meet your FSCP goals. Following the research section, you'll find resources you can use to evaluate your FSCP programs and practices - all are available for public use.

For questions regarding FSCP research and evaluation tools, contact Jes Stroope.

Bird's eye view of a table with graphs and computers. Hands rest on a computer and another person's hands on a pad of paper, indicating a meeting.
 

Research Highlights

FSCP and Organizational Structure

All families, students, and teachers believe that partnerships are important for helping students of all ages succeed. Specifically, families care about their children and are eager to learn how to be good partners in their children’s education. (Epstein, 2010 [PDF])

 

FSCP and Elementary

Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV) are an evidence-based family engagement approach found to improve student outcomes. On average, schools that systematically implemented PTHV saw decreased rates of student chronic absenteeism and increased rates of student English Language Arts (ELA) and math proficiency. (Sheldon & Jung, 2018)

 

FSCP and Academic Outcomes

School-initiated, specific parental involvement programs - such as shared reading, homework checking, and teamed two-way communication - are significantly and positively related to academic achievement for students at all levels. (Jeynes, 2012 [PDF])

 

FSCP and Mindsets

After participating in PTHV, many educators found that previous deficit assumptions about families and students were unfounded. Instead of assuming that many parents did not care about their children’s education, they recognized that many families cared, but showed their care differently than what was expected. (McKnight et al., 2017)

 

FSCP and Secondary

When family, school, and community partnership programs during adolescence are judged solely by their relationship with academic outcomes, the impact of family engagement on adolescent development is lost. Additionally, including adolescents in family-school partnerships may improve school engagement and success and increase the probability that education and academic goals are “integrated into the adolescents’ identity.” (Hill, 2015)

 

FSCP + Covid

The pandemic revealed that mobile apps are a promising communication practice that may enhance relationships with families by offering more convenient and timely two-way communication and by providing translation features for direct communication between educators and caregivers who speak languages other than English. (Orta & Guitierrez, 2022)

 


Evaluation Tools

  • Family and Community Partnerships Reflection Tool for Family-Facing Professionals
    Developed by the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center with the  National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement, the goal of this tool is to serve as a springboard for self-reflection and a catalyst for ongoing conversation around family and community engagement practice. 

  • Colorado's School-Family-Community Partnership Survey (link to more info)
    Developed by CDE specifically for Colorado schools, this instrument assesses the outreach efforts of a school or district based on the perceptions of school personnel and families.
  • Conversation Starter Tools
    These tools can help education decisionmakers understand the level of alignment between different members of the school community (teachers, families, students) and their vision for what makes a quality education.
  • Starting Points Inventory (PDF)
    This inventory, based on the National Standards, can be used in a number of ways to help plan, implement, and evaluate partnership initiatives.
  • Multi-Tiered Family, School, and Community Partnering Supports Checklist (PDF)
    This checklist provides examples of how schools engage families and communities, based on the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS).
  • Measure of School, Family, and Community Partnerships (PDF)
    This instrument helps assess whether your school is involving parents, community members, and students in meaningful ways.
  • FSCP Scales and Measures
    A collection of scales selected by the Expelled and At-Risk Student Services (EARSS) staff and researchers at the University of Northern Colorado that can be used to measure parent improvement in their ability to support their child(ren)’s learning. 
  • Colorado's P-12 FSCP Framework and Rubrics
    Developed by CDE,  this framework provides schools an image of what high impact FSCP work looks like. The associated rubrics will help schools and programs identify current levels of engagement with families and community partners, as well as understand next steps toward equitable partnership programs.