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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

Family Engagement Toolkit


This toolkit is for the key stakeholders in a child’s life. When all stakeholders are equally aware of the roles they play in the child’s success, it creates opportunities for trust building, meaningful cultural brokering, and mutual accountability. For the purposes of this toolkit, the stakeholders are families, teachers, principals, and district leaders. And, while this toolkit was initially created to support family involvement in the formative assessment process, the resources included in the toolkit are primarily targeted towards family engagement and an authentic family-school partnership throughout the early elementary school years. For more information, please see the resources below:

  • Introduction and Content Overview
    These two documents provide an overview of the four components of the toolkit and the breakdown across teachers, district leaders, principals and families. They also provide an understanding of the rationale for the toolkit and an overview of the content.

Equity and Access:

  • District Leaders-Emphasizing Equity and Access through Two Way Communication
    This resource is designed for district leaders to reflect on the current structures that are in place to ensure all families are effectively reached and supported by the school community.
  • Families-Construct Guidance
    This resource is designed to provide families with equitable access to activities and resources that will assist them in supporting their child's development.
  • Families-Your Family has a Voice
    This resource is for families to read and understand the shared power they have in their child's growth and development.
  • Families-Your Family is Extraordinary
    This resource is for families to read and recognize that they already are extraordinary and can support their child in the formative assessment process.
  • Principals-Engaging All Families in Student Learning
    This resource is a self-paced guide for principals to use to gain a deeper understanding of what can be done to increase equity and access for families in the formative assessment process.
  • Teachers-Families' Strengths-PowerPoint Presentation*
    This resource is a self-paced guide for teachers to use for deepening their knowledge and understanding of each family's culture. This resource ultimately supports teachers building relationships with families during the formative assessment process, leading to more equitable teaching practices.

Shared Decision-Making:

Two-Way Communication:

  • District Leaders - District-wide Strategies
    This resource is designed to assist district leaders in developing equitable policies for communicating with families about the formative assessment process.
  • District Leaders - Supporting Two-Way Communication
    This resource is a strategy that district leaders can use as they develop policies at the District level, as well as to support efforts to interact directly with families. District leaders can use two-way communication to learn about families’ experiences in being engaged in the process of supporting their child in the formative assessment process, and to surface the cultural considerations necessary for effective communication.
  • Families - All About Me Books
    This resource is for families to develop “All About Me” books with their children. Families can use the resource to communicate their child’s strengths to their child’s teacher.
  • Principals - Creating a Culture of Two-Way Communication
    This resource is designed for principals to review and reflect on implementing two-way communication with families. The resource includes research-based information, a discussion template, and a self-assessment tool for principals to utilize alone or with colleagues.
  • Principals - Learning about Families
    This resource is designed for principals to reflect on strategies to engage and learn about families in the school community. 
  • Teachers - All About Me Books
    This resource is designed for teachers to work with families on developing books about their children. The teacher can distribute the graphic to families to fill out with their children, and use the planning section to determine how the information from the books will be used in the classroom. 
  • Teachers - Communication and Language
    This resource is designed for teachers to read and reflect on how communication and language impacts relationships with families.
  • Teachers - Home Visits
    This resource can be used to understand how to build relationships and trust with families through home visits. This resource includes readings, templates, and Questions and Answers that support teachers in planning for home visits.


  • District Leaders - Digital Communications Toolkit
    This resource serves as a guide for district leaders in using social media as an effective avenue to share information and build ongoing relationships with key stakeholders. This resource provides tips for district leaders on emphasizing the importance of family engagement as districts implement the formative assessment process.
  • Families - Child Portfolio
    This resource is for families to implement with their children during the school year and summer break. This resource provides guidance for implementing activities in order to collect data and document progress to include in a portfolio that can be used as each child progresses to the next grade or transitions to a new school.
  • Principals - Assessment of Teacher's Professional Learning Needs
    This resource can be used by principals to assess teachers’ professional learning needs related to family engagement in the formative assessment process. It can be used as a self-assessment tool, supervision tool, or both. 
  • Teachers - Reflection Guide
    This resource is designed to help teachers reflect in community on their implementation of the resources in Two-Way Communication, Shared Decision-Making and Equity and Access. Teachers can use this resource to sustain their efforts in engaging families in the formative assessment process.

*View PowerPoints in Notes View to open hyperlinks.