Parents and their children are the consumers of our nation’s public education system, and parents have always been essential partners in education. However, they haven’t always been included at the decision-making table. This has caused confusion, mistrust and backlash when new initiatives — whether at the federal, state or local level — have been considered and implemented. ESSA now provides a unique opportunity for parents and families to give their input and to hold states and districts accountable for their children’s educational experience.”   – Laura Bay, President of National PTA

PTA-CCSSO Joint Webinar recording: Engaging Parents and Families on ESSA Guidelines for SEAs on Engaging Parents Framework for Meaningful Parent Engagement Under ESSA

National PTA, our constituent associations, and advocates across the country are seeking to empower all families to be active participants in the state and local implementation of ESSA to ensure equity and opportunity for all students. Click on the Roadmaps below to learn how you can get involved in ESSA implementation at the state, local and school level:

National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

When developed in 1997, the standards were called the National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs. With a shift in focus from what schools should do to involve parents to what parents, schools, and communities can do together to support student success, the updated standards were renamed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships.
Standard 1—Welcoming All Families into the School CommunityFamilies are active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class.
Standard 2—Communicating EffectivelyFamilies and school staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning.
Standard 3—Supporting Student SuccessFamilies and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.
Standard 4—Speaking Up for Every Child Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.
Standard 5—Sharing Power Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.
Standard 6—Collaborating with Community Families and school staff collaborate with community members to connect students, families, and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation.

The benefits of family-school-community partnerships are many: higher teacher morale, more parent involvement, and greater student success are only a few. That is why PTA developed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Implementation Guide, a tool for empowering people to work together with an end goal of building family-school partnerships and student success. The full guide, downloadable as a PDF, provides additional details, background, research, and success stories. For each of the six National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, this online guide provides:

A Letter from The Colorado PTA President

On behalf of Colorado PTA and our 25,000+ members, we would like to thank Governor Hickenlooper, and the State of Colorado for proclaiming October as Parent Involvement month.  I would also like to thank Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia and Commissioner Robert Hammond for their support of parent involvement. Parent involvement is crucial for student success, and is key to ensuring that we have a viable workforce for the future.  As a co-owner of a small business this is important to me, but student success is especially crucial to me as a parent. A groundbreaking study in 2010 on school improvement found that parent involvement was identified as the key ingredient for school turnarounds.  So not only does parent involvement support student success – it supports effective school reform.  This study specifically evaluated school improvement in low-income, urban schools.  They found that elementary schools with strong parent involvement were 10 times more likely to improve in math and 4 times more likely to improve in reading than schools weak in parent involvement.  For school improvement to be successful, schools must treat parent involvement as an integral part of the school. In 1997, National PTA convened the many different stakeholders whom we represent to develop the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, which for the first time, articulated what parent involvement should look like at the school level.  In 2001, National PTA updated the standards, and now these are in use by schools, PTA and community leaders nationwide including the Colorado State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education, as a framework for thinking about, structuring, and assessing family engagement. While researcher Joyce Epstein paved the way for parent involvement, two researchers and long-time PTA friends, Anne Henderson and Karen Mapp, continued to strengthen the importance of family engagement in their 2002 study, “A New Wave of Evidence:  The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement.”  They found evidence clearly supports that when parents and families are involved at home and at school, children do better in school!  This includes higher grades, passing classes, and regular attendance at school.  This is true no matter what the family income or background may be! Parent involvement is a shared responsibility and my hope is that all parents and families:

  • Feel welcome in their child’s school
  • Experience effective, two-way communication
  • Are given the opportunity to support their student’s success
  • Feel comfortable to speak up for their child
  • Are asked to share the power in their school by being a participant in school decision making

It is through collaboration as parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and community that we will give the children of Colorado the greatest gift of all, a bright future. Nora Brown Colorado PTA President

Early Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission

Pursuant to state law, the ECSRLC must meet at least four times per year to study issues concerning early childhood and school readiness. Topics to be studied include: health care, mental health, parental involvement, family support, child care, and early learning. The commission is required to solicit input from the public, especially from those who have expertise in early childhood and school readiness issues. The commission is also required to meet with the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, which is a group focused on improving outcomes for young children ages birth to eight, to discuss policy concerning early childhood and school readiness.

To Learn More Click Here!


More training, professional development, and resources provided by The Colorado Department of Education

Family Engagement Promising Practices Training Materials
The purpose of the Family Engagement Promising Practices Training is to help schools and districts implement comprehensive, sustainable partnership structures for student success.

Colorado Department of Education’s PEP Conferences
brings parents and professionals together by sharing ideas, discussing concerns, celebrating successes and obtaining information related to parenting, educating and partnering to support student learning.   PEP Conferences are offered at no cost to attendees.

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