May FINE Newsletter: Innovations in Family Engagement

The May newsletter of the Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE) from the Harvard Family Research Project has just been published.

Here is how they describe it:

With the introduction of the Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), innovation has emerged as a hot topic in education. In this issue of the FINE Newsletter, we consider what innovation means and how to foster it within the field of family engagement. In the commentary, HFRP Consultant Margaret Caspe talks with Heather Weiss, Sherry Cleary, and Jane Quinn about innovation in their respective disciplines and presents a framework designed to help schools and organizations develop breakthrough ideas.

This issue also highlights two new resources focused on innovation. The first is a case study from New Visions for Public Schools that describes a pioneering effort in New York City to engage families in students’ academic success and college readiness by helping parents understand student data. The second resource is a paper from the National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group that compiles 12 examples of leading innovations in family engagement as an integral and effective strategy in systemic educational reform.

Voices from the Field recounts how an Early Head Start/Head Start program in East Harlem rethinks its family engagement strategies to reach the many parents who are hesitant to get involved due to their status as undocumented immigrants. The program’s innovative approach incorporates civic advocacy, while new evaluation tools ensure the impact of this outreach work is measurable. Rounding out the issue, our featured teaching case highlights the dilemmas that arise when innovations in teaching methods and curriculum are neither developed in collaboration with families and communities nor well-communicated to these critical stakeholders. And, as always, we provide a listing of new family involvement articles, news, and resources.

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