Families and Education

“Parent participation is the leading predictor that supports students’ academic success, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or cultural background.”

– Dr. Karen Mapp, Harvard University

The Office of Parental Involvement and Family Engagement was created in 2011 to actively promote and support the participation and engagement of families and communities in a child’s education. Family engagement is a shared responsibility between schools, families, and communities where all receive equitable access to tools and supports needed to successfully work together toward the development of children and youth for college, career, and lifelong learning. AB 224 of the 2011 Legislative Session required that school districts and school communities incorporate effective family engagement practices and strategies


Over 50 years of research confirms that family engagement in a child’s education matters. Many studies have found that family engagement in a child’s education, regardless of income or background, leads to higher grades and test scores, enrollment in advanced programs, improvement in school attendance, better social-emotional skills, increased graduation rates, and higher college persistence rates (Mapp, 2020).


Northwest Regional Professional Development offers a three-credit graduate course through Southern Utah University called, Parent and Family Engagement. This course fulfills licensing requirements for teachers, counselors, social workers, and speech pathologists. Participants will explore the expectations of teachers in regards to state and district requirements and expectations for parent engagement and family involvement; working with parents and families to promote and strengthen communication and collaboration; to develop equal partnerships; and to empower parents and families to advocate for both their children’s learning and school decision making in school policies, practices, and programs.


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