Show Notes

In education, family engagement and family involvement are often used interchangeably; however, the distinction between these two terms is crucial to understand how to build strong, meaningful partnerships with parents and families.

Today, Blake Turley and I sit down with fellow West Virginia Educator, Amanda Peyton, to talk more about parent and family engagement. Amanda provides a great perspective on the difference between involving families and engaging them, along with some simple yet impactful examples of how McDowell County educators are building strong partnerships with their families.

What to Listen for:

  • How did McDowell County Schools engage parents of Pre-K students at the start of the 2020-2021 school year?
  • How can educators support parents and families in becoming partners in their child’s education?
  • What are some creative, nontraditional approaches that educators can use to engage families?
  • What is the difference between family involvement and family engagement?
  • Why is conducting home visits an important part of building strong family partnerships?
  • How can conducting a family analysis help a school or district strengthen their family engagement practices?

My hope is that this episode inspires educators to analyze the family activities that they conduct throughout the year and determine to which of these are involvement activities and which are engagement. By closely examining these activities, educators can get a sense of how they can improve their family engagement practices and build strong, impactful partnership with families that will help their students to achieve remarkable things. As Amanda said, “…do one engagement piece that’s really going to help students succeed and spend more energy on that.”


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