Background on this Tool
As noted on their website, The Education Alliance at Brown University is a “reform support organization committed to advancing equitable educational opportunities that prepare all student populations to succeed in the 21st century.” Their mission is to enhance learning for all students, with their work specifically targeting culturally and linguistically diverse students. This resource is included in both the "Ambitious Instruction" and "Involved Families" sections of the Resource Hub because of its applicability to both domains of the "5Essentials for School Improvement" framework.
Guidance on How to Leverage this Tool
This resource can support educators and leaders in strengthening multiple components within the "Involved Families" domain, with the overarching goal of establishing strong, trusting relationships between school staff, caregivers and their respective communities. This particular part of the resource is included in the "Involved Families" domain of the Resource Hub because of its focus on the factors that shape teacher-family member trust and family member involvement. Educators and school leaders should have a clear understanding of the strengths and areas for growth of their existing family and community engagement practices and be able to deeply reflect their impact on relationships with stakeholders. This reflection is a critical step before deciding which new strategies to implement or existing strategies to modify. The earlier this reflection is done, the better. This resource includes numerous strategies for initiating the school/family/community partnerships that should be employed at the start of the year and maintained throughout.
Getting Started with the Teaching Diverse Learners Toolkit
Educators and leaders seeking resources for related to the "Involved Families" domain of the Resource Hub should navigate to the "Families & Communities" section of this web-based resource. This section of the website provides clear and useful recommendations to support educators and leaders to foster school/family relationships, family involvement, and cultural awareness. Educators and leaders should begin here to build both their own background knowledge on what it means to have strong school/family/community relationships and to strengthen their policies and practices for establishing and maintaining such relationships. They should review this section of the website in its entirety (it includes a section on knowledge about schools, culture, language, and social status in the larger community), and then reflect on what the school currently does to determine which strategies can be used to fill the necessary gaps in the relationships between school/family/community.