Moving Beyond Open House: Building Meaningful Relationships Between Parents/Families and Schools

Event Date: 
May 01, 2013 - 04:00pm to 05:30pm EDT
May 02, 2013 - 11:00am to 12:30pm EDT


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines parental engagement with schools as “parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents.”  Parental involvement requires an active, bi-directional commitment on the part of parents and school staff. 

Building positive relationships between families and school staff and administrators has been shown to be a critical component in the successful learning and healthy development of children. For example, greater parental engagement with schools is linked with fewer behavioral problems, better psychosocial functioning, and better academic performance and achievement among children – and these positive effects can be seen throughout a child’s K-12 experience and across multiple settings – including school, out-of-school, and home settings. Parental engagement has also been linked with greater school safety.

This webinar reviewed the importance of engaging parents with schools; specifically, the webinar highlighted effective strategies for increasing parental engagement (at the elementary, middle, and high school levels).  The webinar also reviewed strategies for engaging parents and families both when students are doing well and when they are struggling, and it addressed the common barriers to involving hard-to-reach parents and families. Accompanying the webinar content were real-world perspectives from school administrators and/or staff who are currently in the field, including their challenges, successes, and lessons learned regarding parent/family engagement.

Learning Objectives 

As a result of participating in this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of engaging parents with schools;
  • Implement goal-linked strategies for increasing parental engagement with schools, including what all parties can do to improve the nature of relationships between families and school; and
  • Identify opportunities for engaging parents and family, including those often referred to as 'hard to reach,' in an effort to ensure equitable treatment for all.  

Expert Presenters

  • Joyce L. Epstein, Ph.D., Director, Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and National Network of Partnership Schools, Johns Hopkins University
  • Gary Blau, Ph.D., Chief, Child, Adolescent & Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA; Director, Building Bridges:
  • Barbara Shinn, M.S., Assistant Director, Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (S3 Grantee)

Intended Audience

This webinar was geared towards a K-12 audience; it is appropriate for school district superintendents and allied staff, school administrators and support staff, school climate teams and school safety personnel, student support personnel, and all teaching staff.

Webinar Materials

View the webinar recording (FLV)

Download the presentation slides (PDF)

Questions and Answers (Coming Soon)