Family Engagement Toolkit: Continuous Improvement through an Equity Lens

This Family Engagement Toolkit by the California Department of Education strives to help answer the following big questions for districts and schools:

  1. How can we increase the engagement of underrepresented families?
  2. How can we help teachers and administrators become more skilled and comfortable working with all families?
  3. What kind of family engagement activities are likely to lead to the biggest learning advances for students?
  4. How can we know if our family engagement efforts are having the desired effect?

Unique aspects of this toolkit:

  1. Addresses the importance of integrating family engagement with each district’s student learning goals
  2. Includes an explicit commitment to equity in every phase of family engagement
  3. Uses the dual capacity-building framework in planning and implementation of family engagement
  4. Focuses on the role of the district and the district coordinator in leading a process of continuous improvement at schools across the district

Dabbling in the Data

You’re encouraged to use data to describe your program’s benefit, but where to start? Lengthy reports and big spreadsheets are hard to interpret and don’t always help to prioritize next steps or plan for program improvement.

For many people, data analysis can seem like a daunting task, requiring specialized knowledge and years of training. This guide provides a gentle introduction to practical approaches to explore and analyze data commonly used in youth-serving organizations.

The activities in this guide are suitable for a variety of group sizes and stakeholders so that you can draw on the experiences, knowledge, and insights from everyone involved in your program, including youth!

District Attendance Tracking Tools

Many schools, districts, and communities are interested in analyzing their attendance data for the first time to see if chronic absence is a significant problem. To simplify the process, Attendance Works has partnered with Applied Survey Research to develop self-calculating spreadsheets for school districts called the District Attendance Tracking Tools (DATTs). These tools are especially effective for smaller districts with more limited data capacity. The companion tools are the School Attendance Tracking Tools (SATTs) which provides school-level analysis down to the individual student level.

Organized into three separate modules for grades K-5 (Elementary), 6-8 (Middle) and 9-12 (High), the DATTs and SATTs are designed for small to mid-sized school districts.

Users have a choice of the original version of the DATT which is applicable to any school district with a student information system or a California-specific version that also looks at truancy and suspensions.

Attending School Every Day: Making Progress, Taking Action in Oakland Schools

A report providing an in-depth look into the local attendance patterns of students in Oakland, including an examination of overall attendance, differences in attendance patterns by group and grade levels, how attendance is impacting outcomes. Also an examination of strategies being employed at the district level to impact attendance.