Student, family, and community engagement is an important ingredient to foster students’ social, emotional, and academic development (SEAD). The National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement defines family and community engagement as “a shared responsibility involving schools and other community agencies engaging families in meaningful ways to support the learning and development of children.”

A child’s education extends far beyond the classroom walls, and family and community engagement is crucial to ensuring a student’s growth and development. At its core, meaningful engagement is about building personal relationships, trust, and mutual respect between student and their educators, families, and communities.

In this brief, we explain the importance and impact of engaging students, families, and their communities, as well as outline common barriers. We also offer recommendations on how to support student, family, and community engagement at all levels — federal, state, and local — so that students’ social, emotional, and academic development can thrive.

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