ALEXANDRIA, Va. – National PTA is pleased to release its updated National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, which provide critical guidance for building strong partnerships between families, educators and schools to support student success. The updated standards incorporate research and best practices since they were last updated in 2008; reflect the perspectives of nearly 600 families, principally from underrepresented communities and identities, as well as educators and youth; increase focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; expand the approach to student success to include whole child development; and are designed to be more useful for a variety of audiences.
“Our National Standards for Family-School Partnerships have contributed to greater awareness and capacity for improving family-school partnerships across the country and internationally for over 20 years. But so much has changed since the standards were last updated, and with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there could not be a more urgent time for strong family-school partnerships,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “The updated standards are designed to provide better support for schools and their communities as they address the impact of the pandemic, changes in educational and family engagement trends, shifts in community demographics, and the need for enhanced transparency and more equity-centered practices.”
As part of its efforts to update the standards, National PTA commissioned a survey of more than 1,500 parents and guardians with children in grades K-12 in public schools. Key findings of the survey, which was conducted in September 2022 by Edge Research, show families see value in family engagement, share positive ratings of their school environment, and believe schools predominately communicate in a welcoming and respectful manner, but they also believe schools can do a better job of engaging and reaching all families, educating families on family engagement policies and opportunities that are in place, and providing resources and support that make it possible for all families to engage with their child’s school.
National PTA’s updated National Standards for Family-School Partnerships include impactful edits to the goals and indicators for the six key tenets (Welcome All Families, Communicate Effectively, Support Student Success, Speak Up For Every Child, Share Power and Collaborate with Community) to best support family engagement and student success and well-being. National PTA urges that the standards be used by:
- School board members to set the vision and imagine what effective family-school partnerships should look like in their community.
- State education agencies, superintendents and other district officials to create policies and practices for family-school partnerships in their schools.
- Principals to set expectations; disseminate tools, templates and resources; and support educators in fostering meaningful relationships with families.
- Educators to build bridges between children’s home lives and school lives.
- Parent leaders to collaborate and advocate for change.
“The findings from our parent survey provide valuable insight into areas where family engagement and family-school partnerships can be strengthened, which is essential to student success and school improvement efforts and is more important now than ever,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Our updated National Standards for Family-School Partnerships provide critical guidance and best practices for strong partnerships that will make a real impact for all students, families and schools, and we urge the implementation of these in all schools and districts.”
National PTA will host a virtual townhall Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. EST to share the findings from the parent survey and discuss the updates to the standards and how the standards can be implemented. The townhall will feature U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, National PTA President Anna King and representatives for other leading education associations. It will be streamed live on National PTA’s Facebook page and Twitter and YouTube accounts.
National PTA’s efforts to update the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships were made possible by National PTA’s Endowment Fund, the philanthropic foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York and PTA Proud National Sponsor GoGuardian. For more information and tools to implement the standards, visit PTA.org/Standards.