California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Connect families

Learning leaders play a critical role in keeping families involved in education when middle grades students tend to create distance from family members. Each local community has a unique culture that will guide the school leader in how to involve parents/guardians and family members. However, several leadership strategies have been successful for gaining the trust and involvement of families:

  • Work with school and district staff to make the school facilities available for family learning nights in the library, play nights in the gym, or poetry/drama/arts nights in the cafeteria.
  • Advertise “coffee hours” or other parent/guardian forums where interested family members can meet the principal and ask questions.
  • Host “Parenting Your Adolescent” lecture series that allow family members to discuss changes in their young adolescents and strategies for dealing with those changes.
  • Be available during drop-off and pick-up times and greet parents by name whenever possible.

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Distributed Leadership