Project lead: Nicol Christie
As part of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) firmly committed to improving family and community engagement activities, outreach, training, and resources across the state. The state’s plan recognizes that families and communities are an essential component to effective schools and a critical element for children’s education and well-being. Many barriers exist, especially in communities of color, that discourage or prevent families from consistently engaging in effective partnerships with their local school and district. ISBE believes that improving family and community engagement will help ensure all children develop the fundamental skills needed for lifelong success.
To support this goal, the Region 9 Comprehensive Center (R9CC) is working with ISBE to build capacity to improve equitable family engagement in schools and districts across the state. R9CC will conduct needs-sensing activities with ISBE, such as performing a thorough gap analysis, reviewing and revising existing resources, planning and building systematic processes, cohosting stakeholder feedback sessions, and fostering key partnerships with stakeholders. In addition, R9CC and ISBE are examining how improved family and community engagement in schools and districts can better support children who are already at high risk for academic, social-emotional, and health challenges.