As part of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is 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) and ISBE collaborated to improve ISBE’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Framework to better guide districts as they implement systems to improve equitable family engagement in schools and districts across the state. During the 2021-2022 school year, R9CC facilitated activities, aligned with the ISBE Equity Impact Analysis Toolkit, to gather stakeholder feedback to inform ISBE as they updated their Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Framework and codeveloped a plan for communication and dissemination of the framework. R9CC and ISBE are hopeful that 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.