Family Partnership Tools and Resources

The Family Liaison position focuses on strengthening family partnership at a school site level in support of student education. The Family Liaison works to support culturally and linguistically diverse family groups in school activities and acts as a resource to help classroom teachers and other school staff deepen their relationships with families.

Are you a Family Liaison?

About the Toolkits

A collaborative team of staff from multiple SFUSD departments worked together to develop these resources. Drawing from existing models and examples, the team identified priorities and selected the resources to include in the toolkits. Many of these tools were adapted from models based on national research (these sources are noted where relevant). The tools and links to additional resources reflect recommendations by SFUSD families, advisory groups, and community members (identified through focus groups, public forums, and our collaborative design process). Included in the toolkits are checklists, rubrics, and other tools to serve as “flashlights” that can help illuminate issues and opportunities for growth and development of a strong and supportive school culture and climate.

Tools For Creating a Welcoming School Community

Every school is required to have a Back to School Event, whether it’s a school’s orientation, Back to School Night, or Open House. For years these events are put on with the goal of presenting rules and expectations to the families. Research has shown students perform better and families are more engaged when these events are linked to learning and families have opportunities to understand their child’s grade level expectations, resources/strategies in place to help students reach these expectations, and support strategies families can use at home.

We know for some schools this will be a shift in changing the way these events have been held at school site for years. With the recognition of the importance of Family Engagement throughout our district as it is written into the SFUSD’s strategic plan, Family Engagement Standards, Vision 2025, and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) it is evident that this shift is needed. The resources in this Toolkit help school leaders – including principal, teachers, support staff, and families- make these shifts together.

Creating a Welcoming School Community Downloads

How Family Friendly is Your School?
Rubric for Back to School Night
Dual Capacity Back-to-School Night Tip Sheets

Tools For Linking Student Learning between Home and School

What's the Value Anyway?

Parents and schools have something in common: both want their students to be healthy, joyful learners. To ensure that our students get the best out of their academic experiences, parents and schools must partner. Research has clearly shown that when strong family engagement practices are in place:

  • Student achievement significantly improves
  • Teacher morale rises
  • Communication increases
  • Family, school, and community connections multiply

This toolkit will assist parents, teachers, and administrators in developing cooperative strategies to maximize each student’s academic experience. Through a foundation of strong relationships, based on two-way communication, authentic partnerships will be created and students will thrive.

Tools For Linking Student Learning between Home and School Downloads

Tools for School Governance and Family Leadership

Every school is required to have leadership and governance teams like the School Site Council and English Learner Advisory Committee because we know the voices and perspectives of families are important to the process of keeping schools on track. Many schools also have groups that aren’t officially required, such as the PTA or other parent organization, a Black Student Union or an African American family affinity group.

It can be hard for schools to bring these groups together to coordinate their efforts, and to invite all family groups to participate in school decision-making. But research shows when leadership and governance teams reflect and represent the whole school community, work together, and address issues of access and equity, it leads to better outcomes for students.

We know it can be difficult to shift systems and school culture, especially those based on long-standing traditions – even when those haven’t been working to include all families. The resources in this Tool Kit are aligned with SFUSD’s standards and core values to help school leaders – including the principal, other staff, and families – make these shifts.

Our Toolkit–At a Glance

2019-20 Timeline for Leadership & Planning
Our Developmental Look at Shared Leadership & Governance
Tools for Equity and Inclusion
Resources for Site Governance & the School Planning Process

Upcoming Events