Patty Christiansen, VP for Communications
(714) 417-6832;

Michelle Eklund, Communications Manager
(916) 440-1985;

February 21, 2014

PTA releases updated guide to strengthen
parent and family engagement in schools

PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Assessment Guide
provides valuable framework for school districts as they develop new
Local Control and Accountability Plans

Click the image to download.

SACRAMENTO - To support school districts and parents in the development of family engagement goals and activities in the newly required Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs), California State PTA has joined with National PTA in releasing an updated version of the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Assessment Guide.

“California’s new Local Control Funding Formula law offers an historic opportunity to usher in a new era of parent and family engagement in our schools,” said California State PTA President Colleen A. R. You. “This PTA guide offers an excellent, research-based framework for how families, schools and communities can work together to support student success as part of their newly required LCAPs.”

The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Assessment Guide is based on extensive research over the past 20 years. It was developed with the guidance and support of prominent education leaders and practitioners in the field of family engagement across the country. It provides specific goals for each of six accepted family engagement standards, as well as indicators for measuring whether those goals are being met.

“This guide offers an excellent blueprint for school district leaders to use as they engage families in the priority areas required by the new Local Control and Accountability Plans," said Association of California School Administrators Executive Director Wesley Smith. "The guide is both research-based and practical, and offers a wealth of information about how to develop programs, practices and policies that promote family and community involvement in student success. Plus, it comes from a highly trusted source – the PTA.”

PTA recommends that every school district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) seek to address each of the standards and that the various indicators be used to facilitate local conversations among parents and educators about how best to build stronger family-school partnerships and measure progress based on the priorities and needs of the community.

While parent engagement is specifically identified as one of eight state priorities that all LCAPs must address, it is also important to recognize that parent engagement is a strategy that enables school districts to achieve their goals in each of the other priority areas as well.

“Districts should be sure to embed parent engagement throughout their entire LCAP plans,” said California State PTA Vice President for Family Engagement Maggie Steele. “There are no shortcuts to raising student achievement or to building successful parent engagement. Each takes an investment of time and resources and ongoing commitment by school districts, educators, parents and community partners working together."

The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships serve as a great framework for the important conversations parents, educators, school leaders and communities should have as part of their local planning and their longer term assessment of progress.

“Decades of research shows that when families and schools work together, student achievement increases, schools improve and communities grow stronger,” said National PTA President Otha Thornton.

Additional Resources

The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, as well as many other valuable LCFF-LCAP resources are available on the California State PTA website The standards will also be made available to PTAs and school districts statewide. A summary version of the standards may also be downloaded. Additional resources for utilizing the standards and assessment may be found at

Informing and educating all parents about LCFF is a top priority for California State PTA. For more information about California State PTA’s mission to positively impact the lives of children and families, visit

About California State PTA
California State PTA connects families and schools, and has more than 800,000 members throughout the state working on behalf of public schools, children and families, with the motto, "every child, one voice." The PTA is the nation's oldest, largest and highest profile volunteer association working to improve the education, health and welfare of all children and youth. The PTA also advocates at national, state and local levels for education and family issues. The PTA is nonprofit, nonsectarian and noncommercial. For more information: