Family School and Community Partnerships

Family-School-Community Partnerships Work!

Forty years of research show that schools with effective partnerships have

  • Students with higher grades and test scores, better attendance, higher graduation rates, and greater enrollment in postsecondary education
  • Students with more positive attitudes and behavior
  • Teachers with higher morale and higher ratings from parents
  • Families who give the school more support
  • Communities which regard the school more highly 

(Henderson, Anne et al. (1994). A New Generation of Evidence: The Family is Critical to Student Achievement).



Parent Update

Following are some of the “big stories” Wisconsin parents may want to know about and links to parent information on DPI and other websites:

      School Report Cards:

      Higher Expectations for Student Performance on State Tests:

      Common Core State Standards: or

      College Credit and Work Experience in High School:

      Safe and Respectful Schools:


Visit the following websites to learn about ways that your school can strengthen family-community engagement:

Wisconsin Resources:

Title I Parent Involvement Resources for Wisconsin Schools:

Wisconsin PTA:

Parents Plus:

All Parents on Deck:


Wisconsin FACETS:

Wisconsin DPI WSPEI page:

Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative:


National Resources:


National Network of Partnership Schools:

Family Involvement Network of Educators:


SEDL National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools:

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education:


US Department of Education Parent and Family Engagement Page:




Wisconsin E-Brief for Partnership Schools

A monthly newsletter of news, events, research, and promising practices to keep schools, districts, and organizations focused and moving forward on family-school-community partnerships for children’s learning PreK-12.


Download and read:



Announcing the Partnership Action Team Toolkit!

Schools with an Action Team for Partnerships have a powerful mechanism for making family-school-community partnerships work. Action Teams are an organized way for schools to involve more families in many ways in children's learning and in school goals.

DPI's new online toolkit features resources and strategies for your school or district team. Each page features resources for teams to watch or listen to, to read, to explore, and to discuss together, that will help your school or district launch or strengthen Partnership Action Team. These webpages are based on the research of Joyce Epstein, director of the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University, and that of other sources.



DPI Encourages Partnerships

The DPI Community Learning and Partnerships Team offers publications, tools, presentations and events to help schools and districts start and sustain partnership practices that make a real difference.

State Superintendent Tony Evers established the Parent Advisory Council to share information on successful family-school-community partnerships across the state. DPI has instituted a Family-School-Community Partnerships Policy.

Partnerships also play an important role in Wisconsin's REACh (Responsive Education for All Children) Initiative to enhance the success of all students. Download REACh Family Involvement materials.

National Network of Partnership Schools – Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a charter member of the National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS), headed by Dr. Joyce Epstein at Johns Hopkins University. NNPS recommends that schools take four important steps to develop partnership efforts that reach all families and students:

  • Use The Six Types of Family-School-Community Partnerships
  • Form a Partnership Action Team of parents, teachers and other school staff, students, and community members to link partnership practices to school goals
  • Develop a One-Year Action Plan that advances school goals through partnership activities. See Wisconsin VISTAs' Promising Partnership Practices
  • Allocate an annual budget for partnerships from a variety of sources
  • Measure partnership efforts

Nearly 50 schools, districts, and organizations enjoy the benefits of membership in NNPS Wisconsin, including many schools with volunteers in the DPI Vista Project.


Other Resources

  • Learn what parents can do to prepare their child for Kindergarten. This link contains lots of tools and tips from early childhood experts.
  • Explore more links on Family-School-Community Partnerships in Wisconsin.

For questions about this information, contact Ruth Anne Landsverk (608) 266-9757