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Every child. Every family. Every school.

Barbara Boone
May 16, 2019

How Ohio’s Statewide Family Engagement Center is supporting family engagement in education

In October 2018, our team at the College of Education and Human Ecology’s Center on Education and Training for Employment received a $4.2 million, five-year Innovation and Improvement grant from the U.S. Department of Education. With this award, we have established the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center, bringing research to practice by providing families, school personnel and community organizations with family engagement tools and training. The goal? For Ohio’s students from preschool through high school to have schools and families who are working together in support of their learning and development.

There are many reasons why family-school partnerships are important. First and foremost are student achievement and well-being. Although students are primarily responsible for their learning, when families, school personnel and community partners work together, largely speaking, schools improve, and academic achievement and overall school experiences improve for children and teens.

When we get it right, families and school personnel have resources and information that are readily accessible, adaptable to their needs, interests and changing needs of children as they advance from grade to grade. The Statewide Family Engagement Center’s efforts are targeted to building strong family-school partnerships supporting students who are English learners, students with disabilities, students who are new to Ohio, and students who face significant challenges in achieving their academic and career goals.

High school students pose with Brutus Buckeye mascot

Over the course of our first five years, our goals include:

  • Reaching over 3,000 Ohio families annually, developing high impact, research-informed family engagement training and tools.
  • Providing training in evidence-based family engagement practices to 48 school districts and 96 school teams.

Our outreach efforts reach all 88 counties of Ohio. We are accomplishing this in part by collaborating with the Ohio Department of Education, OSU Extension, Ohio PTA, Ohio Family and Children First Councils and Ohio State faculty. In addition, we have formed a State Advisory Council with family, student, school, and organization representatives from 33 counties and faculty members from the college’s Department of Educational Studies.

For additional information about the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center, contact Principal Investigator and Director Barbara Boone.

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