Preventive Discipline / Building Relationships
Building Equitable Relationships with Families
Five evidence-based strategies for creating equitable relationships with families.


Research has shown the family engagement in the schooling process is linked to positive student outcomes such as homework completion, regular school attendance, academic performance, and improved behavior. However, there are also many barriers to engaging with families such as inability for families to attend school meetings and functions, time restraints for educators, language barriers, and differences in perceptions on what role families should play in the education process. This guidebook provides school and district leaders with five evidence-based strategies for creating equitable relationships with families:

  1. Making a commitment to equitable daily engagement
  2. Making equitable family engagement ‘business as usual’
  3. Building relationships between staff and families
  4. Meaningfully involving and engaging families and trusted community advocates
  5. Engaging outside of the school building.

For each of the following strategies, the guidebook provides several examples of policies and actions several districts throughout the United States have implemented.