PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

When families, schools and communities work effectively together as partners, family engagement is a powerful strategy that boosts student achievement and better prepares our children to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

That’s the thinking behind PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. As research-based family engagement standards, they provide a framework to build stronger connections between home and school.

The six Standards, which focus on what parents, schools and communities can do together to support student success, are:

  1. Welcoming All Families into the School Community
    Families are active participants in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued and connected to each other, to school staff and to what students are learning and doing in class 

    Getting Started: Focus on how to break down barriers at your school. Put in place a Welcoming Committee and bilingual greeters and interpreters for meetings. Hold PTA meetings in community locations such as a local library or community center.

  1. Communicating Effectively
    Families and school staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication and learning 

    Getting Started: Set up ways for families and school staff to connect better using multiple formats for communication. Organize social gatherings such as a school BBQ for everyone to get to know each other better.

  1. Supporting Student Success
    Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development, both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so 

    Getting Started: Offer opportunities for parents to learn more on how to support student learning at home. Identify what parents need to know with a survey and hold Parent Education Nights on topics reflecting their interests. Provide tip sheets on parent-teacher conferences, homework help and how to handle the tough issues in raising children and teens today.

  1. Speaking Up for Every Child
    Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success 

    Getting Started: Publicize your school’s family engagement policy and get parent and student feedback to update the policy. Hold Parent Information Nights on how to be an effective advocate, how to identify and support learning styles and ways to foster student achievement.

  1. Sharing Power
    Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices and programs 

    Getting Started: Build a culture of inclusion to engage parents in school decision-making that supports student success. Ensure that your PTA membership and leadership reflects your school community with parents of all neighborhoods to promote access and diversity.

  1. Collaborating With the Community
    Families and school staff collaborate with community members to connect students, families and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services and civic participation 

    Getting Started: Partner with community and business leaders to provide resources and support the cultural, recreational, academic, health, social and other needs of families at your school. Welcome community members such as alumni and retired neighbors as volunteers for school activities and events.

Take Action: Download the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Guide Assessment Guide, in English or Spanish, on our website:

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