Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention and Supports

Family, School and Community Partnerships


Family, school and community partnerships are about building active, reciprocal relationships in which schools, families and community agencies and organizations engage in meaningful and culturally appropriate collaboration to improve student outcomes. Kentucky’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (KyMTSS) provides the structure for families, schools and community members to work together to support and improve the learning and well-being of all students.

Why It’s Essential…

A growing body of evidence shows that when families, communities and schools work together students earn higher grades, attend school more regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school, enroll in higher-level programs and persist to graduation.

Key Features


  • Family and community stakeholders are represented on district and school leadership teams and share information, values, expertise and goals for supporting student learning, behavior and social-emotional wellness.
  • Leadership teams have an intentional goal of building and sustaining family and community connections with a focus on relationships, listening, creating a welcoming environment and shared decision-making.
  • A multi-tiered continuum of supports is in place to support families. Teams consider what is in place to engage all families and community partners; what opportunities are in place for eliciting representative family/community voice and shared decision making; and what supports are needed to increase engagement, participation and feedback on plans, policies and programs.


  • Relevant family and community data are gathered and analyzed using a systematic problem-solving process to monitor implementation of family and community engagement practices and the impact on student outcome data.
  • Families are involved in the problem-solving process and provide input on intervention selection and any adjustments to the intervention.


  • Schools/districts have a clear purpose and vision that has been shared with families and other stakeholders.
  • MTSS systems and practices are clearly defined and communicated to families and community stakeholders. For example:

    • Purpose and basic procedures;
    • Instruction, interventions and supports provided by the school;
    • Information used to determine if students need more support; and/or
    • Information on how students are assessed, and progress is monitored.
  • Information on how students are assessed, and progress is monitored.
  • Community partnerships are established with agencies and organizations that offer resources (e.g., afterschool programs, health, mental health, mentors, etc.) that help engage students and support academic proficiency, behavior and social-emotional development.
  • MTSS teams ensure that two-way home-school communication systems are in place. Communication systems are responsive to the strengths and needs of families and allow for family input.
  • The school/district is a welcoming and inclusive environment for all families and other community stakeholders.

  • Schools/districts develop a communication plan using multiple formats for distributing important school/district information to families and community members.

Resources and Tools

Visit the Resources for Family, School and Community Partnerships webpage for key resources to help in the implementation of this component!


Garcia, M. E., Frunzi, K., Dean, C. B., Flores, N., & Miller, K. B.  (2016).  Toolkit of resources for engaging families and the community as partners in education:  Part 1: Building an understanding of family and community engagement (REL 2016–148).  Washington, DC:  U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Pacific. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs

Henderson, A. & Mapp, K.  (2002).   A new wave of evidence:  The impact of school, family and community connections on student achievement.  Retrieved from https://sedl.org/pubs/catalog/items/fam33.html

National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (n/d). About family engagement.  Retrieved from https://nafsce.org/page/definition