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Family and Community Engagement

Resources for Families

The primary goal of family engagement is to facilitate shared responsibility that contributes to the healthy development, learning, and growth of children - from the earliest ages into young adulthood. Family engagement builds relationships between students, families, educators, and the community. These relationships over time develop into meaningful partnerships rooted in the strengths and assets of all. Effective family engagement is culturally responsive, collaborative, equitable, and respectful of diverse languages, norms, and values. Effective engagement strives to eliminate barriers to participation. These engagement practices take place in schools, in the community, and wherever students live and learn.

The links below offer a sampling of resources for families.

Adult Basic Education

  • Adult & Community Learning Services oversees and improves no-cost adult education services in Massachusetts. Resources include a directory for adults looking to improve their skills or learn English so they can succeed in the workforce and information for adult educators looking to improve their practice.

  • The Adult Literacy Hotline provides referrals to 300+ adult education programs that offer one-on-one tutoring, small-group, and classroom instruction to adult students. A user friendly database provides information about English language instruction, basic skills training, and High School Equivalency test preparation and testing.

  • The High School Equivalency (HSE) Testing Program page contains key information about options for earning a high school equivalency credential in Massachusetts, including testing requirements, a list of test centers, additional procedures for under-18 testers, and how to verify a state-issued equivalency credential.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

  • Learning Standards and Curriculum Guides, from the Department of Early Education and Care, provides guidelines and standards to help young children develop a solid foundation for future learning.

  • The Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks represent the standards that all Massachusetts students are expected to achieve in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade.

College and Career Readiness

  • 21st Century Skills provides supports for changes in teaching, learning, and leadership needed to prepare students for technological, cultural, economic, informational, and demographic changes.

  • The Office of College and Career Readiness contributes to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's statewide effort to help prepare students for Success After High School.

Early Learning

  • Brain Building in Progress explains how the early interactions and experiences young children have with caring adults build the architecture of the developing brain.

  • Early Intervention provides family-centered services to help children who qualify develop the skills they need to grow into happy and healthy community members.

  • Reading Rockets brings quality research-based strategies to teachers, parents, librarians, childcare providers, and others involved in helping children become strong confident readers.

  • Start with a Book offers parents, caregivers, summer program staff, and librarians engaging ideas for getting kids reading during the summer and year-round.

English Language Learners

  • Colorin Colorado provides quality research-based information, activities, and advice to educators and families of English language learners (ELLs) in Grades PreK–12.

  • Shifts for Students and Parents contains practical guides, in multiple languages, with sample student work and steps parents can take to improve their children's learning.

Health and Nutrition

  • CDC Nutrition supports an extensive collection of public health strategies and programs that improve dietary quality, support healthy child development, and reduce chronic disease.

  • MyPlate uses the new MyPlate icon and nutrition information on the MyPlate website to help consumers make healthier food choices.

  • KidsHealth is a popular website for children's health and development. In the Parents area, there are links to features created for kids and teens.

Out of School Time

  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence offers hundreds of teaching and learning resources including historical documents, scientific experiments, mathematical challenges, and famous paintings from over 35 federal agencies.

  • Great Websites for Kids highlights quality websites for children birth to age 14. A link to sites for parents, caregivers, and teachers is also provided.

  • Homework Tips for Parents from the U.S. Department of Education, is a resource families can use at home, volunteering in school, or tutoring in the community.

  • Massachusetts Libraries offers a guide to Massachusetts library resources. From early learning programs to reading recommendations to summer reading programs, there's something for everyone.


Special Education

  • A Parent's Guide to Special Education is a resource for parents that contains the most current and accurate information available regarding the special education system in Massachusetts.

  • Early Intervention provides family-centered services to help children who qualify develop the skills they need to grow into happy and healthy community members.

  • The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities.

  • Parent Information contains links to information on Special Education / IDEA, Section 504 / ADA, Massachusetts Organizations/Resources, and National Organizations/Resources.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.