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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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Parent Involvement vs Parent Engagement

“The difference between involvement and engagement is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.”

Understanding the contrast between the two – schools should strive for parent engagement (the pig) versus parent involvement (the chicken).

Parent engagement is an approach for involving families in decisions about themselves, their children, services and their communities.

Why is it important to maintain, build and support parent engagement?

Parent engagement helps parents to develop new capacities, enhance their skills, gain additional knowledge they can use to strengthen their families and their contributions to their schools and communities.

It is vital to maintain the commitments and momentum of parents who have invested their time to align themselves to make positive differences in their schools and communities.

Steps to building a stronger community

  • Shared Leadership – parents, teachers, and administrators together – especially where the responsibilities of the school and home overlap.

  • Goals and Roles – working toward educational goals (standards) for all students; teachers, parents, and students all have a role to play in every child’s success

  • Policies and Practices – based on research and promoting the idea of a learning community

  • Communication – an ongoing conversation, two-way communication between home and school, and among members of the school community

  • Education – a learning community for everyone, including parents and teachers

  • Connections – face-to-face association, forming common understanding; common experience

  • Continuous Improvement – continuous improvement through assessment of effectiveness

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Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
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Copyright © 2017 PEATC - Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center. All rights reserved.

Content on this site was produced, in part, with grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, under CFDA # 84.328M, #84.310A, and #84.235F. The content herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Education, any other agency of the U.S. government, or any other source.

PEATC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to building positive futures for Virginia's children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities. You can reach PEATC by calling 703-923-0010 (Voice/TTY), or sending an e-mail to

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