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PEATC, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
Assisting families of children with special needs since 1978
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Family engagement is a shared responsibility and partnership in which families and educators collaboratively work together to support student learning.  Research shows that students do better in school and in life when their parents are engaged in their education.

Engaging families should be a continuous collaboration that requires nurturing and consistency until the children matures and is able to advocate for themselves.
Engaging families must cross barriers and reinforce learning in multiple settings where children learn (home, prekindergarten programs, school, after school programs, faith-based institutions and with our communities).


More principals are opening their schools and providing opportunities for families to engage. Like family engagement, community engagement is also a two-way street where schools, families and the community are building strategic partnerships within the community to provide resources needed to build capacity, engage families and to achieve positive student outcomes. Schools realize they cannot do this work alone. 

What is the overall goal for family engagement?

The overall goal for supporting families, with all of their complexity and diversity, is to maximize the capacity, strengths, and unique abilities so they can best support, nurture, and love and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members.

Parents are partners

Engaging parents as partners provdes a unique opportunity for schools to tap into the vast knowledge parents have about their child's strengths, weaknesses and needs to assist them in making informed instructional decisions concerning their education. 

Meaningful parent and community engagement welcomes new perspectives and vales shared responsability and accountability.   




Steps to building a stronger community

  • Welcoming Environment
  • Shared Leadership
  • Create and environment of trust 
  • Set realistic expectations
  • On-going Communication
  • Remain child focused





8003 Forbes Place, Suite 310
Springfield, VA 22151
703-923-0010 (phone)
800-869-6782 (toll free)

Copyright © 2020 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

Celebrating 30 Years of Building Better Futures for Virginia's Children

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