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Engage Every Family

Engage Every Family
Five Simple Principles

November 2015 | 256 pages | Corwin

Reach beyond theory and engage every family in student success

Family engagement increases student achievement but how do schools connect with families who don’t participate yet? Educators can easily become frustrated trying to reach the disconnected and often fall back to engaging the already engaged. How can you involve the entire school community in a positive way? 

Dr. Steve Constantino, known for his experience and sound teaching on family engagement, believes you can and promises far more than easy answers and theory to make it so. This book shows you how to bring real shifts to your culture through steps, reflections, and diligent effort. Simple logic models and best practice case studies will reveal: 

  • How and where family engagement breaks down, and
  • How to create a truly inviting culture for successful community and family partnerships

Introduce this field book as a springboard for professional development and watch family engagement strategies improve student outcomes in your school or district.

"Veteran teachers will note that the ideas and strategies come from someone who has been in the classroom and understands the different types of teachers that will be on any school staff. Strategies are presented in a manageable format and within reasonable time constraints. It is a practical fieldbook that will be easy for teachers to use."

Dana Leonard, Exceptional Children’s Teacher

Ledford High School, Thomasville, NC


“In my work with nearly 400 public school systems across the country, spanning a dozen years, I have witnessed and experienced a wide range of issues, hurdles and home run ideas on the subject of Family Engagement. In this book Steve brings them all - and I really mean all - together. He has woven a narrative that is at once funny and profound, anchored in research yet ready for practical implementation. Without family engagement, America's public schools risk obsolescence and without our public schools, our democracy will lose the foundation upon which it stands. Steve's book will inspire every educator and then arm them with step by step directions to re-vitalize our schools.”
Suhail Farooqui, CEO of K-12 Insight


Foreword by Peter DeWitt
Publisher's Acknowledgments
About the Author
Activity: Think Before You Read!
Chapter 1: Would Every Family Choose You?
Chapter 2: A Quick Note About Motivating Teachers
Chapter 3: Understanding Disengagement
Chapter 4: The Five Simple Principles Explained
Chapter 5: Principle #1: A Culture That Engages Every Family
Chapter 6: Principle #2: Communicate Effectively and Build Relationships
Chapter 7: Principle #3: Empower Every Family
Chapter 8: Principle #4: Engage Every Family in Decision Making
Chapter 9: Principle #5: Engage the Greater Community
Chapter 10: Taking Action and Measuring Success
Epilogue: Exceeding Expectations

"Engaging Every Family provides a framework for educators to build capacity in understanding where the children they serve come from.  It lays out the principles for a successful plan to build upon the family relationships that will result in success for each student."

Tanna Nicely, Principal
South Knoxville Elementary School, Knoxville, TN

"Veteran teachers will note that the ideas and strategies come from someone who has been in the classroom and understands the different types of teachers that will be on any school staff. Strategies are presented in a manageable format and within reasonable time constraints. It is a practical fieldbook that will be easy for teachers to use."

Dana Leonard, Exceptional Children’s Teacher
Ledford High School, Thomasville, NC

"There is no measure equal to that which can be achieved when the school, parents, and community work in concert to meet the needs of the students in the school setting, thereby enabling students to become the productive citizens we all wish them to be thus producing the success that propels them towards achieving their desired goals . . . This easy read offers school districts a method to improve achievement. It is a win-win for school districts if they will just put in the effort to establish the parent and community relationships. A no-brainer!"

Pamela L. Opel, Teacher, Intervention Specialist
Gulfport School District, Gulfport, MS

"This book empowers educators to apply action research to the challenge of involving parents in the improvement of student success."

Dr. Cathern Wildey, Adjunct Professor
BrainSMART Program, Nova Southeastern University, North Miami Beach, FL

"I love the activities, the section about data, and the step-by-step approach. It is all very practical. I love the systematic approach and that the reader really has to reflect on their school practice . . . I can envision using this in my professional book club readings with my staff and in my parent workshops."

Margie Smagacz, K-8 Principal
Franklin Fine Arts Center, Chicago, IL

"In a time when education seems so complicated, leaders need books that offer simple steps that will give them the biggest bang for their buck. Where the important topic of parent engagement is concerned, this is THAT book! In Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles, parent engagement expert Steve Constantino provides practical steps to engage every parent in the school community."

Peter DeWitt, Corwin author and consultant Series editor
Connected Educators Series, Impact Series Finding Common Ground Blog (Education Week)

"Who better than Steve Constantino to offer a compelling argument to practitioners and others still skeptical about the value of partnerships between home and school? As a former teacher, high school principal, and currently as a district superintendent, Steve brings a level of practitioner credibility, honesty, and exuberance to the work of family-school partnerships that few can match. Through his telling of his own personal journey as well as his presentation of relevant case studies, activities and reflective exercises for the reader, Steve provides us with the next go-to book on how to build and sustain effective partnerships between families and school staff that support the improvement of our schools for all children."



Karen L. Mapp, EdD, Senior Lecturer on Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

"This is the book I always hoped that Steve would write. He tackles the thorny issues that surround family engagement with candor and courage. The stories he tells and the cases he presents are drawn from years of experience, tempered with humor and compassion. Read this book. Try out what he suggests. It will transform your school."

Anne T. Henderson, Senior Consultant, Community Organizing and Engagement
Annenberg Institute for School Reform

"In Engage Every Family, Steve Constantino provides a simple, real-world blueprint for schools to follow that will help those schools create the welcoming atmospheres and productive partnerships that truly serve children. He is the pre-eminent family engagement expert because he innately understands what it takes to connect with and serve families. Steve’s experience in actually implementing these successful strategies comes through in every chapter."

Tim Sullivan, President, School Family Media, Founder & President, PTO Today

"Steve Constantino takes an in-depth look at building partnerships with families—the superintendent’s and the school district’s most important stakeholders. This book provides an array of blueprints and other reference materials specifically targeted to foster successful relationships with the community. Throughout my travels across the country, I encourage our members to share the great things that are happening inside their school buildings. Communities want to hear what’s going on. What Steve does is help meet an administrator’s individual needs when it comes to engaging with families and the communities in which they live."

Dan Domenech, Executive Director
AASA, The School Superintendents Association

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