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Families and Communities

Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ushers in a new era in public education for students, families, and educators, and closes the chapter on the formerly one-size-fits all approach. The ESSA will ensure every student has access to a high quality education, regardless of ZIP code, and that strategies to engage families and communities are central to school improvement efforts.

Key provisions

  • Authorizes Statewide Family Engagement Centers to support and provide comprehensive training on parent education and family-school partnerships.
  • Requires assurance that states will collect and disseminate to local educational agencies and schools effective parent and family engagement strategies.
  • Provides resources to improve school climate, including school safety initiatives and activities to address bullying and harassment.
  • Supports programs that reach parents and families where they are, including at home, in the community, and at school.
  • Includes provisions for the Community Support for School Success program, which provides grants for Full-Service Community Schools. Programs may include: “High-quality early childhood education programs; High-quality school and out-of-school time programs and strategies; Support for a child’s transition to elementary school, from elementary school to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school into and through post-secondary education and into the workforce; Family and community engagement and supports including engaging or supporting families at school or at home; Activities that support workforce readiness including job training, internship opportunities and career counseling; Social, health, nutrition and mental health services and supports; Juvenile crime prevention and rehabilitation programs.”
  • Authorizes a new $250 million early childhood education program.
  • Requires school districts to inform parents and guardians of opt-out policies, and allows them to have their children opt out of statewide standardized tests where state and local policies permit.

Download this document: Families and Communities ( PDF, 313 KB, 1 pg.)

SPRING INTO ESSA: Season of Action 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents an opportunity to ensure success for each and every student. This opportunity will only be realized if educators lead implementation, make our voices heard and work with our communities to advocate on behalf of students. Join us!

Sample School Board Resolution: Click here

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ESSA: 5 Steps to Creating Your Local’s ESSA Team


With Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act, Life After NCLB Begins

On December 10, President Obama, with a stroke of a pen, made it official: the No Child Left Behind era is over. 

Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), one day after it was passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate, which followed broad passage in the House.


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