Quality Family Engagement

  • Joyce L. Epstein is director of both the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships and the National Network of Partnership Schools, and a research professor of education and sociology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on how leadership at the district and school levels affects the quality of a school’s programs on family and community involvement and on results for students.

    In Dr. Epstein’s model of engagement, schools, families and communities come together in partnership with a shared concern for the success of each child. The Epstein Model of Engagement recognizes six types of educational involvement and encourages schools to develop activities that engage schools, families and communities within the six categories. We’ve added Welcoming Environments as a seventh category in our District Quality Tool.


Epstein Model and District Quality Tool Categories

  • Welcoming Environments

  • Parenting

  • Communicating

  • Volunteering

  • Learning at Home

  • Decision-Making

  • Collaborating with the Community

  • Each category is a key to creating a successful school-family-community partnership. Taken together, the seven categories act as a framework to increase parental participation in education. Below are some ways schools can implement this framework.