Parent-Teacher Communication


The NCLB Implementation Center has compiled a brief list of organizations and resources that are focused principally on providing parents and teachers with the necessary knowledge and resources to aid in creating and sustaining an amicable, productive, and child-focused relationship. Although this is not a comprehensive list of all the organizations and resources that can provide tips, strategies, and advice for parents and teachers with regard to facilitating open communication between each other and augmenting parental involvement, they all aim to achieve consensus, support, and cooperation with the hopes of attaining their ultimate goal of having all students perform better in school. As Guskey, Ellender, and Kang (2006) note, "Programs that involve parents, children, educators, and the larger community in an overall, collaborative network frequently improve students' school achievement and their sense of self-efficacy."


Guskey, T. R., Ellender, C. S., & Kang, S. (2006, April). Evaluating a communitywide parent/family involvement program. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.


Parenting Institute
The Parenting Institute is a branch of New York University's Child Study Center that, according to its website, provides outreach and information using current research in child development, family studies, and mental health with the aim of making parents "more comfortable and more effective in raising healthy, happy, and productive children." The Parenting Institute is dedicated to creating, presenting, and evaluating parent education program and materials. One resource is its Speakers Group. These individuals provide talks to schools and community organizations on a variety of topics spotlighting parenting style, discipline, parent-school relationships, teacher-parent relationships, and time management and organizational skills. For more information:

NYU Child Study Center
577 First Ave.
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212-263-8861

Family Involvement Network of Educators
The Family Involvement Network of Educators (FINE), launched in 2000 by the Harvard Family Research Project, is a national network committed to promoting strong partnerships between children's educators, their families, and their communities. According to its website, FINE believes that "engaging families and communities in education is essential to achieve high-performing schools and successful students. It envisions:

  • "School leaders and teachers adequately prepared to build partnerships with families and communities.
  • Creative approaches to family educational involvement based on family strengths, mutual respect, trusting relationships, and parent empowerment.
  • Collaborative school-community partnerships that enrich children's development and learning in school and community contexts."

FINE also offers online resources, such as its Fine Forum e-newsletter; monthly announcements of current ideas and new resources; and research, evaluation, and training tools. FINE membership is free and open to the public. For more information:

Family Involvement Network of Educators

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
The mission of the National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education, founded in 1980, is to "advocate the involvement of parents and families in their children's education, and to foster relationships between home, school, and community to enhance the education of all our nation's young people." According to its website, the coalition seeks to do the following:

  • "Serve as a visible representative for strong parent and family involvement initiatives at the national level.
  • Conduct activities that involve the coalition's member organizations and their affiliates and constituencies in efforts to increase family involvement.
  • Provide resources and legislative information that can help member organizations promote parent and family involvement."

For more information:

National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
3929 Old Lee Highway, Suite 91-A
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-359-8973

National Parent Teacher Association
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) supports many provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, such as those that expand parent involvement policies, improve the targeting of resources to students and schools most in need, and increase the authorization of funds for NCLB programs. Recognizing that parents are a child's first teacher, the National PTA has worked with federal legislators to include parent-involvement requirements in such education laws. In addition, the National PTA worked with education and family experts to develop National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs to support children's learning and success. For more information:

National PTA
541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 800-307-4782

National Black Child Development Institute
Entering the College Zone

The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 with the goal of initiating positive change for the health, welfare, and educational needs of all African American children by offering workshops, resources, hands-on service, and community-outreach programs, such as tutoring. According to its website, NBCDI launched Entering the College Zone (ECZ) in 1995 to empower "disadvantaged middle school students and their parents by equipping them with the skills and resources that will allow them to navigate through the college application process. [...] The NBCDI accomplishes the mission of the ECZ program through an extensive network of partnerships between families, the public schools, colleges, and universities and NBCDI's own network of community-based affiliate chapters nationwide. Conducted on college campuses, NBCDI and its partners engage middle school students and their parents in a comprehensive college preparation program." For more information:

National Black Child Development Institute
1101 15th St. N.W., Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-833-2220

Parent School Partnership—A National MALDEF Program
The Parent School Partnership (PSP), according to its website, is a "national program designed to train parents, school personnel, and community based organizations to lead in the educational attainment of children." In order to increase the PSP program's national impact, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) designed a "training of trainers" model that facilitates the program to have a nationwide impact.

MALDEF's Parent School Partnership Training Manual and Curriculum "provides trainers with complete, easy to follow 16-week sessions, procedures, forms, and best practices to successfully implement and sustain the program anywhere in the county. The curriculum offers sessions that highlight: parent rights and responsibilities; structure and function of schools; the parent/teacher conference; understanding group process; principles of leadership; and the road to the university." PSP participants "learn about the program's mission, how to implement it, sustain it and how to make it grow and flourish in a community." For more information:

MALDEF's National PSP Program Office
634 S. Spring St., 11th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: 213-629-2512

ASPIRA Parents for Educational Excellence (APEX)
The ASPIRA Association is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to primarily serving Puerto Rican and other Latino youth through leadership development and education. According to its website, since its founding in 1961 ASPIRA "has provided a quarter of a million youth with the personal resources they need to remain in school and contribute to their community."

The ASPIRA Parents for Educational Excellence (APEX) program "was created to provide parents with the tools they need to improve their children's study habits, communication, and leadership skills." The APEX program consists of 10 English and Spanish language workshops whose goal is to "increase the involvement of Latino parents in their children's education as well as to enhance the effectiveness of those that become involved in supporting, monitoring, and advocating for their children's education." For more information:

1444 Eye St. N.W., Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-835-3600, ext. 123

Articles and Booklets of Interest

"The Home-School Team"
The authors discuss the inactive or passive role the community takes when it comes to educating today's youth. James P. Comer and Norris Haynes suggest helpful steps the community and parents can do in order to do their part.

"Making Connections Between Home and School"
Author Roberta Furger explains the remarkable transformation of one elementary school that went from having high suspension rates and having majority of students who performed below grade level to a school that has active parental, teacher, and student participation and success.

"Helping Your Child Succeed: How Parents & Families Can Communicate Better With Teachers and School Staff" (Adobe® Reader® PDF)
This article by the American Federation of Teachers provides pertinent tips and recommendations for parents, such as "examine your children's school environment" and "share your insights" when it comes to corresponding with a child's teacher.

"Making Parent-Teacher Conferences Work for Your Child"
This article by the National PTA offers helpful advice on what parents should do before, during, and after parent-teacher conferences so that both parties are satisfied.

Reaching All Families: Creating Family-Friendly Schools
This booklet edited by edited by Oliver C. Moles provides strategies on how to engage single parents, parents with limited English proficiency, and parents of children with special needs. The publication suggests useful activities and programs parents can incorporate at home.

"Parent-Teacher Conferences: Working as a Team"
Author Lydia Spinelli describes both the most effective and least effective strategies parents should and should not employ in order to have a successful parent-teacher conference.

"Meeting With the Parents—Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences"
Author Linda Starr discusses specific tactics that administrators and teachers should utilize in order to make sure parents show up for the all-important parent-teacher conference.

Publications for Parents

The Parent Letter
According to the New York University's Child Study Center website, this free publication "provides parents with tips and advice on special topics relevant to teenagers and school-age children."

The Parent Institute
The Parent Institute publishes a variety of research-based materials, including newsletters, booklets, brochures, and videos with the aim of encouraging parental involvement in their children's education. Most of their publications are printed in both English and Spanish. The newsletters are "published in a variety of age-appropriate editions for parents of students from preschool to high school," according to its website. These booklets are published in bulk for schools and other large organizations. For more information:

The Parent Institute
P.O. Box 7474
Fairfax Station, VA 22039

CFK (Connect for Kids) Weekly
This free weekly e-newsletter provides the most up-to-date and pertinent news, research, and information on children's issues and other issues of concern for parents, child advocates, and organizations. For more information:

Connect for Kids
1625 K St., 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20006

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