A District Transitions Planning Guide

Positive Engagement

This section explains positive engagement, shares inspiring positive engagement stories (bright spots) and offers selected resources to support your efforts.

What is Positive Engagement? It means creating a culture of attendance by taking a positive, not punitive, approach to absenteeism that is centered on belonging and engagement, and help everyone to understand why daily attendance matters in PreK-12th grade.

Positive engagement for the 2020-2021 school year should incorporate community building strategies that are relationship-centered, and that involve students and families in developing transition plans. They should build upon family assets while putting in place universally designed resources and supports. Communications should share  in a concise, timely and accessible manner  what families can do to support their children’s learning and where to get help.

At the district level, engagement strategies  particularly those that focus on building and maintaining positive relationships with students and families  are of paramount importance to enable families and students to reengage with schools and are partners in problem-solving. Relationships are key to healing the traumatic impact of Covid-19.

Attention to Equity

Anchor equity to the coordination and implementation of your positive engagement strategies to ensure they are tailored to the cultures, languages and realities of your students and families. Encourage schools to recognize the power of drawing upon the insights and leadership of families and community leaders, especially when it comes to their experiences with Covid-19 and systemic inequities, when designing and implementing strategies.

Bright Spot
  • Naugatuck Public Schools in Connecticut systematically supported family engagement in all of its schools during distance learning in spring 2020. You can learn more from Superintendent Sharon Locke’s presentation on this May 15, 2020 webinar.