A Guide for Planning Transitions to Elementary (PreK-5) School

Positive Engagement

This section explains positive engagement, shares inspiring positive engagement stories (bright spot) 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. 

During the 2020-2021 school year, positive engagement should strengthen relationships and create community while engaging students and families in developing transition plans. Positive engagement approaches should build upon family social assets while putting in place universally designed strategies.

For PreK-5, positive engagement involves nurturing reciprocal relationships with families that help to allay concerns for the safety and well-being of their young children. Activities should be fun, engaging and leverage the joy of seeing young children progress and develop.

Attention to Equity

Anchor equity to your positive engagement strategies to ensure they are tailored to the culture, language and realities of the students and families, especially those who have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and systemic inequities. Recognize and draw upon the insights and leadership of families and community leaders when designing and implementing strategies.

Bright Spot
  • The positive engagement of families at an elementary school in rural Maine ensured sustained connection when Covid-19 closed the school. Read the story about Waterboro Elementary School.

  • Educators in Detroit used personalized outreach and dedication to connect with families, resulting in support and solutions to improve participation during remote learning. Read the story.