The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), each outline requirements for effective parent and family engagement strategies designed to help families support the educational success of their students. Specifically, these provisions stress shared accountability between schools and families for high student achievement, collaborative development of family engagement plans with sufficient flexibility to address local needs, and programs that build a family’s capacity for using effective practices to improve their own student’s academic achievement. When schools collaborate with families to help their children learn, and when families participate in school activities and decision-making about their student’s education, students achieve at higher levels. 

Montana Family Engagement Standards




Montana Family Engagement Resources


Welcomed, Valued & Connected

Families actively participate in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class.



Families of English Learners

  • English Learner Family Toolkit – A resource from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition

  • Webinars for EL families from WIDA

  • WIDA Focus on Family Engagement 

  • WIDA – ABCs of Family Engagement: Key Considerations for Building Relationships with Families and Strengthening Family Engagement Practices

Meaningful Communication

Families and school staff engage in regular, two-way meaningful communication about student learning.

Strengthening Knowledge & Skills

Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support student learning and healthy development both at home and at school and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so effectively.


Empowerment & Engagement

Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated equitably and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.


Policies, Practices & Programs

Families and school staff partner in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices, and programs.


Family, School & Community Collaboration

Families and school staff collaborate with members of the community to connect students, families, and staff to expand learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation.


OPI Staff are here to help:

Serena Wright, Family Engagement Specialist, 406-410-4098


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