Family Partnerships

SFUSD recognizes that authentic partnerships with our students’ families and communities are essential to achieving our primary mission: that every student graduates prepared to succeed in college, career and life.

Specific measures and goals for this work are included in SFUSD’s systems for accountability including our strategic plan, the School Quality Improvement System, the Balanced Score Card, and the state-mandated Local Control and Accountability Plan.  

It is our collective responsibility, as school and district leaders, to reach out to welcome families, eliminate obstacles to their participation and facilitate ways to support their children’s success.

Research shows that the success of our work relies on the recognition that every family can and will support their child. By drawing on a family’s rich fund of knowledge about their children and community, we can partner with them to provide the best educational experience for their children.

Practices & Indicators

Shared Leadership & Vision

♦ Family Partnership (FP) vision and priorities are articulated in the Balanced Score Card (BSC), with explicit ties to SFUSD Family Engagement Standards

♦ There is a Family Partnership Action Plan, aligned to the FP vision, that guides staff and team roles/responsibilities and program evaluation

♦ All members of school community – including teachers, non-instructional staff and partners, and families know the vision and their expected role/ responsibilities to make progress on the vision

Data Collection & Analysis to Match Needs & Assets

♦  An annual review of family survey, academic and other available data is conducted in order to assess and update Family Partnership school-wide plans and partnership priorities

♦  There is a Family Partnership tiered support and intervention plan based on school priorities, and aligned to SFUSD Family Engagement Standards

Continuous Learning & Improvement

♦  Dual-capacity professional learning is offered utilizing the SFUSD Partnership Academy implementation process and trainings

♦  Orientation processes and ongoing support are provided to ensure consistent and strong SSC, ELAC and AAPAC advisory committees

Intentional Coordination

♦  There is a site-based Family Partnership team made up of diverse stakeholders (families, teachers, administrators, support staff, community partners) to create, implement and assess the site’s Family Partnership plan.

♦  School-day family liaisons partner closely with with lead staff from behavioral health & wellness, instructional leadership and community partners (in particular after school) to ensure family partnership is an integral part of each programmatic area.

To access this as a Family Partnerships Community School self-assessment, go here.


Programs serving rising Kindergarteners, 6th graders, and 9th graders

“Programs must provide opportunities for capacity building for both families and staff to effectively partner together. Partnership opportunities should be open to all family members that support student(s).

Capacity building activities should focus on how to best support children’s learning and development and integrating families within the school culture and community.

Family partnership and capacity building activities must align with SFUSD Family Engagement standards and support the SFUSD Family Partnership Academy.

Activities include but are not limited to creating a welcoming culture/orientations, volunteer/leadership opportunities, workshops, events that are linked to student learning etc.”

Program Examples

Coordinating Family Engagement Activities: Some best practices for Beacon and School day family engagement staff to align goals and coordinate activities.

Parent Passport: A tool for families to use throughout the year to track their engagement

Affinity Group Family Dinners: To engage families who may feel marginalized, under represented, or out of place at general school meetings and/or events by providing a culturally aware welcoming environment to encourage and solicit feedback from specific populations of families in regards to school practices and services.

Strengthening Families Program: An excellent program for students and families that are in need of communication tools around sensitive topics and that will do well in a community setting.

Family Survey: A survey to collect data about what services and supports families would like to see at their school. Should be tailored to what supports the agency and school has the resources to provide.

Examples of family workshops that have been hosted in the past:

Understanding the teenage brain, finding affordable housing, immigration legal support, cooking classes, evening yoga, tai chi, Zumba, etc.

Other Tools & Resources

SFUSD Family Partnerships Resources – Multiple toolkits and guidance for family leadership, school governance and site planning.

Community & Family Engagement – Principals Share What Works- A collection of best practices that highlight the experiences of principals in family and community engagement.