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National PTA Begins Update to National Standards

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Noelle Motley, Marketing Communications Manager

National PTA to Update National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

Alexandria, Va., (December 7, 2021)— National PTA has announced plans to update the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, PTA’s process for building successful partnerships between families, educators and students. These Standards include three key steps: raising awareness about the power of family and community engagement, taking action to cultivate involvement through specific programs and practices, and celebrating success as schools see increased involvement and its impact. 

“Since its initial release in 1997, the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships have contributed to greater awareness and capacity for improving family-school partnerships across the country and internationally,” said National PTA President Anna King. “Right now, we are focused on updating the Standards to provide better support for schools and their communities as they continue to address changes in educational and family engagement trends, as well as shifts in community demographics over the last two decades. There is also growing evidence that strong parent-teacher relationships—and intentional strategies to address equity in family engagement approaches—lead to increased academic success for our children.”

National PTA’s Center for Family Engagement (CFE) is spearheading the revision efforts. CFE has recently assembled an Expert Advisory Group (EAG) of family engagement experts to help guide the process and provide invaluable insight and data. The EAG consists of Dr. Margaret Caspe (NAFSCE & NYU Steinhardt), Dr. Soo Hong (Wellesley College), Dr. Karen Mapp (Harvard Graduate School of Education), S. Kwesi Rollins (Institute for Educational Leadership), Dr. Steven Sheldon (John Hopkins School of Education) and Lacy Wood (American Institutes for Research). 

“National PTA appreciates the wealth of expertise the EAG advisory committee offers. We have also partnered with grassroots leaders that will help us connect with and learn from communities that have historically been under-represented or mischaracterized as ‘hard to reach,’” said National PTA’s Executive Director Nathan Monell, CAE. 

This winter, the Durham Council of PTAs (NC), Long Beach Council PTA (CA), Fairfax SEPTA (VA) and South Dakota PTA, in partnership with the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center, will use grant funding to activate this work on a local level. Each PTA will host listening sessions to understand better the family engagement needs of these diverse and multicultural communities. This input will drive local action plans and the nationwide effort to update the Standards. 

“As we begin our work to revise the Standards, we must have leaders on the ground, listening to what families, educators and students want and need so that we can reflect their ideas and elevate their voices in this next edition of the resource,” said Anna King.

If you are interested in contributing input related to the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, subscribe to the Center for Family Engagement’s e-newsletter for upcoming opportunities to engage. 

About National PTA

National PTA® is comprised of millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. For more information, visit