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Resources for Families

Family Resources

Supporting Your Child’s Identity Development

Middle school is a time of intense identity development. Your child may form a new relationship to their gender, sexuality, faith, ... read more

Understanding Massachusetts Schools

{:en}Welcome to Public School in Massachusetts! {:}{:es} {:}{:pt} {:}{:vi} {:}{:ht} {:} read more

Better Together Family Engagement Summit

On October 28, nearly 500 people gathered to share, learn, and celebrate the impact of Family Engagement on children and youth. The ... read more

Talking to Your Kids About Gender

Gender is loosely defined as a spectrum of identities ranging from masculine to feminine. It should be noted that gender is not ... read more

Six Surprising Benefits of Universal Free Lunch

{:en}While the American school lunch program began almost two hundred years ago, it has, traditionally, only provided free food to ... read more

Engage Other Families at Events: Using 3 Questions 

{:en}‘Tis the season for back-to-school events hosted by every family-led group (SEPACs, ELPACs, PTOs, etc.) in your school district. ... read more

Massachusetts Reframing Academy

A four-session course held January 19, February 2, February 16 and March 2, 2023 from 9-10:30am Register for Reframing Academy  - ... read more

Strengthening Partnerships Training of Trainers

Strengthening Partnerships Training of Trainers

2022-23 Training of Trainers Series Family Engagement is not a one person job. It is an equity-driven, coordinated program that ... read more

What is Achievement Testing? Video

Do you have questions about the educational achievement tests your child is taking in school? Watch this video to learn more about ... read more

Celebrating Juneteenth

{:en}On June 19th, 1865 – two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation –Union troops rode into Texas and ... read more

A Queer Reading List for Middle Schoolers

During middle school, your child and their friends will more actively start exploring their sexuality. They may identify as ... read more

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Screening? – Tip Sheet for Families

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What is Intelligence Testing? – Tip Sheets For Families

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Self Care for Middle School Parents

{:en}Taking care of middle schoolers can be a challenging task. The child that you thought you knew is rapidly changing. The parenting ... read more

Talking About Relationships in Middle School

As children enter the teen years, caregivers often grow nervous about the prospect of forced conversations about sexual and ... read more

Data Literacy Tip Sheets

Data Literacy is the ability to read, understand, and talk about data. Data is simply information that you can use to help you ... read more

Recommended Reading

The following book lists were created to support children's reading development - using books as a way to explore the world, current ... read more

What is Educational Achievement Testing? Tip Sheet for Families

{:en}Do you have questions about the educational achievement tests your child is taking in school? Check out this tip sheet to learn ... read more

Supporting Sibling Relationships

In families with two or more children, it can be challenging to figure out how to support positive relationships between siblings ... read more

Developing Healthy Habits for Middle Schoolers

When children are young, parental responsibilities often revolve around physical care, like bathing them, feeding them, brushing their ... read more

An Introduction to Ramadan

{:en}Known by some as the holiest month of the year, Ramada commemorates the month when the holy scriptures were revealed to the ... read more

A Ramadan Reading List

{:en} Ramadan is the holiest month in the Muslim calendar. During this month, Muslims all over the world reconnect to their ... read more

What is Family Engagement? For Providers

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What is Family Engagement? For Families

{:en} Family engagement is an intentional, authentic, respectful, and equal partnership between practitioners and families ... read more

Accentuate The Positive: Helping Your Middle Schooler Accept Themselves

{:en}Middle school is a time of incredible exposure. Young people between the ages of 10-14 undergo seismic shifts in their ... read more

We Need To Talk About Teacher Burnout

Have you ever felt mentally exhausted, dreaded going into work, and found your work troubles were negatively affecting your personal ... read more

Powerful Parents

For Black History Month, I've been reading about the impact that African American parents and self-advocates have had on both racial ... read more

Welcoming Newcomers: Advice for Middle School and Above

In the summer of 2021, the United States withdrew all of our troops from Afghanistan, where we had been an occupying force for twenty ... read more

Start Envisioning Your Visions of Community Experience

Visions of Community - March 19, 2022:  Registration & details The annual conference of our parent organization, the Federation ... read more

An Anti-Racist Reading List for Middle Schoolers

Adolescence is a time when many young people explore multiple aspects of their identity. Many start to view race and ethnicity through ... read more

Career and Technical Education: What Families Need to Know

Click Here to Register Virtual Workshop & Listening Session Offered in Six Languages Portuguese: Friday, February 11 at ... read more

A Reading List for Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year holiday is a great opportunity to learn more about Asian, and in particular, Chinese, cultures and traditions – ... read more

Teens and Materialism

For years, your child may have been content with library books and the occasional Lego set. As they mature, however, their tastes in ... read more

Winter Activities for Young Children

Wintertime and the holidays can be busy, joyful, and stressful times for parents of young children. Here are some holiday resources ... read more

Career & Technical Education: Insights from Language-Diverse Families

{:en}In October 2021, our parent organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs spoke with nearly 500 parents and ... read more

Middle School Friendships

According to Phyliss Fagell, author of Middle School Matters, teens and tweens with strong friendships tend to emerge from middle ... read more

Positive Solutions Train the Trainer

View Flyer:  Google Docs Overview Through a grant provided by the Department for Elementary and Secondary Education, the ... read more

Truth and Consequences: Middle School Discipline

During adolescence, young people’s brains experience rapid growth. This is especially true in middle school. Tweens are hungry for new ... read more

Parenting Books About Middle School

Looking for some guidance on how to parent tweens and teens? Check out these excellent books that feature concrete, practical ... read more

Families of Middle Schoolers

The Middle School Years, roughly Grades 6-8, are a time of enormous growth and change for young people and the adults who care about ... read more

Equity in Action: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

This tip sheet, Equity in Action: Tips for Parents and Caregivers, encourages caregivers to reflect on the things they already do with ... read more

Cell Phones Part 2: Establishing Rules Around Devices

{:en}Once you’ve decided that your child is mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a cellphone, it’s time to establish some ... read more

Cell Phones Part 1: Is Your Child Ready for a Cell Phone?

{:en}The modern era has introduced a new milestone for middle schoolers: a young person’s first cell phone. But what age is the right ... read more

Tips for After Caregiver-Teacher Conferences

Being invited to a parent-teacher conference doesn’t mean your child is in trouble! A parent-teacher conference is a meeting between ... read more

Tips for Caregiver-Teacher Conferences

Being invited to a parent-teacher conference doesn’t mean your child is in trouble! A parent-teacher conference is a meeting between ... read more

Preparing for a Caregiver-Teacher Conference

Being invited to a parent-teacher conference doesn’t mean your child is in trouble! A parent-teacher conference is a meeting between ... read more

Fostering Study Skills in Middle School

For many young people, middle school marks a sea change in academic expectations. Students receive more homework than ever, and are ... read more

Debunking Myths About Middle School

{:en}For many adults, the mere mention of middle school is enough to twist their stomach into knots. Thanks to a combination of pop ... read more

Picture Books About Gender

According to the Mayo Clinic, children start noticing differences between genders before they turn two years old, and have a clear ... read more

Online Resources for Curious Kids

Rainy day? Too hot to be outside? But just because you’re indoors doesn’t mean you can’t explore the world around us! ... read more

Meeting Families Where They Are

Let's meet families where they are... not where we want them to be!   read more

Tips for Creating a Student Snapshot

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Money as You Grow: Help for parents and caregivers

{:en} The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial ... read more

Early Math Tips for Families

Math is all around us. Ideal teaching moments for learning about math occur all day. Caregivers can help by using everyday activities ... read more

MASFEC Tip Sheets

MASFEC and our parent organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, provide a variety of printable resources designed ... read more

A Rhyming Picture Book Roundup

In its earliest stages, learning to read is all about recognizing patterns and sounds. Particularly if they are learning through ... read more

I Don’t Know What to Do This Summer! 2021

Are you struggling to find activities for your child this summer? We know it can be difficult to navigate the changing guidelines and ... read more

Attendance Tips for Families

{:en}Here are some ways to support your child's motivation, sense of belonging, and desire to attend school. Read on for some ... read more

Initial Learnings, Still Time to Respond! 2021 Family Engagement Survey

We have begun exploring initial results, but there's still time to respond to the 2021 Statewide Family Engagement Survey! ... read more

Painless Pre-Writing Activities

Most children start writing legible letters and numbers around four or five years old, though it differs from child to child. ... read more

June Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. June provides rich ... read more

Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable Recovery

On May 25, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the Acceleration Roadmap: Pathway to an Equitable ... read more

Summer Learning Fun: Tips for Parents and Caregivers

    These are great ideas for what parents and caregivers can do before, during, and at the end of summer to ... read more

The Family Institute for Student Success (FISS) Graduations

One of MASFEC's initiatives is the Family Institute for Student Success (FISS), a program run by PIQE in collaboration with DESE and ... read more

May Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. Flowers, gardening... and ... read more

Self-Regulation Activities for Young Children

{:en}   Between the ages of 2 and 6, we humans undergo one of the most dramatic developmental shifts of our lifetimes, ... read more

3 Tips To Help Your Child Grow Into A Self Advocate

{:en}I am an adult with a disability, one which is most associated with children, so when parents discover that I am an example of ... read more

Community Council Members Wanted

A new pilot program of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning, is working to ... read more

Building Empathy in Young Children

Empathy, defined as feeling and acting out of compassion for others, is not an inherent human trait, but a skill that built over ... read more

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the first year of formal school for most children in the United States. In kindergarten, hands-on learning activities ... read more

Ways to Build Positive Relationships with Schools

Relationships nurture the partnerships that are needed for children to succeed in school. Positive relationships with the school and ... read more

April Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. They say that April showers ... read more

Understanding District Report Cards

{:en} Check out our resource guide! {:}{:es} {:}{:pt} {:}{:zh} {:}{:vi} {:}{:ht} {:} read more

Novak: What is Universal Design?

Novak: What is Universal Design?

MASFEC is pleased to unveil a new resource on family engagement, developed in partnership with Katie Novak, internationally recognized ... read more

Universal Design for Family Engagement

Universal Design for Family Engagement

MASFEC is pleased to unveil a new resource on family engagement, developed in partnership with Katie Novak, internationally recognized ... read more

Learn and Have Fun with Mathu

This year, MASFEC has benefited from the creative and joyful approach of virtual educator-and-author-in-residence Mathangi ... read more

When You’re Stuck Inside

{:en} During cold winter weather, and while pandemic restrictions remain in place, families are spending a lot of time inside, and ... read more

March Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. March is Women's History Month, ... read more

DESE Office of Student and Family Support

Family engagement is a key lever for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to contribute to ... read more

Snow Science for Preschoolers

{:en} Winter means snow, cold temperatures – and science! The following activities are a great way to help children explore ... read more

Super Symmetry: Symmetry Activities for Preschoolers

{:en} Symmetry occurs when an object or living thing has two halves that look exactly the same. Learning about symmetry at an ... read more

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

{:en} The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has created these resources to help inform the public about the COVID-19 ... read more

Visions of Community Virtual Conference

Visions of Community, the annual conference of the Federation for Children with Special Needs, offers unparalleled information and ... read more

What is Family Engagement? Jen’s View

I was an educator in multiple settings before becoming a parent and have experienced family engagement on both ends of the spectrum. I ... read more

Night Activites

{:en} Winter days are short, which means there is more time when children can see the night sky. This is particularly exciting ... read more

February Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. February is African American ... read more

Talking to Children About Violence at the US Capitol

In the wake of the events of January 6th, 2021, many of our educators, families, and children will struggle in the coming weeks. As ... read more

Family, School, and Community Partnership Fundamentals

In June, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released Strengthening Partnerships: A Framework for Prenatal through ... read more

January Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. For our January calendar, we ... read more

Caregiver Self Care Strategies that won’t add to your To-Do List

Most articles about self-care try to convince you to do something: buy a product, exercise more, eat less, or otherwise add something ... read more

Small Children, Big Feelings

{:en} Between the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread financial struggles caused by quarantine and lockdown, drawn-out conflicts over ... read more

A Family Guide to Distance Learning

{:en}The Center for Public Research and Leadership created this guide for families to use during remote learning. Five key ideas ... read more

Zoom for Families

Need some help getting started with Zoom? read more

Language Access Needs

{:en}This virtual conversation about Language Access Needs in Boston Public Schools was hosted by Boston City Councilor Annissa ... read more

Figuring It Out: School Reopening Webinar

A discussion on school reopenings presented by representatives from the legal, medical and educational communities. Presenters: ... read more

Google Classroom Help

{:en}Goggle Classroom 101 video {:}{:es}{:}{:pt}{:} read more

Help for IXL Learning

Are your children using IXL for remote learning? Do you need some help navigating IXL? Here are some useful resources: IXL Parent ... read more

Some Special Education Concepts

These videos give you a brief description of key special education concepts. For more information and help navigating the special ... read more

What is special education?

{:en}This short animated video describes what special education is and is intended to do in Massachusetts. You can find more ... read more

Engaging Engagement?

Let's start by wondering who the families are that we serve and why families, schools and educators might want to partner. Seems like ... read more

Diwali: Bringing Light into the Darkness

  This year (2020), Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, falls on November 14. Whether you are a practicing Hindu, a parent ... read more

Family Engagement is Making Headlines

A number of education journals and news websites have focused on the subject of family engagement since hybrid and fully-remote ... read more

Should you worry about your child’s behavioral health?

{:en} HandholdMA.org is a family-friendly site to help families navigate the mental health system in Massachusetts. Handhold’s ... read more

Helping Your Child with Financial Literacy

{:en} Build your kids’ money skills! This site has games and activities that can help your children and young adults gain money ... read more

December Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. This month’s calendar ... read more

An Indigenous Reading List for Thanksgiving

At Thanksgiving time, all over the country, children in the early grades will learn the story of the Mayflower. Unfortunately, ... read more

Fall Science

  Autumn means falling leaves, hot apple cider – and lots of opportunities for preschool science! Young children are natural ... read more

Navigating DESE’s District Report Card Website

  This video, from MASFEC, the Federation for Children with Special Needs and the Department of Elementary and Secondary ... read more

Understanding District and School Report Cards

What can you learn about your child's district or school from the District Report Cards? read more

Monster Math! Halloween Activities for Preschoolers

Looking for a way to get into the Halloween spirit without leaving the house? Try doing some Monster Math! These activities for ... read more

November Family Literacy Calendar

Our family literacy calendars are designed to reinforce reading fundamentals and the love of reading. This month's calendar celebrates ... read more

Connecting Families / Conectando familias

MASFEC partners with a number of community organizations to organize and host support and discussion groups for families. We directly ... read more

An Election Reading List

This November’s election is poised to be one of the most turbulent in recent memory. Even if you haven’t explicitly told your ... read more

October Family Literacy Calendar

Happy National Book Month! We hope you enjoy this month's ideas for having fun while building a love of reading, stories, sounds, and ... read more

What is Family Engagement? Sherri’s view

If you ask a roomful of people to define family engagement, you often get a roomful of answers! I’ve found many people have their own ... read more

Welcome to MASFEC!

Welcome to the Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center (MASFEC)!  MASFEC strengthens the capacity of educators, families, and ... read more

September Family Literacy Calendar

The MA Statewide Family Engagement Center has launched a new series of family literacy calendars, designed to spark conversation and ... read more

Myth vs. Fact: Bilingual Language Development

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On the Disadvantages of Parents Ceasing to Speak the Birth Language with Bilingual Language Impaired Children

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The Family Engagement Playbook

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Parenting

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National Standards for Family-School Partnerships – National PTA

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IDEA Parents and Families Page

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Helping Your Child With Homework (In English & Spanish)

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Helping Your Child Succeed in School (In English & Spanish)

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Family Engagement Resources

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Reading With Your Child

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How Parents Can Encourage Teens to Read

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Understanding Childhood Trauma

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Finding The Right Book For Your Child

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More Books: Where to Find, Keep, and Read Them

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Reading Fun: Owl Buddy Bookmark

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Techniques to Enhance Read-Aloud Experience

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Tips for Helping Children Learn To Read

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Back-to-School: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

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Homework Tips for Parents

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Beyond Random Acts: Family, School, and Community Engagement as an Integral Part of Education Reform

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Taking It To the Next Level: Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement through Integrated, Systemic Practice

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Beyond caring: Mapping the gaps between expert, public, practitioner, and policymaker understandings of family, school, and community engagement

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From Caring to Conditions: Strategies for effectively communicating about family, school, and community engagement (A FrameWorks Framing Brief )

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Parental Effort, School Resources, and Student Achievement

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A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement

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PTA National Standards for Family School Partnerships: Implementation Guide | PTA

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Leading by Convening: A Blueprint for Authentic Engagement

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Dual Capacity-Building Framework | SEDL

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Guidelines for Choosing Read-Aloud Books

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More Tips for Choosing Read-Aloud Books

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Family Fun Home Activities

More Books: Where to Find, Keep, and Read Them.   Check It Out   Dear Juno by Soyung Puk (Grade K–1) Juno may be ... read more

Parent Tips for Raising Strong Readers and Writers

How Parents Can Support the Common Core Reading Standards: The Common Core State Standards are national standards that say what K-12 ... read more

Tips For Parents With Kindergarteners

Play with letters, words, and sounds! Having fun with language helps your child learn to crack the code of reading. The tips below ... read more

Share the Message:Read! Communication Resource Guide

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SHARING BOOKS AND ACTIVITIES DURING THE FIRST FOUR YEARS

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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Reading

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Dual Language Learners – resources

On the Disadvantages of Parents Ceasing to Speak the Birth Language with Bilingual Language Impaired Children - ... read more

Barriers to Parent-School Involvement for Early Elementary Students

The purpose of this report The purpose of this report is to describe basic descriptive statistics on barriers to parent-school ... read more

Reading Rocket | Tips for Parents of 3rd Graders

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Reading Rocket | Tips for Parents of 2nd Graders

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Reading Rockets | Tips For Parents of 1st Graders

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Reading Aloud with Children of All Ages

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Beyond Random Acts

beyond random acts read more

How Parents Can Support the Common Core Reading Standards

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Conversation Tips and Activities

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Reading Rocket | Tips For Parents of Kindergartners

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Reading Rocket | Tips For Parents With Preschoolers

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Reading Rocket | Tips For Parents With Toddlers

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Reading Rockets | Tips for Parents of Babies

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