March 2022 – ETAC Community of Practice Update:

ETAC: Creating a Family Engagement Plan with Parents of English Language Learners

With nearly 300 registrants, ETAC’s fourth Community of Practice this school year highlighted best strategies for recognizing and engaging the parents of English Language Learners.

February 10 and March 3 offered two powerful interactive sessions that took a deep dive into the challenge, essential conditions, and goals of family engagement that are articulated in Dr. Joyce Epstein’s  Six Types of Parent Engagement and Dr. Karen Mapp’s Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School Partnerships.

Both sessions featured compelling panel discussions that presented parents and frontline educational professionals sharing practical and life-lived best practice strategies for supporting and empowering the parents of English Language Learners.

Cultivating and maintaining respectful, sensitive relationships was identified as the foundation for successfully engaging parents. Very robust strategies were discussed including Literacy Diners, Journey Maps, and Cultural Cafes, to name a few.

The strategies of effective and empathetic listening, storytelling as a teaching strategy to build empathy and understanding, building parents’ self-efficacy and voice,  and operationalizing informal engagement practices (process conditions) were also spotlighted.

Responses to the Community of Practice:

  • “Probably the most invaluable series I’ve attended during my 11 years in education.”

  • “I’m inspired! Thank you all for the great work you are doing.”

  • “Helps me make parents feel integral in their children’s education.”

  • “This was so informative and I’m inspired! Thank you all for the great work you are doing!”

  • “Thank you so much for providing this session to us, and for the work you do with children and families.”

Please be sure to register for the ETAC pre-recording: “Designing Expanded and Enriched Learning Opportunities for ELLs.”

Explore Resources Supporting ELLs and their Parents

Do you have a community school story that you would like featured in our e-newsletter?

Email Becky Christner at or call 845-627-5437.