Education Northwest to Lead New Washington Statewide Family Engagement Center
Education Northwest is excited to announce that it and several esteemed partners have been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Education to create a statewide family engagement center in Washington state.
The grant is one of eight awarded by the department and provides $5 million across five years to establish the center, a collaboration between Education Northwest, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Community Center for Education Results (CCER), Roots of Inclusion, and Washington Family Engagement.
NORC, an independent, nonpartisan research institution at the University of Chicago, will serve as the external evaluator of the new center.
The center will be led by Education Northwest and the entire collaborative will ensure that the work fully aligns with Washington’s emerging statewide family engagement policy framework and infrastructure.
The center will play a critical role in ensuring that families and educators share a voice in students’ well-being and achievement. It comes at a critical moment for public education, as schools and districts across the country look to drive academic recovery and address students’ developmental needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The center’s community-based partners—CCER, Roots of Inclusion, and Washington Family Engagement—will provide connections and insights from their own work with Washington families and educators, including sharing their expertise, trainings, and tools statewide.
“The center will play a critical role in ensuring that families and educators share a voice in students’ well-being and achievement,” said Timothy Speth, Leader at Education Northwest and Co-Director of the Washington Statewide Family Engagement Center. “It comes at a critical moment for public education, as schools and districts across the country look to drive academic recovery and address students’ developmental needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The team will conduct its work based on Washington’s framework of equity and shared responsibility, the Department of Education’s equity framework, and culturally responsive lenses crafted out of the decades of collective experience between the partners.
“Washington state has laid the groundwork for a systemic, collaborative, and coordinated statewide approach to family engagement,” Speth said. “The new center will build on that foundation and put family, community involvement, and multiple layers of equity at the center of that effort.”
“Families are essential partners in a student’s journey to success,” said Sarah Butcher, Director of Roots of Inclusion. “There is no more important time for schools to engage, partner, and work with our families. The Washington Statewide Family Engagement Center will bring increased resources, technical assistance, and a strict focus on building, repairing, and nurturing meaningful partnerships with families. Our school communities need it, our families want it, and the success and well-being of every young person demands it.”