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Family Engagement Videos

This set of videos was compiled to inform and inspire educators and families to work together to support the education needs of children with disabilities. The focus is on family participation in developing and implementing meaningful Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), but other topics around family engagement are also covered. The information in yellow highlights key aspects of the video. Some videos may have captions in other languages. The last entry, completely in Spanish, is a special education telenovela that provides an introduction to special education for Spanish speaking families.

Family Engagement Videos

Family Engagement: Jessica Solano
Length: 4:20 minutes

This well produced video shows how this teacher of the year implements family engagement. The student has an IEP, but that’s not what is important. Instead it’s about the impact of the home visit and the importance of family engagement to student progress. I included it because of the student voice!

How to Make Your IEP Process Better with Parent Participation
Published: July 9, 2019 | Length: 6:10 minutes

For educators. When you’re creating an IEP, getting parents involved isn’t just important, it’s the law. So reviewing strategies to increase parent engagement in the process should be part of the IEP best practices special educators review each year. Our blog series by author, consultant and former special education director and teacher Carol Kosnitsky shares five ideas for how you can make it easier for parents to participate in the IEP process:

  1. Make it personal
  2. Help parents get ready for IEP meetings
  3. Level the playing field by sharing information
  4. Try to understand the parent’s interest, not their position
  5. Provide meaningful progress reports.

Check out the 8-part series on writing high quality IEPs from Carol Kosnitsky.

This series of brief animated videos from The ARC explain the 6 principles of IDEA They are just a reminder that parents, by law, should be an integral part of all aspects of implementation of IDEA.)

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 5
Length: 11:11 minutes

In Chapter 5 of this 5 part series, watch an IEP Team meeting in Progress. Meet the team members and go through the IEP process step by step. Created and produced by ECAC, the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, North Carolina’s Parent Training and Information Center. This is a really nice example of a family participating in an IEP. The student participates as well.

Karen Mapp on Parent and Family Engagement
Published: August 12, 2020 | Length: 31:11 minutes

Introduced by Dr Lisa O'Brien, CEO of the Smith Family, this conference keynote address is from the wonderful Dr Karen Mapp, Senior Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Faculty Director of the Education Policy and Management Master’s Program. Over the past twenty years, Dr. Mapp’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members, and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. Karen Mapp is the expert on family engagement. She’s entertaining and has great information.

La Sopa de la Abuela: Special Education Telenovela

Series of Family Engagement Videos in Spanish!

This series was designed to support the engagement of families in the special education process, share information, encourage advocacy skills, and foster collaborative home-school partnerships which positively impact student success. Created by a design team that included family and staff members, we hope you’ll join us for the journey of one family as they navigate their emotions, learn about special education, and make decisions.

Meaningful Inclusion in Early Childhood (Video)
Wisconsin DPI | Published: March 1, 2018 | Length: 5:52 minutes

How can a school meaningfully include students with disabilities in an early childhood program? In moving interviews, parents in this video reveal the benefits for their children. Educators describe what they do and how they got there. These stories come from the Sun Prairie (Wisconsin) Area School District, where inclusion is the norm for all early childhood programs supported by public dollars, whether offered in community or district settings. More on early childhood special education.

This video has the voices of families who have been active participants in their child’s program as well as IEP. It’s a favorite because of the voices heard from various representatives from the program. It’s not specifically about family engagement, but rather the outcomes from family engagement in an inclusive early childhood program.

Promoting Equity in Education Through Family Engagement (Video)
Virginia Department of Education | Published: June 15, 2021 | Length: 9:50 minutes

This video is designed for school personnel and families. It offers an overview of education equity and suggests strategies for facilitating greater educational equity through meaningful family engagement school leaders. Strategies are organized by key components of family engagement in multitiered systems of supports. The video has captions available in English and Spanish.

A fact sheet (PDF) accompanies the video.

Rebuilding Family Engagement
Published: July 5, 2022 | Length: 21:05 minutes

In this video, Antoinette Taylor, Exceptional Needs Consultant, introduces the Illinois Family Engagement Framework and the importance of families being an integral part of any early childhood program. Staff and families from McLean County Unit 5 early childhood programs in Bloomington, Illinois share their thoughts and perspectives on what family engagement means to them and how it impacts the quality of education and outcomes for young children. The goal of this APPLES episode is to encourage early childhood professionals to reflect on ways to build or rebuild family engagement using the Illinois Family Engagement Framework as a guide. It starts out a bit slow, but Hearing from the staff and families is wonderful!

Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions: Engaging with Families
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

The introduction and animated video from Wisconsin provides a vision of what family engagement could look like.

We need to shift the way we partner with families to help students learn: from parent involvement to family engagement. To empower families to help schools close gaps and increase student achievement, schools need to:

  • Build trust with students' families at every grade level, pre-kindergarten through high school;
  • Connect families to information and tools that help them support their students' learning;
  • Support educators with time and skill building to help them engage families effectively; and
  • Collaborate consistently with families and community partners to ensure every student is career and college ready.

Effective Family Engagement Could Look Like This (Video)