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Parents as Allies


Parents as Allies is transforming education systems through family-school collaboration in Pennsylvania, USA. The work is done through 22 school districts implementing different kinds of family school engagement hacks and strategies to build trust within the school community. HundrED's work in the project is based on the Spotlight on Parental Engagement.

Kidsburgh, Brookings CUE and Learning Heroes. Supported by The Grable Foundation.


In early 2021, Parents as Allies (PAA) began a journey of collaborating with school teams in a design sprint process to develop creative and innovative solutions, or “hacks” that would address the specific needs of their communities. Their initial, two-month design sprint in 2021 centred around the question: “How might we build stronger engagement between families and schools for the benefit of all students?” Almost one year later, in April 2022, PAA began a second iteration. Parents as Allies 2.0 narrowed its focus to 22 Western Pennsylvania school districts. Joined by design sprint guides, the participating school districts’ Design Teams started with empathy interviews as the main source of inspiration to co-develop the hacks aimed at increasing and strengthening family-school engagement. Following human-centred design structure, the 22 districts participating in the initiative documented their learning journeys, from their practice mini-hacks, to fall and spring hacks and onto the new future of Family School Engagement (FSE) outlined in their sustainability plans.

The challenge

We have to help teachers to find ways to engage parents and teachers in the learning process. How might we build stronger engagement between families and schools for the benefit of all students?

The solution

In this Tailor-Made we are collecting impact data on different family-school engagement models. Family-school engagement can be incredibly powerful as it creates relationships where people have faith that they are looking out for each other. Based on the Brookings Institution research, schools that have strong relational trust are ten times more likely to have really good educational outcomes. Parental engagement is an incredibly powerful tool to help children learn.

Important dates

Keep up-to-date on this project and its key dates

HundrED Check-ins with Participants


Brookings Institution Presentation


Fall Hacks Completed


Second Mini-Grant Application


HundrED Report Published


Journeys in Family School Engagement

Spotlight: Parental Engagement

Case studies