AASB Awarded Funding to Take Family Engagement Practices to the Next Level

The Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) has been selected to receive funding under the Statewide Family Engagement Centers Program (SFEC) of $978,455 in the first year of five years. The SFEC program, issued under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, funds statewide organizations and their consortium of school districts, state education agencies, and community partners to advance family engagement policies, programs, and activities. Alaska and AASB join twelve other states currently receiving funding under this program.

AASB, the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, and more than 30 partners will develop an Alaskan State Family Engagement Center and the Alaska Family Coalition (AK FAM). Partners include tribal entities, family advocacy groups, school district staff, and family representatives. Program resources will be dedicated specifically to meet the needs of nearly 60,000 predominantly rural or Alaska Native students and families. 

Fourteen school districts, spanning 203 schools across the state, signed on to access professional learning and support from AASB and the Alaska Statewide Family Engagement Center (ASFEC) partners. These include Aleutians East, Anchorage, Bering Strait, Bristol Bay, Craig City, Dillingham City, Juneau Borough, Kake City, Lower Kuskokwim, Lower Yukon, Nome Public, Northwest Arctic Borough, Saint Mary’s, and Yukon Flats. 

“We’re excited for this opportunity to strengthen and expand our family engagement work to include more Alaska school districts,” said Lori Grassgreen, AASB Director of Conditions for Learning and Community Engagement. The Alaska Statewide Family Engagement Center will provide an opportunity for Alaskans to: build a statewide coordinating body for school and family partnerships, provide educator training and professional development to improve family partnerships, and provide tools and strategies for families to confidently engage in their child’s learning. 

The ASFEC program aligns with AASB’s long commitment to strengthening family/school partnerships and increasing equity-centered practices to improve student outcomes. Resources developed by AASB in collaboration with statewide partners to support this work include Stronger Together: The Power of Family and School Partnerships, and the Transforming Schools: Trauma-Engaged Toolkit.

The grant’s priority work areas include expanding evidence-based family engagement approaches, addressing the impact of COVID, promoting equity in student access to education opportunities, and strengthening Cross-Agency coordination and community engagement to advance systemic change. To ensure outcomes are aligned with ASFEC program goals, an external outcome evaluation will be conducted by Education Northwest. 

AASB staff, led by Lori Grassgreen, will begin their work in October 2022 and anticipate the next five years of work under this program to improve academic outcomes, build strong family-school relationships, and improve school climate outcomes across the state.

About the Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC)

The purpose of the SFEC program is to provide financial support to organizations that provide technical assistance and training to State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the implementation and enhancement of systemic and effective family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement. 

About the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB)

The Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) is an organization representing school boards in Alaska. Our membership consists of more than 330 individual board members, responsible for students who attend Alaska’s public schools. AASB’s mission is to advocate for children and youth by assisting school boards in providing quality public education, focused on student achievement, through effective local governance.

Contact Information

Lori Grassgreen, AASB Director of Conditions for Learning and Community Engagement
Email: lgrassgreen@nullaasb.org
Phone: (907) 463-1660