FSCSN and MASFEC logos
News You Can Use
Family Engagement Resources & Updates: December 2021
Who Lights Your Candle?
Rosalie Rippey
Rosalie Rippey Project Manager
Do you have a family engagement topic or question you'd like us to work on? We'd love to hear from you at sfecma@fcsn.org!
I joined the MASFEC team last summer, tasked with building a team of diverse and multi-lingual parent leaders working improve access to career and technical education. (More on this project below!) It's such a gift to get to know these individuals and learn from them about their communities.

Their collaborative efforts remind me of a supervisor who liked to say, "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle." In family engagement terms, sharing information and sharing power doesn't mean giving anything up. Like one candle lighting another, our combined energies shine even brighter than we would on our own.

This is a time of year and a time in our history when nights are long and the days feel dark. Countless cultures and faiths teach us to look for the light that breaks through the darkness. Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa: these winter holidays invite us to gather around candles and lamps as we connect with one another.

Who are the brightest lights in your life? Whose energy and fire sparks hope within you? For me, there are so many examples among the anti-racist educators, community advocates, and caregiver leaders I've had the privilege to work with.

When we work together, all children can thrive. And, we get to be enriched by knowing one another.

From all of us at MASFEC, we wish you peace, joy, and (as always) self-care during this holiday season!
Latest News
Bar graph showing that 40% of people who speak a language other than English have no information about career and technical education, compared to 20% of English speakers. And, English Speakers report more knowledge overall.
Secondary Options Family Engagement Project Update
In October, FCSN and MASFEC supported a diverse group of cultural ambassadors to conduct focus groups and surveys with families on the topic of career and technical education.

Among the things we learned: there is a clear information gap related to language access - but families have ideas for how things can improve.

Check out a summary of our findings on the MASFEC website or read the full report on the SOFE Project website.
Support the FCSN Winter Campaign
Family engagement is the thread that weaves together all of the work of the Federation for Children with Special Needs. For nearly 50 years, the Federation has been a beacon of hope for thousands of families across Massachusetts.

As a parent-powered organization, our eye is always on the instrumental role of the family in ensuring student success. If you're looking to make a year-end contribution that will empower diverse families with training and information, please join with us by making a gift today.

Tips for Families
Dad making silly faces with his daughter
Winter Activities for Young Children
Wintertime and the holidays can be busy, joyful, and stressful times for parents of young children. We've taken some time to pull together a few high-quality resources that families may find especially helpful at this time of year!

Middle School Friendships
Teens and tweens with strong friendships tend to emerge from middle school happier, healthier, and more likely to succeed. But making friends at this stage can be a serious challenge. Writer-in-residence Mathangi Subramanian, Ed.D. shares some insights and tips for supporting friendships among middle schoolers.

Truth and Consequences for Middle Schoolers
During adolescence, young people’s brains experience rapid growth. This is especially true in middle school. Tweens are hungry for new challenges but are also still developing the judgment and maturity they need to accurately assess and react to risk. As young people continue to grow, parents and caregivers notice that the rules and discipline methods need to change too.

FREE Professional Development
Strengthening Partnerships Train the Trainer
MASFEC is hosting two more sessions of our Training of Trainers session for individuals interested in bringing the Strengthening Partnerships model to your school or district. Anyone interested in advancing family engagement in Massachusetts is welcomed to register. Upcoming dates:

  • Jan 25, 26, and 27 from 9am – noon
  • April 5, 6, and 7 from 1pm – 4pm

Participants who complete all 3 sessions will be supported to deliver the program at least 2 times within one year of training and to report the data on your work back to MASFEC.

Child getting a superman ride with Positive Solutions for Families logo
Positive Solutions: Train the Trainer
FCSN is offering a FREE train the trainer program, with PDPs and CEU's available for educators interested in bringing the Positive Solutions for Families program to their school or district.

Five sessions are offered each month from January through June of 2022. Contact Bridget Koetsch at bkoetsch@fcsn.org more details.

Self-Directed Learning: Family Engagement Practices for IEP Teams
The Federation has partnered with DESE and other organizations as part of the IEP Improvement Project. Included in this work was the development of a course to support school staff in meaningfully including students and families. The course can be completed at your own pace and includes many MASFEC resources. Check it out:
Take Your Partnerships to the Next Level
MASFEC and the Federation stand ready to assist organizations and districts that are ready to go deeper in the direction of equity-driven partnership.

Check out our statements on new resources and opportunities available through these new policy initiatives:

Then, reach out! We'd love to work with you.
Help Spread the Word!
Forward this email to a friend!

Follow us on Twitter @MAFamEngage

Share YOUR ideas: sfecma@fcsn.org
Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129
617.236.7210 | www.masfec.org