News You Can Use
Family Engagement Resources & Updates: November 2021
Older Students Need Our Engagement, Too
Danielle Hardin MASFEC Project Manager
I am pleased to be able to introduce myself while introducing this month's issue of our MASFEC Newsletter. As MASFEC's Project Manager, I have the opportunity to work with our many wonderful partners on a range of trainings and capacity-building projects.

This month, we're taking a closer look at the middle school years. Read on for articles to share with middle school families about supporting their students' success. And, read about efforts to address language barriers as families prepare to choose a high school for their child. You'll also find professional development resources and an opportunity to join MASFEC's wonderful team!

It's a busy time of year, so please remember to take a deep breath every once in awhile and take care of yourself. Our children and communities need you!
Seeking a New Member of Our Team
If you are an experienced educator and passionate about Equity-driven Family Engagement, we'd love to speak with you. Please check out the full position description for our Training Specialist role!
Spotlight on Middle School
For many young people, middle school marks a sea change in academic expectations. Students receive more homework than ever and are expected to organize their time to get everything done. While middle schoolers’ brains are developing faster than ever, they are still far behind on executive functioning or the set of skills necessary to manage complex tasks. This means that they will most likely need your help managing their lives.

Check out our posts about the Middle School Years:
Cell Phones and Our Youth
The modern era has introduced a new milestone for middle schoolers: a young person’s first cell phone. But what age is the right age to get a cell phone? How do you know if your child is up for the responsibility? And what do you do if your child’s friends have cell phones, but you’re not sure if they’re ready yet? We have two new posts to help guide you!

Language Justice
Ensuring Families Know About Career
& Technical Education
During October 2021, MASFEC's parent organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, organized multi-language surveys, focus groups, and interviews to hear from families around the state about career, vocational and technical education.

Among the findings: parents and caregivers of middle school students want and need to hear directly from schools rather than relying on their children to relay the information.
New Equity in Action Tip Sheet
This tip sheet, Equity in Action: Tips for Parents and Caregivers, encourages caregivers to reflect on the things they already do with their children to help them learn and practice equity. This resource from NCASE suggests additional activities that families can make part of their routines to build a strong sense of social justice as children grow up and form their own identities.
Best Practices for IEP Teams:
Meaningful Family & Student Engagement
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 Family Engagement Program 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!
If you like the ideas shared in this newsletter, please:

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Write to us with YOUR ideas for future issues, at
Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129
617.236.7210 |