News You Can Use
Family Engagement Resources & Updates - May 5, 2022
Reflecting on Visions of Community
Mikayla Metcalf
Development & Family Engagement Associate

At FCSN’s 2022 Visions of Community Conference in March, parents learned tips for supporting their children and practicing self-care, young adults with disabilities explored the vast potential of their future, and educators and service providers learned how to meaningfully engage with families. Everyone came together, forming a community of collaborators with the shared mission of empowering and supporting people with disabilities.

One of my favorite moments came from keynote speaker Haben Girma, who talked about reframing words like “inspirational.” She spoke about the difference between calling a person with disabilities inspirational and saying that they inspired you to take action through their story or their words.

Because of self-advocates such as Haben, I am inspired to increase the accessibility of the information I put out through my work at FCSN. I am also inspired to challenge any preconceived notions about people with disabilities I may have—as this is always a continuous process in all of our work as allies and members of the disability community.

How about you? What do self-advocates such as Haben inspire you to do?
Last Chance to Take Our Survey!
Each year MASFEC conducts a statewide survey on local experiences of family engagement. Surveys take about 10 minutes to complete and offer an opportunity to share direct, anonymous feedback about your experiences. Your response will help MASFEC partners set priorities for promoting family engagement at the school, district, and state level.

Thank you for your participation and for all you do to support young people's success through effective family engagement!
Latest News
Data Literacy Tip Sheet Series
MASFEC is launching a new initiative to support educators and families to build their data literacy. Being able to ask questions and communicate about data is an important tool for meaningful collaboration between families and schools. Check out our first tip sheet in the collection, which covers Educational Achievement tests, to learn more about how different types of data can inform conversations about student learning.

How is the MASFEC survey data used?
Each year MASFEC conducts a survey of families and educators in Massachusetts. Our 2021 results offered a glimpse into how relationships between families and schools were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While many areas we asked about showed improvement or stayed about the same, there was a decrease in reported opportunities for families to be involved in leadership and decision-making.

Resources From MASFEC
Reading Lists Landing Page
Our book lists are designed to support children's reading skills while helping them explore the world, current events, and many different perspectives. New book lists are added all the time.

Developing Healthy Habits for Middle Schoolers
Growing up is an exciting yet challenging time in a young person's life. Between body changes and shifting emotions, it's no surprise that middle schoolers report high levels of stress. Check out the article linked below to learn how to support your teen in building healthy habits.

Supporting Sibling Relationships
In families with two or more children, it can be challenging to figure out how to support positive relationships between siblings while meeting the unique needs of each child. This goal can feel especially tricky when one or more of the siblings has a disability.

To help caregivers navigate the complexities of sibling relationships, we have compiled a list of resources designed to get you started.

Workshops & Trainings
Positive Solutions: Train the Trainer
Do you have a passion for social-emotional learning and want to promote it in your community?

If so, then consider signing up for the free Positive Solutions For Families train the trainer series, where you will learn about resources to share with your professional and caregiver communities.

Five sessions are offered each month from January through June of 2022. Next month's cohort meets on select Tuesdays and Thursdays: June 2nd, 7th, 9th, 14th, & 16th from 6 to 8 pm.

Contact Bridget Koetsch at for more details or Learn more and register here!
A family smiling
Become a Special Education Surrogate Parent Today
Special Education Surrogate Parents (SESPs) use their knowledge of the IEP process to support students whose parents are unable to do so. If you want to make a difference in the life of a student in your community, consider becoming a SESP today!

Family Feedback Needed -
MA Rehabilitation Commission
Please share the following survey link with the families and caregivers you serve so that we have their direct input on the topics they're interested to hear and learn more about:

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.
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Massachusetts Statewide Family Engagement Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M3 | Boston, MA 02129
617.236.7210 |