Kentucky’s Statewide Family Engagement Center

The Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL) is a continuum of engagement and leadership development opportunities for families, schools and communities to realize a big bold future for Kentucky.

Powerful partnerships are achieved when active champions for education honor and recognize the connection between families, schools and communities, as a core strategy for improving student academic achievement.

Together, in effective partnership, we are building a groundswell of Kentucky communities that believe in increasing excellence, equity and innovation across the Kentucky education system.

How Do We Define…

Family Engagement

Is culturally responsive and sustaining to individuals’ ways of being.

Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Family Engagement focuses on families and schools working in partnership to develop programs, policies, and practices that empower students’ learning.

  • Families and schools are equal partners in decision making, curriculum planning, policy and resource development, amongst other things.
  • The goal is to establish a trusting/ authentic relationship, where parents are viewed as the experts on their and their children’s’ lived experiences and needs.
  • In this form of engagement, outreach to families should be active and personal as much as possible.

Family Involvement

is families gaining resources/ tools or learning information but not having to engage in a 2-way conversation with school and/or child. (Examples: Social media hits, receiving a book in the mail, newsletters, orientation night for all families, interest surveys sent home.)

Family Leadership

includes both public and at-home practices. Public leadership is creating space for parents to authentically lead and empowering families with resources, networks, and information to lead in school, community, and other public spaces. At-home leadership is supporting families with resources, networks, and information to continue to support their child’s learning and development, including acknowledging and honoring families’ private practices to ensure their children’s educational futures.

Family Decision-Making

is families influencing or leading change at the school or community level. Examples: SBDM, PTA, parent lead school events, parent co-training workshops, school walkthroughs.

Educational Options and Choice

is providing families with information on learning options, opportunities, and rights as a parent so they have the knowledge to make informed decisions about how to individualize their children’s learning and development.


Below is a menu of engagement and leadership development opportunities for families, schools and communities.

Learn more about CIPL and the KY Collaborative for Families and Schools

Suggested Links

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners