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Family Contract

Family’s commitment to supporting their student’s journey


Including parents and families as partners in their child’s learning journey is a powerful strategy for schools to strengthen students’ participation, motivation, and overall success in their academic career. Getting parents and caregivers involved from the get-go can help develop a strong relationship between the school, families, and learners, and can help support students inside and outside of the classroom. In order to ensure consistent and equitable involvement, some schools have chosen to implement a family contract, which outlines expectations and action steps that families commit to when embarking on this academic journey with their child.


Developing a family contract can get parents and caregivers on the same page and outline what is expected of them during the school year. Contracts can be written by the school and improved upon each year – or they can be developed in tandem with families and/or students to reflect their thoughts as well. Here are some questions and ideas to consider when developing a family contract:

  • Logistics: Do students need to arrive or leave school (or log in/log off) at a certain time? Is there a dress code? Are there specific supplies students are expected to have? Do families need to check homework or assignments each day?

  • Communication: When and how should families reach out to teachers? When can they expect to hear from the school?

  • In-school events: Do parents need to attend conferences, meetings, or assemblies? If so, when and how often (in person or virtual)?

  • Student personal growth: Should students maintain a reflection/gratitude journal? Should parents model specific behaviors at home?

Thinking through these questions can help schools decide what is important to include in the contract, and how it can accurately capture their vision of a successful school-family partnership.