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    Continuous Improvement in Secondary Family Engagement

    Engaging Families in High School Success (EFIHS) is a collaborative initiative of Seattle Public Schools and Johns Hopkins University (JHU), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. It focuses on the impact of 8th and 9th grade family engagement on increased student attendance and course passing rates – important predictors of on-time student graduation and college enrollment.

    Seattle high schools and middle schools are working to implement 8th and 9th grade transition-related family events and activities to engage all families. These activities are reflected on and improved through coaching and inquiry for continuous improvement.

    The importance of 9th grade

    Scores of national studies consistently point to the importance of 9th grade as a pivotal year in a student’s high school trajectory. Intentional family engagement activities by secondary schools have shown to increase parental efforts in supporting student learning, modeling learning behaviors, and reinforcing the importance of schoolwork and success in school.

    Parental support of secondary student learning from home has also been linked to students’ perceptions of themselves as learners, increased motivation to do their best in school, and graduate.

    EFIHS Schools

    Seattle secondary schools participating in the EFIHS initiative receive training, coaching, assistance to develop family engagement activities, materials and a small grant. Participating schools are:

    High Schools

    • Nathan Hale High School
    • Cleveland STEM High School
    • Franklin High School
    • Chief Sealth High School
    • Ingraham High School
    • Center School
    • Skills Center
    • West Seattle High School
    • Rainier Beach High School
    • Garfield High School
    • Nova High School

    Middle Schools

    • Jane Addams Middle School
    • Broadview Thompson K-8th
    • Salmon Bay K-8th
    • Whitman Middle School
    • Madison Middle School
    • Aki Kurose Middle School
    • South Shore Pre-K-8th
    • McClure Middle School
    • Hamilton International Middle School

    The EFIHS initiative contributes to improved school-family partnerships in secondary education and will develop a set of evidence-based model practices for schools nationwide.


    Margo Siegenthaler
    Project Manager of Engaging Families in High Schools (EFIHS)


    Phone: 206-252-0794