High Expectations builds the confidence and capabilities of families and staff to build strong home-school academic partnerships, build relationships based on trust, and engage as equal partners in students’ education and school reform.
High Expectations provides comprehensive capacity-building opportunities that are tailored for local school district leadership, school staff, families, and community partners.  We help schools and families collaboratively build and strengthen school-family partnerships that support student achievement, development, and school improvement. Through professional development, schools learn how to strengthen trusting and respectful relationships with families, tweak family-centered activities that are culturally responsive and collaborative, and link family activities to the learning that happens in the classroom. At the end of each school year, family engagement teams celebrate their outcomes, sharing impactful activities linked to learning and showcasing their positive effects on family engagement and student achievement.
The Challenge
At High Expectations, we use research to guide our practice.
Decades of research show when parents are involved students have:
• Higher grades, test scores, and graduation rates
• Better school attendance
• Increased motivation, better self-esteem
• Lower rates of suspension
• Decreased use of drugs and alcohol
• Fewer instances of violent behavior
National Parent Teacher Association
  The most consistent predictors of children’s academic achievement and social adjustment are parent expectations of the child’s academic attainment and satisfaction with their child’s education at school.

Reynolds, et, al., (6)
The most effective forms of parent involvement are those, which engage parents in working directly with their children on learning activities at home.

Cotton, K., Wikelund, K., Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, School Improvement Research Series. In Parent Involvement in Education.
Families express a genuine and deep-seated desire to help their children succeed academically, regardless of differences in socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and cultural background.

  Schools with strong levels of trust had a 1-in-2 chance of making significant improvements, while those with weak relationships had a 1-in-7 chance of making gains. Schools with little or no relational trust have practically no chance of improving.

Bryk and Schneider
Here’S what people have to say
I just wanted to thank High Expectations for that fantastic workshop yesterday for AUSD. They gave us such tangible ways to think about the simple, but important steps we can take to create more welcoming spaces for all of our families, students, and colleagues. I loved the presentation style— it was so relatable and affirming. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Cassie Ferguson
Teacher, Alameda Unified School District
The thing I am most excited about is I have a whole slough of folks who can stand next to me now and lead this school. They can come right alongside of me, either at home working with their children, on campus working with other children, or working directly with me in parent leadership. I know that many of our parent graduates can come and stand next to me and change the face of Roosevelt Elementary School. And that is so exciting!
Victoria Forrester
Principal, Roosevelt Elementary School, San Leandro Unified School District
High Expectations has been an excellent partner in this work. Because of their collaborative approach and teaching experience, teachers and Principals have come to trust High Expectations. At the beginning of the year, teachers were overwhelmed and leery of taking on “more work”. High Expectations helped teachers and Principals repurpose and tweak their existing practices to better align with research. This style of professional development resulted in school-wide shifts in the way family-teacher conferences were conducted at each site.
Shamar Edwards
Senior Director of Equity, African American and Multi- Ethnic Student Achievement, AUSD
In San Mateo-Foster City School District, I thought we had too much on our already full plates to focus on family engagement. After our first school team professional development, I realized that none of the other initiatives would be successful, if we were not working alongside families, specifically families that did not feel welcome in our schools. High Expectations is well respected and regarded by teachers because this organization affirms the hard work that they do every day AND encourages next steps to improve partnerships with families.
Heather Olsen
Superintendent, Pacifica School District