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Tools for Family Leadership, School Governance and Site Planning

Family Leadership, Governance and Site Planning Toolkit

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

Every school is required to have leadership and governance teams like the School Site Council and English Learner Advisory Committee, because we know the voices and perspectives of families are important to the process of keeping schools on track.  Many schools also have groups that aren’t officially required, such as the PTA or other parent organization, a Black Student Union or an African American family affinity group. 

It can be hard for schools to bring these groups together to coordinate their efforts, and to invite all family groups to participate in school decision-making.  But research shows when leadership and governance teams reflect and represent the whole school community, work together, and address issues of access and equity, it leads to better outcomes for students.

We know it can be difficult to shift systems and school culture, especially those based on long-standing traditions - even when those haven’t been working to include all families.  The resources in this Tool Kit are aligned with SFUSD’s standards and core values to help school leaders – including the principal, other staff, and families – make these shifts. 

"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents." -Jane D. Hull

Our Toolkit – At a Glance

This toolkit includes documents you can download here, links to other SFUSD web pages, and links to community groups that also provide resources to support family leadership.

2017-18 Timeline for Leadership, School Governance & Planning  (Español | 中文)

Self-Assessment Checklists

A Development Look at Family Leadership and Governance:

Tools for Equity and Inclusion:

Tools to Support Leadership and Governance:

Resources for Site Governance & the School Planning Process:

For Other Toolkits:


Want more information? Please contact the SFUSD Family Partnerships and Empowerment Team at