Download the 2024 – 2025 DLN Calendar here!

The District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement (DLN) is a group of 225 individuals in district-level leadership positions primarily responsible for the oversight of our district’s family and community engagement (FCE) initiatives. DLN is a peer-driven knowledge network designed to engage members as both experts and learners through a national structure to support member capacity building activities.


The Network is unique in purpose, function and design and is grounded in the belief that through DLN, members can increase their collective capacity to implement a systemic approach to family and community engagement, resulting in more consistent practice across districts, greater sustainability, and measurable impact on student outcomes and school improvement.

Membership is granted exclusively to those who are tasked with oversight of their district’s engagement efforts. Learn more here.

DLN Activities

Meet, Greet & Learn – Provides an opportunity for members to informally interact with leaders in the field of engagement. We leverage the “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) format to engage in a conversation with our guests. Past guests include Dr. Karen Mapp, Dr. Steven Constantino, Gina Martinez-Keddy of Parent Teacher Home Visits and Cecily Darden-Adams of the US Department of Education. Guests share updates and resources during these sessions.

IEL/DLN Publication – Taking it to the Next Level – Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement through integrated, Systemic Practice

This publication describes the key elements for successfully implementing systemic engagement practices as detailed in organizational conditions of the Dual Capacity Building Framework for Family School Partnerships.  Highlighted within this publication are systemic exemplars and strategies from across the country.   IEL has developed a companion toolkit with a self assessment and recommendations for growth.

DLN Learning Labs – provide district leaders and their teams with a two-day deep-dive experience in a member district.  Held annually in the Fall, members learn from the host district how they have implemented district-level engagement practice grounded in the key elements of systemic engagement.  Additionally, host districts will share how their work is organized, aligned and measured at the district level and will showcase exemplary practices that can be replicated by other districts.


Building Engagement Practice That Is Sustainable Requires
A Systemic Approach.

taking it to the next level background with arrows, gears, and ladders

Join Us for Strengthening and Sustaining Systemic Engagement, A Five-Session Virtual Series Designed Specifically for District Level Engagement Leaders and Teams

The Institute for Educational Leadership has designed an interactive learning experience for DLN teams utilizing the publication Taking it to the Next Level: Strengthening and Sustaining Family Engagement through Integrated Systemic Practice.

The series focuses on strengthening team capacity to establish and maintain the systems and structures that ensure sustainability.  Participating district teams will:

  • Utilize tools to assess current engagement practices and determine areas for growth.
  • Unpack and apply the key elements of systemic engagement to increase capacity for effective sustainable practice at the district level.
  • Receive individualized team coaching to provide technical assistance and support for growth as a team and for implementing effective practice.

Participants who complete the series will earn a Systemic Engagement micro-credential from IEL.

Learning Objectives – By the end of the series, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a deeper understanding of systemic engagement as a foundation for sustainable practice.
  • Develop the structures and systems at the district level to support implementation and integration of effective engagement practices at the school-level.
  • Build/Maintain collaborative structures that acknowledge and address the interconnectedness of family engagement, school improvement and student success.
  • Develop a process for continuous improvement with clearly defined measures and outcomes as well as a system of data collection.

Commitment Details and Pricing:
Session Prework
: Team will take the Systemic Engagement Self-Assessment and review the suggestions for growth.

  • District Team of 3-5 (must include district lead or designee).
  • Completion of Systemic Engagement Self-assessment Tool.
  • Attendance – 5 three-hour virtual sessions (team presence at each session) and an optional monthly team coaching sessions (60-min per team).
  • Completion of post-session individual reflections and identification of focus area for the team engagement plan
  • Team development of an engagement plan based on identified areas for growth.
  • Cost per team: $4,500

Cohort 2: Oct 1, Oct 22, Nov 19, Dec 17, & Jan 14 (Tuesdays) plus monthly on hour coaching/TA call TBD Cohort 3: Jan 9, Jan 9, Feb 13, Mar 27, May 1, & June 5 (Thursdays) plus monthly on hour coaching/TA call TBD        

Space is Limited to 5 Teams per cohort

Register Here

Additional Helpful Resources

To learn more, contact

To join the District Leaders Network, click here.

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