Family & Community Engagement


The Racine Unified School District Office of Family & Community Engagement is committed to raising student success through intentional and robust partnerships with families. The mission and vision is to foster practices and strategies to increase school-family-community connections.
RUSD kids

Why does it matter?

Research studies have pointed out consistent, convincing and validating evidence which shows that family engagement is one of the strongest predictors of overall student success. Efforts which are collaborative, linked to learning, and build respectful and trusting relationships are more likely to produce outcomes of children adapting well to school, attending regularly and earning better grades. This partnership maximizes shared responsibility between home and school to support student achievement and overall school improvement.

The RUSD Office of Family & Community Engagement has designed district approaches which build on the belief to work towards an equal partnership with parents and caregivers so that all students will graduate career and/or college ready.

VITA Tax Filing Assistance

Academies of Racine at Case students will once again help community members fill out and file their taxes. To schedule your free appointment, visit or call (262)383-2555.

VITA 2022 flyerCase VITA 2022

Title I Information

Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA/ESEA) is a federal funding program designed to close achievement gaps and ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.

Program Elements:

  • Needs assessment and program plan design
  • Parent involvement
  • High-quality teachers and paraprofessionals
  • Coordination of services for homeless students
  • Support for Title I Program Focus and Priority Schools
  • Comparability

Parent & Family Tips & Information


Parent University

Parent University is a community collaborative of free monthly workshops, informational sessions and resources. The purpose of these sessions is to equip parents and families in the Racine community at large with the knowledge, skills, networks and confidence to support their child’s learning experience and to provide access to resources.  

March Session: Special Education

Click for recording.
Special Education is a space, not a place. What does an IEP mean for your child? Your child is in SPED – how does the school district support my child? Does my child need SPED services?

Middle School Academies

Click for recording.

College Prep (virtual sessions)

Join RUSD for one of two virtual Parent University sessions on financial aid.

  • Ask questions and get answers!
  • Learn about important changes to FAFSA
  • Get advice on applying to colleges
  • Discover financial aid opportunities available to you
  • Learn how to set up a FAFSA ID

January's Parent University session:

Follow Up Resources and Q&A

Parent University Video Playlists

PU Resrouces

PU Academics

PU Alt Learning

PU Safety

PU RUSD Assessments

PU Health and Wellness

PU Self-Care

PU Employment

Gifted and Advanced


Technology Resources

Parent Leadership Network

Parent Leadership Network (PLN), an initiative whereas parent leaders serve as school representatives to stay connected and learn about district priorities and actions in addition to receiving leadership training to implement strategies and best practices at their schools to build and sustain effective parent engagement.

PLN is open to all who have an interest to serve as an RUSD PTA, PTO and/or Parent Ambassador to elevate school-family partnerships. PLN offers a certificate-based training series, updates on District news & information, new knowledge and skills to improve student learning, and access to local, regional and national resources.

For more information, contact the Office of Family and Community Engagement at 262-631-7162.

Join PLN Flyer English | Spanish

PLN General Information Flyer English | Spanish

Title I Family Resource Center

Take a look at the kits we have available!
Title I Family Resource Center offers RUSD families with students attending Title I schools a full range of services and supports to enrich student learning for academic success. The Center partners with an array of community, non-profit and service agencies to provide certificate training programs, at-home learning materials, special parent & child events,  parenting classes, one-on-one support, volunteer opportunities and more.

El Centro de Recursos para Familias de Título I ofrece a las familias de RUSD con estudiantes que asisten a escuelas de Título I una gama completa de servicios y apoyos para enriquecer el aprendizaje de los estudiantes para el éxito académico. El Centro se asocia con una variedad de agencias comunitarias, de servicios y sin fines de lucro para brindar programas de capacitación certificados, materiales de aprendizaje en el hogar, eventos especiales para padres e hijos, clases para padres, apoyo individual, oportunidades de voluntariado y más.


Days and times

Mitchell School, Room 122

Tuesdays, noon - 4:30 P.M.
Thursdays, 8 A.M. - noon

Knapp Elementary, Room 169

Mondays, noon - 4:30 P.M.
Fridays, 8 A.M. - noon


Timber Day
Timber Day
Title I Family & Community Engagement Specialist

Families In Transition

Families In Transition (FIT) is a program that provides assistance to students living in temporary housing. It is a federally funded program that assists families with school-age children to overcome the barriers to full participation in the public educations system, including identification, enrollment and referral services.

FIT provides resources in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Act. For more information on the McKinney-Vento Act click here

LIFT Community Schools

Thanks to a partnership with the United Way of Racine County, Racine Unified currently has three community schools - Knapp (since 2016) and Julian Thomas Elementary (2019) Schools and Mitchell K-8 School (2021). 

LIFT Logo 2022 United Way Racine Logo

What is a Community School?

Community schools increase opportunities for children to succeed in school by adding the kinds of resources known to make a difference: increased parental involvement in children’s education; extra learning opportunities through educational enrichment; consistent access to adult guidance and support; and ready access to physical, dental and mental health services. The community school model makes a difference in the lives of families, children and the entire community. 

For example, each RUSD community school has a school-based mental health clinic and Knapp and Julian Thomas each have a Walking School Bus. The Walking School Bus is an attendance strategy that involves volunteers meeting students at their home and walking them to school in groups. 

Nothing is more important to Racine County’s long-term economic prosperity than the development of a workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge required to perform the job. That development begins in the classroom and in neighborhoods. Our community schools are a joint effort between RUSD and United Way of Racine County, driven by the generous support of community members and local businesses. Together, we can prepare children for success in education and life by providing the resources and support they need.



(262) 635-5600

Felicia Howell
Felicia Howell
Director of Family 
Engagement & Enrollment
(262) 631-7053
Rebecca Estrada
Rebecca Estrada
Family Engagement &
Enrollment Specialist
(262) 631-7118
Ron Willis
Ron Willis
Family & Community
Engagement Specialist
(262) 631-7162

 Timber Day
Timber Day

Title I Family & Community 
Engagement Specialist
(262) 631-7154

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