The Board of Education believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during extra-curricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parental involvement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents and children). The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parental involvement.
Title I Parental Involvement – District Level Policy
Consistent with the parent involvement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the Board of Education will develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education. The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parental involvement procedures, as further required by federal law.
For purposes of this policy, parental involvement refers to the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. At a minimum, parental involvement programs, activities and procedures at both the district and individual school level must ensure that parents:
- Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
- Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
- Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.
The term parents refers to a natural parent, legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare).
District and school level Title I parental involvement programs, activities and procedures will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children.
As further required by federal law, parents of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the district’s Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them. Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department.
Parents also will participate in the process for developing a school improvement plan when the school their child attends fails to make adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and is identified as a school in need of improvement.
Parent Participation in Development of Districtwide Title I Plan
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake the following actions to ensure parent involvement in the development of the district wide Title I plan:
- Annually survey parents and other stakeholders on the effectiveness of schools’ programs and practices
- Facilitate annual district meetings where parents of Title I students review and determine the Title I services that are to be provided
- Facilitate regular Title l staff meetings to review and discuss Title I programming
Parents will be contacted through various means to promote participation: e.g., phone calls, mailings, and emails. Translations will be provided for parents who have limited English skills.
Development of School-Level Parental Involvement Approaches
The superintendent of schools will ensure that all district schools receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A are provided technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parental involvement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance. As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will:
- Direct the coordination of community outreach programs and services to enhance effective parental involvement in Title I decision-making
- Ensure that resources are provided for school staff to hold annual meetings with Title I parents to review Title I services
Building Capacity for Parental Involvement
To build parent capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child’s academic achievement, the district and its Title I, Part A schools will, at a minimum:
1. Assist parents in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content and student achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, Title 1 requirements, how to monitor their child’s progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- Hold informational meetings in schools or other community locations to discuss standards, assessments, and accountability
- Provide online resources to improve parents’ understanding of standards, assessments, and accountability
2. Provide materials and training to help parents work to improve their child’s academic achievement. To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- Partner with community resources (e.g., public library, government offices, and nonprofit organizations) to enhance parents’ abilities in improving academic achievement
- Disseminate materials at parent and community meetings that enhance parents’ skills in promoting academic achievement
3. Educate its teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and on how to:
- reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners;
- implement and coordinate parent programs; and
- build ties between parents and the schools.
To achieve this objective, the district and its Title I schools will:
- Facilitate opportunities for school staff and parents to discuss parents’ contributions to student learning;
- Coordinate professional development activities to enhance understanding of parents’ roles in student learning
4. Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of children participating in Title I programs in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.
Coordination of parental involvement strategies
The district will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with parental involvement strategies adopted in connection with any of the following applicable programs: Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, Parents as Teachers, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, and Universal Pre-Kindergarten. It will do this by:
- Annually reviewing pre-primary learning opportunities (i.e., local preschools, prekindergarten)
- Partnering with government agencies and community organizations (e.g., YMCA) to enhance facilitation of early childhood development
Review of district wide parental involvement policy
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate staff will conduct. with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent involvement policies necessary for more effective involvement. To facilitate this review, the district will conduct the following activities:
- Annual surveys of parents and other stakeholders on the effectiveness of schools’ programs and practices
- Annual district meetings where parents of Title I students review and determine the Title I services that are to be provided