505.8 Parent and Family Engagement Districtwide Policy

505.8 Parent and Family Engagement Districtwide Policy

The District recognizes that parental involvement, referring to the involvement of any caregiver who assumes responsibility for nurturing and caring for children, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, stepparents, etc., is important to academic achievement.  Studies demonstrate that when parents are involved in their children’s education, the attitudes, behaviors and achievements of students are positively enhanced.

Parents and families provide the primary educational environment for children; consequently, parents are vital and necessary partners with the educational communities throughout their children’s school career.  Although parents come to the schools with diverse cultural backgrounds, primary languages and needs, universally all parents want what is best for their children.  School Districts and schools, in collaboration with parents, teachers, students, and administrators, must establish and develop efforts that enhance parental involvement and reflect the needs of students, parents, and families in the communities which they serve.

In order to enhance parental involvement, the District will promote six essential elements:

1.  Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful:  Effective communication requires school-initiated contact with the parent and parent-initiated contact with the school where both parties provide vital information about a child’s strengths, challenges, and accomplishments.  Open communication is encouraged any time.  Other communications are done each quarter of the school year. When Title I placement is made parents are notified and additional conferences are held and continue until a student’s services are discontinued.To effectively communicate, both parties must be aware of issues such as cultural diversity and language differences and appropriate steps must be taken to allow clear communication for all participants.  Transitions/ orientations from grade to grade are provided for all students K-12.

2.  Responsible parenting is promoted and supported:  The family plays a primary role in a child’s education, and schools must respect and honor traditions and activities unique to a community’s cultural practices and beliefs.  Parents are linked to programs and resources within the community that provide support services to families.  A jointly developed school/parent compact on how parents, the staff, and students share responsibility for improved achievement is distributed through K-3 elementary children in the fall of the year for parents to review and sign and return.  The compact is also in the elementary handbook and reviewed at annual meetings. At the time of placement of a student in Title I, parents are given the Title I requirements, standards, and assessments through parent-teacher meetings and conferences.

3. Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning:  Educators recognize and acknowledge parents’ roles as the integral and primary facilitator of their children’s education.  Research demonstrates that student achievement increases when parents are actively involved in the learning process. Parents are encouraged to participate as volunteers in the school setting.

4.  Schools are open and inviting to parents and families and are actively seeking parental support and assistance for school programs:  Parents are welcome in the school and their support and assistance are sought.  Capitalizing on the expertise and skills of the parents strengthens the family, school, and community partnership.

5.  Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families:  Parents and educators have a joint responsibility to make informed decisions related to all aspects of the education provided to the community’s youth.  The role of parents in shared decision-making should be continually evaluated, refined, and expanded. Title I teachers continue their involvement with parents through newsletters, surveys, and conferences while their children remain in the program.

6.  Community resources are made available to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning:  Schools and parents will cultivate relationships with additional members of the community in order to promote and effectively increase educational opportunities for children.  Together, parents, educators and community members will join efforts toward identifying and promoting community resources and innovative programs for strengthening schools, families and student learning.  Annual Title I meetings are held and parents of all Title I students in public and private schools are notified.

Providing all children in the community with equal access to quality education is a primary goal.  It is vital that all partners (parents, educators, communities, etc.) have the opportunity to provide input and offer resources to meet this goal.  These partnerships are mutually beneficial.  Developing cooperative efforts and linking access to resources will ensure improved academic achievement for all students, as well as quality schools.

The Board will review this policy annually.  The superintendent is responsible for notifying parents of this policy annually or within a reasonable time after it has been amended during the school year.  It is the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

Legal References:        20 U.S.C. §6318

Approved 10/20/2021 Reviewed                    Revised

505.8R1 Parent and Family Engagement Building-Level Regulation                  

To further the interests of student achievement, the superintendent will create necessary rules to engage parents and family members within the district in the following ways on a building-level basis:

1. Policy Involvement:  The district will host an annual meeting and invite all parents to attend; and inform parents of their rights and the district’s requirements under Title I.  This meeting will also invite parents to become involved in the planning, review and improvement of a building policy and in developing the district plan.  The district will inform parents of: 

  • programs under this policy,
  • curriculum and assessment used for students,
  • the opportunity to meet with administration to participate in decisions related to their children’s education,
  • a description and explanation of curriculum used in the school forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and
  • achievement levels of the challenging State academic standards. 
  1. Accessibility:  Provide opportunities for informed participation of parents and family members in understandable formats and languages.  This includes participation by parents and family members who may have disabilities, limited English proficiency, and migratory children. Offer a flexible number of meetings during the day, evening and weekends to facilitate parent involvement.  The superintendent has discretion to allow schools to provide childcare for families of students during these meetings through Title I funds.
  1. High Student Academic Achievement:  Each school in the district will jointly develop with parents and family members a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, staff and students share responsibility for improving student academic achievement; and how a partnership will be built to achieve this.  The compact will describe the responsibility of the school to provide high quality curriculum and instruction, and the parents’ responsibility to support their children’s learning.  This will also address the importance of communication between schools and parents through parent teacher conferences, regular reports to parents on their children’s progress, and ensuring regular meaningful communication between family and school staff. 

4. Building Capacity for Involvement: Each school within the district will include in their plan ways to achieve the following:

  • Assist parents and families to understand topics including academic standards and assessments and how to monitor student progress;
  • Provide materials and training to help parents work with students to improve achievement;
  • Educate teachers and staff in how to communicate with parents and build ties to foster academic success;
  • Coordinate and integrate other federal, state and local programs to support parents in more fully participating in students’ education;
  • Ensure information related to programs is sent to parents and families in understandable formats; and
  • Provide other reasonable support to encourage parental involvement

5. Schools Operating a Schoolwide Program:  Each school operating a schoolwide program under this policy shall:

  • Involve parents on a timely and ongoing basis in the planning, review and improvement of programs, including the parent and family engagement school policy drafting and review, and the joint development of the schoolwide program. 
  • If the schoolwide program plan is not satisfactory to the parents of the participating children, parent comments will be requested and submitted with the plan to the district.