Parent and Family Engagement Policy
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Parent and Family Engagement Policy
Our charter school recognizes and believes in the critical role parents play in their children’s education, and we are committed to deepening the relationship and engagement between our parent community and our school. As such, our school – which acts as its own Local Education Agency (LEA) – adopts, and will enact, the following LEA Title I Parental Involvement Policy in compliance with Section 1118 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (20 USC §6318(a) – (f)).
This LEA Title I Parental Involvement Policy will establish policies, processes and supports to build, grow and refine meaningful consultation with the parents of our students. The policies, practices and supports set forth herein will be reviewed and revised annually. Our school will examine data regarding the effectiveness of this policy and the effectiveness of our school-level Parental Involvement Plan developed pursuant to this policy. In addition, we will identify barriers to parental engagement and will refine these policies, practices and supports to improve parental engagement if/as needed; these improvements will be jointly developed with our Title I parent community.
Involving Parents in the Joint Development of the LEA Policy & Plan
This policy was developed jointly with members of our Title I parent community. All parents were given the opportunity to provide input and feedback on the various components that constitute this policy by completing the parent survey.
The survey was distributed electronically to all parents and targeted outreach to Title I parents was conducted through phone calls and in person meetings. The survey was translated for parents who speak a language other than English and paper copies of the survey were made available for families will limited access to internet.
Survey results were analyzed according to various parent subgroups. Title I parent feedback was used to inform the development of our LEA policy and plan. We also shared the collected parent input with Summit Public Schools (the CMO), and Summit Public Schools incorporated the aggregated parent feedback into organization-wide strategies and practices.
Coordination, Technical Assistance, and Other Support
Our school is a part of Summit Public Schools, a charter management organization (“CMO”). As part of our services contract with Summit Public Schools, we have access to CMO teams and individuals who support various aspects of community outreach, family engagement, and communications. We can reach out and rely on all these individuals and their respective expertise whenever needed.
These individuals work to build infrastructure, tools, and best practices across the organization to better support and engage families. They solicits and incorporates parent feedback in jointly developing organization-wide parent engagement strategies and support services, while also offering customized support and strategies for each school.
Building School & Parent Capacity for Strong Parental Involvement
Our school is committed to building staff and parent capacity through access to information and training in order to meet the following goals:
- Help parents develop skills to use at home that support their children’s academic efforts and social development.
- Provide parents with techniques and strategies that they may utilize to improve their children’s academic success and to assist their children in learning at home.
- Build consistent and effective communication between the home and the school so parents may know when and how to assist their children in learning at home.
- Train teachers and administrators to communicate effectively with parents.
Parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the way in which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help students achieve high academic performance.
Parental Right to Access to Teacher Qualifications
Parents also have the right to request the professional qualifications of their children’s classroom teachers, including
- The teacher’s qualifications to teach the subject matter
- The type of credential held
- The degree or graduate certificate held
- If services are provided by a paraprofessional, what type of services and the paraprofessional’s qualifications
Coordinating & Integrating Title I Parent Involvement Strategies with Existing Family Engagement Program
Each year, our school will create an Annual Family Engagement Calendar & Plan by September 1st to meet the needs and desires of our parent/family community. This plan will reflect feedback provided by Title I parents through an annual survey, school performance review meeting, and parent meetings, and this plan will establish how it will achieve school-level goals for students and the community. The Plan will include parent events, communications, resources and services provided to families.
We will submit our final “Annual Family Engagement Calendar & Plan” to Summit Public Schools for review. Summit Public Schools will review the plan to ensure it implements best practices, incorporates the feedback of families, and is based on data-driven insights. If there are the same needs across multiple schools, Summit Public Schools will invest in creating shareable resources, researching and developing best practices, and/or developing tools and systems to address those needs more efficiently or effectively.
Specifically, our school will build strong parent involvement by:
- Empowering families to support their student’s academic and personal success
- Empowering families to enhance the school’s capacity and support its success
- Fostering a welcoming environment and a strong sense of community
- Providing forums for and seek meaningful feedback from families
- Providing professional development and support to our teachers on parent engagement
To achieve these goals, our school will establish practices that:
- Provide at least bi-weekly communications to families about these opportunities as well as informing them about our academic program, school activities, important deadlines, and other relevant and important information.
- Inform parents daily when students have unexcused absences or tardies.
- Foster relationships between parents and a student’s mentor.
- Offer various parent events throughout the year, such as Back to School Night, Parent Education Nights, parent organization meetings, and community-building events, that help foster relationships among our community and better support our parents. These events should be on different days and times to reach more families.
- Provide volunteer opportunities for parents to be involved to support their school and students’ education.
- Provide reasonable support for Title I parental involvement activities as parents may request.
Summit Public Schools also has built an online Summit Learning Platform that provides students, teachers, and parents real-time access to student coursework, grades, goals, action plans, and reflections. We provide parents a personal login at the start of the school year. This is a powerful tool for parents to both check in on their student’s progress and performance, as well as to help them reflect on what they’re doing well and how they can improve to reach both their academic and personal goals.
Involving Parents in the Process of Policy Review and Improvement – Annual Evaluation
At the close of every year, our school will provide Title I parents an in-person opportunity to evaluate our school’s parent involvement policy and plan, review our school’s academic performance and provide feedback on our school’s strengths and areas for improvement. During this meeting, parents will also be asked to identify barriers to greater parental participation. Each year, we will incorporate this parent feedback into a revised LEA policy and/or plan, as needed, within 60 days of the meeting.
If an individual Summit charter school is identified as a “Program Improvement” (PI) school, this will be discussed at a separate parent meeting.
Title I Parent Involvement in On-going School Activities- Removing Barriers to Participation
Summit will actively promote the participation of Title I parents in all school activities and will work to identify barriers to participation. When identifying barriers to participation, particular attention will be paid to:
- Parents who are economically disadvantaged;
- Parents who are disabled;
- Parents who have limited English proficiency;
- Parents who have limited literacy; and
- Parents of any racial or ethnic minority background.
Inclusion of Parents with Limited English Proficiency, Parents with Disabilities and Parents of Migratory Children
Summit Public Schools, to the extent practicable, will actively encourage and provide opportunities for participation to parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children. Similarly, each individual Summit charter school will actively engage and provide opportunities for participation to parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities and parents of migratory children.
Parental Access to This Policy and Parental Notification of Changes to This Policy
At the start of every school year, our school will publish a copy of this policy on its website. Moreover, we shall maintain a current copy of our parent involvement policy on site and available upon request. Parents shall be notified of any changes to this policy in a timely manner.