Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

Purpose of this Policy and Compact

Efforts will be made to clearly articulate the school’s intentions to engage with and involve parents/caregivers in the educational process.  

Parklawn Elementary is a Title I school within Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) and utilizes the Title I grant to improve student achievement and help all students meet the objectives of the FCPS Program of Studies and the Virginia Standards of Learning. A partnership with families is essential to meeting this goal.  

Under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools that receive Title I funds are expected to collaborate with families to develop and maintain a parent and family engagement policy that describes the school’s approach to involve families in students’ learning and includes a compact expressing the partnerships among staff, caregivers, and students to reach high academic goals for every student.  

Parklawn Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2023 -2024 school year. Several of the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact.  

This policy and compact is distributed to all caregivers in a language that families can understand. Caregivers have opportunities to provide comments and feedback on the policy and compact through email, survey, and in-person feedback.. Comments are submitted with the school’s policy and compact to FCPS central offices and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). This policy and compact are made available to the broader school community through the school website.


Important Dates

Parent -Teacher Conference

  • October 1-November 17
  • Additional dates as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 14
  • February 6
  • April 9
  • June 12

Caregiver School Events

  • Kindergarten Play Date: August 10
  • Parklawn Family Reunion (Open House): August 18
  • Parklawn Family Picnic: September 8
  • Back to School Nights: September 6 (K-2) / September 13 (3-5)                                         
  • Annual  Title I Meeting: September 19
  • Monthly Family Market:  2nd Thursday of each month
  • PTA Meetings: 3rd Thursday of each month
  • Family/Principal Coffees: Monthly

Family School Events

  • Storybook Character Day: October 31st
  • Thanksgiving Luncheon: November 16, 2023
  • Snuggle Up and Read Night: December 12, 2023
  • Family Field Trips: October 28 and April 13
  • Book Fair:  February 26 - March 1, 2024
  • Family STEAM Night: March 7, 2024
  • Artful Spring Sing: April 25, 2024
  • Parklawn Family Celebration Night: May 2, 2024
  • Summer Reading Kickoff: June 6, 2024


Building Capacity for Engagement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers are actively involved in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the school’s Title I program, including the following: 

  • Provide family members a voice in decision-making on committees, such as family engagement activities (PTA) and our Parklawn Family Celebration Night
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact and plans for use of Title I family engagement funding.  
  • Seek feedback from families on programs within the SIIP, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with SIIP to FCPS central offices.  
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as Snuggle Up and Read, Thanksgiving Luncheon, Family Picnic, STEAM Night, Family Celebration Night 
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as picture day, book fair, appreciation days, monthly markets, chaperoning field trips, classroom support, and field day
  • Encourage families to take part in the annual evaluation of the division-level Title I parent and family engagement policy in order to identify barriers to greater family participation, ways to help family members be better able to assist in student learning, and  strategies to support successful school and family interactions.  


Effective Communication with Parents

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive meaningful communication in a timely manner, including the following:

  • Use multiple methods of communication to families such as weekly  Panther Press (News You Choose), website, eNotify, Tuesday folders, fliers, X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, Instagram, emails, phone calls, use of United Language Line and Talking Points.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at 9:15 am, to share information about Title I services, explain Title I grant requirements, and inform families of their right to be involved in the school.  
  • Share school and student performance data with families in ways that seek their ideas about how to improve performance toward Virginia’s challenging academic standards, such as such as PTA meetings and Monthly Family Coffees.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by  attending Back to School Night, parent-teacher conferences, Literacy and STEAM events, PTA Meetings, wellness presentations, and Family/Principal Coffees.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as  Schoology, Tuesday folders, interims, progress reports
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.   Inform parents and caregivers about students’ progress and the need for intervention and enrichment.
  • Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least annually in the fall and more often, as needed. 


Shared Responsibilities for High Academic Achievement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive materials, training, and benefits from school partnerships with social and academic services, community organizations, businesses, including the following:

  • Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as Parent/Teacher Conferences, literacy and math at home, wellness presentations around self-management, and community resources at PTA meetings and Family/Principal Coffees.                       
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through  Snuggle Up and Read Night, STEAM Night, PTA meetings, and Family Coffees. This may include core curriculum and enrichment highlights such as music, art, PE, advanced academics, STEAM and FLES; as well as Second Step SEL Curriculum and Responsive Classroom.
  • Encourage participation in family learning events where caregivers learn strategies to support their child’s learning at home and have a chance to practice those strategies with their child, such as Snuggle Up and Read Night, STEAM Night, and Wellness Presentations.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as such as school counselors, psychologist, social worker, and family liaisons, along with our monthly market and family resource center.
  • Provide mentors for students though Mentor Works and Grand Involve.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Back to School Drive, Holiday drive, Food For Others weekend food packs, Penn DAW fire house, Kristi’s Christmas, Alfred Street Baptist Church, and Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as as Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary and Grand Involve.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as  Capital Area Food Bank, Parklawn Family Resource Center and the Falls Church Neighborhood School Readiness Team
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as Family Literacy Class, Wellness Presentations, Family Coffees, and targeted sessions in our Parklawn Family Resource Center.


Welcoming All Families

Efforts will be made to ensure that all parents/caregivers are welcomed and provided opportunities to actively engage within the school, including the following:  

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere at the school with friendly office staff, parent resource center, principal/parent coffees, and family literacy class,
  • Provide interpretation services for parent-teacher conferences, workshops, and meetings.  
  • Translate or provide interpretation of all school documents and communication to make them   accessible in the caregiver’s preferred correspondence language and for those with vision or hearing impairments.  
  • Support two-way communication between families and staff through assistance of our family liaisons for interpretation, providing important resources, and connecting the Parklawn staff to the families and families with one another.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through sessions during our Monthly Market, PTA meetings, Wellness Presentations, and Principal/Family Coffees.


Compact Provisions  

School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure student success.    

The staff will:

Provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction that enables students to meet challenging academic standard through the following actions:
  • Teach all students according to the state’s challenging standards, using approved curriculum       
  • Provide ongoing professional development and support to all teachers to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.  
  • Use a variety of instructional strategies and teach to the individual needs of students and instills the attributes of Portrait of a Graduate.
  • Increase access to advanced academics curriculum for all students
Provide a supportive and effective learning environment for students through the following actions:
  •  Provide clear expectations for student behavior and academic learning.  
  • Offer a variety of resources to help students with their learning.  
  • Implement Second Step Program in K-5, a social-emotional learning curriculum
  • Create a safe, nurturing and positive learning environment through a schoolwide Positive Behavior Approach, fostering elements of Responsive Classroom and the 3 signature CASEL Practices.
Provide assistance to caregivers in understanding the school’s program through the following actions:
  • Hold an annual meeting to present information on the school’s Title I programs, state and division curriculum and assessments, and the school’s state and federal accountability status.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for caregivers to ask questions and give input in the Title I program(s)
  • Plan content/program-specific topics for PTA meetings, Wellness Presentations, and Family Coffees          
Build caregivers’ involvement in the school’s Title I program through the following actions:  
  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Planning (SIIP)                             Committee and as collaborators in developing the SIIP and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds. 
  • Collaborate with Family Liaisons to strengthen communication avenues with families. Communication will include weekly Tuesday Communicator Folders, Panther Press weekly newsletters, website, and social media.

The parents/caregivers will:

Demonstrate understanding that participation in my child’s education will help his or her achievement through the following actions: 
  • Participate in decisions related to school programs and my child’s education and share my   questions or comments about the programs in my child’s school.  
  • Volunteer in my child’s classroom or in school activities, as my schedule allows.  
  • Encourage and support my child’s learning at home and at school.    
  • Make sure that my child attends school regularly and on time.
  • Talk to my child about how math is used in everyday life. 
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences and communicate frequently with my child’s teacher, through notes    and conversation about how well my child is doing. 
  • Read all notes, papers, and communications from the school.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the following’s actions: 
  • Get enough sleep every night. 
  • Come to school on time unless I am sick.  
  • Try my hardest and work with my classmates to complete learning tasks. 
  • Give my parents all notes and papers from my teacher.  
  • Practice my reading and math skills at home regularly