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 2019-2020 school year. A number 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 the Parklawn PTA and Principal Coffee. 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 Conferences                                                 

  • October 21-24 (evenings)
  • November 4-5
  • additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 12
  • February 4
  • April 21
  • June 12

School Events

  • Back to School Bash: August 23, 10-12
  • PTA Meetings: 2nd Wednesday of every month
  • Storybook Character Parade: October 31
  • Veterans Day/Turkey Trot/Thanksgiving Celebration: November 11
  • Snuggle Up and Read: December 12
  • Family Math Night:  March 12
  • Annual Title I Meeting, May 15
  • Summer Reading Kickoff: June 4
  • Family Field Trips: 3 dates TBD

Building Capacity for Involvement

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 PTA meetings, principal coffees, and parent meetings.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Title I Schoolwide Plan, 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 Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with the Title I Schoolwide Plan to FCPS central offices.
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as PTA and support of our Parent Resource Center.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as in classrooms, events such as picture day and book fair, support of our Parent Resource Center.
  • Encourage families to take part in annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness 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 Tuesday Folders, fliers, weekly Panther Press (News You Choose), Twitter, Keep in Touch, and website.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting at Parklawn 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 parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings.
  • 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 PTA meetings and Principal Coffees.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as parent-teacher conferences, phone calls, and student assignment books.
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.
  • 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-based organizations, and businesses, including the following:

  • Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as Parent/Teacher Conferences, literacy at home, community resources at PTA meetings and 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, Math Night, PTA meetings, and Principal Coffees.
  • 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 and Math Night.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as school counselors, psychologist, social worker, and parent liaison.
  • Provide mentors for students though Mentor Works and Grand Involve partnerships.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Penn Daw Firehouse, Food for Others, Food Uniting Neighbors, Alfred Street Baptist Church, Kristi’s Christmas, and gift donations.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Grand Involve and Goodwin House.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as our Parklawn Parent Resource Center.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as such as Principal Coffees and our Family Literacy Class.

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 a friendly office staff, parent resource center, 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 a parent liaison for interpretation, providing important resources, and connecting the Parklawn staff to the families.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through PTA meetings and Principal Coffees.
  • Implement Family Field Trips, which will take place on three Saturdays throughout the school year.

Compact Provisions

School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure a 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 resources.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Create a safe, nurturing and positive learning environment through a schoolwide Positive Behavior Approach, fostering elements of Responsive Classroom and Positivity Project 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 into the Title I programs.

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 Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.

Collaborate with Parent Liaison to strengthen communication avenues with families. Communication will include weekly Tuesday Communicator Folders, Panther Press biweekly newsletters, website, and social media. We will offer translations in needed languages as much as possible.

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.
  •  Read with my child for 15-30 minutes each day, five days a week. Research shows that children who read or are read to daily perform better in school. Reading in any language benefits children.
  • Talk to my child about how math is used in everyday life.
  • Practice math skills at home by reviewing basic facts.  Ask my child to explain thinking when doing math.
  • Attend parent-teacher conferences and communicate frequently with my child’s teacher, through notes and conversation about how well my child is doing.
  • Monitor my child’s progress and sign completed homework.
  • 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 followings 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 and from the school.
  • Ask my family to read to or with me for 15-30 minutes each day, five days a week.
  •  Complete and return signed homework on time.
  • Practice my math skills at home regularly by reviewing basic facts and explaining what I have learned.