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.