What Is Parent and Family Engagement?
Title I, Part A defines parent involvement as the ...participation of parents in regular, two-way and meaningful communications with school staff that involves the student, addresses learning and engages the family in school activities.
Why Does Parent and Family Engagement Matter?
Research tells us that students with involved parents, are more likely to:
- Earn high grades and test scores
- Take more challenging classes
- Have better attendance
- Graduate, AND
- Go on to community/technical college or university.
A master list of parent involvement opportunities has been developed and is posted to the right. If there is something that we could add to the list, please feel free to contact the principal where your child attends school.
Policy: 4130 - Title I Parental Involvement
The board recognizes that parent and family engagement helps students participating in Title I programs achieve academic standards. To promote parent and family engagement, the board adopts the following policy, which describes how the district will involve parents and family members of Title I students in developing and implementing the district’s Title I programs.
District-Wide Parent and Family Engagement
The district will do the following to promote parent and family engagement:
- The district will involve parents and family members in jointly developing the district’s Title I plan by holding an annual meeting, giving parents and opportunity to review the plan, and inviting parent comments and feedback.
- The district will provide the coordination, technical assistance, and other support necessary to assist and build the capacity of all participating schools within the district in the planning and implementing of effective parent and family involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance.
- The district will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this policy in improving the academic quality of all Title I schools. At that meeting, the following will be identified:
- Barriers to greater participation by parents in Title I activities;
- The needs of parents and family members to assist with the learning of their children, including engaging with school personnel and teachers; an
- Strategies to support successful school and family interactions.
The district will use the findings from the annual evaluation to design evidence-based strategies for more effective parental involvement and to revise this policy if necessary.
The district will facilitate removing barriers to parental involvement by doing the following:
offering activities and parent meetings at various times of the day, conducting parent meetings on the same nights as other district/building events, arranging for at school and in home conferences, and contacting parents using a variety of mediums (phone, email, social media)
- The district will involve parents of Title I student in decisions about how the Title I funds reserved for parent and family engagement are spent. The district must use Title I funds reserved for parent and family engagement for at least one of the reasons specified in 20 U.S.C. § 6318(a)(3)(D).
- The district and each of the schools within the district providing Title I services will do the following to support a partnership among schools, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement:
- Washington’s challenging academic standards;
- State and local academic assessments, including alternate assessments;
- The requirements of Title I;
- How to monitor their child’s progress; and
- How to work with educators to improve the achievement of their children
- Provide assistance to parents of Title I students, as appropriate, in understanding the following topics:
- Provide materials and training to help parents work with their children to improve their children’s academic achievement, such as literacy training and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement.
The district will provide guidance as to how parents can assist at home in the education of their child, hold parent meetings at various times of the day and evening to provide parents opportunities to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, solicit parent comments about the program to the district, and provide parents with opportunities to meet with the classroom teachers to discuss their child’s progress.
- Educate teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals, and other school leaders, and other staff with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents and how to do the following:
- Reach out, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners;
- Implement and coordinate parent programs; and
- Build ties between parents and the school.
- Coordinate and integrate parent and family engagement strategies, to the extent feasible and appropriate, with similar strategies used under other programs, such as:
- Head Start;
- Learning Assistance Program;
- Special Education; and
- State-operated preschool programs.
- Ensure that information related to the school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities, is sent to the parents of participating children. The information will be provided in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand. (Describe how the district will provide the information, for example, school bulletin, website, beginning of school information, etc.)
School-Based Parent and Family Engagement Policies
Each school offering Title I services will have a separate parent and family engagement policy, which will be developed with parents and family members of Title I students. Parents and family members will receive notice of their school’s parent and family engagement policy in an understandable and uniform formant and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.
Each school-based policy will describe how each school will do the following:
- Convene an annual meeting at a convenient time, to which all parents of Title I students will be invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents of their schools’ participation under Title I, to explain the requirements of Title I, and to explain the rights that parents have under Title I;
- Offer a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening;
- Involve parents, in an organized, ongoing, and timely way in the planning, reviewing, and improving of Title I programs; and
- Provide parents of Title I students the following:
- Timely information about Title I programs;
- A description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the achievement levels of the challenging state academic standards; and
- If requested by parents, opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any suggestions as soon as practicably possible.
Each school-based policy will include a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve state standards. The compact must do the following:
- Describe the school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables Title I students to meet Washington’s challenging academic standards and describe the ways in which each parent will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning, volunteering in their child’s classroom, and participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, including the positive use of extracurricular time; and
- Address the importance of communication between teachers and parents on an ongoing basis through the following:
- Annual parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools during which the compact will be discussed as the compact relates to the individual child's achievements;
- Frequent reports to parents on their children's progress;
- Reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child's class, and observation of classroom activities; and
- Ensuring regular two-way, meaningful communication between family members and school staff, and, to the extent practicable, in a language that family members can understand.