West Forest Elementary
Title I School Parent Involvement Policy
This policy is to comply with Public Law 107110, 107th Congress, signed January 8, 2002, referred to as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) of 1965 and commonly cited as the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.”
Section I – Parental Involvement – General Provisions
The No Child Left Behind Act clearly states its purpose as ensuring all children the opportunity to obtain a high quality education and acknowledges that one of the primary ways to accomplish this by “affording parents substantial and meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.” ESEA Section 1001(12)20 USC 6301(12). This policy shall cover the involvement of all parents across any federal programs being implemented in this school.
No Child Left Behind further expands the definition of parent involvement to include diverse, ongoing, meaningful activities and opportunities that are designed to engage a range of parents throughout the school year. Some of these activities shall be focused on helping parents help their own children succeed academically, while others engage parents in the process of school Improvement.
Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend all public sessions of the Forest Area School Board of Education and may speak on issues related to agenda items at the monthly public hearing. Information on dates, times and the process for being on the agenda can be provided through the Office of the Superintendent.
Section II – Policy Development, Dissemination, and Evaluation
This school shall develop jointly with, agree on with, and distribute to, parents of participating children this written school parent involvement policy. This policy shall be incorporated into the local district’s LEA plan developed under ESEA, establish the school’s expectation for parent involvement, and describe how the school will implement provisions. ESEA, Section 1118(a)(2)—20 USC 6318(a)(2) If the school plan is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, the school district shall submit any parent comments with the school and district plan upon submission to the state. ESEA, Section 1118(b)(4)—20USC 6318(b)(4)
The district authorized the Parent Involvement Policy Committee, which included the district and school Parent Advisory Committee to jointly develop this policy. Participating Title I parents, organizations, and community members were invited. Opportunities for engagement were available at different times during the day. Members of the committee reviewed the current district parent involvement policy, checklists and templates provided by the Division of Federal Programs, Department of Education, examined successful and unsuccessful experiences, reviewed the NCLB Act, and came to consensus on a suggested policy. Members of the committee included school personnel, parents and community members. Some of the members were representative of the team that participated in the Governor’s Institute for Parental Involvement during two weekends in August and October 2006.
In carrying out this policy, the school shall provide, to the extent practicable, full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports in a language such parents can understand. ESEA Section 118(f0—20 USC 6318 (f)
This parent involvement policy shall be distributed annually to parents. Parents shall be notified of the policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that parents can understand. The policy shall be made available to the local community and updated periodically with involvement of participating parents—to meet changing needs. ESEA Section 1118(b)(1). The policy shall be made available in the following manner:
Sent home annually to participating parents In school newsletters
In district newsletters
At Open House
On the school website
The principal, or designee, in this school shall convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children shall be invited and encouraged to attend. The purpose of the meeting shall be to inform parents of school policies, Title I offerings, and the right and opportunities for involvement. This involvement includes the planning, reviewing, and improvement of the parent involvement policy. The school shall offer a flexible number of meetings to accommodate parents’ schedules, and Title I funds may be used to provide transportation, child care, home visits, or other services related to parental involvement. ESEA Section 1118(s)(s)(E)—20 USC 6318(a)(2)(E)
The school shall annually convene a Parent Advisory Committee meeting for the purpose of designing and reviewing a Parent Satisfaction Survey. The Parent Satisfaction Survey will be sent home annually to all parents of participating children. The Parent Advisory Council and parent leaders will review the results.
Section III—Accountability and Responsibility
The district and this school support professional development opportunities for staff members and parents to enhance understanding of effective parent involvement strategies, which lead to student achievement and student improvement.
This district recognizes the importance of administrative leadership in setting expectations and will work with administrators to enforce this policy. Principals bear the primary responsibility for ongoing parent involvement at the school level. Principals will work with classroom teachers to ensure that they offer meaningful opportunities for parents to be full partners in their children’s education.
All parents of participating children will be asked to share responsibility with the district for
- Communication between the home and school on an ongoing basis. ESEA 118(d)(2)—USC 6318 (d)(2)
- Support of their children’s learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion, and television watching, and positive use of extracurricular time. ESEA 1118(d)(1)—USC 6318(d)(1)
- Participation in decisions relating to the education of their children ESEA 1118(d)(1)—USC 6318(d)(1)
- Participation in parent teacher conferences ESEA 118(2)(A)—USC 6318(d)(2)(A)
- Responses to school notices and requests
- Provisions for the health and the well being of their children including, but not limited to, discipline, nutrition, and hygiene.
As a shared responsibility for high student academic achievement, each Title I school shall jointly develop with participating parents a school parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students share 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 the state’s high standards. ESEA 1118(d)—USC 6318(d)
Section IV – Building Parent Capacity
This school will build the schools’ and parents’ capacity for strong parental involvement by implementing strategies outlined in this document. ESEA Section 1118(a)(2)(C)
The school will ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand. ESEA Section 1118(e)(4)—USC 6318 (e)(4). Information regarding policies and notification of the school making Adequate Yearly Progress may be mailed annually to parents at the beginning or end of each school year. Additional information shall be made available to parents through the district and school website, in the student/parent handbook and at all schools which describes the programs, including the Title I program, and explains how to take advantage of opportunities. Such information shall include, but not limited to, the following categories:
- Academic options
- Tutoring programs
- After school programs
The school shall assist parents in understanding topics below: ESEA Section 1118(e)(1) — 20 USC 6318(e)(1)
- Pennsylvania Academic Standards
- State and local assessments
- How to monitor their child’s progress
- How to work together to improve student achievement
All parents of children taking the PSSA, Pennsylvania System of State Assessment, will receive by mail assessment results of their child with information on interpretation of the results, information on resources to assist their child at home with improving proficiency, and contacts at school to assist in interpretation and resources to improve their child’s academic performance.
The school will draw from multiple sources of information and materials for parents and school staff. Sources of information include, but not limited to:
- United States Department of Education
- National Center on Family Literacy
- National Coalition of Title I Parents
- National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education
- National Head Start Association
- PA Title I State Parent Advisory Council
- Pennsylvania Parent Information Center
- Pennsylvania Department of Education
- Intermediate Unit 6 (IU6)
- Education Law Center PA and PA School Reform Network
- Various regional and local community resources
The school shall, with the assistance of parents, educate its teachers, principal, and all other staff.ESEA Section 1118(e)(3)—USC 6318(e)(3). Such training will include, but not limited to:
- The value of parent involvement as a research based practice that leads to school improvement and student achievement
- The value of parent contributions
- How to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners
- How to implement and coordinate parent involvement programs
- How to build ties between parents and the school
In addition to the above mentioned activities, the school will provide the following:
- Timely information about programs under No Child Left Behind ESEA 1118(c)(4)(a)—20 USC 6318(c)(4)(A) Timely information about the Title I program will be sent home to parents of eligible children at the beginning of the school year and be available at all school buildings. Opportunities for parents to schedule conferences with all teaching staff, including Title I teachers, will be made available at the parents’ conveniences.
- A description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and proficiency levels students are expected to meet. This information will be made available at the school building and also on the school website. ESEA 1118(c)(4)(B)—20 USC 6318(c)(4)(B)
- Frequent Reports to parents on their children’s progress. Report cards will be sent home every 9 weeks. Opportunities for parent/teacher conferences will be made available at any time during the day at the convenience of parents.
- The school shall provide parents access to materials and training to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy, math or technology training. ESEA Section 1118(e)(2) –USC 6318(e)(2).
- A system for reasonable access to school staff, including accommodations for working parents; ESEA 118(d)(2)(C)—20 USC 6318(d)(2)(C) Parents of participating children shall be given several options of time to accommodate schedules for an annual parent/teacher conference. Adequate time shall be allotted to discuss student progress. Sign up sheets will be available in each classroom at Open House. Notice and invitation to participate in a parent/teacher conference will be mailed home to parents of participating children.
- Opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s classroom. Parents will need to contact the teacher or building guidance counselor to set up times to come into the classroom. If parents are scheduled to come into the classroom on a regular basis, parents will be required to sign a confidentiality statement and have security clearances at the expense of the district. Parents committed to participating in volunteering activities directly related to students should contact the school guidance counselor or principal for details and clearance procedures. ESEA 118(d)(2)(C)
Parents will be required to have both Criminal Background Check and Child Abuse History clearances. Depending on the activities and length of activities, parents may be required to have these clearances when accompanying their child on field trips. The sponsoring teacher will notify parents well in advance if these clearances are needed.
- Opportunities to observe classroom activities. Parents must contact the building principal to schedule this time. ESEA 118(d)(2)(C)—20 USC 6318(d)(2)(C)
- If requested by parents, the opportunity for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, with the school responding to any such suggestions as soon as practicably possible. ESEA 1118(c)(4)(C)—20 USC 6318(c)(4)(C)
- Arrangements for school meetings or in home conferences between staff and parents who are unable to attend conferences at school in order to maximize parental involvement and participation. ESEA 1118(e)(10)—20 USC 6318(e)(10)
- Investment of federal dollars to strengthen and sustain parent involvement activities, such as paying reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs to enable parents to participate in school related meeting and training sessions.
- A system designed to include appropriate roles for community based organizations and businesses in parent involvement activities. ESEA 1118(e)(13)—20 USC 6318(e)(13). The school not only encourages local neighborhood partnerships but also will maintain school facilities that accommodate and are accessible to local community groups, including sports