Parent Involvement Policy
The Board of Education believes that positive parental involvement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parental involvement.
District Level Policy
Consistent with the parent involvement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), the Board of Education will:
- develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child's education.
- ensure that all of its schools including those receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parental involvement policies.
- develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents of students who are not eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child's education.
The ultimate goal of these programs, activities and procedures is to ensure that all families within the district are provided the same opportunities for involvement in their child's education.
The term parents refers to a natural parent, legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child's welfare).
District and school level parental involvement programs, activities and procedures, including those funded through Title I, Part A funds, will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities and parents of migratory children.
As further required by the NCLB, parents of students eligible for Title I services will be provided an opportunity to participate in the development of the district's Title I plan, and to submit comments regarding any aspect of the plan that is not satisfactory to them. Their comments will be forwarded with the plan to the State Education Department.
Parents also will participate in the process for developing a school improvement plan when the school their child attends fails to make adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years and is identified as a school in need of improvement.
Six Types of Parent Involvement
Parental involvement may take place either in the classroom or during extracurricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parental involvement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework contracts between parents and children). The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a program that includes the requirements outlined in NCLB in conjunction with the six types of parent involvement as outlined by the National Network of Partnership Schools and endorsed by the National PTA in an effort to encourage all forms of parental involvement.
The six types of involvement are:
- Parenting: Help all families establish home environments to support children as students.
- Communicating: Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs and children s progress.
- Volunteering: Recruit and organize parent help and support.
- Learning at Home: Provide information and ideas to families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions and planning.
- Decision-Making: Include parents in school decisions, develop parent leaders and representatives.
- Collaborating with Community: Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices and student learning and development.
Communication to Parents
The Superintendent is authorized and encouraged to develop parent-friendly materials using all or any part of this policy to communicate the policy to all district parents and members of the community and to promote and sustain parent involvement.
The goal of these and all communications to parents is to ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of students, including those participating in Title I programs, in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats, upon request, and to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand.
The Elmira City School District's District Wide Parental Involvement Policy will be made available to all families in written form in each school's main office as well as on the district website. An alternative format, provided in a concise and understandable manner, will be printed and distributed to families within the school district at the beginning of each school year.
Coordination of Parental Involvement Strategies
1. Community Agencies and Programs
The District will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with the NCLB Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with parental involvement strategies adopted in connection with existing community partners such as the Economic Opportunity Program, Head Start and Chemung County Child Care Council. The district shall demonstrate its compliance with this project by participating both in resource and information sharing as well as in joint initiatives such as the Chemung County School Readiness Project.
2. District Staff Resources
The Board recognizes the need to dedicate staff resources to the coordination of the District's parent involvement efforts. Consequently, it has approved the creation of and provided the funding for the position(s) of Parent Partner at each of the District's schools and the district level position of Parent Involvement Liaison. The Superintendent has the responsibility of developing and maintaining job descriptions for these positions.
1. Building Planning Teams
A minimum of two (2) parent representatives shall be elected by the parents in each school to the Building Planning Team for that school. Every school in the district is required to have a planning team. Parent representatives shall be responsible for communicating with their constituencies and for representing parent opinion on the teams.
2. District Planning Team
The District Planning Team shall include three (3) parent representatives. There will be at one parent to respectively represent the District's elementary, middle and secondary schools. Every school in the district will have the opportunity to nominate a parent for appointment.
3. Parent Teacher Organizations
Each school will have a parent organization that centers its work on the six types of parent involvement (parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision-making, and collaborating with community) that is connected to the work of the Building Planning Team. Principals will work collaboratively with the Parent Partner of their school to develop and sustain a parent organization in their school.
This policy in no way eliminates or diminishes an individual parent's right to make his or her feelings known at any level in the district on any topic of concern, nor does it prevent the district from involving individual parents in other appropriate situations.
District Parental Involvement Plan
The Superintendent shall include within the District's Annual Educational Plan he presents to the Board a separate Parent Involvement sub-section identifying the expected key results, the specific and measurable parent involvement related goals he is recommending and a delineation of those initiatives to be undertaken and/or maintained which seek to ensure that all families within the district are provided the same opportunities for involvement in their child's education.
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake the following actions to ensure parent involvement in the development of this district wide parental involvement plan:
- A. These key results, goals and initiatives will be presented to each school building's Building Planning Team (BPT).
- B. Recommendations from each BPT will be compiled and presented to building administrators and parent organizations within each school building.
- C. The final draft plan, incorporating appropriate recommendations, will then be presented at the District Planning Team.
- D. Final presentation to Elmira City School District Board of Education for approval of plan will occur by October 15th of each year.
2. Annual Evaluation
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate staff will conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement plan in improving the academic quality of District schools, including those receiving Title I, Part A funds. This annual evaluation will include the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent involvement policies necessary for more effective involvement.
To facilitate this review, the Superintendent will report annually to the Board of Education on the effectiveness of parent involvement. The report will evaluate parental involvement using the measures identified in the key result areas within the Parental Involvement Sub-Section of the District s Annual Educational Plan, the requirements stipulated by NCLB, and the six types of parent involvement as described earlier in this policy. Such reports will be considered by the Board of Education, in determining the necessity for revisions to this policy.
School Level Parental Involvement Plans
The superintendent of schools will ensure that all district schools, including those receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A, are provided technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parental involvement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance in conjunction with the six types of parent involvement outlined earlier in this policy. As appropriate to meet individual local needs, the superintendent will assign a school district parent involvement staff person to assist in the development and communication of parent involvement programs and policies throughout the district.
All school level parental involvement plans shall include specifics as to how all school based staff will implement the six types of parental involvement in order to improve student performance.
Building Capacity for Parental Involvement
One of the prime focuses of the Parental Involvement Plan included within the District's Annual Educational Plan shall be to develop and implement programs, activities and procedures which seek to build parent capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child's academic achievement, the district and its schools, including those receiving Title I, Part A funds.
Consequently, the Annual Educational Plan will be expected to include:
a. The provision of activities such as workshops, classes, and materials whose goal is to assist parents in understanding such topics as the state s academic content and student achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, Title I requirements, how to monitor their child's progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their child.
b. The inclusion of building specific plans to provide materials and training to help parents work with their child's academic achievement.
c. The development of training opportunities for teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff in understanding the value and utility of a parent's contributions and on how to:
- Implement the six areas of parental involvement
- Reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners
- Implement and coordinate parent programs; and
- Build ties between parents and the schools