Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that parent and family engagement helps students participating in Title I programs achieve academic standards. To promote parent and family engagement, the district 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.
The district will do the following to promote parent and family engagement:
A. The district will involve parents and family members in jointly developing the district’s Title I plan. The district will hold an annual meeting, giving parents an opportunity to review the plan and provide input.
B. 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 involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance.
C. 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:
a. Barriers to greater participation by parents in Title I activities;
b. The needs of parents and family members to assist with the learning of their children, including engaging with school personnel and teachers; and
c. 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 conducting joint parent meetings with school parent teacher associations, hold meetings at various times of the day and evening and arranging for interpreters and child care at meetings.
D. The district will involve parents of Title I students 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 th reasons specified in 20 USC § 6318(a)(3)(D).
E. The district and each of the schools within the district providing Title I services wil do the following to support a partnership among schools, parents and the community to improve student academic achievement:
a. Provide assistance to parents of Title I students, as appropriate, in understanding the following topics:
i. Washington’s challenging academic standards
ii. The requirements of Title I
iii. How to monitor their child’s progress; and
iv. How to work with educators to improve the achievement of their children.
b. 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.
c. 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:
i. Reach out, communicate with and work with parents as equal partners;
ii. Implement and coordinate parent programs; and
iii. Build ties between parents and the school.
d. Coordinate and integrate parent and family engagement strategies, to the extent feasible and appropriate, with similar strategies used under other programs, such as:
i. Head Start;
ii. Learning Assistance Program; and
iii. Special Education.
e. 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 understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand. The district will provide the information on the district and school websites and in the district’s family handbook.
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 format 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:
A. 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 school’s participation under Title I, to explain the requirements of Title I and to explain the rights that parents have under Title I;
B. Offer a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening;
C. Involve parents in an organized, ongoing and timely way in the planning, reviewing and improving of title I programs; and
D. Provide parents of Title I students the following:
a. Timely information about Title I programs;
b. 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
c. 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.
20 USC § 6311 State plans (“Every Student Succeeds Act”)
20 USC § 6312 Local educational agency plans
20 USC § 6318 Parent and family engagement
Policy News October 2008 Family Involvement Policy
Policy News, June 2005 Title I Parental Involvement Policy
Policy News, August 2003 No Child Left Behind Update