Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

Family Engagement Policy

 

Purpose of this Policy and Compact

Efforts will be made to clearly articulate the school's intentions to engage with and involve parents/caregivers in the educational process.

Timber Lane Elementary is a Title I school within Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) and utilizes the Title I grant to improve student achievement and help all students meet the objectives of the FCPS Program of Studies and the Virginia Standards of Learning. A partnership with families is essential to meeting this goal.

Under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools that receive Title I funds are expected to collaborate with families to develop and maintain a parent and family engagement policy that describes the school’s approach to involve families in students’ learning and includes a compact expressing the partnerships among staff, caregivers, and students to reach high academic goals for every student.

Timber Lane Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2019-2020 school year. A number of the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact.

This policy and compact is distributed to all caregivers in a language that families can understand. Caregivers have opportunities to provide comments and feedback on the policy and compact through email correspondence and PTA meetings. Comments are submitted with the school’s policy and compact to FCPS central offices and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). This policy and compact are made available to the broader school community through the school website.

Important Dates

Parent-Teacher Conferences                                                 

  • November 4 and November 5
  • additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 13, 2019
  • February 5, 2020
  • April 22, 2020
  • June 12, 2020

School Events

  • Back to School Night: August 22
  • PTA meetings: Sept 11, Oct 9, Nov 13, Jan 8, Feb 12, March 11, April 15, May 13
  • Partners in Print; October 24 and February 20
  • See attached PTA Calendar of events

Building Capacity for Involvement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers are actively involved in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the school's Title I program, including the following:

  • Provide family members a voice in decision-making on committees, such as SIIP Committee, TPAC Committee, Family Engagement Committee.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), Title I Schoolwide Plan, the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact and plans for use of Title I family engagement funding.
  • Seek feedback from families on programs within the Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with the Title I Schoolwide Plan to FCPS central offices.
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as Math Night, Book Fair, Heritage Night, Gardening Days, Fine Arts Night, and Kindergarten Playdate.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as reading to students, Book Fair volunteer, Room Parents, library support, Field Day volunteers, field trip chaperones, child care for PTA meetings, and cafeteria hostess support.
  • Encourage families to take part in annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the division-level Title I parent and family engagement policy in order to identify:
    • barriers to greater family participation,
    • ways to help family members be better able to assist in student learning, and
    • Strategies to support successful school and family interactions.

Effective Communication with Parents

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive meaningful communication in a timely manner, including the following:

  • Use multiple methods of communication to families such as Timber Lane Twitter account, FCPS News You Choose, PTA weekly update, school website, PTA Facebook page, PTA Instagram page, PTA website, PTA Twitter, and paper copies of flyers.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual PTA meeting on September 11 to share information about Title I services, explain Title I grant requirements, and inform families of their right to be involved in the school.
  • Share school and student performance data with families in ways that seek their ideas about how to improve performance toward Virginia’s challenging academic standards at the annual summer community meeting to be held on August 14th
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by hosting literacy and math nights where families can be involved in authentic ways to help support their children.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as grade level and class newsletters and parent contact via email and phone, as well as parent teacher conferences.
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.
  • Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least annually in the fall and more often, as needed.

Shared Responsibilities for High Academic Achievement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive materials, training, and benefits from school partnerships with social and academic services, community-based organizations, and businesses, including the following:

  • Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as grade level math nights, reading to and with your child.  We will host a math night on various topics and two partners in print nights on various topics related to reading.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through PTA meetings and monthly Tiger Topics.
  • Encourage participation in family learning events where caregivers learn strategies to support their child’s learning at home and have a chance to practice those strategies with their child, such as Math night, and Partners in Print.  
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Library nights, school website and PTA meetings.
  • Provide mentors for students though Timber Lane mentoring program, buddy reading classrooms and staff check in/check out model. 
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as clothing closet and Holiday Assistance program.  Gift Card resources are consistently available to support families with food and clothing needs. 
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as New City Church, Mclean Rotary, Food For Others, and Mclean Bible Church.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as health care resources (Medicaid, FAMIS, MCCP and County health clinics), food resources (SNAP benefits, WIC, local food pantries, holiday food drives), eyeglass and dental resources, emergency financial assistance (Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services Planning), etc.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such Parent Liaison led activities and classes.

Welcoming All Families

Efforts will be made to ensure that all parents/caregivers are welcomed and provided opportunities to actively engage within the school, including the following:

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere at the school through frequent and open communication, accessibility to staff, PTA events, and translated documents.
  • Provide interpretation services for parent-teacher conferences, workshops, and meetings.
  • Translate or provide interpretation of all school documents and communication to make them accessible    in the caregiver’s preferred correspondence language.
  • Support two-way communication between families and staff through assistance of a parent liaison for translating teacher and parent correspondence, phone calls in the native language using interpreters when needed, and fliers for school and community events.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through providing interpreters at the meetings and parent workshops.

Compact Provisions

School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure a student success.

The staff will:

Provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction that enables students to meet challenging academic standard through the following actions:

    • Teach all students according to the state’s challenging standards, using approved curriculum resources.
    • Provide ongoing professional development and support to all teachers to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.
    • Work collaboratively as a school team to ensure a rigorous instructional program that reflects high expectations for all students.

Provide a supportive and effective learning environment for students through the following actions:

    • Provide clear expectations for student behavior and academic learning.
    • Offer a variety of resources to help students with their learning.
    • Offer ongoing opportunities for students to actively engage in meaningful learning experiences.
    • Provide regular training to teachers to understand student needs.

Provide assistance to caregivers in understanding the school’s program through the following actions:

    • Hold an annual meeting to present information on the school’s Title I programs, state and division curriculum and assessments, and the school’s state and federal accountability status.
    • Provide multiple opportunities for caregivers to ask questions and give input into the Title I programs.
    • Publish or present information regarding state and local assessments administered during the school year.
    • Publish or present information regarding the school’s accreditation and federal accountability results.
    • Provide parents with the school’s Title I Family Engagement Policy and Compact Provisions.

Build caregivers’ involvement in the school’s Title I program through the following actions:

    • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
    • Build caregivers awareness of parent involvement through the Parent and Student Participation Pledge.

 

The parents/caregivers will:

Demonstrate understanding that participation in my child’s education will help his or her achievement through the following actions:

    • Participate in decisions related to school programs and my child’s education and share my questions or comments about the programs in my child’s school.
    • Volunteer in my child’s classroom or in school activities, as my schedule allows.
    • Encourage and support my child’s learning at home and at school. 
    • Send my child to school on time, well rested and prepared for learning.
    • Stay informed about my child’s education by checking my child’s backpack regularly for school communication.
    • Make sure homework is completed and that my child devotes 30 minutes to reading at home, at least 5 days a week.
    • Be involved in school activities and events to build community and support academic achievement.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the following actions:

    • Get enough sleep every night.
    • Come to school on time unless I am sick.
    • Try my hardest and work with my classmates to complete learning tasks.
    • Give my parents all notes and papers from my teacher.
    • Read every night.