Parent and Family Engagement Policy & Compact

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.

Graham Road 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.  

Graham Road Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2022-2023 school year. Several 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 forms and community 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

  • October 31, 2022
  • Additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 3, 2022
  • February 2, 2023
  • April 20, 2023
  • June 16, 2023

School Events

  • Welcome Walk - August 18, 2022
  • Open House - August 18, 2022
  • Virtual Back to School Night - September 29, 2022
  • Fall Festival - October 30, 2022
  • Staff vs Students Basketball Game - March 16, 2023
  • Heritage Night - April 27, 2023

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 feedback through digital forms, 1:1 meetings.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 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 SIIP, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit  comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with SIIP to FCPS central offices.
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective  ownership, such as PTA meetings, Heritage Night, Teacher Appreciation events and sports events. 
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as coming into classrooms, reading to students, volunteering in the cafeteria and at recess. 
  • Encourage families to take part in the annual evaluation 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 phone calls, SMS messaging, email, virtual platforms to accommodate parents’ work schedules.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on November 16, 2022, 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, such as Back to School Night and parent conferences. 
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by meeting with teachers individually at conferences.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as sharing picture artifacts and/or work samples through Talking Points and at 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 healthy habits. 
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s  academic, behavioral, and social programming through conferences, curriculum night and resources distributed digitally. 
  • 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 reading, listening, speaking and writing.  
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as website updates and digital resources shared by teachers.
  • Provide mentors for students through the Mentorworks program. 
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as clothing and food security resources. 
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as local churches and nonprofits in the community.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as food and grocery support, parenting classes and holiday assistance. 
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as healthy habits and parenting.

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 with print and oral communication in families’ home languages, access to interpreters so parents can communicate and be informed in their home language and consistent willingness to partner with families. 
  • 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 and for those with vision or hearing impairments.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through offering sessions at times and in formats that are more accessible to parents. 

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 standards 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. 

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.
  • Following components of Responsive Classroom.

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.

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

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Planning (SIIP) Committee and  as collaborators in developing the SIIP and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds..

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. 

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.

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