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 2018-2019 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 PTA meetings and the Family Engagement Committee. 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 5 & 6
  • On an as needed basis

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 15
  • February 7
  • April 25
  • June 17

School Events

  • Back to School Night: August 23
  • Title I Parent Meeting: October 17
  • Advanced Academics Meeting: Oct. 17
  • Science Night: September 18
  • Curriculum Night: January 24 

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 Parent Learning Sessions, PTA Meetings, Extended Learning Time Committee, and the 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 Curriculum Night, Bingo Night, Heritage Night, Extended Learning Time, and the Fall Festival.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as classroom assistants, clerical/library support, planning special events, and bus-stop monitoring.
  • 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 telephone calls, email, conferences, agenda books, Thursday packets, PTA meetings and the school website.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on October 17 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 translated copies of written documents, such as curriculum, Virginia SOLs, and school-level assessments (DRA).
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning through literacy and math nights, the Early Literacy program, the Family Literacy Program and the HIPPY Program.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as KIT, monthly Parent Learning Series sessions, translated documents, Thursday packets, progress reports, and interpreters.
  • 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 FECEP/Head Start, Family Literacy Program, Parents as Educational Partners, Early Literacy program, and the HIPPY program.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through the events listed above.
  • 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.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as the food pantry, school supplies, and access to external resources.
  • Provide mentors for students through church groups and buddy readers. 
  •  Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Reed Smith (agenda books), KPMG (books), Trinity Lutheran Church (backpacks and supplies), and the Arlington Boulevard Community Development Coalition (laptops for upper-grade students).
  •  Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as church and support groups.
  •  Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as classroom supplies, furniture, electronics, and agendas from Reed Smith.
  •  Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as curriculum night and Strengthening Families.

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 bilingual office staff and parent liaisons, language interpreters for events and documents, childcare for PTA meetings and other activities, and providing transportation to family events such as Open House, Back-to-School Night, and Family Heritage Night.
  •  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.
  • Support two-way communication between families and staff through assistance of a parent liaison for non-English speaking caregivers.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through transportation and childcare for family/school events.

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.
  • Implement Local Level IV services.
  • Offer Advanced Mathematics opportunities to students in grades 1-6.

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.
  • Implement the Positivity Project.

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 Planning (SIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan 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.
  • Demonstrate respectful behavior with everyone in my community.