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3170 Parent and Family Engagement Policy

The Board of Education believes that positive parent and family engagement is essential to student achievement, and thus encourages such involvement in school educational planning and operations. Parent and family engagement may take place either in the classroom or during extra-curricular activities. However, the Board also encourages parent and family engagement at home (e.g., planned home reading time, informal learning activities, and/or homework “contracts” between parents, family members and children). The Board directs the Superintendent of Schools to develop a home-school communications program in an effort to encourage all forms of parent and family engagement.

The federal definition of 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).

For purposes of this policy, parental involvement refers to the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication, involving student academic learning and other school activities.

At a minimum, parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures at both the district and individual school level must ensure that parents and family members:
• Play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
• Are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school; and
• Are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.

Title I Parent and Family Engagement- District Level Policy
Consistent with the parent and family engagement goals of Title I, Part A of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and its reauthorization in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Board of Education will develop and implement programs, activities and procedures that encourage and support the participation of parents and family members of students eligible for Title I services in all aspects of their child’s education. The Board also will ensure that all of its schools receiving Title I, Part A funds develop and implement school level parent and family engagement procedures, as further required by federal law.

District and school level Title I parent and family engagement programs, activities and procedures will provide opportunities for the informed participation of parents and family members (including those who have limited English proficiency, parents and family members with disabilities, and parents and family members of migratory children.

As further required by federal law, parents and family members 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 and family members also will participate in the process for developing either a comprehensive or targeted “support and improvement plan” when the school their child attends is identified by the State as needing this plan.

Parent and Family Member Participation In Development of District Wide Title I Plan
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate district staff will undertake actions to ensure parent and family member involvement in the development of the district wide Title I plan.

Development of School Level Parent and Family Engagement Approaches
The superintendent of schools will ensure that all district schools receiving federal financial assistance under Title I, Part A are provided coordination, technical assistance and all other support necessary to assist them in planning and implementing effective parent and family engagement programs and activities that improve student achievement and school performance.

Building Capacity for Parental Involvement
To build parent capacity for strong parental involvement to improve their child’s academic achievement, the district and its Title I, Part A schools will, at a minimum:
1. Assist parents in understanding such topics as the state’s academic content challenging academic 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.
2. Provide materials and training to help parents work to improve their child’s academic achievement such as literacy training and using technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy).
3. Educate its teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals and other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in understanding the value and utility of a parent’s contributions and on:
          a) The development of an infrastructure to continually assess, plan and implement strategies that build the partnership.
                     1. The use of the District-wide shared decision-making team, a committee of parents, community members, teachers, and administrators, to guide overall program efforts and serve as a home-school partnership
                          network.
                              Shared decision making cannot usurp the regulations of the Education Commissioner of New York State
                       2. Coordination of activities through the staff development system in areas of teacher inservice, assessment of teaching strengths, and communication with parents toward creation of the best possible
                         learning experience for each child.
         b) Self-study of parental involvement practices by the building site teams of parents, teachers and the administrator in each school using the following seven (7) basic principles considered essential to home-school
                 partnerships.
                      1. Every aspect of the school climate is open, helpful and friendly.
                      2. Communications with parents (whether about school policies and programs or about their own children) are frequent, clear, and two-way.
                      3. Parents are treated as collaborators in the educational process, with a strong complementary role to play in their children's school learning and behavior.
                     4. Parents are encouraged, both formally and informally, to comment on school policies and share in the decision making.
                     5. The Principal and other school administrators actively express and promote the philosophy of partnership with all families.
                     6. The school encourages volunteer participation from parents and the community at large.
                     7. The school recognizes its responsibility to forge a partnership with all families in the school, not simply those most easily available.
        c) Resources will be provided to Principals, teachers and parents.
4. Ensure that information related to school and parent-related programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of children 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.

Coordination of Parental Involvement Strategies
The district will coordinate and integrate strategies adopted to comply with Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements with parental involvement strategies adopted in connection with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs.

Review of District Wide Parent and Family Engagement Policy
The Board, along with its superintendent of schools and other appropriate staff will conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parent and family engagement policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including the identification of barriers to greater participation by parents in activities under this policy, and the revision of parent and family engagement policies necessary for more effective involvement.
The Onteora Central School District, its School Board, and staff will provide leadership in the development of clear avenues of parental involvement. Full realization of the partnership will be achieved through the on-going commitment and active participation by both home and school.
Cross-ref: 4010, Equivalence in Instruction; Ref: 20 USC §§6318(a)(2); 7801(38), Every Student Succeeds Act (§1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act); U.S. Department of Education, Parental Involvement, Title I, Part A, Non-Regulatory Guidance, April 23, 2004
School-Parent Compact
To help our children achieve, we agree to abide by the following conditions during the [insert school year] school year:
School Responsibilities
The school will:
• Provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment;
• Hold parent-teacher conferences during these conferences, this compact will be discussed as it relates to your child’s academic achievement;
• Provide parents with frequent reports on their child’s progress;
• Provide parents reasonable access to staff; and
• Provide parents with opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class and to observe classroom activities.
• Ensure regular two-way, meaningful communication between parents and family members and school staff, and, to the extent practicable, in a language that the parents and family members can understand
Parents’ Responsibilities
We, as parents, will support our children’s learning in all of these equally important ways:
• Monitor my child’s attendance;
• Make sure that homework is completed;
• Limit amount of daily recreation screen time;
• Volunteer in my child’s school when possible;
• Participate in decisions regarding my children’s education;
• Promote positive use of my child’s extracurricular time; and
• Stay informed about my child’s education and communicate with the school regularly.
Student Responsibilities
As a student, I will share the responsibility to improve my grades, and agree to:
• Give to my parents all notices and information received by me from my school every day.
• Do homework every day and ask for help when needed;
• Read at least 20 minutes a day outside of school.

Adopted: 2/7/17