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Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy
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What is Family Engagement?
Family Engagement is the participation of parents and family members in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring:

 (A) That parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning.

 (B) That parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education.

 (C) That parents 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.

 (D) The carrying out of other activities, such as those described in Section 1116 of the ESSA.

About the Parent and Family Engagement Policy
In support of strengthening student academic achievement, the Rockdale County School District  has developed this parent and family engagement policy that establishes the district’s expectations and objectives for meaningful family engagement and guides the strategies and resources that strengthen school and parent partnerships in the district’s Title I schools. This plan will describe RCPS’s commitment to engage families in the education of their children and to build the capacity in its Title I schools to implement family engagement strategies and activities designed to achieve the district and student academic achievement goals.   

When schools, families, and communities work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer and enjoy family engagement at every level of the program, such as in the development and implementation of the district and school plans, and in carrying out the district and school improvement provisions. Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) contains the primary Title I, Part A requirements for schools and school systems to involve parents and family members in their children’s education. Consistent with Section 1116, the RCPS district will work with its Title I schools to ensure that the required school-level parent and family engagement policies meet the requirements of Section 1116(b) and each include, as a component, a school-parent compact consistent with Section 1116(d) of the ESSA.

Jointly Developed
TThe RCPS Parent and Family Engagement Policy, Comprehensive LEA Plan (CLIP) and school Parent and Family Engagement Policies are updated annually.  Parents are given several opportunities to provide input and feedback   A district Parent Advisory Council is established each year, with parents from each school, who are able to provide feedback at quarterly meetings. In the spring of each year, parents are invited via flyers, newsletters, school and district website and the local paper to attend plan revision meetings at their child’s school. Input and feedback is collected for the revision of the Parent and Family Engagement Policies and CLIP.  

Parents are also given opportunities for input through the annual Title I Parent and Family Engagement survey, and additional surveys provided at all Title I parent meetings and workshops.  School websites encourage parents to contact the school’s parent liaison with suggestions at any time during the school year.  All parental feedback is collected, documented and used in the annual updating of policies.  The District Parent and Family Engagement Policy is posted on the RCPS district website, and each school’s website.  Each Title I school will post their Parent and Family Engagement policy on their individual school website, and will have hardcopies available in the front office, and parent resource centers. 

Strengthening Our School
The RCPS Title I Director and Title I Technician provide assistance and support to all Title I schools, to help build effective partnerships between the school and parents. School parent liaisons meet twice a year with the Title I Technician to ensure Title I requirements are being satisfied, and that parent and family engagement strategies and activities are being implemented.  On- site meetings are conducted with parent liaisons to provide guidance on ways to strengthen and improve family engagement.  The Title I Technician will communicate with parent liaisons on a monthly basis to ensure compliance with the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Program is being met.  Parent liaisons are encouraged to attend family engagement conferences, workshops and any other learning opportunities that would enable them to enhance their strategies for stronger parental involvement.

Reservation of Funds
The RCPS district will reserve 1% from the total amount of Title I funds it receives in FY19 to carry out the parent and family engagement requirements listed in this policy and as described in Section 1116 of the ESSA. Furthermore, the RCPS district will distribute at least 90% of the amount reserved to Title I schools to support their local-level family engagement programs and activities. The district will provide clear guidance and communication to assist each Title I school in developing an adequate family engagement budget that addresses their needs assessment and parent recommendations.  Each Title I school will give parents several opportunities to provide suggestions and input on how these funds are used. School and district websites encourage parents to submit suggestions online to the school’s parent liaison. Surveys are conducted at all Title I workshops and meetings, giving parents opportunities for input on the use of parent engagement funds.  All suggestions and comments are reviewed by school principals and district leaders to determine areas of need for the parent and family engagement budget.

Opportunities for Meaningful Parent Consultation
Input and suggestions from parents and family members are an essential component of the district and school improvement plans that are developed each year. All parents of students eligible to receive Title I services are included in the opportunities described in this section to share their ideas and suggestions to help the district, schools, and students to reach our student academic achievement goals.

Title I Plan Revision Meetings - Spring
Each spring, parents and family members of Title I students are invited to revision and planning meetings for all Title I plans, including the District Parent Engagement Policy and the LEA Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  These meetings are held at each Title I school and give parents an opportunity to offer input, and revise and update current plans for the following school year. Notices regarding these meetings are sent to all parents, and communicated on school websites.

Bi- Annual Parent Academy – Fall /Spring
RCPS district supports the bi-annual Parent Academy, a free event for parents and the community, which is held every fall and spring. The Parent Academy is a day-long event, providing an expansive learning opportunity for parents. Workshops offered include college and career readiness, computer skills, parenting skills, preparing for Ga. Milestones, resources for parents, and how to help your child academically.  Parents are also given the opportunity to participate in round table discussion sessions, to provide suggestions, input and feedback on various school and district plans and policies.

Building Capacity
Of Parents - The RCPS district and each Title I school support obligations that will build both school and parent capacity for parental involvement.  RCPS will work with all Title I schools to assist parents in understanding the state’s academic standards and state student academic achievement standards.  Title I schools offer various workshops which provide information about the Georgia Standards of Excellence and the Georgia Milestones Assessment System. Dates and times are determined and announced by each individual school, and are posted on school websites and marquees. Flyers and notices are sent home to parents.

The RCPS district supports all Title I schools with materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their academic achievement.  “Home and School Connection” and “Parents Make a Difference” are two parent newsletters that the district provides to Title I schools.  These newsletters are sent home to each parent in English or Spanish, and are available online. Parent resource centers located in Title I schools, offer a variety of resources and information for parents.  Parent guides, study guides, and grade level math and literacy skills kits are all available for parents to use at home with their children to reinforce skills and improve academic achievement.

RCPS parent and family engagement activities include coordination with state-funded pre-school programs. All eleven of our school wide Title I elementary schools provide Pre-Kindergarten classes for the district. Pre-K services and activities are coordinated within the buildings, integrating Title I and locally funded supplies, equipment and personnel services with the Pre-K program. Parents are also given the opportunity to participate with their children in the annual Kindercamps offered in July.  Most schools in the district offer this three- day program for parents and their children entering Kindergarten.  The children are able meet their teachers and acquaint themselves with the school, while parents participate in workshops in which school policies, procedures and curriculum are discussed. Parents also receive resources and guidance on ways to help their children at home.

RCPS has established the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Council, in which parents from each of the district’s schools are represented. The council meets quarterly to provide advice to the district on school matters and parent and family engagement.  Parents interested in serving on this council should contact their child’s principal.  In addition, Title I schools form a school advisory council in which all parents are encouraged to participate.  The council is comprised of teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents, who work together to build effective partnerships between the school and parents.

Of School Staff –Teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff are trained on the value and utility of the contributions of parents, and how to work with, reach out, and communicate with parents as equal partners.  Parent liaisons will provide training twice a year to staff, covering topics such as creating a welcoming school climate, establishing effective school-to-home and home-to-school communication, and creating more opportunities for parents and families to engage in school planning, leadership, and volunteering opportunities.

The RCPS district will ensure that all information relating to district, school, and parent programs, meetings and activities are available to all parents in an understandable and uniform format. All parent notifications and resources are sent home in the parent’s native language, where applicable. Information posted on district and school websites will be translated to the extent practical. Interpreters will be available at parent events and meetings when needed.

Parent and Family Engagement Evaluation
Each year, RCPS will conduct an evaluation of the content and effectiveness of parent and family engagement policies and family engagement activities to improve the academic quality of Title I schools.

Beginning in January, each school will send home a survey of the content and effectiveness of their Parent and Family Engagement Policy. Parents are also able to participate in the survey via links on school websites. Parents and family members are encouraged to complete surveys when entering their child’s school or parent resource center. The surveys contain questions concerning the parent and family engagement program, the parent and family engagement budget, and also includes a section for parents to provide comments.

The district and schools will utilize feedback and comments from the surveys to improve the effectiveness of their parent and family engagement programs.

In carrying out the parent and family engagement requirements established by Section 1116 of the ESSA, school parent liaisons will communicate and collaborate with the Office for Student Support Services to ensure full opportunities for participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children including providing information and school reports in a language parents can understand.

This districtwide parent and family engagement policy has been developed jointly and agreed upon with parents and family members of children participating in Title I, Part A programs as evidenced by the collaboration of parents, school, and district personnel at parent revision meetings and parental input opportunities provided by each Title I school.

This policy was adopted by the Rockdale County School District on July 19, 2018 and will be in effect for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  The school district will distribute this policy in multiple ways to all parents of participating Title I Part A children on or before Nov. 1, 2018.

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