In accordance with Section 1118 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 ("NCLB"), Public Act 107-110, as amended by Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 ("ESSA"), it is the policy of the Litchfield Board of Education ("Board") to provide parents and family members of students participating in the district's Title I programs substantial and meaningful opportunities to be involved in the education of their children ("participating children") within these programs. To facilitate involvement of parents and family members of participating children, the Board will conduct outreach to parents and family members of participating children and implement programs, activities and procedures for their involvement and consultation with district staff in developing support and improvement plans in accordance with state and federal laws. Such involvement and consultation shall include regular meetings, communications, and activities that will inform parents and family members of participating children about the district's Title I programs, to participate in the development of support and improvement of such programs, and to help improve progress of participating children within these programs.
This policy has been developed jointly with, and agreed upon by, parents and family members of participating children. The district shall distribute this written parent and family members involvement policy to parents and family members of participating children in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents and family members can understand. The policy shall be made available to the public and updated periodically, as necessary to carry out the requirements of parent and family members involvement under Section 1118 of NCLB.
The Board shall, with the involvement of Title I parents and family members, conduct an annual evaluation of this policy in order to assess its effectiveness in involving parents and family members in the improvement of the Title I programs and to identify barriers to greater parent and family members' participation in Title I program activities.
The Board shall annually, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, conduct a mutually convenient meeting to involve parents and family members in evaluating the content and effectiveness of this policy in improving the academic quality of all district schools served under Title I, including the identification of:
- barriers to greater participation by parents, with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background;
- the needs of parents and family members to assist with the learning of their children, including engaging with school personnel and teachers; and
- strategies to support successful school and family interactions.
The findings of such evaluation are to design evidence-based strategies for more effective parental involvement and to make any necessary revisions to this policy. All parents and family members of participating children must be invited and encouraged to attend. At this meeting, parents and family members shall be given a description and explanation of the Title I programs, the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used, the proficiency levels students are expected to meet, and information regarding the importance of parent and family member involvement.
If requested by parents and/or family members, the Board shall offer additional opportunities for regular meetings during the school year at flexible times of the day in order to allow parents and family members to formulate suggestions for the Board's Title I programs and their application to their child(ren)'s programs; and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions related to the education of their children. Parents and family members will be given opportunities to participate in the joint development of the district's Title I plan, as required by Section 1112 of NCLB, and in the process of any school review and improvement should a school fail to make adequate annual progress as required by Section 1116 of NCLB. At any time, if a parent or family member is dissatisfied with a school's Title I program, he/she shall have the opportunity to submit comments for review at the district level.
The Board will provide the coordination, technical assistance and other support necessary to assist Title I schools in planning and implementing effective parent and family member involvement. Parent and family member involvement in Title I programs shall be coordinated with parent and family involvement strategies under other district programs.
To build the schools' and parents' capacity for strong parent and family member involvement, the Board shall:
- assist parents and family members of students participating in Title I programs in understanding topics related to their child's progress, such as explanation of state academic standards and assessment tools, the requirements under Title I, and how to monitor their child's progress;
- provide materials and training to help parents and family members to work with their children, such as literacy training and using technology;
- educate teachers, staff and administrators about how to better communicate and work with parents and family members;
- ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings and other activities is sent to participating parents and family members in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents and family members can understand;
- provide such other reasonable support for parent and family member involvement activities as parents and family members may request; and
- inform parents and parent and family organizations of the existence and purpose of parent resource centers within the State.
This policy further requires that each school involved in Title I programs shall jointly develop with parents and family members of participating children a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, family members, staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school, parents and family members will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State's high standards. The school-parent compact shall:
- describe the school's responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables Title I students to meet the State's student academic achievement standards;
- indicate the ways in which each parent and/or family member of a participating child will be responsible for supporting their child's learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion, and television watching; volunteering in their child's classroom; and participating, as appropriate, in decisions related to their child's education and positive use of extra-curricular time;
- outline expectations for age appropriate student responsibilities;
- stress the importance of ongoing teacher-parent communication through parent-teacher conferences, frequent reports to parents and family members, reasonable access to school staff, and opportunities to volunteer, participate in and observe their child's classroom activities in a manner that will not negatively impact the classroom environment.
The Board authorizes the Superintendent, or his/her designee, to develop a school-parent compact and other procedures such as those relating to meetings, parent communication and parent and family member involvement activities, as he/she deems necessary to ensure compliance with this policy.
Legal Reference: 20 U.S.C. § 6318. Parental Involvement
20 U.S.C. § 7801. Definitions
20 U.S.C. §§ 1001 – 1161aa-1.
Litchfield Board of Education
Policy Adopted: 5/11/2004
Policy Revised: 8/13/2020