DISTRICTWIDE PARENT AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT PLAN

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1 DISTRICTWIDE PARENT AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT PLAN What is Family Engagement? Family Engagement means the participation of parents and family members in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring: Parents play an integral role in assisting their child s learning. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child s education. 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. The carrying out of other activities, such as those described in Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). About the Parent and Family Engagement Plan In support of strengthening student academic achievement, the Valdosta City Schools (VCS) has developed this Parent and Family Engagement Plan 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 VCS 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 schools 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 school more. Title I, Part A provides for substantive family engagement at every level of the program, such as the development and implementation of the district s and schools Parent and Family Engagement Plans, and the carrying out of the district s and schools improvement provisions. Section 1116 of 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. The VCS District will work with its Title I schools to ensure that the required school-level Parent and Family Engagement Plans meet the requirements of federal law and each include a School-Parent Compact as a component. Jointly Developed All parents were invited to meet to participate and provide their suggestions and ideas about how to improve the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan for the following school year. The district informs parents about this meeting by radio announcements, invitations placed in the newspaper, and an announcement on the school district website and Facebook page. During this meeting, parents also review and discuss the Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP) and the District s Improvement Plan. Additionally, each Title I school uses its Parent-Teacher Advisory Team to review and provide input to the draft version of the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan before the end of the current school year.

2 Upon final revision, the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan is incorporated into the CLIP which is submitted to the state. Parents are welcome to submit comments and feedback regarding the plan at any time on the school district website or by submitting written comments to your child s school. All feedback received by June is considered for revisions to the following year s District Parent and Family Engagement Plan. The District Parent and Family Engagement Plan is posted on the district and school websites and in each school s parent resource center, disseminated during the annual Title I school meetings in the fall, and placed in community resource areas throughout the community. Strengthening Our Schools This year, the District Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator (PFEC) will provide technical assistance and support to all Title I schools to ensure family engagement requirements are being satisfied and that family engagement strategies and activities are being implemented. Title I schools will receive notifications and resources from the district and the PFEC to help them improve and strengthen family engagement. In addition to frequent communication and school visits, the district PFEC will hold monthly meetings and training with its Title I schools Parent Engagement Facilitators (PFEFs) to review family engagement plans and activities. Additionally, the district will convene a meeting in April for PFEFs to review parent and family engagement requirements and plan opportunities for family engagement activities and meetings for the remainder of the school year. Reservation of Funds VCS will reserve 1% from the total amount of Title I funds it receives in to carry out the parent and family engagement requirements listed in this plan and as described in federal law. Furthermore, VCS will distribute 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. Schools will have the option to pool all or a portion of their 90% of the 1% set aside to support broader district wide parent and family engagement initiatives. Each Title I school hosts Parent Input Meetings and provides a survey in April for parents to provide suggestions on how these family engagement funds could be used in the upcoming year at the district and school level. Feedback forms and minutes from these meetings are reviewed by the district to determine areas of need for the upcoming school year and to consider changes to the family engagement budget. If you have suggestions, please contact the PFEC at the district office. Opportunities for Meaningful Parent Consultation Input and suggestions from parents, family members, and community partners 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 invited to attend two meeting

3 opportunities described in this section to share their ideas and suggestions to help the district, schools, and students reach our student academic achievement goals. District Parent Input Opportunities~ March-June All parents are welcome to hear the latest updates from the Valdosta City Schools as well as review and provide input into the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan and the Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan for the current school year. Notices regarding this meeting will be sent to all parents by means of the district messaging system in advance of the meeting. The district will also communicate information regarding this meeting on the school district website. School Parent Input Meetings ~ March-May Each school hosts parent input meetings to get input on the School-Parent Compact, the School s Improvement Plan, the School Parent and Family Engagement Plan, the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan, as well as the expenditure of Title I, Part A Parent and Family Engagement funds. Mailed Feedback Opportunity to a Randomly Selected Sample of Parents ~ May A cross section of over 150 parents will be randomly selected from every school in the district and mailed a draft of the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan. Their input is requested regarding how to improve the district s plan and proposed initiatives, as well as the expenditure of the following school year s Parent and Family Engagement funds. A stamped, self-addressed envelope will be enclosed in the mailing for parents to return their feedback to the district. Valdosta City Schools Title I Survey ~ April-May Input on the use of Title I funds to support family engagement programs is also provided through the Annual Parent and Family Engagement Survey. Survey results are analyzed by the schools and the district to evaluate the effectiveness of the schools and district s Parent and Family Engagement initiatives and make revisions to those initiatives as necessary. Parent-Teacher Advisory Team Meetings ~ On-going Each school hosts Parent-Teacher Advisory Team meetings at least four times a year. All families are encouraged to join. Building Capacity with Parents and Schools VCS will build partnerships between its Title I Schools, families, and community with the goal of partnering to increase student achievement in Literacy and Numeracy by 5%. To develop capacity for this partnership, VCS will implement a variety of family and community engagement initiatives. The Parent-Teacher Advisory Team (PTAT) is one such initiative. PTAT is a program wherein teachers and families partner to address academic goals through at-home learning activities.

4 VCS Parent-Teacher Advisory Teams, made up of parent representatives from each Title I school, advises the district and schools on all matters related to family engagement. Community leaders and business partners are also invited to serve on the team. To ensure that information related to district, school, parent programs, PTAT meetings, and activities are available to all parents, each Title I school is required to send home and post online information for parents and family members in an understandable language and uniform format. VCS also offers assistance to parents in understanding use of its online student information system (Campus Parent) and other digital resources. Notifications about these opportunities will be posted on the district and schools websites and shared through school messaging systems, newsletters, and social media postings. VCS works with its Title I schools to help families understand academic expectations for student learning and progress. Specific information related to the State s challenging academic standards, and local and state assessments, including alternative assessments, will also be provided. Schools will offer events and information about: Testing and Assessments Local Formative Assessments GMAS End of Grade GMAS End of Course AP and IB Exams SAT/ACT Understanding grade level Georgia Standards of Excellence Understanding Lexile Levels STEM and STEAM Activities Academic/Curriculum Nights Annual Title I Meeting Schools will offer events to build a welcoming climate and form a strong relationship between families and schools by hosting: Open Houses Meet and Greets Lunch and Learns Parent Teacher Conferences Parent Engagement/Appreciation Month Activities VCS will coordinate and integrate the district s family engagement programs with parent and family engagement strategies that are linked to student learning and are aligned with the SMART goals identified by the schools and the district, with input from parents and families.

5 VCS will coordinate and integrate the district s family engagement programs with other relevant Federal, State, and local laws and programs such as, the local preschool program and other federal and state funded preschool programs in the district VCS will invite faculty and staff from those programs to attend planning meetings focused on family engagement activities. In the spring, schools will host Kindergarten Roundups, Middle and High School Transition Nights, and College and Career Fairs so that parents may receive information to help prepare them and their children for a successful transition to the next life stage. Each school s website and resource areas contain resources and materials such as the School- Parent Compact, Parent and Family Engagement Plan, parent guides, study guides, practice assessments, testing strategies, parenting tips and suggestions, links to educational websites, and PTAT materials for at-home learning. Hard copies of these materials are also available at all Title I schools, including copies in Spanish. The district and school websites contain a translating function that converts the information presented into multiple languages. VCS will also utilize school phone call systems, district and school websites, local news media, and social media to post information for parents. VCS will provide families with information about the overall Title I program and its requirements. VCS will conduct several training sessions during the school year for the school PFEFs to learn and discuss strategies to increase family engagement, improve school-family communication, and build ties with parents and the community. These training sessions will be redelivered to the faculty and staff of Title I schools. VCS will also host training for appropriate school staff and faculty that will focus on creating welcoming school environments with input from parents. Parents will be invited and encouraged to provide the district and schools with feedback about the type and nature of the training that will be provided to staff. At the beginning of the year, school staff will be trained on parent notifications and resources to be sent home in parents preferred language, where applicable, and providing interpreters at parent events and PTAT meetings. Information posted on the district website will be translated to the extent practicable. Parent and Family Engagement Survey In our annual effort to improve the academic quality of our Title I schools, VCS will conduct an evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this Parent and Family Engagement Plan and the parent and family engagement activities provided over the course of the school year. Part of this evaluation involves the distribution of an annual Parent and Family Engagement Survey.

6 Beginning in April, each Title I school will send home surveys and a link to the survey for parents to provide valuable feedback regarding the parent and family engagement activities and programs offered by the school. These surveys will also be posted on the district and school websites for parents to complete. In addition to the annual survey, each Title I school will facilitate group discussions to discuss the needs of parents with children eligible to receive Title I services to design strategies for more effective family engagement. VCS will use the findings from school parent-teacher advisory meetings and the survey results to design strategies to improve effective family engagement, remove possible barriers to parent participation, and revise the school-parent compact and the Parent and Family Engagement Plans for the following school year. Accessibility In carrying out the parent and family engagement requirements established by Section 1116 of the ESSA, the District Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator will communicate and collaborate with the Federal Programs Director, each school s Parent and Family Engagement Facilitator, Student Support Services Teams, Migrant, and ESOL staff 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. VCS Plan Approval Mark Your Calendars For Parents Parent-Teacher Conference Month October 2020 District Parent Night Event November, 2020 Date & Location to Be Announced Parent and Family Engagement Month November 2020 This District Parent and Family Engagement Plan 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 the annual District Parent Input meetings. The Plan will be reviewed by the Valdosta Board of Education and once approved will be in effect for the academic school year. The school district will distribute the District Parent and Family Engagement Plan in multiple ways to all parents of participating Title I, Part A children before October 1, 2020.

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