Parent Engagement Policy and 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.
Woodburn 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.
Woodburn Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2019-2020 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 October, 2019. 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.
- First conferences held through November 5, 2019
- Additional dates, as needed
- November 14, 2019
- February 6, 2020
- April 23, 2020
- June 12, 2020
- Welcome Walk and Open House - August 22, 2019
- Developing Lifelong Learners Night – TBD
- Winter Concert – TBD
- Arts Integration Concert – February 8, 2020
- CETA Arts Integration Night- February 27, 2020
- Spring Concert – TBD
- Fit and Fun Run Fitness Fair – TBD
- Parent Coffees Monthly at Woodburn and Heritage Building
- Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Concerts – Free for Woodburn Students and Families
- Quarterly Positivity Project assemblies
- After school Enrichment Programs
- Monthly PTA Meetings
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 the Family Engagement Committee. This includes coordinating school events with the PTA.
- Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIIP), 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 Raise a Reader, Arts Integration events, Family Health and Fitness Fair and Fun Run. This includes seeking community input on topics to be covered at monthly Parent Coffees.
- Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as Thursday Folder Helpers, Grade Level Parents, Guest Readers, etc.
- 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 Weekly Parent Emails, Thursday Folder Forms, Facebook, Twitter, and School Webpage.
- Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting in September, 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 interim progress reports, report cards, the VDOE School Report Card. Relevant data will be shared at PTA meetings throughout the year.
- Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by participating in curriculum sharing nights, parent conferences, and ongoing communication from teachers.
- Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as grade level newsletters, work sent in Thursday Folders.
- Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly interims and 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 Responsibility 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: Structuring your Home for School Success, Internet Safety, Back to School transitions, and Effective Parent Conference suggestions. We will also connect families with the Fairfax County Public Library, Parent Resource Center, and have a visit from the public health nurse to share information about the importance of sleep and dental hygiene with families.
- Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through Parent Coffees, PTA meetings, and parent/teacher conferences.
- 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, such as our Developing Lifelong Learners curriculum night. We will also provide families with activities and resources they can use at home to support their child’s learning.
- Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as connections with the parent liaison, teachers, administrators, guidance counselor and social services team.
- Provide mentors for students through outreach to former staff members and community volunteers, as well as volunteers from neighboring high schools.
- Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, including: INOVA Health Care Systems, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Food for Others, Shoes4Kids, McLean Bible Church, and others.
- Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as Fairfax County Department of Family Services Neighborhood Networks and INOVA Health Systems.
- Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as the childcare provider information session from the Office of Children.
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 a warm greeting entering the front office, signage in the halls to label areas and teachers, directions in English and Spanish, and colorful displays. Students will be greeted daily and engage in morning meetings to build positive communities in each classroom.
- 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 Spanish speakers.
- Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through interpreters and language translation devices, handouts in English and Spanish, KIT phone messages in English and Spanish.
The staff will:
Provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction that enables students to meet challenging academic standard through the following actions:
- Staff will teach all students according to the state’s challenging standards, using approved curriculum resources.
- Staff will participate in ongoing professional development to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.
- Administration and the leadership team will ensure that classroom teachers have a common understanding of the curriculum, use common practices, and build a common understanding of student’s strengths and needs, through participation in collaborative learning team meetings.
Provide a supportive and effective learning environment for students through the following actions:
- Provide clear expectations for student behavior and academic learning.
- Build classroom communities through daily morning meetings.
- Build community school-wide using the Positivity Project character traits.
- Provide meaningful and targeted feedback to support students in meeting their established goals.
- Monitor student work and reteach or extend concepts when needed.
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 program, 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 during informal and formal community events. This will include providing opportunities for families to ask questions and share feedback during PTA meetings through the use of a “Parking Lot” or other structure.
- Post interesting and relevant pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and our school website.
- Maintain an informative and comprehensive school website.
Build caregivers’ involvement in the school’s Title I program through the following actions:
- Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
- Select a parent to serve on the Parent Advisory Council for Title I each year.
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.
- Talk to my child about his or her school day each day, focusing on new information learned, topics of interests, and personal goals.
- Monitor my child’s progress as noted on report cards, interims, homework, and classroom assignments.
- Review contents within the Thursday folder weekly.
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.
- Read to self and/or ask family members to read to me at least 20 minutes each day.
- Practice math skills at home by reviewing basic facts or finding real life connections to math content.