Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact
Purpose of the 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.
Riverside 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.
Riverside Elementary jointly developed this Family Engagement Policy and School-Home 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 comment boxes housed in the main office and parent resource center. 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.
- November 2020
- February 2021
- April 2021
- June 2021
- Back to School Night and Annual Meeting: September 16, 2020
- Parents as Educational Partners: Curriculum Night: February 6, 2020
- Annual Meeting about Title I Services and Requirements March 2020
- Family Soccer Night: April 2020
- International Festival: May 2020
- STEAM Innovation Showcase: May 2020
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 with a voice in decision making on committees such as the School Improvement Planning Committee and PTA.
- Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), Title I Schoolwide Plan, Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact.
- Seek feedback from families on programs within the Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about schoolwide programs they may not find satisfactory(during monthly Coffee w/ the Principals, PTA meetings, Community Outreach Committee, School/Community events, etc.), 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 Student Council elections, concerts, community events, and assemblies.
- Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer in various ways, such as classroom support, help with lesson preparation, after-school club sponsors, mentoring, tutoring, and guest teaching.
- 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 Keep In Touch (KIT), Agenda books, Thursday Folders, FCPS 24-7/Blackboard, Riverside school website, marquee, newsletters, telephone calls, emails, notes home, and parent teacher conferences.
- Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting March 2018, 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 Parents as Educational Partners: Curriculum Night.
- Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school's goals for students and find ways to improve student during parent-teacher conferences and curriculum night.
- Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as FCPS 24-7 Blackboard courses, emails, and notes home.
- Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least twice a year, and more often when necessary, to be sure parents understand how to support their children at home.
- Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.
Shared Responsibilities 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 Parent Empowerment Workshops on topics such as literacy, math, establishing routines at home, financial literacy, social media awareness, and parenting.
- Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school's academic, behavioral, and social programming during parent-teacher conferences, Back to School night, and curriculum night.
- 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 curriculum night.
- Provide access to parent resources available within the school and in the community through the development of our Parent Resource Center staffed by parent liaisons who speak English, Spanish, and Twi.
- Provide mentors for students though collaboration with Mount Vernon High School (MVP Program), as well as other students, staff, parents, and community members.
- Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others such as our school food drives/banks, school coat drives, and holiday drives for families in the community.
- Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events.
- Facilitate a College and Career Month that hosts a "Career Day" where parents and members of the community speak to students about career and educational options.
- Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as providing referrals to community organizations to promote positive mental and emotional health to be shared with families.
- Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as coordinating with secondary and post-secondary institutions to provide opportunities and resources for parents to ask questions and learn more about college and career readiness.
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 by offering a new parent orientation, developing our parent resource center, and maintaining a friendly atmosphere in the front office with high expectations for customer service.
- 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 Back to School Night, conferences, parent meetings, language interpretation.
- Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through opportunities for parents to support students and staff during the school day and providing the information resources to empower parents to do this effectively. Also provide a "Parents as Educational Partners" event to teach useful strategies to parents for supporting learning at home.
School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure a student success.
The Staff will:
Provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction that enables students to meet challenging academic standard through the following actions:
- Teach all students according to the state's challenging standards, using approved curriculum resources.
- Provide ongoing professional development and support to all teachers to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.
- Be aware of individual needs of each child.
- Treat each child with dignity and respect.
Provide a supportive and effective learning environment for students through the following actions:
- Provide clear expectations for student behavior and academic learning.
- Offer a variety of resources to help students with their learning.
- Offer ongoing opportunities for students to actively engage in meaningful learning experiences.
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 programs, 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.
- Provide parents with the school's Title I Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact.
Build caregivers involvement in the school's Title I program through the following actions:
- Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plan for the use of the Title I family engagement funds.
- Encourage parents to participate in scheduled curriculum nights and other school community events.
- Provide materials and training for parents that will help them to support their children's learning.
- Publish announcements in parents' requested correspondence languages.
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.
- Send my child to school on time, well rested and prepared for learning.
- Stay informed by checking my child's backpack daily for school communication, such as the weekly folder, and responding promptly to teacher notes, school forms, and other communication.
The Student will:
Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state's challenging standards through the followings 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.
- Come to school on time with a positive attitude and put forth best effort during every class.
- Discuss with caregivers what I learned in school.
- Ask for help when needed.
- Show respect for myself, my teachers, my peers, the school, and the community.