Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact
Purpose of the Policy and Compact
Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) utilize 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 parents and develop and maintain a family approach to involve families in students’ learning. Additionally, a School-Home Compact that expresses the partnerships among staff, caregivers, and students to reach for high academic achievement for every student is developed.
This Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact outlines shared responsibilities to attain this goal.
Lorton Station ES jointly developed this Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2018-2019 school year. A number of the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact.
This policy is distributed to all parents and provided in a language that parents can understand. Parents have opportunities to provide comments and feedback on the Policy and Compact through comment boxes housed in the front office and family center. This policy is made available to the broader school community through the school’s website.
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 courteous faculty and staff, parent-friendly signs, availability of resources in multiple languages, etc.
- Provide English as a second language classes for parents/community members each semester.
- Hold regular parent meetings, coffees, and events, and offer ongoing access to parent resources through the school’s parent liaison, family center, and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) functions.
- Provide interpretation services for parent-teacher conferences, workshops, and meetings.
- Host an annual International Night for students and families to celebrate their cultural diversity.
Decision-Making and Advocacy
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:
- Include parent members with a voice in decision making on committees such as the school board’s Title I Parent Advisory Committee, School Improvement Planning Team, PTA, etc.
- Engage parent input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), Title I Schoolwide Components, and Title I Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact.
- Seek feedback from parents on the school’s programs and offer multiple methods for parents to submit comments about any schoolwide programs they may not find satisfactory.
- Invite parents to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as book fairs, International Nights, movie nights, fun fairs, etc.
- Provide opportunities for parents to volunteer within the school in various ways such as room parents, library helpers, clinic and cafeteria helper, etc.
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 KIT for emergencies, News You Choose telephone and text messages, monthly parent newsletter, weekly Friday Communication folders, school memos, event flyers, and the LSES website which contains a variety of information for students and parents/caregivers.
- Translate or provide interpretation of all school communication to make it accessible to parents with a preferred correspondence language other than English and to parents with vision or hearing impairments.
- Support two-way communication between parents and staff through assistance of a parent liaison for outreach and a point of contact for questions from families.
- Quarterly Grade Level Newsletters are sent home to parents.
- Share school and student achievement data with families in ways that solicit their ideas about how to improve performance.
- Hold meetings and events throughout the year to help families better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning.
- Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least annually, and more often, as needed.
- Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth, information about performance on assignments through the online gradebook, teacher notes, emails, phone calls, etc.
Supporting School Success
Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive materials, training, and benefits from school partnerships with community-based organizations and businesses, including the following:
- Hold parent workshops on topics such as Getting to Know Your Child’s School, Positive Parenting, Homework Help, Understanding Interim Reports/Progress Reports, and other prevalent student data.
- Offer regular opportunities for parents to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through Parent Coffees, etc.
- Encourage participation in family learning events where parents learn strategies to support their child’s learning at home and have a chance to practice those strategies with their child, such as Partners in Print, Family Math Night, Family Science Night, etc.
- Provide access to parent resources in the school such as a family center featuring books, and check-out materials, as well as postings on parent classes, including adult ESOL classes.
- Provide mentors for students through partnerships with the local high school and businesses.
- Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others such as school supplies, winter coats, weekend food resources, etc.
- Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events through volunteers, donations of materials, sponsorship for food or guest speakers, etc.
- Support parents in accessing county and community resources such as health care, counseling, tutoring, etc., through the school social worker and parent liaison.
- Offer outreach and training for targeted families in ways to help their children improve literacy and math skills.
School-Home Compact Provisions
The Staff will:
- Build parents’ capacity for strong involvement in the school’s Title I Program through the following actions:
- Provide multiple opportunities for parents to receive an overview of the school’s Title I Program, including meetings that provide an opportunity for questions and input.
- Have parents serve on the School Improvement Planning (SIP) Team. Make meeting agendas and minutes available to parents.
- Provide assistance to parents in understanding the school’s program through the following actions:
- Publish or present information regarding state and local assessments administered during the school year.
- Publish or present information regarding the school’s accreditation and federal accountability results.
- Provide parents with the school’s Title I Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact.
- Help parents work with their children to improve their academic achievement through the following actions:
- Encourage parents to participate in scheduled Family Literacy, International, and STEAM nights.
- Provide materials and training for parents in strategies for supporting their children’s learning.
- Publish announcements in parents’ requested correspondence languages
- Adopt and implement a model or approach for family engagement.
- Publish dates for parent-teacher conferences and distribution of student progress reports.
- Provide access to school calendars, supply lists, contact information, class work, homework, and events.
- Provide a safe and caring learning environment for students through the following actions:
- Communicate clear expectations for behavior through the Students Rights & Responsibilities, etc.
- Offer ongoing opportunities for students to engage in meaningful learning experiences.
- Offer opportunities and resources for support and enrichment.
- Provide regular training to teachers to understand students’ needs.
The Parents/Caregivers will:
- Demonstrate understanding that participation in my child’s education will help his or her achievement through the following actions:
- Send my child to school on time, well rested and prepared for learning.
- Stay informed about my child’s education by checking my child’s backpack regularly for school communication, such as the weekly folder, and will respond to teachers’ notes, school forms, and other communication.
- Make sure homework is completed and that my child devotes 30 minutes to reading at home, at least 5 days a week.
- Be involved in school activities and events to build community and support academic achievement.
The Student will:
- Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s standards through the following actions:
- Come to class on time and put forth good effort during class. Discuss with caregivers what I learned in school.
- Ask for help when needed and, if no one can help, write down the questions to ask my teacher later.
- Give my caregiver all notes and information sent home from school every day.
- Do my homework and read every day.
- Make an effort to get enough rest each night and eat a well-balanced meal at least twice a day.