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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:

(A) That parents play an integral role in assisting their child's learning.

(B) That parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child's education.

(C) That 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.

(D) The carrying out of other activities, such as those described in Section 1116 of the ESSA

About the Parent and Family Engagement Policy

In support of strengthening student academic achievement, the Bulloch County School District (BCSD) has developed this parent and family engagement policy 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 BCSD'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 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 in the development and implementation of the district and school plan, and in carrying out the district and school improvement provisions. Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (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. Consistent with Section 1116, the BCSD will work with its Title I schools to ensure that the required school-level parent and family engagement policies meet the requirements of Section 1116(b) and each include, as a component, a school-parent compact consistent with Section 1116(d) of the ESSA.

Jointly Developed

During the annual Speak Up for Education meeting in February, all parents were invited to participate and provide suggestions and ideas to improve the district parent and family engagement policy. The district sent an email to all parents informing them about this meeting and posted an announcement on the school district website. During this meeting, parents also reviewed and discussed the Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP). Additionally, each Title I school used its Parent Advisory Council to review the district parent and family engagement policy before the end of the school year.

Upon final revision, the district parent and family engagement policy was incorporated into the CLIP which was submitted to the state. Parents are welcome to submit comments and feedback regarding the policy at any time on the school district website or by submitting written comments to your child's school. All feedback received by July was included with the policy for this school year.

The district parent and family engagement policy was posted on district and school websites, distributed during the annual Title I school meetings early this school year, and made available in the schools' parent resource centers.

Strengthening Our School

This year, the district will provide 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 to help them improve and strengthen family engagement. In addition to frequent communication and school visits, the district will hold monthly meetings and trainings with its Title I schools' principals and school Family Engagement Specialists to review family engagement plans and activities. Additionally, the district will convene a summit in March for principals and family engagement specialists 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 The BCSD will reserve 1 percent from the total amount of Title I funds it receives in FY20 to carry out the parent and family engagement requirements listed in this policy and as described in Section 1116 of the ESSA. Furthermore, the BCSD will distribute 90 percent 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.Each Title I school will host an annual School Improvement Forum in March for parents to provide suggestions how these family engagement funds will be used in the upcoming year at the district and school-level. Comment cards and minutes from these meetings will be reviewed by the district to determine areas of need for the upcoming school year and consider changes to the family engagement budget.

Opportunities for Meaningful Parent Consultation

Input and suggestions from parents and family members 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 opportunities described in this section to share their ideas and suggestions to help the district, schools, and students to reach our student academic achievement goals.

District Family Engagement Review Meeting: Date to be determined

All parents are welcome to hear the latest updates from the Bulloch County School District as well as review and provide input into the district parent and family engagement policy and the Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan for the 2020-2021 schoolyear. This meeting will be held at our Annual Speak Up for Education event. Notices regarding this meeting will be emailed to all parents in advance of the meeting. The district will also communicate information regarding this meeting on the school district website and through social media.

Title I Family Input Meetings: March, 2020

During this week, each Title I school will host a forum for parents and family members to participate in roundtable discussions to review the schoolwide plan, the school's parent and family engagement policies as well as provide input on the family engagement budget and programs. Each Title I school will send invitations home as well as email and text parents to notify them about the date and time of the forum. Information regarding the Title I Family Input Meeting will also be made available on the school websites.

Parent input on the use of Title I funds to support family engagement programs may also be provided through the annual district survey. The survey will contain questions related to the family engagement budget as well as a section for parents to provide their comments.

Unable to attend these meetings? Please visit our District Fedral Programs page to review the meeting documents and minutes and leave your input.

Building Capacity

The BCSD will build school and parent capacity for strong family engagement. This capacity will ensure effective engagement of parents and family members in supporting partnerships among the Title I schools, parents, and the community with the goal of improving student academic achievement. To build this capacity, the BCSD will implement districtwide activities and programs.

Of Parents

The BCSD will work through its Title I schools to provide assistance to parents in understanding state and district academic information connected to student learning and progress. The district will also provide parents with information regarding the Title I program. Programs for parents to gain knowledge about the challenging state academic standards, local academic assessments, as well as the required assessments for Georgia students, including alternative forms of assessment, will also be provided. The dates and locations for these programs will be posted on the district website and shared through each Title I school's website.

In addition, the BCSD will coordinate pages on the district and school websites that will contain resources and materials, including parent guides, study guides, practice assessments, to help parents work with their children at home. Copies of these materials will be made available at all Title I schools for those families who may have limited internet access, including copies in Spanish. To assist parents with understanding the online student information system and other digital educational resources (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), the BCSD technology specialists will partner with Title I schools to host workshops for parents. The dates and times for these workshops will be determined and announced by each individual school and made available to parents.

The BCSD has established a districtwide Parent Advisory Council comprised of parent representatives from each Title I school's Parent Advisory Council. This council's purpose is to provide advice on all matters related to family engagement in Title I, Part A programs. Community leaders and business partners will be invited to serve on this council. The district will also encourage collaboration and participation with community partners by utilizing video conferencing technology and recordings to accommodate the schedules of these valuable partners.

The BCSD will coordinate and integrate the district's family engagement programs with the local preschool program and other federal and state funded preschool programs in the district by inviting faculty and staff from those programs to attend planning meetings focused on family engagement activities. In the fall, the elementary schools will host Pre-Kindergarten Orientation so parents may tour the schools and receive information to help prepare them and their children for kindergarten. The BCSD will also coordinate with these programs to ensure that parents are informed about available resources.

Of School Staff

The BCSD will conduct two trainings per semester during the school year for all administrators, faculty and staff to learn and discuss strategies to increase family engagement, improve school-family communication, and build ties with parents and the community. To ensure that information related to district, school, parent programs, and activities is 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. At the beginning of the year, school staff will be trained on parent notifications and resources to be sent home in parents' native language, where applicable, and providing interpreters at parent events. Information posted on the district website will be translated to the extent practicable. The district will also utilize school phone call systems, district and school websites, local news media, and other school message systems to post information for parents.

Parent and Family Engagement Evaluation

Each year, the BCSD will conduct an evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parent and family engagement policy and the family engagement activities to improve the academic quality of the Title I schools through an annual parent survey and the School Improvement Forums.

In March, each Title I school will send home a survey and email a link to the survey for parents to provide valuable feedback regarding the parent and family engagement activities and programs. 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 also use the Title I Input Meeting to facilitate group discussions to discuss the needs parents of children eligible to receive Title I services to design strategies for more effective family engagement.

The BCSD will use the findings from the Input meeting and the survey results to design strategies to improve effective family engagement, to remove possible barriers to parent participation, and to revise its parent and family engagement policies.

Accessibility

In carrying out the parent and family engagement requirements established by Section 1116 of the ESSA, the district family engagement coordinator will communicate and collaborate with the Office for Student Support Services 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.

Mark Your Calendars

For Parents:

Annual Parent Survey
March 18 - April 5, 2020

Title I Family Input Meetings
March, 2020 –
Local school site

District Family Engagement Review Meeting
Held at our Annual Speak Up for Education Meeting
Date to be Determined
County Board Office

For Schools:

District Parent Advisory Council Meetings
October, 2019 & March, 2020
County Board Office

School Council Meetings
Quarterly
Local school sites

Adoption

This districtwide parent and family engagement policy 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 State of the District meeting. This policy was adopted by the Bulloch County School District on May17, 2019 and will be in effect for the 2019-2020 academic school year. The school district will distribute this policy in multiple ways to all parents of participating Title I, Part A children before or during the first week of fall semester

2019-2020
Revised March 29, 2018
150 Williams Road, Suite A Statesboro, GA 30458
bullochschools.org