Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

In partnership with parent's, we use the Title 1 Grant to improve student achievement.

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.

 

Westlawn 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.

Westlawn Elementary jointly developed this policy and 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 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. 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.

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 PTA activities, Book Fairs, and School Innovation and Improvement Plan.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Innovation and 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 cultural arts programs, author series, and wellness activities.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as courtyard development, Kindergarten breakfasts, International Night, and Westlawn Day.
  • 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 newsletters, school website, and conferences.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend annual meetings on September 15 or 22 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 PTA meetings and the principal's newsletter translated into Vietnamese and Spanish.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school's goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by parent/student workshops, Partners in Print, Family Reading Night, and Family Math and Writing Nights.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as conferences, grade-level newsletters and interims.
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly 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 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.  
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school's academic, behavioral, and social programming through school wide behavior management practices, Positive Behavior Supports, and workshops.
  • 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 Partners in Print, Early Literacy Initiative, and Family Nights for reading, math, and writing.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Dad's Parenting Group.
  • Provide mentors for students.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as churches, business partners, SCA Officers job shadowing, and financial support for families.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as the Family Literacy program, Hispanic Early Family Literacy and Leadership Development, and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY).

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 childcare for PTA and other school activities and home meetings with small groups to answer school-related questions.
  • 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.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions.

 

Compact Provisions

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.
    • Work collaboratively with grade-level team members to plan and deliver instruction.

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.
    • Communicate clear expectations for class, homework, and behavior.

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.

Build caregivers' involvement in the school's Title I program through the following actions:

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Innovation and 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.

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.
  • Review weekly school communications and respond promptly.
  • Participate in decisions relating to my child's education.

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 or caregivers all notes and papers from my teacher.
    • Complete homework and read independently on a daily basis.