Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

In partnership with parents, we use the Title 1 Grant to improve student achievement.

Title I Family Compact: 2023-2024

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 2023-2024 school year. Several 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 a survey sent to families later in the Fall. 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.

Important Dates

Parent-Teacher Conferences held September - November.

Progress Report Distribution:

  • First Quarter: November 15, 2023
  • Second Quarter: February 7, 2024
  • Third Quarter: April 9, 2024
  • Fourth Quarter: June 12, 2024

School Events

Back to School Night: September 14, 2023

Annual Title I Information Night: October 24, 2023

Fall Family Breakfast: October 26, 2023

International Night: October 27, 2023

Family Book Fair Event: December 5, 2023

Art Night: Spring 2024

Family Adventure Night: Spring 2024

Westlawn Day: Spring 2024

Building Capacity for Engagement

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 Community Conversations, PTA meetings and events, and the School Innovation and Improvement Plan.

Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 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 SIIP, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with SIIP to FCPS central offices.

Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as, but not limited to:  Art Night, International Night, Parent Coffees, Welcome to Westlawn, Westlawn Day, Bingo Night, Winter Caroling Event.

Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as family events, room parents, and other school-wide events.

Encourage families to take part in the annual evaluation 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 e-newsletters, direct emails, text messages, school website, social media (Instagram and Facebook), and weekly Community Conversations held virtually.

Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on October 24 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 community surveys, Community Conversations, and conferences.  

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 conferences, Parent Coffees, and Community Conversations.

Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as progress reports, parent conferences, grade level e-newsletters, and principal communications.

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 organizations, businesses, including the following:

Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as Welcome to    Westlawn Event and coordinated events with the Neighborhood School Readiness Team and the Falls Church Pyramid.          

Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through Community Conversations, conferences, and the school website. 

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 such as Family Adventure Night, Kindergarten Orientation, and grade level event nights . 

Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as through our social worker and family liaison and Parent Coffee Events. 

Provide mentors for students though the school mentoring program. 

Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as such as local religious organizations, business partners, and community partners.

Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Northrop Grumman, Morgan Stanley, local religious organizations, and community partners.  

Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as healthcare, fire safety, food providers, and local community organizations.

Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as Family Literacy, Hispanic Literacy, and 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 culturally responsive decor, Spanish and Vietnamese speaking staff, Responsive Classroom practices installed schoolwide.

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 assistance of a parent liaison for  conferences and parent communication. 

Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through interpretation services, hybrid production, and additional family liaison.

Compact Provisions  

School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure 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.
  • Provide ongoing professional development and support to all teachers to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.
  • Weekly collaborative team meetings to ensure alignment and implementation of high-impact instructional strategies.
  • Utilization of ESOL teachers to support all ELLs.
  • Ensure equitable access to rigor through differentiated 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.
  • School-wide implementation of Responsive Classroom practices.

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 in the Title I program(s).

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

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the SIIP and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.  
  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Planning (SIIP) Committee and  as collaborators in developing the SIIP and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
  • Community evening events.
  • Parent conferences.
  • Weekly Community Conversations.
  • Schoolwide and grade level newsletters.

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.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the following’s 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.

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