Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

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.

Hutchison 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.

Hutchison Elementary jointly developed this policy and 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 our school website. 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 begin September 23, 2019 and take place throughout November.

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 12, 2019
  • February 4, 2019
  • April 21, 2020
  • June 12, 2020

School Events

  • Open House: August 23, 2018
  • Science Night: November 13, 2018
  • Read Across America: March 1, 2019
  • Parent Coffee Dates
    • September 6, 2019
    • October 11, 2019
    • November 8, 2019
    • December 13, 2019
    • February 7, 2020
    • March 6, 2020
    • May 1, 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 a voice in decision-making on committees, such as Parent Organization and VOICE (Virginia’s Organized Interfaith Community Engagement).
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), 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.
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as Open House, various community events throughout the year, and Movie Nights.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as reading in classrooms, assisting with picture day, field day, and field trips.
  • 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, YouTube, Twitter, weekly folders, and regular web updates to engage families in ongoing instructional initiatives and access to community outreach programs.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting during the October 11, 2019 Parent Coffee 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 input and feedback from Parent Organization.
  • Translate or provide interpretation of all school communication to make it accessible to parents with a preferred correspondence language other than English.
  • Support two-way communication between parents and staff through assistance of parent liaisons for outreach and a point of contact for questions from families.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by gaining strategies to support learning at home such as creating a learning space, supporting the use of technology to enhance learning, promoting and encouraging reading, and supporting consistent, on-time attendance.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as ongoing parent communication and weekly parent information folders.
  • 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, such as family emergency preparedness, language, math and literacy development at home, character education, and using technology to support learning.    
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through weekly administrative video communication updates and parent coffees.
  • 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 grade level events.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Reflex Math, DreamBox and Imagine Learning.
  • Provide mentors for students though McLean Bible Church and Floris United Methodist Church.  
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as local businesses, Kingdom Blessing Church and Kids R First.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Floris United Methodist Church who funds field trips and the before/after school programs.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as Cornerstones Partnership for Healthier Kids, pro-bono dental services from local dentists, and parenting and adult education classes.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as a wide range of parenting classes covering various topics.

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 positive upkeep to facilities and an involved staff who embraces the community.
  • 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.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through parent coffees and special evening content presentations.
  •  Hold monthly bilingual parent coffees, inviting and encouraging all parents to attend, to share information about Title I services within the school and the right of all parents to be involved in the school
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere at the school with interpreters, bilingual staff, parent liaison services, and ongoing access to parent resources.  Some resources include:  Parenting classes, Student & Family Healthcare, and Weekend Food Backpacks.

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.
    • Use quarterly data dialogues to monitor student progress and instructional practices to meet student needs.
    • Develop lesson plans and teacher strategies for rich student talk, utilizing resources from WIDA can-do descriptors, Academic Conversations, Total Participation Techniques, EL data portfolio, among other resources.

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.
    • Utilize MTSS protocols and processes to monitor student engagement during Tier 1 instruction to meet the needs of all students and provide necessary social/emotional support.

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:

    • Keeping parents informed and engaged through Parent Coffees and other events hosted at the school.

 

The parents/caregivers will:

Demonstrate understanding that participation in my child’s education will help his or her achievement through the following actions:

    • Support my child in being at school all day, every day, on time.
    • 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. 
    • Reinforce school behavior expectations and help my child understand why they are important.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the following 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.
    • Make time daily to review my notes and reflect on my learning.
    • Communicate with my teachers and ask questions if I do not understand something.