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Berkeley County Schools District Wide Family and Community Engagement Policy

Part 1:  General Expectations:

The Local Education Agency, Berkeley County Schools, agrees to implement the following statutory requirements:

  • The Local Educational Agency (LEA) will put into operation programs, activities, and procedures for the involvement and engagement of parents and family members in all of its schools. Those programs, activities, and procedures will be planned and operated with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children.
  • The LEA will monitor its schools to ensure that the required school-level parent and family engagement policies meet the requirements of ESSA. This includes a home/school compact, designed for each individual school, for schools in the LEA receiving Title I funding.
  • The LEA will incorporate this district-wide parent and family engagement policy into its LEA plan developed under ESSA.
  • The LEA and its schools will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports required under ESSA in an understandable and uniform format and, including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand.
  • If the LEA parent and family engagement plan developed under ESSA, is not satisfactory to parents, Berkeley County Schools will submit any parent comments with the plan to the WV Department of Education.
  • The LEA will include the parents of children in schools receiving Title I - Part A funding in decisions about how the 1% of Title I - Part A funds reserved for parent and family engagement is spent and will ensure that not less than 95% of the 1% reserved goes directly to the schools served by Title I.
  • The LEA will be governed by the following definition of parent and family engagement from the law and expects that schools will carry out programs, activities, and procedures in accordance with this definition:

Parent and family engagement means the participation of parents and/or family members in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring-

  • that parents and family members play an important role in assisting their child’s learning;
  • that parents and family members are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school;
  • that parents and family members 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;
  • that the activities described in ESSA, and in this policy, are carried out.
  • The LEA will inform parents and parental organizations of the purpose and existence of the Parent Educator Resource Center (PERC Contact – Jodi Westrope) by sending flyers home to parents in schools, advertising in the local newspaper, presenting public service announcements on television and radio, and collaborating with Head Start, Early Head Start, Preschool, Title I, and community agencies. 

Part II: Berkeley County Schools will implement required Parent and Family Engagement Policy components as described in the section below,

  • To involve parents in the joint development of its district-wide parent and family engagement plan under ESSA, Berkeley County Schools will:
    • Seek parent and/or family representation at LEA functions, as well as on each school’s planning team.
    • Parent and/or family representatives will seek input and make suggestions to the LEA from school-level teams and committees, such as Local School Improvement Council (LSIC), Strategic Planning Team, Parent Advisory Committee, and the PTA/PTO.
  • To involve parents and/or family members in the process of school review and improvement under ESSA, the LEA will:
    • Assist each school in arranging an annual meeting to inform parent and family members of the goals, objectives, activities, and services, as described in each school’s Five-Year Strategic Plan.
    • Invite and encourage all parents and/or family members to attend the informational meeting. These school meetings will be held by the end of October.
    • Encourage each school to maximize the opportunity for parents and family members to participate by offering a flexible number of meetings and activities at a variety of times.
    • Ensure the Home/School Compact, required in Title I funded schools, is reviewed and discussed with parents and family members as it relates to the individual child’s achievement.
  • The LEA will provide necessary assistance and support to participating schools as they plan and implement effective parent and family engagement by:
    • Providing guidance in the development of building level parent and family engagement policies and compacts, where required.
    • Insuring that parent and family engagement policies and compacts are distributed to parents of all children in Title I schools.
    • Recommending effective parent and family engagement literature, materials, and/or programs.
    • Training teachers to effectively work with parents and family members.
    • Training Parent and Family Engagement Coordinators from each Title I school on strategies to increase parent and family engagement in their respective schools.
  • The LEA will coordinate and integrate parent and family engagement strategies with Title I, Head Start, Early Head Start, Even Start, and Preschool by:
    • Implementing a Preschool Transition Plan in each school.
    • Co-sponsoring workshops and encouraging attendance and/or participation in activities that serve the needs of all groups.
    • Providing materials, home visits, and training (such as literacy training to assist parents and family members in working with their children and training to help parents and family members work to improve their children’s achievement).
  • The LEA will conduct an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of this parent and family engagement policy in improving the quality of its schools. The evaluation will include identifying barriers to greater participation by parents and family members in parent and family engagement activities (with particular attention to parents and family members who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of a racial or ethnic minority background).
    • The Parent and Family Engagement Coordinators will provide data annually to evaluate parent and family engagement activities.
    • The LEA will use the findings of the evaluation to design strategies for more effective parental and family engagement and to revise, if necessary, its parent and family engagement policies.
  • The LEA will promote the schools’ and parents’/family members’ capacity to form a strong partnership and work toward high achievement in each school by;
    • Encouraging and assisting parents/family members and teachers to work together toward common goals.
    • Assisting parents/family members in understanding the state student academic achievement standards.
    • Providing parents/family members with frequent reports on their child’s academic progress, report cards, summative assessment results, and progress monitoring reports for grades K-5.
    • Providing materials and training (such as, literacy training, to assist parents and family members in working with their children, training to assist parents and family members with parenting skills and child development, and training to help parents and family members work to improve their children’s achievement).
    • Encouraging coordination of parent and family engagement activities with Preschool, Head Start, Early Head Start, Extended Day programs, and PERC by sharing information, co-sponsoring workshops, and encouraging attendance and/or participation in activities that serve the needs of all groups.
    • Encouraging schools to develop partnerships with community based organizations and businesses that sponsor programs, workshops, and training, and enable parent and family engagement participation in schools through adjusted work schedules.
    • Ensuring, to the extent possible, that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the homes of participating children in the language used in such homes.
    • Providing training for teachers, principals, and other educators on ways to improve parent and family engagement services and how to reach out, communicate with, and work with parents/family members as equal partners.
    • Paying reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parent and family engagement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents/family members to participate in school-related meetings and training sessions (applicable only to Title I schools).
    • Training parent/family leaders/Parent and Family Engagement Coordinators in order to enhance the parent and family engagement programs.
    • Assuring that schools offer meetings at a variety of times to maximize the opportunity for parents/family members to participate in school-related activities.
  • The LEA will promote communication through parent-teacher-student conferences, newsletters, progress reports, home visits, electronic communications, etc., to assist parents/family members in:
    • developing an understanding of their role in monitoring their child’s progress.
    • working with educators to improve the performance of their child.
    • receiving information as to how they can participate in decisions relating to the education of their child.
  • The LEA will ensure that each Title I school’s Parent and Family Engagement Policy is sent home with each student and that the policy includes a statement that “parents have the right to request information about the qualifications of their child’s teacher(s)”.