Parent and Family Engagement Policy
Statement of Philosophy
The St. Mary Parish School Board recognizes that parental involvement must be a priority of the board in order for children to learn and achieve academic success. Parents and families provide the primary educational environment for children; consequently, parents are vital and necessary partners with the board throughout their children’s elementary and secondary school careers. The term parent shall refer to any caregiver who assumes responsibility for nurturing and caring for children, and includes but is not limited to, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, stepparents, and others. The concept of parent and family engagement shall include programs, services, and/or activities on the school site, as well as contributions of parents outside the normal school setting.
The St. Mary Parish School Board Parent and Family Engagement Policy is devoted to facilitating greater participation by parents in their child’s education. Cooperative efforts by St. Mary Parish School Board educators and parents are designed to impact a student’s success at school. A positive, productive interaction between the home, the school, and the community is imperative for the continued success of general education of students in St. Mary Parish.
The staff recognizes parents’ rights and responsibilities to be involved in an organized, ongoing, and timely way in the planning, review, evaluation and improvement of our district policy. We, therefore, ask parents to assist in planning activities that will accomplish this end. Parents of all schools will be asked to enter into a school-parent compact agreement where responsibilities of all stakeholders are outlined in supporting improved student achievement.
Development and Review of District Parent and Family Engagement Policy: Section 1111(h) (2)(E)(6)
The St. Mary Parish School System has developed this parent and family engagement policy with the collaboration and input from parents of participating children. This policy serves as the basis for parent and family engagement and is an integral part of the consolidated application for federal programs.
Each school year a meeting of a district parental advisory committee will be convened to review and update this policy. Membership of this advisory committee will consist of representation of parents of students from the various subgroups identified in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and who participate in various programs conducted in the district schools.
A district-wide parental/community advisory approach will gauge the extent to which parish parental involvement strategies have been implemented. This approach will also be a means to bring together input in order that future action plans can be developed.
Each school in the district will develop its own parent and family engagement policy with input from parents of participating students. District level personnel will provide technical assistance and support.
Parents Right to Know: Section 1111(h)(2)(E)(6)
The St. Mary Parish School System will provide parents with the following:
- TEACHER QUALIFICATIONS: Parents will be notified at the beginning of each school session that they have the right to request the information regarding their child’s teacher’s qualifications and certifications.
- NON-CERTIFED TEACHERS: Parents of students who were taught by a non-certified teacher for a period of four consecutive weeks will be notified of that fact in writing. They will receive a letter drafted by the St. Mary Parish Human Resources Department and distributed at the school level.
- STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT LEVEL: Individual student state assessment scores will be issued to parents upon receipt from the Louisiana State Department of Education
Parent Notification--EL Students: Section 1112(G)
EL STUDENTS: Upon registering in the St. Mary Parish School System, all students whose parents have indicated on the Home Language Survey that a language other than English is spoken in the home will be assessed using the English Language Proficiency Screener (ELPS).
- Based on assessment results, parents will be informed in a manner in which they can understand, their child’s eligibility for the English as a Second Language Program. The methods of informing parents may include a written letter, a phone conversation through an interpreter, or a home visit if necessary. This information will include:
- student’s assessment information
- status of academic achievement
- methods of instructions to be used in the program
- specific exit requirements from the program
- student’s assessment information
- Annually, parents of EL students will be notified of their child’s progress in the language educational program as a result of the ELPT (English Language Proficiency Test), given in the spring.
Schools Identified for Improvement: Section 1116(b)(6)
Once identified as a school for improvement, the principal will send home a letter and conduct a parent information meeting to explain:
- meaning of school improvement
- how the school compares in terms of academic achievement to other schools served by the district and state
- the reason for the performance label
- plan to address academic problem
- explanation of parental involvement
- school choice and supplemental educational services, if applicable
- At the beginning of each school year, a parental information guide is provided outlining the various academic and federal programs provided through the district schools.
- At open houses conducted at the beginning of each school year, the principal describes and explains the instructional programs provided at the individual school.
- Information is provided relative to the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress along with the proficiency levels.
- Upon request, parents are afforded the opportunity to meet with school personnel to discuss decisions relating to the education of their child.
Reservation of Funds: Section 1118(a) (3)
In developing the district Title I budget, one percent of allocation will be dedicated to parental involvement activities. Ninety-five percent of these funds will be distributed to Title I schools for parental involvement activities.
School Parental and Family Engagement Policy: Section 1118(b)
Each school in the district will develop its own parental and family engagement policy with input from parents of participating students. The parent and family engagement policy will apply to all parents of students identified in the subgroups listed in the No Child Left Behind Act. District level personnel will provide technical assistance and support.
Policy Involvement: Section 1118 (c)
Parents serving on the School Improvement Team provide input on parent and family engagement policy and activities to be implement at each school. Schools will provide agendas and sign-in sheets to the LEA to insure parents are involved in the process.
At an Open House / Parent Information Night, principals will present the School Parent and Family Engagement Policy. Throughout the school year, additional meetings will be conducted at various times to provide parents and community members ample opportunities to review and comment on the School Parent and Family Engagement Policy. Assistance will be provided to parents requiring transportation, childcare, and interpreters and other identified needs. Each school year, the school improvement team will address any concerns and dissatisfaction expressed by parents through a review and update of the School Parent and Family Engagement Policy.
High Student Academic Achievement: Section 1118(d)
- At the beginning of each school year, a student / parent / teacher compact is developed and distributed to all stakeholders in order to build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the state’s high standards.
- The compact describes the school’s responsibility to provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment. It also describes the way in which parents will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning and ways parents may volunteer and participate in decisions relating to the education of their children. Issues of open communication between parents and teachers are also addressed in the compact.
Building Capacity for Involvement: Section 1118 (e)
- As previously indicated, each school conducts an annual orientation meeting (Open House) and periodic meetings during the year to inform parents of the state’s academic content standards, state student academic achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, and instructional programs provided in the district’s schools.
- The district in collaboration with the schools will provide materials and workshops to help parents work with their children to improve their academic achievement.
Each school will develop a professional development activity in which the principals, in collaboration with district personnel, will provide information to teachers relative to the value and utility of contribution of parents and how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners in implementing parent programs.
The St. Mary Parish Public School System collaborates with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, The Louisiana State Police Office, Municipal Fire Departments, Mary Parish Health Care Providers, St. Mary Parish Library, and St. Mary Parish Health Unit in providing parental involvement activities that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.
Communication to all parents related to school and parenting programs, meetings, and other activities will be in one or more of the following forms and in the parent’s native language, when practical:
- Phone calls/Messages/J Call/Text messages/Social Media
- Newspaper / television announcements
- District and/or School Website
INTEGRATION FOR PRESCHOOL PARENTS
The district coordinates and expends funds to ensure that the parents of preschool students are offered the same types of opportunities for parent and family engagement as other parents of students in the school system. Parents are involved through the initial interview enrollment process, parent-teacher conferences, make-and-take workshops, open house visitations and various volunteer activities in the classroom. Public school Pre K teachers are offered professional development opportunities each year where strategies and approaches are explored toward increasing the effectiveness of the required parent outreach programs. A schedule of transition is annually initiated each year to assure that an appropriate schedule of activities takes place between public school preschool programs, Head Start programs and the public K settings. A schedule of transition activities engages parents in learning how to foster learning opportunities to respond to increasing academic expectations.
The St. Mary Parish Public School System provides a parent literacy program utilizing adult education funding services.
LOUISIANA PARENT INFORMATION RESOURCE CENTER
The St. Mary Parish Public School System and its schools inform parents of the existence and purpose of the Louisiana Parent Information Center through newsletters, posters and announcements at parent and family engagement activities.
Bayou Land Families Helping Families, Inc.
286 Highway 3185
Thibodaux, LA 70301
RESOURCES: For more information, call toll -free 1-888-814-6252
To request free publications, call toll-free 1-877-433-7827, or order online by visiting www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html
Tonia M. Verrette