Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy

Partnerships are key to meeting the goals of Title I.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) Title I, Part A grant aims to provide all students in Title I schools significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps while abiding by guidelines within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

FCPS staff recognizes a partnership with families is essential to meet this goal. This division Title I family engagement policy leverages the Title I, Part A grant to promote active involvement of all families as partners with schools to ensure student success.

Providing Information

A. A Title I Parent Advisory Committee (TPAC) shall be established, consisting of parent representatives from each school receiving Title I funding. Representatives shall meet at least five times per year and report back to school through conversation with administrators, family engagement leaders, PTA, etc. The TPAC will work together with the Title I team to:

  1. Involve parents in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of various components of the Title I, Part A grant within the division.
  2. Provide input on educational opportunities for children, and make recommendations for strengthening the partnerships between home and school in order to improve student achievement.
  3. Develop, annually review, and revise at least biannually the division Title I family engagement policy to represent commitments within the division Title I, Part A grant.
  4. Develop an annual survey of schools receiving Title I funding to determine the range and effectiveness of the family engagement practices and to capture schools’ efforts to overcome barriers to family engagement.
  5. Prepare an annual report to the School Board with recommendations for enhancing services through the Title I, Part A grant.
  6. Stay abreast of changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in relation to Title I services and provide updates to parents at the schools.

B. Central Title I staff will support each school to:

  1. Work jointly with parents to develop a school-level Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact and to ensure these meet the requirements of the ESEA. These documents will be reviewed and distributed to parents annually, revised, at least, every two years, and translated for accessibility for all parents.
  2. Collect and share family engagement strategies taking place in schools through resources such as the Family Engagement Ideas Notebook.

Coordination and Assistance

A. Each Title I school will actively involve parents in their school improvement planning process and in the review and revision of the school-level Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact.

B. Central Title I staff will:

  1. Support each school’s collaboration with parents through meetings, surveys, and informal discussions that can help parents understand the curriculum, instructional practices, academic assessments, expected proficiency levels and strategies to support their children at home to improve student achievement.
  2. Collaborate with schools to ensure availability of parent and family programs such as: Parent leadership and advocacy training; Family literacy events, including Partners in Print; Family SOL/curriculum, math, and science events; Principal’s coffees and parent workshops; Family field trips
  3. Collaborate with FCPS Family and School Partnerships staff to offer supplemental African Heritage Early Literacy Program (AHEL) and Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) programs in high-poverty communities.
  4. Collaborate with FCPS Adult and Community Education (ACE), Family and School Partnerships, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) staff to inform parents of available Adult ESOL classes, parent workshops, and family literacy programs.
  5. Collaborate with FCPS Business and Community Partnerships staff to support schools in developing partnerships with local community organizations in support of student achievement and improved parental involvement.

Building Capacity

A. In order to support implementation and further development of family engagement strategies and actions related to the School Board’s Student Achievement Goals and focus on closing achievement gaps, each Title I school will identify a faculty family engagement leader. The faculty family engagement leader will:

  1. Gain access to additional family engagement professional learning opportunities.
  2. Serve as point of contact for the school’s TPAC representative and Title I staff.
  3. Share family engagement resources, updates, and parental involvement and volunteer opportunities with the school community.
  4. Participate in reflective conversations about the school’s family engagement practices to support school improvement planning and closing achievement gaps.

B. Division Title I, Part A funds will be used to support a central office Title I Team. To build schools’ capacity for strong family engagement, the Title I staff will:

  1. Facilitate opportunities for school staff to share successful programs and strategies,
  2. Promote reflective processes for schools to assess current practices and identify potential opportunities for strengthening family engagement.
  3. Provide informational resources to schools to explain Title I federal regulations to parents, including impacts of Virginia’s ESEA waiver.
  4. Collaborate with other FCPS staff to provide professional learning opportunities and resources to assist schools in strengthening family engagement and overcoming barriers to family engagement.
  5. Consult with school staff to support the development of school-level Family Engagement Policies and School-Home Compacts.
  6. Support schools in Title I Budget planning for effective family engagement programming.
  7. Offer logistical support for schools to develop or maintain parent centers to provide parents with resources, information, and opportunities for partnership.
  8. Produce and distribute a Title I parent newsletter to inform parents about division opportunities and resources for involvement and to highlight effective family engagement practices.
  9. Offer logistical support for educational family field trips to local museums.
  10. Recommend materials for family engagement programs, such as Partners in Print.

Accessibility

A. Title I Schools will:

  1. Engage in practices to ensure a welcoming atmosphere for families of all cultures and backgrounds.
  2. Offer family engagement events at times convenient to parents, ensuring childcare, refreshments, and transportation are available, as needed, to facilitate full participation.
  3. Whenever possible, enlist FCPS Language Services interpreters and translators to communicate with parents who have requested correspondence in another language.
  4. Apply principles of nondiscrimination, as embodied within School Board policy.

B. Central Title I staff will:

  1. Ensure translations are available in all correspondence languages identified within a school for all federally required Title I communications to parents within ESEA, such as A Parent’s Right to Know.
  2. Ensure translated materials and language interpreters are available for all events sponsored by Title I division funds, including the TPAC.

This Title I policy was approved February 27, 2018, by the Title I Parent Advisory Committee.