The Sevier County School System is pleased to offer your child a student planner to allow you the opportunity to be an active participant in your child’s education. The organizational skills developed by daily planning will reinforce regular communication with your child’s teacher. The planner is intended to be used as a daily communication tool and a reference when questions arise. Understanding what is expected of your child and knowing what is going on at school on a daily basis will build a successful school year. The information provided in this planner will also help you become more familiar with the Title I program at your child’s school as well as opportunities that are available for your involvement. We look forward to a wonderful school year! Additional information about the Sevier County School System can be found on our website at www.sevier.org.
Jack A. Parton, Ed.D. Director of Schools
Title I and the Sevier County School System
The Sevier County School System receives federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title I is the nation’s largest federal assistance program for schools. The goal of Title I is to help every child get a high-quality education. Title I school-wide programs are the dominant model for school reform. The model is designed to generate high levels of academic achievement in core academic areas for all students, especially those who are not demonstrating proficiency in meeting the academic content and achievement standards set by the State Department of Education. The following is a list of the eligible Title I school-wide programs in Sevier County: Catlettsburg Elementary, Catons Chapel Elementary, Jones Cove Elementary, Northview Primary, Northview Intermediate, Northview Jr. Academy, New Center Elementary, Pi Beta Phi Elementary, Pigeon Forge Primary, Pigeon Forge Middle, Pittman Center Elementary, Sevierville Primary, Sevierville Intermediate, Sevierville Middle, and Wearwood Elementary.
Title I Overview
Title I serves schools with two program models: school-wide and targeted assistance. A school-wide program is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school; its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards. This school-wide reform strategy requires that a school do the following:
- Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment;
- Identify and commit to specific goals and strategies that address those needs;
- Create a comprehensive plan;
- Conduct an annual review of the effectiveness of the school-wide program and revise the plan as necessary.
Adopting this strategy should result in an ongoing, comprehensive plan that is unique to the entire school community. The emphasis in school-wide program schools is on serving all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining all resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal. School-wide programs maximize the impact of Title I.
The following are actions evidenced in school-wide programs:
- Plan for comprehensive, long-term improvement;
- Serve all students with highly-qualified teachers and paraprofessionals;
- Provide continuous learning for staff, parents, and the community;
- Use research-based practices to develop and implement enriched instruction for all students;
- Use inclusive approaches to strengthen the school’s organizational structure;
- Consolidate resources to achieve program goals;
- Engage in continuous self-assessment and improvement; and
- Coordinate and integrate federal, state and local services and programs.
A targeted assistance program signifies that the services are provided to a select group of children--those identified as failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State's challenging content and student performance standards--rather than for overall school improvement, as in schoolwide programs. Like schoolwide program schools, the goal of a targeted assistance school is to improve teaching and learning to enable Title I, Part A participants to meet the challenging State performance standards that all children are expected to master.
The following are actions evidenced in targeted assistance programs:
- Based on effective means for improving achievement of participating children;
- Use effective instructional strategies that give primary consideration to extended-time strategies;
- Provide accelerated, high-quality curricula, and minimize removing children from the regular classroom during regular school hours;
- Coordinate with and support the regular education program;
- Provide instruction by highly-qualified and trained professional staff; and
- Implement strategies to increase parental involvement.
How Will My Child Benefit?
If your child is enrolled in a Title I school-wide program, all students in the school are supported in some way by Title I funding. In targeted assisted programs, only those students who have been identified as most at-risk of not meeting proficiency participate in specialized supplemental educational programming. Currently, all Title I schools utilize the school-wide model.
Title I funds are spent on personnel, instructional materials and supplies, instructional technology, and parent activities. Committees of school personnel and parents, as well as input from annual surveys, decide how Title I funding can best meet the needs of all students. Parents are an important part of the Title I planning team; your involvement is encouraged and welcomed.
Home and School Partnerships
The establishment of a home and school partnership is essential in order to meet the needs of all students. Some of the activities supported by Title I funds include:
➢ Providing information through an annual parent meeting, parent involvement plan, parent-school-
student compact, parent conferences, progress reports, notices, calendars, newsletters, webpages, parent trainings and public television.
➢ Sharing responsibility with family members through parent conferences, use of parent survey results,
committees, parent-school-student compact, involvement of parents by providing learning materials, and through the use of community resources.
➢ Empowering parents by providing opportunities to become involved in the development and
evaluation of the school-wide program, policies, and compact; opportunities to observe and assist in the classroom; opportunities to receive training and educational resources, as well as opportunities to receive information on community services and programs.
➢ Promoting accessibility with an inviting atmosphere, phone calls, personal notes, translated materials,
or other accommodations which might serve to break down barriers between school and home.
Parent-School-Student Partnership Agreement (Compact)
Each Title I school must jointly develop, with parents of children served under Title I, Part A, a Parent-School- Student Compact as a component of its written parent involvement policy. A compact is a written agreement between the school and the parents of children participating in Title I that identifies the activities that the parents, the entire school staff, and the students will undertake to share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement. In addition, the compact outlines the activities that the parents, school staff, and students will undertake to build and develop a partnership to help the children achieve progress toward the state’s high academic standards.
Board Policy 505 (Parental Involvement)
The Sevier County School System will be governed by the statutory definition of parent involvement as cited in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), and will carry out programs, activities, and procedures in accordance with this definition.
The Sevier County Board of Education will implement the following as required by federal and state legislation:
➢ The Sevier County School System will put into operation activities and procedures for the involvement of parents in all of its schools. These programs, activities, and procedures including the system’s plan for parent involvement and the school improvement process will be planned, developed and operated with meaningful consultation with parents.
➢ The system will incorporate activities and strategies that support this system-wide family and community into its district strategic plan.
➢ The district’s strategic plan will include procedures by which parents may learn about how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve student achievement.
➢ The district’s strategic plan will include strategies for parent participation in the system’s schools, which are designed to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such areas as homework, attendance, and discipline.
➢ If the school district’s strategic plan is not satisfactory to the parents, the school system will submit any parent comments with the plan when the system submits the plan to the State Department of Education.
➢ To the extent practicable, the system 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 in an understandable and uniform format including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand.
➢ The system will appoint a Family and Community Advisory Council that will annually assess, through consultation with parents, the effectiveness of the Family and Community Engagement Program and determine what action needs to be taken, if any, to increase parental and community participation. In order to accomplish this, each advisory council will be composed of representatives from parents of students in elementary, middle, and high schools, community business leaders, a member of the school board, and representatives from the system.
➢ The system will ensure Title I schools are in compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act.
➢ Families and community members should be engaged in the education of students based on the following standards:
- Families are welcomed into the school community;
- Families and school staff should engage in regular and meaningful communication about student learning;
III. Families and school staff work together to support student learning and development;
- Families are informed and encouraged to be advocates for students;
- Families are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families; and VI. Community, civic, and business resources are made available to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning.
➢ Schools shall establish and develop programs and practices that enhance family engagement and address the specific needs of students and families. Decisions affecting students, schools, and established school procedures shall always be made within the parameters of legal and Sevier County Board of Education policies. The programs and practices will be comprehensive and coordinated and will include the following goals:
- Assist families in developing skills and techniques to support their children’s learning.
- Promote clear, two-way communication between school and family about school issues, instructional programs, and children’s progress.
- Identify and reduce barriers to family engagement, including such barriers as those of economic concerns, disabilities, limited English proficiency, limited literacy, or issues related to cultural diversity.
- Inform, involve, and train family members, where appropriate, in voluntary instructional and support roles at school.
- Provide information about community and support services for children and families.
- Include families in decision-making affecting schools and programs when consistent with law and policies of the Sevier County Board of Education.
- Provide professional development for teachers and staff on ways to work effectively with parents, families, and volunteers.
- Provide access to the family engagement policy for each family and post the policy in each school.
Additional Expectation for Title I Schools:
The system will provide coordination, technical assistance and other support to schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement activities to improve student achievement and school performance according to the guidelines set forth in law which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The Title I Program will be planned, designed, implemented, and assessed with timely consultation with parents. Each collaborative meeting will be documented with a dated agenda, meeting notes and a sign in sheet.
- Parents will be involved through activities and procedures which are of sufficient size, scope, and quality to give reasonable promise of substantial progress toward achieving required goals.
- An annual meeting will be convened to explain the programs, activities, and curriculum available under Title I, and all parents of participating children will be invited. Other reasonable support for parent involvement activities will be provided per parent request.
- Parents of participating children will be provided with support in understanding the State academic content standards, State achievement standards, state and local assessments, and reports and explanations of student academic progress.
- To the extent practicable, parent/teacher conferences will be conducted with the parents of each participating child. Parents will be informed of each child’s progress, placement, and will be provided materials and training in methods the parents can use to complement the child’s instruction and improve their achievement.
- Parents of participating children will be provided a copy of the school’s parent/family involvement policy as well as timely information about the instructional program.
- Parent involvement activities and strategies under other programs which include, but are not limited to, Head Start, preschool, and language instructional programs will be coordinated when feasible.
- A school-parent- student partnership agreement (compact) that outlines how parents, the entire school staff and student will share the responsibility for improved student achievement will be developed annually. The compact will encourage parents, school staff, and students to share the responsibility for improved student achievement and will provide means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve high standards.
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Parent Notifications
ESEA expects districts and schools receiving federal funds to ensure that parents are actively involved and knowledgeable about their schools and their children’s education. The law requires schools to give parents many different kinds of information and notices in a uniform and understandable format and to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand. Listed below are the required notifications that must be made to parents:
Parents have the right to request certain information regarding their child’s teachers. Upon request, you can be provided with information regarding, information regarding whether professionals are highly effective, including the qualifications of the student’s teachers and paraprofessionals. This includes information about whether the student’s teacher:
1) has met state qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
2) is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing criteria have been waived;
3) is teaching in the field of discipline not of the certification of the teacher; and
4) is teaching alongside paraprofessionals and, if so, the paraprofessional’s qualifications [ESSA § 1112(e)(1)(A)]. In the event that the Sevier County School System must employ a teacher not meeting licensure requirements for four (4) or more consecutive weeks, the parents of students receiving instruction from this teacher will be notified.
Paraprofessionals, or instructional assistants, are valuable assets to our educational community. Under ESEA, Title I paraprofessionals must have a required academic background in order to provide instructional assistance to your child. In order to be highly-qualified, a paraprofessional must have passed a competency test, earned an associate degree or higher, or completed two or more years of higher education. All of the Title I paraprofessionals in the Sevier County School System are highly-qualified under ESEA. You also have the right to request information about the paraprofessionals that may work with your child.
Board Policy 651 outlines the system’s policies regarding the administration of surveys to students and protection of student privacy. Neither the Board nor its agents will collect, disclose, or use personal student information for the purpose of marketing or selling that information or otherwise providing that information to others for that purpose. Surveys conducted for agencies, organizations, or individuals must have the recommendation of the Director of Schools and the approval of the Board as to content and purpose. The District shall not administer a survey, analysis, or evaluation that collects individual student data on political affiliation, religion, voting history, or firearms ownership.
Public Release of Student Directory Information- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
In 1974, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment) Public Law 93-380, 438 was passed to ensure confidentiality of school records. FERPA requires that the Sevier County School System with certain exceptions, obtain the written consent of parents prior to disclosure of personally identifiable information from a child's educational records. Parents should be encouraged to carefully review the FERPA notice which is distributed for parent signature at each school annually. The notice specifically deals with the access of military recruiters. In 2015, the Sevier County Board of Education modified its Student Records Policy (BP 122). Parents are encouraged to review the modified policy online at http://www.sevier.org/board- po. Every pre-kindergarten and kindergarten student will also receive a Portfolio Growth Model Notification that requests additional permission for student work samples to be collected as part of the teacher evaluation process, when applicable.
Military Recruiter Access to Student Information
Two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses, and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. (Release of information to military recruiters is done at the high school level only.)
Parent and Family Engagement Parent Involvement Policy-
The Sevier County Board of Education has a Parent Involvement Policy (BP505) which includes a Title I Parent Involvement section for schools that are identified as Title I. The policy explains the importance of communication and cooperation between the school, administrative staff, parents, and teachers. Family partnerships are an important part of education that is sought after by all of our schools. In addition, each Title I school has developed its own parent involvement policy. School administrators are encouraged to involve parents in decision-making and policy development at their schools. Each year, parents have the opportunity to make suggestions about revisions to the district’s Parent Involvement Policy when they complete the Title I Family and Community Engagement survey.
Each school served under Title I, Part A must develop a school-parent compact that outlines the responsibilities of each party for improved academic achievement. 20 U.S.C. §6318(b), (c).
Title I Annual Meeting:
Each school served under Title I, Part A must convene an annual meeting, at a time convenient for parents, to inform them of the school’s participation in Title I programs and to explain the Title I requirements and the right of parents to be involved in those programs. Your child’s school will offer a flexible number of additional parent involvement meetings, such as in the morning or evening so that as many parents as possible are able to attend.
Report Cards on Statewide Academic Assessment
The Tennessee State Department of Education prepares an annual report card which includes information about demographics, statistics, and performance indicators for both the system and school. The current Tennessee Report Card is available at the State Department of Education website (http://www.tn.gov/education/topic/report-card) and on the school system’s website (http://www.sevier.org/testing). Hard copies may be obtained upon request at your child’s school.
Achievement on State Assessment
As passed in the 2014 General Assembly, Public Chapter 892 requires the Tennessee Department of Education as well as school districts to post a calendar of all state and district mandated tests each school year. This information is available on the district’s website at www.sevier.org. Individual student test results from state testing processes will be released to students and parents by the Sevier County School System promptly upon receipt of the information from the Tennessee Department of Education. Questions about assessment processes should be referred to your child’s teacher, principal, or Mr. Tony Stinnett, District Testing Coordinator. Mr. Stinnett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 865-453-4671.
All schools will provide parents information on the achievement level of their child on each of the state academic assessments as soon as is practicably possible. The results should be disseminated to all parents in an understandable and uniform format and in a language that is easily understood. The state accountability system is set up to measure how well both schools and students are meeting the proficiency goals.
National Assessment of Education Progress
Parents of children selected to participate in any National Assessment of Educational Progress assessment must be informed before the assessment is administered that their child may be excused from participation for any reason, is not required to finish any assessment and is not required to answer any test question. The district will make reasonable efforts to inform parents and the public about their right to access to all assessment data (except personally identifiable information), questions and current assessment instruments.
English Learner Programs
A school district that uses federal funds to provide a language instruction education program for children with limited English proficiency must no later than thirty days after the beginning of the school year give the parent(s) of each child identified for participation the following information: the reasons for the identification of the child as an English learner; the child’s level of English proficiency, how that level was determined and the status of the child’s academic achievement; methods of instruction in the program in which their child is placed and those of other available programs; how the program will meet the educational strengths and needs of their child; how the program will specifically help their child learn English and meet age-appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation; the specific exit requirements for the program; in the case of a child with a disability, how the program meets the child’s IEP objectives; and the information about parental rights detailing the right of parents to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request and the options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another available program or method of instruction. For a child not identified as limited English proficient prior to the beginning of the school year, the district must notify parents within the first two weeks of the child being placed in such a program. [ESEA Title I, Part A, §1112].
The Sevier County School System will ensure that all children and youth receive a free, appropriate public education and are given meaningful opportunities for success in school as outlined in BP 522. The system will follow the requirements outlined in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act. A copy of the policies related to McKinney-Vento is available in the school office. For information contact: Rebekah Atchison, Local Liaison for Children and Youth in Transition at email@example.com (email) 865-453- 4671 (phone) or Justin Singleton, McKinney-Vento Coordinator at Justin.Singleton@tn.gov (email) or 615- 253-3101 (phone).
If a school district requests the U.S. Secretary of Education to waive any provision or regulation of the ESEA, it must provide notice and information about the waiver to the public in the manner in which is customarily provides public notice [20 U.S.C. §7861(b)(3)(B)] [ESEA Title IX, Part D, §8401(b)(3)(B)(ii)].
All Sevier County Schools have been deemed “safe schools” under the guidelines of our state and ESEA. However, should your child become the victim of a violent crime at any Sevier County School, you have the right to request a transfer to another grade-appropriate school in the district.
Each spring, a program evaluation is conducted to measure the content and effectiveness of our parent involvement program. The family and community engagement survey is distributed to a random population of parents representing all Title I schools. The program evaluation gathers information from parents about what they consider have been effective practices in their child’s school toward educating, informing, and involving parents in their child’s education. The results of the survey are compiled and shared with each Title I school and are used to design strategies for more effective parent involvement.
Parents’ Guide to the Curriculum
The content standards printed in this publication identify what students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. The content standards represent an essential core of knowledge and abilities that all students must have to be successful in school and in their adult life. With set standards for learning in each subject area and at each grade level, it is important for parents to have information about what their child is expected to know and be able to do. With this information, parents are more prepared to talk with teachers about their child’s abilities, support their child’s learning at home, and understand the results of standardized testing. This publication is available at your child’s school and is linked to the website at www.sevier.org.
The Sevier County School System has an emergency message system in place called Parent Link. The use of the phone messaging system is an attempt by the Sevier County School System to make announcements in a more direct fashion when school closings are so unexpected that students and parents may not realize a media announcement is likely. Please contact your child’s school office to make changes to phone numbers associated with Parent Link.
Announcements about school closures are posted on the school system’s website at www.sevier.org as well as local television and radio stations. Interested parties can follow the school system on twitter @SevierCoSchools for news, updates and school closures.
Community Resource Guide
The community resource guide is developed by the Sevier County Family Resource Center and the Department of Human Services as a reference to the network of human service programs available to assist all members of the community. Copies of this resource are available on the system’s website and at your child’s school.
Home & School Connection
Home & School Connection is a newsletter for parents designed to provide busy parents with practical ideas that promote school success, parent involvement, and more effective parenting. Each month, the current issue of Home & School Connection will be sent home with your child and will also be posted to our system’s website at www.sevier.org/hsc.html.
Family Resource Center
The purpose of the Family Resource Center is to help families by combining family, school, and community. This can be done by helping families deal effectively with problems through linkage to health and social services. The Family Resource Center also provides parenting workshops to assist parents with skills for behavior modification and child development stages. You may contact the Sevier County Family Resource Center at 428-7999.
The Sevier County Board of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, disability, age (40 and over), sex, special education status, religion, pregnancy, military/veteran status, or genetic information in provisions of educational opportunities, programs, activities, employment opportunities/benefits. Inquiries or completed grievance forms should be referred to Tony Stinnett, Title VI Coordinator; Whit Helton, Title IX Coordinator; or Dr. John Enloe, ADA/504/Title II Coordinator at 865-453- 4671 or 226 Cedar Street in Sevierville, TN 37862.
Citizens and agencies are encouraged to report fraud, waste or abuse in State and Local government. NOTICE: This agency is a recipient of taxpayer funding. If you observe an agency director or employee engaging in any activity which you consider to be illegal, improper or wasteful, please call the state Comptroller’s toll-free Hotline: 1-800-232-5454. Notifications can also be submitted electronically at: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/hotline
Adopted by the Sevier County Board of Education January 14, 2019