2020-2021 Parent & Family Engagement Policy

  • The written school Parent and Family Engagement Policy establishes the school’s expectation for Parent and Family Engagement and describes how the school will build the school and parent capacity for strong parent and family engagement. This plan includes all federal requirements, was developed with and agreed upon with parents, distributed to parents, and is being implemented.

    (1) Parents shall be notified of the policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language the parents can understand.

    During Pi Beta Phi’s beginning of the year Open House, our plan is explained within a PowerPoint presentation. Portions of this plan and specific events are also communicated to parents via parent letters, school newsletters, parent handbook, and parent meetings. The plan is also posted on the school’s website and will be included in the student planner and parent/student handbook

    (2) Such policy shall be made available to the local community and updated periodically to meet the changing needs of parents and the school.

    Parents can view our plan on the school website or in our office. Periodic updates are made as needed to reflect school needs based on data gleaned from our annual Family and Community Engagement survey results. Input from parents through our PTA is also encouraged.

    (3) The school will convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children shall be invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents of their school's participation under this part and to explain the requirements of this part, and the right of the parents to be involved.

    Our annual meeting is held during our Open house. Evidence such as agenda/minutes, attendance rosters, and communication is collected for documentation and are on file with administration.

    (4) The school offers a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening, and may provide, with funds provided under this part, transportation, child care, or home visits, as such services relate to parental involvement.

    Teachers at Pi Beta Phi Elementary School communicate their availability to parents for discussions or phone conferences before-school, during their planning time, and after-school hours to accommodate different schedules. Administration at Pi Beta Phi schedules parent/teacher conferences directly after school as well as a later time (5:00pm to 7:00pm) to accommodate various schedules. The PTA meets at 5:30 pm one day each month to provide access to parents who work an afternoon or evening shift.

    (5) Parents are involved in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of programs under this part, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school parental involvement policy and the joint development of the school-wide program plan under section 1114(b)(2), except that if a school has in place a process for involving parents in the joint planning and design of the school's programs, the school may use that process, if such process includes an adequate representation of parents of participating children.

    Pi Beta Phi utilizes the regularly scheduled PTA meetings as a catalyst for collaboration with parents on Title I plans, school improvement plans, and calendar planning.

    (6) The school provides parents of participating children timely information about programs under Title I.

    A student handbook containing general information, school policies, and school calendars is given to each student upon enrollment. In order to regularly communicate with parents, Pi Beta Phi Elementary School sends a monthly newsletter which informs parents about school and grade level activities. A monthly calendar and school menus are also included. Both the handbook and monthly newsletter are available on the school website. Grade level student planners are used for home-school communication on a daily basis. Class web pages also provide up-to-date information, assignments, and syllabi for individual classrooms. In addition, teachers send home progress reports and six-week report cards to inform parents of their child’s academic performance.

    (7) The school provides parents of participating children a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet.

    Each parent will receive a copy of the Parents’ Guide to the Curriculum which outlines what their child is expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. Specific information regarding TN Ready is also distributed. Teachers are responsible for discussing curriculum and academic expectations with parents and answer any questions that parents may have. Assessments and testing results are reviewed by administrators and teachers and shared with parents during parent/teacher conferences. TN Ready results (with accompanying brochures of explanation) are discussed on an individual basis with parents when possible. With the implementation of RTI parent progress reports are sent home in all students’ grade cards for Tier 2 and Tier 3 students.

    (8) Per parent request opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any suggestions as soon as practically possible.

    The PTA is the catalyst by which we provide regular meetings for parents to make suggestions, participate in discussions, and engage in the educational experience of the child. The PTA meets each month on various scheduled days at 5:30pm. The PTA schedule is available at the beginning of the year and PTA is open for anyone to join.

    (9) A process is in place to submit parent comments on the school wide program (SIP) if it is not satisfactory to the parents when the school makes the plan available to the district/LEA.

    The plan is formed in collaboration with parents and is delivered in presentation to parents at the first PTA meeting. Comments are taken at that time and changes will be made or noted for change when available. Parent comments are always welcome at Pi Beta Phi and our doors are always open to our parents.

    (10) A parent school compact is jointly developed with parents and describes the responsibilities of each stakeholder as required by ESSA Sec. 1116.

    The parent/school/student compact is discussed and signed by each parent and student each year. We begin at Open House when we explain Title I.

    (11) Building capacity for involvement - Assistance is provided to parents in understanding topics such as the State’s academic content standards, State student academic achievement standards, State and local academic assessments, and how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve student achievement.

    Pi Beta Phi offers assistance to parents via materials that are sent home, instructions on how to access Gradebook Wizard in both English and Spanish, parent teacher conferences, Open Houses, Parent nights that focus on academics such as a new Eureka Math program, translated documents, and access to a translator.

    (12) Building capacity for involvement- Materials and training are provided to help parents work with their children to improve their achievement, such as literacy training and using technology to foster parent and family engagement.

    Parent involvement activities are held during and after school, including literacy nights, math training, the ELL teachers make themselves available to parents for help, the library is open at 7:30 and stays open until 4:00 to help with literacy strategies, Title I parent materials are sent home and are made available in the office at our parent resource center, and stations are set up at parent teacher conferences to train parents on how to use technological programs.

    (13) Building capacity for involvement - Staff are educated, with the assistance of parents, in the value and contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, build ties between parents and the school.

    In addition to attending staff development opportunities relating to family engagement, Pi Beta Phi Elementary School’s faculty and staff research and brainstorm on-going ideas on how to increase and promote family participation, collaboration, and contribution.

    • Students in 1st through 6 th grades use grade-appropriate student planners to communicate daily with families.
    • Newsletters are sent home monthly by the principal.
    • An open door policy encourages parents to visit the school throughout the year.
    • Conferences between parents/teachers/administrators occur as needed.
    • Parent Conferences are held to communicate class schedules, attendance, use of student planners, and expectations for student learning and behavior. Parents who are unable to attend are provided with alternate dates and times to meet with classroom teachers.
    • The school website address is communicated to parents in the beginning-of-the-year information packet.

    The website includes information on the following:

    • School motto, mission statement, beliefs, and vision
    • Student handbook
    • Celebrations of students, faculty, and staff
    • Roster of faculty and staff with communication links via email

    (14) Building capacity for involvement - To the extent feasible and appropriate, Title I-A parent and family engagement programs are coordinated and integrated with parent involvement activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, , the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Program, and public preschool and other programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.

    Pi Beta Phi began its first Pre-Kindergarten class in 2017-2018. Pre-K parents will receive the same support, information, and opportunities as parents from other grades. Kindergarten registration is an opportunity to welcome future parents to our building, complete paperwork, communicate needs, and begin a positive relationship with Pi Beta Phi Elementary’s future parents. Many staff members and parent volunteers are involved in this process. Students entering Kindergarten in the Fall begin on a staggered attendance schedule. The use of this schedule serves to ease the transition from Pre-K, preschool, day care, or home to a Kindergarten classroom

    (15) Building capacity for involvement - Provide other reasonable support for Parent and Family Engagement activities per parent request. (Example: transportation, childcare)

    Every effort is made to assist our parents with limited English proficiency. Many district/school documents are available in both English and Spanish. Translators are brought in to interpret during meetings with families with limited English Proficiency as needed. Faculty, staff, or other volunteers are also available to assist parents in reading forms and completing paperwork. Information disseminated to families is sent in a clear, understandable vernacular. Forms are often sent home in English and in Spanish versions where applicable. The school staff and the PTA also seek to actively involve parents with opportunities to volunteer within the school and provide a mentor to help these parents by providing support or translation.

    (16) Accessibility-Local educational agencies and schools, to the extent practicable, shall 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 a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand.

    All communication and documents (Spanish and English) are presented in formats that are easily understood. An ELL teacher or translator is present at parent/teacher conferences and multi-disciplinary meetings to facilitate participation and understanding. Translated SPED forms are available as needed. The student handbook and many school announcements are available in Spanish. Two way communication occurs in a variety of ways including the student planner, phone calls, parent conferences, and email.