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.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemics, changes may be made to our Annual Parent Orientation Night. This night was originally scheduled as an in-person orientation on August 11, 2020. However, due to local restrictions and safety concerns, adjustments had to be made. Our plan will still be explained to parents utilizing a powerpoint by Principal Kevin Debow. However, instead of a large in person gathering, we had the presentation running on a loop in the forum and offered a drop-in orientation from 2:00-6:00pm on August 13th. At this time students and parents could stop in, get information from the presentation, meet teachers, and ask questions without having too many people in one area at the same time. Notification of the orientation meeting option was posted on the school website, school Facebook page, school Twitter account, and through an automated phone call reminder. Portions of this plan and specific events are also communicated to parents via parent letters, school newsletters, and parent meetings. The plan is also posted on the school’s website.
(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 have access to it on site. Periodic updates are made as needed to reflect school needs based on data gleaned from our annual Family and Community Engagement survey results. Our parent advisory committee reviews and amends the plan as needed. Input from parents through our parent and community group is also encouraged. Documents are translated for ELL students as needed.
(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.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemics, changes may be made to our Annual Parent Orientation Night in which Title 1 and other information was presented by the school principal. Orientation information still included school expectations, procedures, and ways parents can stay involved in their student’s academic success, but we did not do a single, large group meeting. Rather, we had the presentation running on a loop in the forum and offered a drop-in orientation from 2:00-6:00pm on August 13th where students/families could come in to get information, meet teachers, and ask questions. Greeters marked off attendees and the automated phone call reminder report are kept as evidence of this event.
(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.
Since a large percentage of our student population qualifies for free- or reduced-lunch, we continually take measures to accommodate families from diverse backgrounds. We offer our families during- and after-school opportunities to be involved and engaged in our school operations such as our Parent Advisory Committee and Parent-Teacher Conferences. Many of these meetings may be moved to virtual in the 2020-21 school year due to Covid-19. Northview Junior Academy’s administration and teachers schedule conferences in morning, afternoon, and evening hours to accommodate different schedules. Further, parents are also welcome to call or stop in at our school at any time to speak with an administrator. Teachers at Northview Junior Academy communicate their availability to parents for discussions or phone conferences before-school, during their planning time, and after-school hours to accommodate different schedules. Parents can email all teachers through links on the school website or through Skyward.
(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.
Our Parent Advisory Council and Prioritization Committee, which is comprised of the principal, 2 assistant principals, teachers, instructional assistants, and parent representatives, meets quarterly. Meetings will be held virtually through Google Meets to maintain social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. This group developed the Parent Involvement Policy based on identified needs, input from families, and results from the annual Parent and Community Engagement Survey. Decisions and actions are communicated through school newsletters and the school’s website. The Parent Involvement Policy summarized at the beginning-of-the-year parent meetings/parent orientation, posted to the website, and available upon request. Northview Junior Academy’s Prioritization Committee was originally formed to review school assessment data and the content of the current school improvement plan as well as make decisions impacting school priorities for improvement
(6) The school provides parents of participating children timely information about programs under Title I.
In order to communicate regularly with families Northview Junior Academy sends home:
- Information during the orientation meetings for families on how to support their child’s success at school.
- A school handbook/planner containing important information on volunteering and other school procedures is available to all families through our school website. A paper copy of this handbook/planner is provided to all students the first week of school.
- Orientation Night, distance and in-person meetings, and Parent-Teacher Conferences are held to communicate class schedules, attendance, use of assignment books, 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 and principal to discuss these important issues. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these meetings will be virtual in the 2020-21 school year.
- Newsletters are emailed each six weeks with student report cards and paper copies are available upon request. Portions of the newsletter are translated, as needed, for Spanish speaking parents.
- Students in 7th & 8th use grade-appropriate planners to communicate with families on a daily basis.
- A school Facebook page and Twitter account informs parents and the community of school happenings.
- In addition to our school website, the Sevier County School System’s webmaster uses the district website to communicate with families. In addition to important school dates, events, and reminders, parents may use the Students and Families section found on our district’s website. This link provides parents with many resources for parental involvement, homework help, parenting tips, etc.
- Each teacher maintains a course syllabus with expectations, requirements, and other important information. The syllabus will ensure consistent learning continues throughout a potential extended closure due to Covid-19.
- Teachers send home progress reports and six-week report cards to inform parents of their child’s academic performance. Parents may also check student grades online via Skyward. - The guidance department maintains a Google classroom page to update students on pertinent information tailored to their grade level.
(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.
The following are ways that curriculum and assessment are communicated to our families:
In regard to curriculum: Teachers maintain a course/class syllabus highlighting current curricular focus and class requirements to parents. The curriculum is also discussed with parents at our fall Orientation, Parent-Teacher Conferences, and additional parent nights or virtual meetings. At the beginning of each school year, each parent receives 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.
In regard to assessment: The principal and teachers review the prior year’s test results. Brochures and letters are sent home accompanying State Test results as soon as it is feasible. If parents have questions about the results, they schedule meetings with the principal or teacher.
However, this will not occur in 2020 due to the cancellation of spring 2020 testing. Parents receive information regarding other assessments such as CASE Benchmarks periodically throughout the year. Students identified at Tier II or III through RTI are notified of testing results through regular progress reports. Links to curriculum and state testing information are included on the school and district website. A Title 1 newsletter will be sent home in October to review curriculum, assessment, and other important information.
(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.
When a child is experiencing difficulty, teachers and/or administration at Northview Junior Academy conference with parents to discuss how to motivate the child, offer suggestions for remediation/enrichment, and solicit help and support from home. Similarly, when a parent requests a meeting with teachers, they come together (in-person or virtually) with the administrator to listen to the views and challenges faced by the parent and offer suggestions and/or accommodations to best meet the needs of the student. The teachers and support staff work together to carry through with recommendations, suggestions, and requests for help made by parents. The school counselor is available to counsel with students who are struggling to meet emotional needs. Parents are invited to attend IEP and 504 meetings regarding their student. Parents of eighth grade students are invited to be involved in developing their child’s 8 year plan for high school.
(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.
Parent comments are always welcome at Northview Junior Academy. Parent representatives on the Prioritization Team, parents on the SIP committees, and parents representing our Parent Advisory Council provide input. These groups meet periodically throughout the school year. Family and community members can contact a school administrator or the Title 1 district coordinators on the district’s website.
(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 compact is reviewed annually at a Document Review meeting and updated as necessary. Every parent, student, and teacher are required to sign it. The compact is reviewed at every parent-teacher conference. This review is documented on the P/T conference signature pages.
(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.
Parent training session is held by our school Principal, Kevin Debow at Orientation Nights/Virtual meetings. Parents can also request a meeting (in-person or virtual) with any school administrator: Kevin Debow, Stacy Plemons, Maggie Yoakum or Travis Franklin. Our administrators discuss current changes/results in regard to data and the school’s areas of success and areas of greatest need at quarterly Parent Advisory Committee meetings or other times, as needed. Our administrator informs families of celebrations, curricular changes/needs, and upcoming assessments through newsletters, morning announcements, Facebook, Twitter, automated calls, and the school’s website.
(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.
The following opportunities are presented annually to families:
- Parent materials are placed in a “Parent Resource Center” located in the guidance office and displayed during parent nights.
- Parent training sessions are held by our school guidance counselor at different times of day on topics requested by parents or listed as a need on parent surveys. Many of these may be virtual in 2020-21 due to Covid-19.
- Parent/community workshops are offered in a variety of topics such as Healthy Living, preparing for high school, and scholarships.
- Our Parent Advisory Committee meets virtually, quarterly to discuss the addition of other parent involvement opportunities.
(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, the Northview Junior Academy faculty and staff research and brainstorm on-going ideas on how to increase and promote family participation, collaboration, and contribution. The following are examples:
- Students in 7-8 use grade-appropriate student planners to communicate daily with families.
- Newsletters are emailed home every six weeks as a collaboration of administration, guidance department, and classroom teachers.
- Email communication is used between parents, administrator, and teachers.
- Conferences between parents/teachers/administrators occur as needed.
- Parent meetings 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. Many of these meetings will be held virtually in 2020-21 due to Covid-19.
- The school website address is communicated to parents in the beginning-of-the-year information packet.
The website includes information on the following:
- School Purpose Statement
- Student Handbook
- Celebrations of students, faculty, and staff
- School calendar and important dates
- 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.
Under normal circumstances, there is a daytime orientation for students transitioning from Northview Intermediate School and Catlettsburg Elementary School with school-provided transportation and supervision. However, this was unable to occur in 2020 due to closures related to Covid19. We hope to resume these activities in 2021. We host an evening Orientation Night each fall to include parents. In 2020, this will be done virtually and/or in small groups. The school counselor and administration are available to students transferring throughout the school year. A parent meeting is also held in the spring for parents of eighth grade students about transitioning to high school. The school counselor works with parents and students to develop an 8 Year Plan for success in high school and beyond.
(15) Building capacity for involvement - Provide other reasonable support for Parent and Family Engagement activities per parent request. (Example: transportation, childcare)
At Northview Junior Academy, 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 as needed. Faculty and staff are also available to assist parents in reading forms and completing paperwork. Information disseminated to families is sent in clear, simple English. Forms are often sent home in English and in Spanish versions where applicable. “Home School Connection” newsletter, available in both English and Spanish, is linked to the Parent Resource section of our school website, and is also sent home monthly to all families.
(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.
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 clear, simple English. Forms are often sent home in English and in Spanish versions where applicable. The school staff and the Parent Advisory Council 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.
Parent meetings are conducted throughout the school year or on an as needed basis providing parents with information concerning their child’s education, materials to practice and support identified skills relative to their child’s learning, and tips for parents, while fostering a positive relationship between the home and school environment. Two-way communication involves a variety of media such as phone calls, emails, Google Meets, and person-to person conferencing.