Family Engagement Policy and Compact

For the 2018-2019 school year

Purpose of this Policy and Compact

Efforts will be made to clearly articulate the school’s intentions to engage with and involve parents/caregivers in the educational process.

Belvedere Elementary is a Title I school within Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) and utilizes the Title I grant to improve student achievement and help all students meet the objectives of the FCPS Program of Studies and the Virginia Standards of Learning. A partnership with families is essential to meeting this goal.

Under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools that receive Title I funds are expected to collaborate with families to develop and maintain a parent and family engagement policy that describes the school’s approach to involve families in students’ learning and includes a compact expressing the partnerships among staff, caregivers, and students to reach high academic goals for every student.

Belvedere Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2018-2019 school year. A number of the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact.

This policy and compact is distributed to all caregivers in a language that families can understand. Caregivers have opportunities to provide comments and feedback on the policy and compact through PTA meeting on October 4. Comments are submitted with the school’s policy and compact to FCPS central offices and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). This policy and compact are made available to the broader school community through the school website.

Important Dates

Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Throughout the month of October and beginning of November

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 16
  • February 15
  • April 26
  • June 13

School Events

  • Open House/Back to School Night
  • Levels of Service and Level IV Screening Information Night
  • Partners in Print
  • Math/Pasta Night
  • Teach-R-Treat
  • Kindergarten Orientation
  • AAP Orientation
  • Family Science Night
  • Eco Discovery Night

Building Capacity for Involvement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers are actively involved in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the school’s Title I program, including the following:

  • Provide family members a voice in decision-making on committees, such as Belvedere PTA.

  • Engage caregiver input when developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact.

  • Seek feedback from families on programs within the Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer opportunities for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with the Title I Schoolwide Plan to FCPS central offices.

  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as Eco Discovery Night and Art Walk, Outdoor cleanup days, and Teach-r-Treat.

  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as Eco Discovery Night and Art Walk, Outdoor cleanup days, and Teach-r-Treat.

  • Encourage families to take part in annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the division-level Title I parent and family engagement policy in order to identify: barriers to greater family participation, ways to help family members be better able to assist in student learning, and strategies to support successful school and family interactions.

  • Invite families to preview Family Life Education lessons, teaching materials and instructional resources so they can make informed decisions about what they want students exposed to in the classroom

Effective Communication with Parents

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive meaningful communication in a timely manner, including the following:

  • Use multiple methods of communication to and from families such as progress reports, interims, emails, phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, newsletters, and daily homework planners.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend PTA meetings to learn about information regarding Title I services, Title I grant requirements, and families’ right to be involved in the school.
  • Share school and student performance data with families in ways that seek their ideas about how to improve performance toward Virginia’s challenging academic standards, such as supporting reading at home.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by sharing newsletters and holding parent meetings.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as homework planners, progress reports, Blackboard, and interims.
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.
  • Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least annually in the fall and more often, as needed.
  • Respond to parent emails within twenty-four hours of receipt
  • Promote the use of the Belvedere Parent Center as a functional, welcoming space for parents to work in and gather within the school building
  • Establish a class parent for each classroom to streamline communication to other parents
  • Make every effort to have documents and communication translated into languages parents can read and understand
  • Use the county-wide web program SIS to have important information readily available for parents

Shared Responsibilities for High Academic Achievement

Efforts will be made to ensure parents/caregivers receive materials, training, and benefits from school partnerships with social and academic services, community-based organizations, and businesses, including the following:

  • Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as curriculum fairs, Partners in Print, PE/Math Night and Eco-Discovery Night and Art Walk.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through PTA and parent center meetings.
  • Encourage participation in family learning events where caregivers learn strategies to support their child’s learning at home and have a chance to practice those strategies with their child, such as Partners in Print.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Blackboard and school website.
  • Provide mentors for students through assigned mentors, adult role models, and exhibition mentors.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Friday backpack food program and clothing donations to parent center.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as partnership with St. Albans Episcopal church.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as Blackboard, FCPS and school websites.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as parent sessions held in the parent center.

Welcoming All Families

Efforts will be made to ensure that all parents/caregivers are welcomed and provided opportunities to actively engage within the school, including the following:

  • Create a welcoming atmosphere at the school with calls home to parents before school begins and a welcoming front office environment.
  • Provide interpretation services for parent-teacher conferences, workshops, and meetings.
  • Translate or provide interpretation of all school documents and communication to make them accessible in the caregiver’s preferred correspondence language and for those with vision or hearing impairments.
  • Support two-way communication between families and staff through assistance of a parent liaison for translating letters and documents, phone calls, and parent conferences.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through clear communication and by pairing events together, such as dinner and Math/PE night.
  • Host International Night where families can share foods, dance and traditions from their countries of origin and cultures
  • Take family field trips to explore community parks with the Belvedere Outdoor Club

Compact Provisions

School staff, parents/caregivers, and students must work together to ensure a student success.

The staff will:

Provide a high-quality curriculum and instruction that enables students to meet challenging academic standard through the following actions:

  • Teach all students according to the state’s challenging standards, using approved curriculum resources.
  • Provide ongoing professional development and support to all teachers to ensure effective instructional practices are used in all classrooms.
  • Provide ongoing assessment to determine the needs of each student.
  • Offer families a variety of ways to help students practice reading and math skills.

Provide a supportive and effective learning environment for students through the following actions:

  • Provide clear expectations for student behavior and academic learning.
  • Offer a variety of resources to help students with their learning.
  • Promote a safe and welcoming environment.
  • Model and teach respect for self and others.

Provide assistance to caregivers in understanding the school’s program through the following actions:

  • Hold an annual meeting to present information on the school’s Title I programs, state and division curriculum and assessments, and the school’s state and federal accountability status.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for caregivers to ask questions and give input into the Title I programs.
  • Communicate with parents and classroom teachers regarding each child’s progress.
  • Offer families a variety of ways to help students practice reading and math skills.

Build caregivers’ involvement in the school’s Title I program through the following actions:

  • Include caregivers as collaborators in developing the Title I School Home Compact and the Family Engagement Policy
  • Invite parents to attend monthly outdoor learning experiences
  • Engage parents in partnering to enhance school grounds as outdoor learning areas

The parents/caregivers will:

Demonstrate understanding that participation in my child’s education will help his or her achievement through the following actions:

  • Participate in decisions related to school programs and my child’s education, and share my questions or comments about the programs in my child’s school.
  • Volunteer in my child’s classroom or in school activities, as my schedule allows.
  • Encourage and support my child’s learning at home and at school.
  • Read with my child as often as possible.
  • Encourage a positive attitude and respect for self, others, and the school.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the followings actions:

  • Get enough sleep every night.
  • Come to school on time unless I am sick.
  • Try my hardest and work with my classmates to complete learning tasks.
  • Give my parents all notes and papers from my teacher.
  • Use respectful language and tone with peers and adults.