Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact (DRAFT)

Purpose of the 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.

Forest Edge Elementary is a Title I school in Fairfax County, Virginia.  We utilize our Title I grants to improve student achievement and help all students meet their objectives of the FCPS Program of Studies and the Virginia Standards of Learning. A partnership with our families is paramount 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. The policy describes the school’s approach to involve families in students’ learning.  It includes a home-school compact expressing the partnerships among staff, caregivers, and students to reach high academic goals for every student.  

In collaboration, we developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2023-2024 school year. Several 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 Parent Advisory Council or directly to administrative team. Comments are submitted with the school’s policy and compact to FCPS central offices and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). This policy and school-home compact is available on our school website. 

Important Dates

Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • October 16, 2023 – November 8, 2023
  • Additional dates, as requested by the teacher or parent

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 14, 2023
  • February 6, 2023
  • April 9, 2023
  • June 12, 2023

School Events

  • Welcome Walk – August 17, 2023
  • Open House – August 18, 2023
  • Back to School Night – August 30, 2023
  • AAP Information Session – September 28, 2023
  • Math Night – October 11, 2023
  • PTA Fall Festival – October 18, 2023
  • Title I Literacy Night – March 7, 2024
  • Show What You Know – March 2024
  • 6th Grade Promotion Ceremony – June 2024
  • Literacy Parent Coffees – offered in English, Spanish, & Arabic
  • Monthly Family Coffees with the Family Liaison – Offered in English, Spanish, & Arabic

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 our Parent Advisory Committee and Community Engagement Committee.
  • Solicit caregiver’s input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Comprehensive Needs Assessment, the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact and plans for use of Title I family engagement funding.
  • Seek feedback from families on programs within the Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they might not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with the Title I Schoolwide Plan to FCPS central offices.
  • Invite community members to volunteer, organize, and execute a variety of school events in support of building a collective ownership, such as our Parent Teacher Association, Welcome Walks, Parent Coffees, and Intervention Tutors.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as Friday Folders, library helpers, classroom support and mentors.
  • Encourage community to take part in annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the division-level Title I parent and family engagement policy to identify:
    • barriers to greater family participation,
    • strategies to help community members assist in student learning, and
    • strategies to support successful school and family interactions.

Effective Communication with Parents

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

  • Use three primary methods of communication to families such as weekly school newsletter through New You can Choose, Talking Points, and FCPS Email for parent/community communication.
  • Frequent social media posts via X (formerly Twitter), school website, weekly school flyers via Friday Folders, and classroom newsletters. Utilize additional resources of communication.  To include live streaming of meetings and digital posting of flyers throughout our school portal.
  • Periodically communicate school and student performance data with families to remain current and seek their ideas relevant to student achievement. 
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by presenting at PTA meetings, math and literacy nights, parent coffees, open house/back to school night, and conferences.
  • Provide quarterly feedback regarding student progress via progress reports.
  • Hold parent-teacher conferences as requested by teacher or parent. 

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:

  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through PTA information nights, parent coffees, and written communication from the teacher.
  • Encourage participation in family learning events where caregivers learn strategies to support their child’s learning at home and have an opportunity to practice those strategies with their child.
  • Provide mentors for students though the school Mentorworks program. 
  • Provide opportunities for community organizations to donate backpack supplies for the school year, daily snack, weekend food bags, and holiday support as requested.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to support school events.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as support from our family liaison, social worker and partnership with Cornerstones Organization and RestON.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, based on need and interest in connection with the FCPS Family Engagement Office and our Family Liaison.

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 environment to reflect an inviting front office, family liaison, and student artwork gallery.
  • Provide language services for parent-teacher conferences, workshops, parent coffees and meetings.
  • Provide translations of all school documents and communication to preferred caregiver’s correspondence language. 

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:

  • Instruct students in accordance with VDOE and FCPS standards of learning. 
  • Provide ongoing professional development opportunities and support for all staff to ensure effective best practices. 
  • Share ongoing data review in literacy, writing, and math domains.  
  • Provide daily targeted intervention and enrichment to students in Edge Time (daily intervention-extension block) based upon data. 

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

  • Provide high expectations for all students.
  • Offer a variety of resources to support students with their learning.
  • Utilize a Responsive Classroom approach to include daily morning meeting.

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 updates.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for caregivers to ask questions and give input into the Title I programs.
  • In person, virtual, or paper communication.
  • Family school engagement events.

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

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
  • Creating a Parent Advisory Council.
  • Continued partnerships with Family Liaison and community partners.

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 my child’s learning and share questions or comments related to programs in the school.
  • Volunteer in my child’s classroom or in school activities.
  • Encourage and support my child’s learning at home and at school.
  • Read with my child daily and communicate with my child’s teacher often.
  • Participate in parent and family engagement events.
  • Ensure my child gets an adequate amount of sleep each night.

The student will:

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

  • Come to school daily and ready to learn.
  • Demonstrate respect for my classmates and teachers and complete assignments as instructed.     
  • Give my parents all written communication from my teacher or other school staff members.