Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

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 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.

Forest Edge Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2017-2018 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 Parent Advisory Council or directly to administration. 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

  • November 6th and 7th
  • additional dates as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 17th
  • February 9th
  • April 27th
  • June 15th

School Events

  • Thanksgiving Lunch, November 16th
  • Parent Advisory Council Interest, November 21st
  • Show What you Know, February 21st
  • Parent Workshop Series: Mind in the Making, Winter 2018
  • International Night, March 16th
  • Academic Night, April 4th
  • Courtney Schilling 5k, April 27th  

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

  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), Title I Schoolwide Plan, 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 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 our Parent Teacher Association and Parent Advisory Committee.

  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as Friday Folders, library helpers, classroom support and mentors.

  • 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.  

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 families such as weekly school newsletter through New You can Choose, frequent social media posts via Twitter and school website, and  flyers through Friday Folders and classroom newsletters.

  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on November 21, 2017 to share information about Title I services, explain Title I grant requirements, and inform families of their 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 parent teacher conferences, information nights, parent coffees and parent advisory council.

  • 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, parent advisory meetings, information nights, parent coffees and parent conferences.

  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as Friday Folders, classroom blackboard sites, parent conferences, and classroom newsletters.

  • 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.  

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 Mind in the Making Curriculum, Parent Bootcamp, Realizing the American Dream course, and PTA meetings.

  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through parent information nights through PTA meetings and coffees, and written communication from the school and teacher.

  • 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 Math Night, International Night, and Show What you Know.

  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as our parent resource center, access to clinical staff and communication with teachers.

  • Provide mentors for students though school Mentorworks program in collaboration with our business partners Restoration Church, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation  

  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as backpack supplies for the school year, daily snack, weekend food bags and holiday support for those in needs. .

  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as mentorships, financial support, and community events.

  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as support from our parent liaisons, social work and partnership with Cornerstones Org and RestON.  

  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as Parent boot camp, and mind in the making courses.  

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 student with a welcoming office space, parent liaison, student artwork gallery, and multicultural signage such as our welcome sign.

  • 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 personal calls and invitations to events and meetings, parent coffees and translating of important document.

  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through teacher outreach for volunteering opportunities, PTA reach out for volunteering opportunities, parent liaison outreach, community engagement committee outreach efforts.  

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.
  • Utilize the workshop model in reading, writing and math to ensure a by name and by need methodology to teaching
  • Provided daily targeted intervention including remediation and enrichment to identified students.

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.
  • Utilize a responsive classroom approach with students including daily morning meeting.
  • Provide daily social skills instruction via the Character Counts curriculum

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.
  • Information via online and paper communications
  • Information at Parent teacher conferences
  • Information Nights and guest speakers at PTA meetings and parent coffees.

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

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIP) 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
  • Partnership with Parent Liaisons and community partners
  • Parent education courses at school and in the community

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 daily and regularly communicate with my child’s teacher
  • Participate in parent and family engagement events

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.
  • Think about my class and school community and take care of them.