Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact

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.

Bucknell 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.

Bucknell 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 US mail, email, telephone and mobile device communication, school website, in-person communication. 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 8, 2018
  • additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 7, 2018
  • January 30, 2019
  • April 10, 2019
  • June 13, 2019

School Events

  • Back to School Night and Annual Meeting:  August 27, 2018
  • Partners in Print: Spring 2019
  • Partners in Math Night: Spring 2019
  • Read Across America: March 2019 (and many more)

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 PTA.
  • 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 PTA, Partners in Print, Family Literacy Nights, Black History Night, and International Cultural Night.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as classroom volunteers.
  • 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 school website, Back-to-School Night, PTA meetings.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on Back to School Night August 27, 2018, 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 SOLs (Virginia Standards of Learning and VGLA).
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school's goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by principal's blog, social media, phone calls and/or conferences.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as progress reports and weekly homework.
  • 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 PTA meetings and evening programs.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school's academic, behavioral, and social programming through Back to School Night, Parent Conferences.
  • 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 Family Curriculum Nights, Parent Resource Center, Family Literacy Nights, Kindergarten Nights, and Partners in Print.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Parent Resource Center and parent liaisons.
  • Provide mentors for students though  FBI CCCA, Unstuck and On-Target Social and Emotional Intervention Curriculum, After School Clubs.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Target, Project Goodwill, and FBI Special Agent Program.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as El Paso Restaurant and GrandInvolve.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as holiday assistance program Kid's Ben, and family liaisons.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as HIPPY Program.

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 Back-to-School Nights, parent-teacher conferences, open houses, parent workshops and family school events.
  • 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 assistance for:  obtaining legal service,  basic medical care, shelter, food, vision and dental care, navigating and negotiating necessary documentation for students and parents (federal, state and local levels).
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through PTA meetings held in Spanish and/or translated into Spanish, Principal's blog, and Facebook.

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.
    • Treat all children and adults with dignity and respect.
    • Be aware of the individual needs of each child.

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.
    • Support content areas with Scholastic News, One-to-One Laptops, DreamBox Learning
    • Provide opportunities for students to explore individual choice through after school clubs (e.g. Sewing, Legos, Running, Engineering).
    • One-to-one laptops in grades 4-6.
    • Summer STEM  grant program.
    • Teachers for Tomorrow in conjunction with West Potomac High School.

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.
    • Access to Parent Liaison 24/7.

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.
    • Parents, community members participate as Mentors for After school clubs.
    • Partners in Print and Partners in Math nights.
    • Course offering: Realizing the American Dream Family Engagement Program: A Team Approach to Academic Success.

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.
    • Review all school communication and return the Wednesday folder.
    • Send child to school on time and well rested.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state's challenging standards through the following 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.
    • Talk with a parent, school administrator, or teacher if help is needed to solve a problem.