A major goal of the Candler County School System program is to encourage greater involvement of parents in the education of their children by developing strong partnerships with teachers, principals, other staff, the community and their school. The Board shall solicit parental involvement through the implementation of programs, activities and procedures designed to enhance the involvement of parents in the educational process. Such activities shall be planned and implemented with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children.
Each school system that receives Title I funds shall develop jointly with, agree upon, and distribute to parents of participating children, a written parental involvement policy establishing the expectations for parental involvement and describing how the school system will involve parents in the joint development of the plan.
The Candler County School System is committed to the goal of providing quality education for every child in this district. The child benefits if the school and home form a partnership promoting high expectations for our children. Parents are their children's first teachers. Parents' support for their children and for the school is critical to their children's success at every step along the way. The Candler County School System will include parents in all aspects of the district's Title I program. The goal is to promote a strong school-home partnership that will help all students in the district succeed.
II. Parent Involvement in Developing Policy
A meeting will convene involving parents from the district. The purpose of the meeting will be to gather input from parents in the development of the district policy.
• Candler County Schools will take the following actions to involve parents in the joint development/revision of its district and school parent involvement policy/procedures:
•• Schools are required to possess a parental advisory group comprised of parents with children who attend Title I schools and receive Title I services; to talk and collaborate, and conduct regular meetings of the parent advisory group;
•• Schools will develop and implement procedures for the advisory group;
•• Schools will annually review and revise the school-wide parent involvement procedures at a meeting;
•• Schools will publish the Parental Involvement Procedures;
•• The district will annually review the Parental Involvement Procedures at each Title I school with schools (and the Title I Director) completing a checklist to ensure that all required components are addressed;
•• Schools will provide direction and access for parents to comment on the Parental Involvement Procedures at the school and district level.
•• Schools will annually present the Parental Involvement Procedures to the parents at a meeting.
III. Annual Meeting for Title I Parents
• An annual meeting shall be held each year at the district level. Parents will be provided information about the new Title I guidelines. Copies of the district's current Parent Involvement policy shall be distributed. Parents will be given an opportunity to become involved in all aspects of the Parental Involvement Program on the district and school level. Parents will be informed of procedures and given the names of contact persons to call for information regarding serving on committees and for submitting input. In addition, Candler County Schools will involve parents in the joint development of the school and district Title I Parental Involvement Procedures and its review through school improvement activities in the following manner:
•• Present, review and seek input for the Title I plan at an annual meeting of parents, community members and district staff;
•• Present, review, and seek input for the Title I Plan at the parent advisory meetings;
•• Send annual notification home about each School's Report Card and make copies available for parents at each Title I school;
•• Send notification home about each school that has been identified in School Improvement Status and provide direction and access for parents to learn about the school improvement status and how they may be involved in school improvement activities; and utilize notification in the Metter Advertiser when possible;
•• When applicable, notify parents of their right the participate in Choice and Flexible Learning Plan (FLP) services; and utilize web-based notification when possible;
•• Consult with parents about the Title I plan, the school improvement plan or the district improvement plan through annual review at each Title I school, at advisory meetings, and in school improvement meetings; also, consult the School Council to advise on any required restructuring plans;
•• Seek parental involvement resources, workshops and programs to train staff how to actively engage parents in schools and educational activities;
•• Provide a centralized location in each school for parents to find information about schools, the district, ways to become involved in their children's education, and any other support services that strengthen the relationships among schools, homes, and community.
IV. School-Parent Policy/Compact
Each school must share responsibility with parents for high student performance by developing/annual revising a school-parent-student compact jointly with parents of children participating in the program. These compacts will outline how parents, staff and students will share responsibility for promoting high student achievement. Parents are urged to discuss the compact with their children before signing it.
V. Types of Parent Involvement
There are many ways in which parents can become involved with their children's education. The Candler County School System values both at-home contributions and those which take place at school and in the community. Reading to children at home, talking with them at family mealtimes, providing an at-home study period, monitoring television programs, and making sure homework assignments are complete are as important as volunteering at school and serving on advisory committees. Many types of parental involvement are needed in a school-home-community partnership that will help all our children succeed. For additional ways parents can become involved, parents should check with their child's classroom teacher, school principal, or the District Title I Parental Involvement Coordinator.
VI. Matching Programs to the Needs of the Parent and Child
Each year, the school district will assess the needs of parents and children through a variety of measures including conferences and scheduled meetings.
Workshops, training sessions and other programs will be available to match the expressed needs. Parents will be notified about these opportunities through the schools' District Title I Office or through the local media. Parents may call the Title I office or their local school's office at any time to express an interest in a particular workshop/parent night or to make suggestions for a workshop. Parents will be provided the opportunity to participate in various educational programs.
VII. Staff-Parent Communication
Communication with parents may include any or all of the activities listed below:
Notices, fliers, progress reports and calendar activities sent home with children or accessed through the system's web site
Announcements in the local newspaper
The district's automated calling service
Communication will be made through telephone calls, letters, parent-teacher conferences and/or home visits by request.
Parents are encouraged to communicate with their child's teacher on a regular basis. Teachers are encouraged to send notes and make telephone calls to parents when children are experiencing success as well as when they are having difficulties. Parents may also call the school office or Parent Involvement Coordinator's office and ask for a translator for conferences.
VIII. Coordination, Technical Assistance and Other Support
The central office staff and district Title I staff shall provide coordination, technical assistance and other support necessary to assist participating schools in planning and implementing effective parental involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance. The Title I central office staff and principals shall coordinate parental involvement strategies, programs, and activities, to the extent feasible and appropriate, with such programs as Head Start, Even Start, State-run preschool programs, Health and Human Services programs and other literacy training groups. The principal of each school shall ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand and shall provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities as parents may request.
Candler County Schools will provide the following necessary coordination, technical assistance, and other support to assist Title I schools in planning and implementing effective parental involvement activities to improve student achievement and school performance as follows:
•• Conduct regular classroom and school awareness walks by administrative staff to observe parental involvement during the school day;
•• Schedule administrative staff to regularly attend school functions outside the regular school day;
•• Send staff and parents to parent and community involvement workshops and conferences (when appropriate and available);
•• Conduct in-service for staff, parents, and community members on the planning and implementation of strong parental involvement programs and activities; schedule in-service and training at flexible times to accommodate working parents whenever possible;
•• Implement activities to support and advise schools in School Improvement Status through the Consolidated Application Implementation Plan and Balanced Scorecard.
IX. Building Capacity for Involvement
Each school, with support from the Title I Coordinator, shall provide assistance to parents of children served by the school in understanding such topics as the State's academic content standards and the State's student academic achievement standards, academic assessments, how to monitor a child's progress and how to work with educators to improve the achievement of their children. Each school with support from the Title I Coordinator shall provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children's achievement, shall educate teachers and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school. Candler County Schools will build the schools' and parents' capacity for strong parental involvement, in order to ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, through the following activities:
•• The schools will provide assistance to parents of children served by the school district or school, as appropriate, in understanding the following: the state's academic content standards; student academic achievement standards; state and local assessments including alternative assessments; the requirements of Title I; how to monitor their child's progress; and, how to work with educators through activities including that include the following:
• Annual Open House
• A minimum of one parent teacher conferences per year
• Annual notification of School Report Card and when applicable, of School Improvement Status, Choice, and Supplemental Educational Services (SES)
• Parent curriculum guides for grades K-8 (where applicable)
• Parent automated calling system to inform parents of school and district activities related to student achievement
• Other Activities
•• The school district will, with the assistance of all schools, provide materials and training to help parents work with their children to improve their children's academic achievement, such as literacy training and using technology, as appropriate, to foster involvement through activities such as, but not limited to, those listed below:
• Parent newsletters
• Parent curriculum guides for grades K-8 (where available)
• Tutoring training
• Parent nights for all core subjects
• Transition and orientation meetings
• School based workshops and parent meetings
•• The school district will, with the assistance of Title I schools and parents, educate its teachers, system staff, principals and any other staff in how to reach out and communicate with parents as equal partners, in the usefulness of contributions of parents, and how to implement and coordinate parent programs and build relationships between parents and schools through activities including, but not limited to, the following:
• Sending staff members to local and state workshops and conferences that focuses on parental involvement, diversity, and communication skills;
• When possible, send staff and parents together for training in parental involvement, diversity, and communication skills;
• Collaboration with local and state agencies (PIRC) that provide programs for parents and families.
•• The school district will ensure that Title I information related to the school and parent programs, meetings and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in an understandable and uniform format, including alternative formats upon request; and to the extent practicable, in a language parents can understand through activities including, but not limited to the following:
• Development of a criteria check list for district publications to parents
• Coordination with Special Education and the district's English Language Learner (ELL) representative.
A district-wide Title I advisory meeting will occur annually with the aim of evaluating the content and effectiveness of the Title I Parental Involvement Program in improving student achievement. The school district will revise its Parental Involvement policy on the basis of the annual review. The evaluation will include:
• Identification of barriers that hinder parental participation and break down information with particular attention to parents that are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited literacy skills, have limited English proficiency, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background.
• The school district will use its findings about parental involvement policies and activities to design strategies for more effective parent involvement, and to revise its parental involvement policies based on:
• Annual parent surveys completed by all schools
• Annual evaluation meeting with the parent advisory group
•• Candler County Schools will involve parents in the decisions regarding how funds are reserved for parental involvement activities at the school level through parent advisory meetings.
Individual School Parent Involvement Policies (may be accessed using the link below or found in the student handbook)