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Parent & Family Engagement Policy

Parent and Family Engagement Policy

Sevierville Primary School 

August 2022

In support of strengthening student academic achievement, Sevierville Primary School  receives Title I, Part A funds and therefore will jointly develop with, agree upon, and distribute to parents and family members of participating children a written Parent and Family Engagement Policy that contains information required

by section 1116(b) and (c) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

The policy establishes the school’s expectations for parent and family engagement and describes how the  school will carry out programs, activities, and procedures in accordance with the following statutory definition of parent and family engagement:  Parent and Family Engagement means the participation of families in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring:

(1) Parents shall be notified of the policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language the parents can understand.

During Sevierville Primary School’s beginning of the year orientation, our teachers explain the plan in their classroom presentations. The family engagement plan is reviewed by stakeholders at the annual Title I meeting. The family engagement plan is also accessible upon parent/family request. Additional events/activities are communicated to parents via stakeholder meetings,  parent letters, school newsletters, and other school communications.

(2) Such policy shall be made available to the local community and updated periodically to meet the changing needs of parents and the school.

Parents are given a copy of the plan annually. The plan is available for parents and families in the front office upon request.  Periodic updates are made as needed to reflect school needs based on data gleaned from the results of our annual Family and Community Engagement survey. Input from parents through our parent and community group is also encouraged and addressed when shared. 

(3) The school will convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children shall be invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents of their school's participation under this part and to explain the requirements of this part, and the right of the parents to be involved.

Sevierville Primary School convenes an annual meeting at the beginning of the year to inform parents of being a school-wide Title 1 program, to explain the requirements of Title 1, Part A, and the right for parents to be involved. Evidence such as agenda/minutes, attendance rosters, and communication is collected for documentation and are on file with the administration.

(4) The school offers a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening, and may provide, with funds provided under this part, transportation, child care, or home visits, as such services relate to parental involvement.

We offer our families opportunities to meet during- and after-school so they can be involved and engaged in our school operations. Sevierville Primary School’s administration and teachers schedule conferences in the morning, afternoon, and evening hours to accommodate the many different schedules of our parents as requested. Teachers at Sevierville Primary School communicate their availability to parents for conferences as before school, during their plan time, and/or after-school hours to accommodate different schedules.

(5) Parents are involved in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of programs under this part, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school parental involvement policy and the joint development of the schoolwide program plan under section 1114(b)(2), except that if a school has in place a process for involving parents in the joint planning and design of the school's programs, the school may use that process, if such process includes an adequate representation of parents of participating children.

Our Parent Teacher Organization, which is composed of the principal, teachers, instructional assistants, and parent representatives meets monthly. This group provides valuable input in the development of the Parent Involvement Plan based on identified needs, input from families, and results from the annual Parent and Community Engagement Survey. Decisions and actions are communicated through school newsletters and the school’s website. Sevierville Primary School’s Leadership Team reviews school assessment data analysis, reviews the content of the current school improvement plan, and makes decisions impacting school priorities for improvement. Our parent-teacher organization has parent representatives who serve on this committee.

(6) The school provides parents of participating children timely information about Title I programs.

In order to communicate regularly with families:

(7) The school provides parents of participating children a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to meet.

The following are ways that curriculum and assessment are communicated to our families:

Curriculum: Teachers send newsletters highlighting current curricular focus to parents.  The curriculum is also discussed with parents at our Orientation, at grade-level parent meetings, and at our Parent Night events.  At the beginning of each school year, parents receive a copy of the Parents’ Guide to the Curriculum which outlines what their child is expected to know and be able to do at the end of each grade level.

Assessment: The principal and teachers review the previous year’s results from Benchmark Assessment. Information relative to each student is provided to parents by the classroom teacher. Our current Tennessee report card information is available at: . You may request a copy from the teacher or call the school at 865-453-2824 and request a copy be sent to you. If parents have questions about the results, they may schedule meetings with the teacher or principal. Parents also receive information regarding classroom and other types of assessments periodically throughout the year.

Proficiency levels: Eighty percent of students in each grade level are expected to score in the proficient or advanced levels on the Universal Benchmark Assessment administered three times per year.

(8) Per parent request- opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any suggestions as soon as practically possible.

Parents are encouraged to share with teachers any concerns or suggestions that would enhance student achievement. Sevierville Primary School teachers are frequently having conferences with parents to discuss student achievement, motivation, suggestions for remediation or enrichment, and solicit help and support from home.  Administrators will also listen to the concerns and challenges expressed by the parent and/or teacher to offer suggestions and/or accommodations to best meet the needs of the student.  The teachers and support staff work together to carry through with recommendations, suggestions, and requests for help made by parents. Our Response to Instruction and Intervention and Behavior Teams (RTI2) meet monthly to provide suggestions for interventions.

(9) A process is in place to submit parent comments on the school wide program (SIP) if it is not satisfactory to the parents when the school makes the plan available to the district/LEA. (10)  A parent school compact is jointly developed with parents and describes the responsibilities of each stakeholder as required by ESSA Sec. 1116.

Family and community members can submit comments via a link on the schoolwide program on the district’s website.

(10) A parent school compact is jointly developed with parents and describes the responsibilities of each stakeholder as required by ESSA Sec. 1116.

Parent comments are always welcome at Sevierville Primary School. Parent representatives on the Prioritization Team, parents on the TSIPP committees, and parents representing our Parent Advisory Council/Parent Teacher Organization provide input. These groups meet periodically throughout the school year to review/revise the parent school compact.

(11) Building capacity for involvement- Assistance is provided to parents in understanding topics such as the State’s academic content standards, State student academic achievement standards, State and local academic assessments, and how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve student achievement.

Parent assistance is provided by the school administration and teachers per parent request. Our administrators discuss current changes and results in regard to data and the school’s areas of success and areas of greatest need at monthly (Parent Teacher Organization) meetings or other times, as needed or requested. Our administrators inform families of celebrations, curricular changes/needs, and upcoming assessments through newsletters and the school’s website.

(12) Building capacity for involvement- Materials and training are provided to help parents work with their children to improve their achievement, such as literacy training and using technology to foster parent and family engagement.

The following opportunities are presented annually to families:

(13) Building capacity for involvement- Staff are educated, with the assistance of parents, in the value and contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, build ties between parents and the school.

In addition to attending staff development opportunities relating to family engagement, the Sevierville Primary School’s faculty and staff research and brainstorm on-going ideas on how to increase and promote family participation, collaboration, and contribution in conjunction with the district’s Title I Family Engagement Coordinator.

The school website address is communicated to parents in the beginning-of-the-year information packet. The website includes information on the following:

(14) Building capacity for involvement- To the extent feasible and appropriate, Title I-A parent and family engagement programs are coordinated and integrated with parent involvement activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, , the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Program, and public preschool and other programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children.

In an effort to smooth the transition from home to school for young children, the following measures are in place:

(15) Building capacity for involvement- Provide other reasonable support for Parent and Family Engagement activities per parent request. (Example:  transportation, childcare)

At Sevierville Primary School, every effort is made to assist our parents with limited English proficiency. Many district/school documents are available in both English and Spanish.  Translators are used to interpret during meetings. Faculty and staff are also available to assist parents in reading forms and completing paperwork. Information disseminated to families is sent in clear, simple English. Forms are often sent home in English and in Spanish versions where applicable. The “Home School Connection” newsletter, available in both English and Spanish, is linked to the Parent Resource section of our school website, and is also sent home monthly to all families. Parent meetings are conducted throughout the school year or on an as-needed basis. The meetings provide parents with information concerning their child’s education, materials to practice and support identified skills relative to their child’s learning,  and tips for parents, while fostering a positive relationship between the home and school environment.  Two-way communication involves a variety of media, such as phone calls, emails, texts, school social media and person-to-person conferencing.

(16) Accessibility-Local educational agencies and schools, to the extent practicable, shall provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and school reports in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand.

Every effort is made to assist our parents with limited English proficiency.  Many district/school documents are available in both English and Spanish. Information listed on the school and district website can also be translated into multiple languages as needed. Translators are available to interpret during meetings with families with limited English Proficiency as needed.  Faculty, staff, or other volunteers are also available to assist parents in reading forms and completing paperwork. Information disseminated to families is sent in clear, simple English.  Forms are often sent home in English and in Spanish versions where applicable.  Childcare, if requested, is provided for parent/guardian events. The school staff and the Parent Advisory Council/Parent Teacher Organization also seek to actively involve parents with opportunities to volunteer within the school and provide a mentor to help these parents by providing support or translation.

(17) The school will actively involve the families of children served in Title I, Part A schools in decisions about how the funds reserved for parent and family engagement are spent.

Sevierville Primary School will actively involve the families in decisions about how the funds will be spent during discussion in  monthly PTO meetings. Surveys may be used asking for parents’ input on how to spend the money to best meet students’ needs. 

  • families play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;

  • families are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school;

  • families are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child; and

  • other activities are carried out, such as those described in Section 1116 of the ESSA.

  • Sevierville Primary School sends home information via newsletters and our website during the first week of school identifying opportunities for families to volunteer and become involved.

  • A Parent-Student handbook containing important information and school procedures is available to all families through our school website.  A paper copy of this handbook is provided to all families upon enrollment.

  • Grade-level parent meetings are held to communicate class schedules, attendance, use of assignment books, and expectations for student learning and behavior.  Parents who are unable to attend are provided with alternate dates and times to meet with classroom teachers and principal to discuss these important issues.

  • Teachers may send weekly classroom newsletters to families.

  • Teachers and students use grade-appropriate planners/communication tools to communicate with families on a daily basis.

  • The Sevier County School System’s webmaster uses the district website to communicate with families. In addition to important school dates, events, and reminders, parents may use the Parent Link section found on our district’s website. This link provides parents with many resources for parental involvement, homework help, parenting tips, etc.

  • Each teacher maintains a Google Classroom containing announcements, homework assignments, and other important information.

  • Teachers use e-mail, Remind, Class Dojo, and other online text programs to provide parents with an alternate form of communication.

  • Teachers send home mid-term progress reports and six-week report cards to inform parents of their child’s academic performance.

  • Sevierville Primary utilizes a school Facebook containing announcements and reminders for parents and families.

  • Title I parent materials are placed in a “Parent Resource Center” located in the front foyer.

  • Parent training sessions are held by our school guidance counselor on topics requested by parents or listed as a need on parent surveys.

  • “Orientation” – Families meet classroom teachers and gain an understanding of grade level expectations.

  • Parent Involvement activities held by school representatives during and after-school hours offer opportunities to reinforce literacy and math. Some examples include: Orientation, SPS Laps, and Family PuttPutt/MathNight.

  • Students in 1st and 2nd use grade-appropriate student planners to communicate daily with families.

  • Newsletters may be sent home weekly by classroom teachers.

  • Schoolwide Facebook provides announcements and reminders to families.

  • BrightArrow provides announcements and reminders to all families.

  • Email and texting app (Remind/Class Dojo) communications are used between parents, administrators, and teachers.

  • Conferences between parents/teachers/administrators occur as needed. Parent Conferences are held to communicate class schedules, attendance, use of student planners, and expectations for student learning and behavior.  Parents who are unable to attend are provided with alternate dates and times to meet with classroom teachers.

  • School motto, mission statement, beliefs, and vision

  • Student handbook

  • Celebrations of students, faculty, and staff

  • Sevierville Primary School’s calendar and important dates

  • Roster of faculty and staff with communication links via email

  • Kindergarten teachers visit the Head Start program to meet with parents to discuss the transition into Kindergarten. Head Start students visit our school for a brief orientation.

  • Pre-K students visit a virtual Kindergarten classroom for a portion of one day to see “the life of a kindergartener” during the spring semester of the year prior to kindergarten enrollment.

  • The Pre-K  and DK teachers collaborate with Kindergarten teachers to develop a deeper understanding of Kindergarten expectations.

  • The Pre-K teacher is closely involved with families through monthly family events held outside the school day, which include picnics, literacy nights, or other outings to help establish rapport and strong school/family relationships to support school success.

  • Kindergarten registration is an opportunity to welcome future parents to our building, complete paperwork, communicate needs, and begin a positive relationship with Sevierville Primary School’s future parents. Many staff members and parent volunteers are involved in this process.

  • Students entering Kindergarten in the Fall begin on a staggered attendance schedule.  The use of this schedule serves to ease the transition from Pre-K, preschool, day care, or home to a Kindergarten classroom.