In order to receive Title I funds, a district local education agency (LEA) must implement programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents of children participating in Title I programs. In addition, LEAs must involve Title I parents in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Title I program. [§ 1118 ESEA]
LEA-LEVEL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
LEAs receiving an allocation of $500,000 or greater must set-aside one percent (1%) of the allocation for parental involvement. Not less than 95 percent (95%) of the one percent (1%) must be distributed to Title I, Part A schools for the purpose of parent-related activities. Title I, Part A set-aside funds for parental involvement must be used to conduct programs and activities that involve parents in the planning and implementation of the Title I, Part A programs, including promoting family literacy and parenting skills. The school staff and parents may voluntarily decide that some or the entire amount of the set-aside be administered by the LEA.
Additionally, parents of children receiving Title I, Part A services must be involved in the development of the LEA parental involvement policy. This policy must include how decisions regarding set-aside funds are allotted for parental involvement activities. The policy must also establish the LEA’s expectations for parental involvement, and describe how the LEA will do the following:
• involve parents in the development of the Title I plan and the process of school review and improvement;
• provide the 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;
• build capacity for strong parental involvement;
• coordinate parental involvement activities with other programs;
• conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of the schools, including identifying barriers to greater participation by parents (with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background);
• use the findings of such evaluation to design strategies for more effective parental involvement and revise, if necessary, the parental involvement policies; and,
• involve parents in the activities of schools served under Title I, Part A.
A LEA receiving less than $500,000 is not required to set aside funds for parental involvement; however, the LEA is still required to provide and promote parent activities and involvement opportunities as indicated above. [§ 1118(a) of ESEA]
Each LEA MUST submit a copy of the LEA’s parental involvement policy to the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) by NOVEMBER 2, 2009.
Exception: If the LEA already has a LEA-level parental involvement policy that applies to all parents, the LEA may amend that existing policy to meet the requirements of Title l, Part A. [§ 1118 of ESEA]
SCHOOL-LEVEL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
Each school must jointly develop, with parents of children participating in Title I, Part A services, a written school parental involvement policy that describes how the school will carryout the parental involvement requirements in § 1118(c) – (f) including the development of a school-parent compact. Each school must make the school's written parental involvement policy available to parents and the local community. Each school’s policy should describe how the school will:
• convene an annual meeting at a convenient time to inform parents of the school’s participation in Title I, Part A programs and explain the Title I, Part A requirements and the right of parents to be involved in those programs;
• offer meetings at flexible times, such as in the morning or evening;
• involve parents in the planning, review and improvement of Title I programs including the planning, review and improvement of the school parental involvement policy and the joint development of the school-wide program plan; and,
• provide parents of participating children:
a. timely information about programs under this part;
b. 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;
c. opportunities, if requested, for regular meetings during which parents can formulate suggestions and to participate in decisions relating to the education of children; and,
d. responses to any such suggestions as soon as possible
• if the school-wide program plan under § 1114(b)(2) is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, submit any parent comments on the plan when the school makes the plan available to the LEA.
Each school MUST submit a copy of the school’s parental involvement policy to the ADE by NOVEMBER 2, 2009.
Exception: If the school already has a parental involvement policy that applies to all parents, the school may amend that existing policy to meet the Title I, Part A requirements.
SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIGH STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Each Title I, Part A school must jointly develop, with the parents of children served under Title I, Part A, a school-parent compact as a component of the school's written parental involvement policy. A school-parent compact is a written agreement between the school and the parents of children participating in Title I, Part A programs that identifies the activities that the parents, the entire school staff, and the students will undertake to share the responsibility of improving student academic achievement. In addition, the school-parent compact outlines the activities that the parents, school staff, and students will undertake to build and develop a partnership to help the children achieve the State’s high academic standards. The school-parent compact must describe:
• the school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive, effective learning environment that enables children served under Title I, Part A to meet the State’s academic achievement standards;
• ways in which parents will be responsible for supporting the child’s learning (for example, monitoring attendance, homework completion, television watching; volunteering in the child’s classroom; participating as appropriate in decisions relating to the education of the child, and positive use of extra-curricular time); and,
• the importance of communication between teachers and parents on an on-going basis through, at a minimum:
a. parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools, at least annually, during which the compact will be discussed as it relates to the individual child’s achievement;
b. frequent reports to parents on the child’s progress; and,
c. reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in the child’s class, and observation of classroom activities.
LEA AND SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR BUILDING CAPACITY
In carrying out Title I, Part A parental involvement requirements, LEAs and schools, to the extent practicable, must provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children. This includes providing the information and school reports required under § 1111 in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents understand.
Finally, to ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school, parents, and the community, each LEA and school assisted by Title I must:
• provide assistance to parents of children served by the school or LEA, as appropriate, in understanding topics such as:
a. the State’s academic content standards and state academic achievement standards
b. state and local assessments
c. the requirements of Title I
d. how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of the child
• provide materials and training to help parents to work with the child to improve the child’s achievement, such as literacy training, and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;
• educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents. Topics to be addressed include: how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners; how to implement and coordinate parent programs; and how to build ties between parents and the school;
• coordinate and integrate, to the extent feasible and appropriate, parental involvement programs and activities with Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Even Start, the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents As Teachers Program, public preschool, and other programs. Conduct these activities in places, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of the child;
• 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;
• provide other reasonable support for parental involvement activities as parents may request. [§ 1118(e) of ESEA]
PARENTAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCE CENTERS
The Center for Effective Parenting serves as the Arkansas State Parent Information & Resource Center (PIRC). The program focuses many efforts state-wide but has centers in Northwest Arkansas (Jones Center for Families in Springdale) and in Little Rock (UAMS Department of Pediatrics and Arkansas Children’s Hospital). PIRC, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) (84.310A) was established to provide training, information, and support to parents and individuals who work with parents, LEAs, and schools receiving Title I assistance. LEAs and schools must inform parents and parental organizations of the existence and purpose of the center. [§ 1118(g) of ESEA]
Information for the Arkansas State PIRC can be found at http://www.parenting-ed.org. Other helpful resources may include:
The Parental Involvement Title I, Part A Non Regulatory Guidance: http://www.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/parentinvguid and Toolkit for Parental Involvement at http://www.sedl.org/connections/toolkit
Each school and LEA MUST submit a copy of the school and LEA parental involvement policy to the ADE by NOVEMBER 2, 2009. Policies should be mailed to:
Arkansas Department of Education
ATTN: Ben Lewis
Four Capitol Mall, 301-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
For questions regarding this memo and/or the attachment, please contact Ben Lewis at 479-471-5615 or by e-mail at email@example.com or Bernice Martin-Russell at 501-682-4372, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.