Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact

Title 1 Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact for 2023-24

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. 

Washington Mill 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. 

Washington Mill Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2023-2024 school year. Several the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact. 

The policy and compact are 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 contacting the school administrators, teachers, and staff directly via email, phone, or in person. 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 6
  • additional dates, as needed. 

Interim Report Distribution

  • September 28
  • December 14
  • February 29
  • May 9

Progress Report Distribution 

  • November 14
  • February 6
  • April 9
  • June 12

School Events

  • Return to School Open House - August 18  
  • Principal Coffee Talk – August 21
  • Back to School Night - September 7
  • Annual Title I Meeting - September 19  
  • Family Math Night – October 17
  • Trunk or Treat - October 26
  • Veterans Day Breakfast - November 10
  • Thanksgiving Lunch – November 16                                                 
  • Family Movie Night – December 12
  • Family Bingo Night - January 16
  • Family Science Night – January 26
  • Spelling Bee – February 13
  • Family Game Night – February 20
  • Talent Show – March 20
  • Spring Fling - April 25

Building Capacity for Engagement 

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 Title I Parent Advisory, SIIP, administrative hiring, Wolf Pack Run fundraising and PTA advisory.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement and Innovation Plan (SIIP), Comprehensive Needs Assessment, 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 SIIP, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with SIIP to FCPS central offices. 
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as Trunk or Treat, Spring Fling, Open House, and the Wolf Pack Run.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as cafeteria support, open door policy in classrooms, after-school programs, and academic extensions for students.  
  • Encourage families to take part in the annual evaluation of the division-level Title I Parent and Family Engagement policy to identify: 
    • barriers to greater family participation,
    • ways to help family members be better able to assist in student learning 
    • 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 Twitter (@WashMillES), school website, neighborhood connections and Washington Mill News You Choose.
  • Encourage caregivers to attend monthly PTA meetings and hear principal reports where information is shared about Title I services, explain Title I grant requirements, and inform families of their right to be involved in the school.  Annual Title I meeting held each year with families.
  • 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 PTA meetings, Advanced Academic parent nights, parent coffees and other selected parent events.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by science and language arts focused parent nights, regular communication with classroom teachers and specialists as well as an opportunity for parents to contact and meet with any school staff.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as Schoology, Google Classroom, school website and the ability to call or email with classroom teachers.
  • 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 as needed throughout the year.

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: 

  • Events such as Science Night, Advanced Academic parent night, parent coffees, PTA meetings and other selected parent events help to: 
    • Provide workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources
    • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming. 
    • 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. 
    • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as classroom Schoology sites, Google classroom, and access to parent SIS.   
    • Provide mentors for students though MentorWorks model internally with staff supporting students in need. 
    • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as Food for Thought, Holiday assistance, winter needs, and school supplies.
    • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as local Boy Scouts, GrandInvolve, the Christ the Savior Anglican Church, Dobson construction, MVHS field hockey, local Fire Department, Arcadia Farms, Route 1 Knights of Columbus as well as Civic and Neighborhood groups. 
    • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as Food for Thought, BritePaths, CR2 and Community Service Board resources. 
    • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as referrals to local mental health and pediatric needs, parent liaison support to help with English as a second language, parent coffees focused on specific grade levels. 

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 photos of students and families in all hallways, hiring qualified bilingual staff, engaging in the Positivity Project highlighting weekly positive characteristics.
  • 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 parent-teacher conferences, headphones available for translation during schoolwide events, home-visits, and assistance with transportation.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through a range of schoolwide events.                                       

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.
  • Collaborate with pertinent specialists in the school when needed as well as the MTSS team
  • Participate in Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) two times per week with grade level teams

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.
  • Promote a safe and welcoming environment, where each student feels like they belong
  • Receive and implement Responsive Classroom strategies for community building

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.
  • Respond to parents within 24 hours
  • Update and monitor classroom Schoology site regularly with homework and academic information

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

  • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement & Innovation Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
  • Offer families a variety of ways to help students practice reading and math skills
  • Allow for parents to volunteer in the classroom and other school areas throughout the school year.

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. 
  • Go over my child’s assignments with him or her, monitor TV, computer, and phone use.
  • Respond when my child’s teacher tries to contact me.
  • Spend 20 minutes a night reading with my child.
  • Make sure that my child is at school on time and inform the school when my child will be absent.

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 and come to school on time unless I am sick.
  • Try my hardest and work with my classmates to complete learning tasks, refrain from disrupting my peers from their learning.
  • Give my parents all notes and papers from my teacher.
  • If I have a problem, I will ask for help from an adult; try to make everyone feel safe.
  • Be responsible for my own behavior; follow classroom and WMES rules.
  • Try my best each day.