Title I Parent Involvement
Six Key Leverage Points
1. Every Title I school must have a written parent involvement policy, developed with and approved by parents. This policy should spell out how parents will be involved in a meaningful way and how they will be involved in the school. The policy must be updated periodically to reflect the changing concerns of parents.
2. Every Title I school must have a school-parent compact, developed and approved by parents, that describes how the school and parents will build a partnership to improve student achievement. This compact should explain how the school will meet the needs of its students so that they will achieve high standards.
3. Every school district must have a written Title I parent involvement policy that is developed with and approved by parents, and evaluated every year. This policy must spell out how the district will engage parents in developing its Title 1 plan and how it will help parents gain the knowledge and skills to be involved effectively in decisions about the program and in the schools.
5. If a Title I school has not made adequate progress over the past two or more years, parents have two options. They can ask to transfer their children to a school that is making adequate progress, or they can request supplemental services and become involved in improving the school.
6. The state education agency must monitor the school districts’ Title I programs to make sure they carry out the law. If the district is not involving parents, parents and community members should appeal to the state
Download: “No Child Left Behind: What’s in it for Parents” by Anne Henderson, 2002
Engaging Families in Student Learning
Like the U.S. Department of Education, Project Appleseed believes that the “curriculum of the home”—the bundle of attitudes, habits, knowledge, and skills that children acquire through their relationship with their family and that facilitates their school learning - is more predictive of academic learning than the family’s socioeconomic status.
In his meta-analysis, Jeynes (2002) found the nuances of parent-child communication regarding expectations to be a particularly powerful source of motivation for minority children and children living in poverty. These children especially benefit from visions of what is possible for them beyond the circumstances in which they find them- selves at the time, and their parents contribute both to that vision and to the children’s confidence that they can reach out and attain it.
Research shows that schools can improve their students’ learning by engaging parents in ways that directly relate to their children’s academic progress, maintaining a consistent message of what is expected of parents, and reaching parents directly, personally, and with a trusting approach. These echo the conclusions of Swap (1993) that effective parent engagement must be comprehensive in nature, with the school consistently interfacing with parents at many points, in many venues, over the course of the schooling years. This is vital for all students at all grade levels, in all settings (urban to rural), and even more so for those with disabilities and English language learners.
Epstein’s (1995) typology of family involvement in education has become the standard of the field and appears in various adaptations, including Project Appleseed's Six Slices of Parental Involvement and the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships from the national PTA. A comprehensive family-school partnership (which Epstein defines as an ongoing relationship rather than a program or event) addresses all six types of family involvement: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community.
Project Appleseed offers a full family-school partnership using the Six Slices of Parental Involvement. Project Appleseed can help organize family and community involvement, in the low performing Title I schools & districts as well as high performing ones. Our focus is to improve achievement for high-need students through organizing and increasing parental involvement.
Project Appleseed seeks to increase the nation’s family involvement capacity - a multi-billion dollar resource. If 100 million parents, grandparents, and caring adults volunteered 10 hours in America’s public schools each year, they would contribute one billion teacher hours - critical to increasing student achievement for the nation’s 50 million K-12 students. Financially, if teachers dedicated similar time one-on-one with their students, the minimum dollar benefit to children and schools would be $34 billion. That almost matches the $37 billion spent by the federal government on all public schools - including ESEA Title I, IDEA, Improving Teacher Quality, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, English Language Learners and Impact Aid.
This grassroots concept for enhancing schools by engaging parents has important legislative history. In 1994, Project Appleseed helped to make parental involvement a part of education policy. That year, Congress passed the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title I of the ESEA includes an emphasis on parental involvement. Also that year, Congress passed the Goals 2000: Education America Act, establishing parental participation as the eighth goal of the national education goals. Additionally, the Department of Education established the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education to encourage businesses, community and religious organizations, families, and schools to support parent and employee involvement in education.
During this process, Project Appleseed advised the first Clinton Administration, on the original parental involvement provisions of Section 1118 of the reauthorization of Title I. We helped the administration pioneer the development and use of pledges or learning compacts and the parental involvement rights and responsibilities under the Act. (Pictured, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Project Appleseed President Kevin Walker in Chicago, IL,
Pledges and compacts are the key to success!
Pledges and compacts mean the difference between a goal and real change. Organized parental involvement is the comprehensive and sustained intervention all schools need to succeed. It is time to take the parental involvement goals in our federal legislation and give them the support they need to transform our schools.
Under Title I schools are required to provide assistance to parents to help them understand the National Education Goals and the standards and assessments which will be used to determine children's progress. Schools are also required to help parents understand the Title I law and how to help their children. Each school district - except the smallest ones - are required to spend at least 1% of its Title I funds on programs for parents. Parents must be involved in decisions about how that money is to be spent. In fact, parents must jointly develop and approve the district and school's parent involvement policies which should spell out how this money is spent.
Use the Parental Involvement Pldge and supersize your school's parent engagement. Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is designed for educators and parent leaders who strive to increase family engagement. The Toolbox is aligned with the Six Slices of Parental Involvement. By purchasing the Toolbox, your schools can organize parent responsibility with an effective researched based program - that meets district and state mandates and best practices.
In a U.S. Department of Education study, a majority of Title I schools indicate that compacts help promote family involvement. Title I principals were asked to rate the helpfulness of compacts in achieving different types of school and family outcomes. Responses tended to differ by school poverty, with the highest-poverty schools finding compacts most helpful.In the highest-poverty schools, 85 percent of principals found Title I compacts helpful in supporting homework completion.
Title I Section 1118(d) SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HIGH STUDENT PERFORMANCE -
As a component of the school-level parental involvement policy developed under subsection (b), each school served under this part shall jointly develop with parents for all children served under this part a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State's high standards, such compact shall -
(1) describe the school's responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the children served under this part to meet the State's student performance standards, and the ways in which each parent will be responsible for supporting their children's learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion, television watching, volunteering in their child's classroom, and participating as appropriate in decisions relating to the education of their children, and positive use of extra-curricular time; and
(2) address the importance of communication between teachers and parents on an ongoing basis through, at a minimum -
(A) parent teacher conferences in elementary schools at least annually, during which the compact shall be discussed as the compact relates to the individual child's achievement;(e) BUILDING CAPACITY FOR INVOLVEMENT-
(B) frequent reports to parents on their children's progress; and
(C) reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child's class, and observation of classroom activities.
To ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, each school and local educational agency assisted under this part -
(1) shall provide assistance to parents of children served by the school or local educational agency, as appropriate, in understanding such topics as the State's academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards, State and local academic assessments, the requirements of this part, and how to monitor a child's progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children;
(2) shall provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children's achievement, such as literacy training and using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;
(3) shall educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, 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;
(4) shall, to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent 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, 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;
(5) 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;
(6) may involve parents in the development of training for teachers, principals, and other educators to improve the effectiveness of such training;
(7) may provide necessary literacy training from funds received under this part if the local educational agency has exhausted all other reasonably available sources of funding for such training;
(8) may pay reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents to participate in school-related meetings and training sessions;
(9) may train parents to enhance the involvement of other parents;
(10) may arrange school meetings at a variety of times, or conduct in-home conferences between teachers or other educators, who work directly with participating children, with parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school, in order to maximize parental involvement and participation;
(11) may adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement;
(12) may establish a districtwide parent advisory council to provide advice on all matters related to parental involvement in programs supported under this section;
(13) may develop appropriate roles for community-based organizations and businesses in parent involvement activities; and
(14) shall provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities under this section as parents may request.
Copyright 2010 PACE / Project Appleseed, the National Campaign for Public School Improvement, a 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Missouri Corporation. Parents Advocating Challenging Education, Project Appleseed, The National Campaign for Public School Improvement, Leave No Parent Behind, Leave No Dollar Behind, The Parental Involvement Pledge, Family Involvement Pledge, The Parental Involvement Report Card, National Parental Involvement Day, Public School Volunteer Week, Organized Parental Involvement, are trademarks of the National Campaign for Public School Improvement. All Rights Reserved.