Family Engagement is understood to be the opportunities that schools provide for parents to be involved in learning themselves or doing things that bring value to the development and education of their children. Value-added experiences require parents to participate, not just observe. An Ingram Elementary Family Engagement Plan will be developed with an Advisory Committee consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. The committee will be apprised of the significance of family engagement in education and the value of school and family partnerships to the successful development and academic performance of students. This committee will review parent survey information, program measures, and results from past family engagement efforts in order to assess needs and identify specific actions to meet the requirements of TAC 102.1003(f) to support the school in maintaining high levels of family involvement and positive family attitudes toward education. The plan will specifically address the requirements by considering empirical research on engagement strategies and demonstrated positive short-term and long-term outcomes for PK students.
Ingram Family Engagement Plan Ferris ISD
Ferris ISD is dedicated to providing quality education leading to a high school diploma for every student in our district. To accomplish this objective, we seek to partner with parents and provide opportunities for them to take an active role in their child's education. This partnership begins in the Pre-K years. Research shows that students achieve more when their parents are supportive of education, participate in decision-making at school, communicate regularly with teachers, and engage with their child in learning opportunities at home, school, and in the community.
Learning objectives will be shared with parents prior to the start of Pre-K during face-to-face conferences with teachers. These conferences will give parents the opportunity to provide information about their child's strengths and skills and to partner with teachers in preparing for a successful school year.
Ferris ISD expects each student to master the learning objectives. Support for all Pre-K students is available through the Title 1 program, the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant program, and various other educational services provided through the district.
Family Engagement Components
The Ferris ISD Pre-K Family Engagement Policy will:
- Increase family participation in decision-making;
- Equip families with tools to enhance and extend learning;
- Establish a network of community resources for families;
- Facilitate family-to-family support;
- Strengthen staff skills in supporting families; and
- Evaluate family engagement efforts and work for continuous improvement.
Family Engagement Strategies
- Increase family participation in decision-making:
- Because parents are "the experts" on their own children, two-way communication in conferences with the teachers and school staff is critical to the development of individualized instruction, assessments, and strategies to connect learning at home and school. Parent conferences will be scheduled at times that are suitable for parents to insure high levels of participation. Translators will be provided when needed.
- An Advisory Committee will be created and will include parents, school staff, and community representatives. The Committee will contribute to the development and implementation of family engagement goals within the campus and district improvement plans. The Committee will solicit input from all Pre-K families through surveys and focus groups to use in the development of a family engagement program that is responsive to the needs of families. The Advisory Committee will review policies, procedures, and evaluation data related to Pre-K family engagement and will make recommendations regarding continuous improvement.
- Parent training opportunities will be scheduled to build capacity for family leadership, problem solving, decision-making, and to advocate for their own children's learning and development. The computer lab will be open every Friday morning for parents to come in and use the internet for educational purposes. Parents can look for job online, pay bills, etc.
- Equip families with tools to enhance and extend learning:
- Conduct a Pre-K and kindergarten Roundup over several days in the Spring for the purpose of making connections with families, establishing the expectation for family participation in school and for two-way communication, and facilitating a supportive transition to school for students and parents. Families will have the opportunity to meet school staff, learn about the Pre-K program, provide input regarding their specific needs, complete registration paperwork, learn about school-wide policies and procedures, ask questions, and connect with other families. Class visits will be scheduled for the purpose of building understanding of the design of the Pre-K learning environment and schedule, and for establishing familiarity that will help with the transition to school.
- Newsletters, Year-at-a-Glance calendar, conferences, phone calls, online resources, and social media will be utilized for communicating with parents regarding ways to engage in home learning activities, the school and family engagement events, and community offerings.
- Establish a network of community resources for families:
Leverage community resources through Ellis County Community Services , Dallas County health agencies, and faith-based and community agencies for providing for family needs, including healthcare, childcare, counseling, weekend backpack meal program, clothing, and emergency services.
- Facilitate family-to-family support:
- Provide multiple opportunities for families to engage with and learn from each other as individuals and in groups about topics such as parenting, adult education, and career experiences through the PTO and the Advisory Committee.
- Ensure continuous participation in family events by engaging parents and former participants in the planning and implementation of events relative to current families.
- Strengthen staff skills in supporting families:
- Prepare educators to respond in a culturally responsive manner when communicating with families and implementing family engagement activities.
- Prepare educators to address challenges in a problem-solving manner and to effectively communicate information to families in crisis.
- Evaluate family engagement efforts and work for continuous improvement:
- The Advisory Committee will participate in collecting data on a cyclical basis to monitor family engagement, continuous participation, and to evaluate results for continuous improvement and adjustment of the Family Engagement Plan. Collection will include data related to specific populations for the purpose of narrowing the achievement gap and data that demonstrates the alignment between the Family Engagement Plan and the campus/district improvement plan.
- Teachers will be an integral part of the evaluation process by participation on the Advisory Committee. They will also conduct goal-oriented home visits to collect information regarding strengths, interests, and needs of families to be used for improvement and adjustment of the Family Engagement Plan.