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The Scott County School District recognizes that effective school-family partnerships are critical to student learning and success in school.

Research shows that students receive the following benefits from a collaborative partnership with the school, the family and the community:  higher grades and test scores, better attendance and homework completion, fewer placements in special education, more positive attitudes and behavior, higher graduation rates and greater enrollment in post secondary education.   The gain for families includes:  improved understanding of their child’s development, improved ability to parent, improved ability to assist their children with school and learning, and improved relationships among all stakeholders.
 
Parents/families, school board members, school faculty representatives, and community members were involved in the development of a written Parent/Family Involvement Policy that has been adopted by the Scott County Board of Education.
 
One or more parents/families and teachers/staff from each representative school center as well as the business community in the district have been involved in the planning and development of the Family and Community Engagement Plan.  The Family Engagement Advisory Council Meetings will be held annually for the purpose of planning, implementing, and evaluating the Family Engagement Plan.  
 
 
Family Engagement Advisory Council
The Family Engagement Advisory Council members are listed below:
 

District Team:

Miranda Strunk, Parent
Jim Sexton, School Board Member
Curtis Bruce, Assistant Director of Schools
Ryan Keeton, Director of Federal Projects
Linda Keeton, Supervisor of Instruction
Bill Hall, Director of Schools
 

Business/Community

Verhonda Hembree, DHS/Unicorn Fund
Patti Swain, Children’s Center
 

Committee:

Terri Keeton, Family Resource Center
John Blakley, Attendance
Vince Owens, SHS Assist. Principal
Debby Sexton, SHS Parent
Lisa Danner, BES Teacher
Retia Lyons, BES Parent
Teresa Boshears, FES Teacher
Misty Day, FES Parent
Miranda Strunk, HES Parent
Nancy Stringer, Even Start Teacher
Debbie B. Phillips, HMS Teacher
Natosha Byrd, HMS Parent
Marva Robbins, RES Principal
Lessa Ellis, WES Grandparent
Jessica Chambers, WES Teacher
Greg Bond, Technology
Debbie Blair, Technology
 

SECTION I - GOALS

I.  Open and two-way communication between families and the district and school both verbally and in writing using a variety of strategies and methods will be supported and increased.

Strategies:
A.  Schoolwide Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held at least twice yearly to inform parents of their child’s progress in school including academic performance and assistance with understanding their child’s individual classroom grades and test results to address specific academic needs of their child.  
 
1. Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held at the end of the first nine-weeks and the end of the third nine-weeks for all the schools. 
 
B.  A “Back to School” Celebration will be held at the beginning and end of each school year, and the following information will be communicated to parents:
• Purpose of the Family Engagement Initiative
• Family Engagement School Board Policy
• Title I Requirements
• Assessment Results on all State Tests
• NCLB Waiver – Accountability Standards
• Curriculum – “Blueprint for Learning”
• School-Parent Compact
• School Policies
• Teacher Information
• Parent Rights
• Future Family Engagement Activities
 
C.  Each school will hold an annual Title I Meeting in which all parents of all students will be invited and encouraged to attend.  Parents/families will be informed of their school’s participation in the Title I Program, and the right of the parents/families to be involved.  Parents will be informed of the following information:
• Teacher/Parent/Student Compact 
• Current student assessment scores
• Curricular information including any changes in the curriculum and assessment instructional strategies (Common Core)
• NCLB status and waiver information
 
E.  A Student Handbook will be sent home at the beginning of each school year to inform parents of district and school policies for enrollment, attendance, homework, safety and discipline procedures, bus routes and bus behavior, Technology Acceptable Use Policy and Parents Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  Parents are required to sign and return to the child’s teacher the appropriate form attached to the front of the handbook stating that they have read and discussed the handbook with their child.
 
F. A School-Parent Compact, a requirement of the Title I Program will be jointly developed by the Family Engagement Advisory Council that outlines how parents, the school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic 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.
 
G. Teachers will send home in writing to families/parents classroom information including teacher information (phone number and e-mail address), classroom rules and procedures, grading policy, etc. at the beginning of the school year.  This information can also be found on the school and teacher websites.
 
H. Teachers will communicate with families/parents concerning their child’s successes and/or problems on a regular basis through reports, notes, letters, phone calls, awards, etc.
1. Report cards will be sent to parents at the end of each nine-week period in the elementary and high schools.
2. A mid-nine-week report will be sent home at all school centers to make parents aware of student progress as well as allow parents the opportunity to request conferences and additional information to provide added supervision of student learning/homework in order to improve grades if needed.
3. Folders of student work will be sent home weekly to be reviewed by parents on a regular basis.  Parents will sign the appropriate form stating they have reviewed the work and will return the folder to school. (Friday Folders).  Some teachers send folders of work, assignments and other information every day for parents to sign that they have looked at the folders, that the child has practiced reading lessons, etc.
4. Teachers will document parent contacts and whether made by phone, note, home visit, etc. indicating the date and information discussed.
5. Some schools have a program available for parents to check student grades daily in grades 4 and up. (Engrade)
6. The Transportation Department will publish in the newspaper school routes including the driver name and bus number at the beginning of the school year, as well as post them in the parent portal of the website.
 
I.  School/classroom newsletters and notes will be written in students’ native language and sent to parents/families on a regular basis to keep parents informed of school and classroom events and/or activities.
 
J. Parent/family surveys and checklists will be used to gain parent input and suggestions as to the quality of parent engagement activities in the school.  A suggestion box will be set up in each school center as a means to receive suggestions from parents on how to better serve children.  All suggestions are to be typed and submitted to the Director of Schools monthly and will be reviewed by the District Family Engagement Team to discuss ways to improve parent/family interaction.
 
K. A copy of the School Board Parent Involvement Policy and information related to programs, meetings, and activities will be sent to parents/families, placed in the Student Handbook and on the district website at www.scottcounty.net as well as published in the local newspaper.
 
L. Parents/families will be notified in writing that they may request information about their child’s course of study and have access to all learning materials by making a request to the principal of their child’s school, and sample instructional materials will be displayed for review at Parent-Teacher Conferences.
 
M. Parents/families will be informed in the Scott County Schools’ Student Handbook of their right to access their children’s official school records.  A Pre-K Handbook informs Pre-K parents’ of requirements and guidelines.
 
N. Parents/families will be informed through various mediums of their right to access the Scott County School District Family Engagement Policy and curriculum information on the school or district website located at www.scottcounty.net.  Curriculum information may be obtained from the Tennessee Dept. of Education website, www.state.tn.us/education
 
O. Teacher certification and qualifications including Highly Qualified information will be available for parent review and can be obtained by clinking on the link to the State Certification site at www.state.tn.us/education/ going to Educator Development, Teacher Licensing, and Teacher License Lookup or by addressing questions to the Central Office.  Parents were informed of this information through newspaper ads.
 
P. Menus will be published weekly in the newspaper, posted on the district website at www.scottcounty.net and are also posted in each school.
 
Q. An “end of the year” ceremony will be conducted at each school center which includes special activities such as Awards Day, etc.
 
R.  Home Visits will be conducted by Pre-K teachers to discuss the Pre-K Program, Pre-K Handbook, and to answer questions about the Pre-K Program.
 
S. The system and school websites provide information for parents.  In some schools, every teacher has an individual page with schedule, planning time, and other pertinent information listed.
 
T.  The “School Reach System” is a parent/staff notification system to give parents/staff pertinent information such as school closure for inclement weather.
 
 

II.  Family/Parents’ opportunities for involvement in classroom, school, and district activities will be increased.

A. Many activities will be provided at the district level and at individual schools to allow parents/families to be involved in their child’s school and learning:
 
1. Open House.  
• Some schools will hold an Open House during the school year.
 
2. Family Reading Nights
• All elementary school centers will hold Family Reading Nights on a regular basis for all parents/families to come and read with their child based on REA and Reading First Program suggestions.  The Family Reading Nights will be scheduled and published each month for  each school.
 
3. Parent Volunteer Program
• All schools will encourage parents to volunteer in the school with activities such as reading with children, tutoring, designing bulletin boards, or clerical work.  A log will be maintained documenting parent volunteers and the number of hours of parent/family volunteer time.
 
4. Volunteer Recognition Program.  
• Each school will submit a volunteers’ name to the Director of Schools at the monthly School Board Work Session.  A certificate of appreciation and a pin will be presented to the parents at the regular School Board Meeting.                         
• Volunteer Appreciation Day
 
5.  Transition/Orientation activities will be developed at each school to assist students/parents/families in the transition between Pre-K/K, K/1, 4/5 or 5/6 and 8/9 grades.  (Example:  Boo Hoo Breakfast at WES as transition between Pre-K and K).  The State Pre-K Programs are required to conduct home visits and transition activities between Pre-K and K.
 
6. Parents will be given the opportunity to become involved in their child’s education by participating in the following activities and programs: 
• Grandparents Day
• Father/Daughter Dance
• Special Student Programs
• Carnivals/Festivals
• Veterans’ Day Programs
• Costume Walks
• PTO/Booster Meetings
• Awards/Honors Day
• Attendance Recognition/Incentive Program
• Multiplication/Spelling Bees
• Room Mothers/Fathers to help with classroom events such as parties, etc.
• Parent Appreciation Day to be scheduled sometime during the school year
• Scholars Bowl, both elementary and high school
• TAG – Talented and Gifted Program
• Maxwell Sexton Oratorical Contest
• Job Shadowing
• Eighth Grade Parent Night
• Senior Night for Athletics
• Sports Banquets
• Senior Awards Banquet
• Fall and Spring Art Exhibit
• Heritage Festival
• Post-Secondary Financial Aid Meeting
• College Orientation Program
• Future Highlander Night
• Tennessee Scholars
 

III.  Parents/families will be given increased assistance by district/school staff to gain the knowledge and skills in parenting and fostering conditions to assist and support their children’s learning and development at home.  

A. Since parents are a child’s first and most important teacher, they will be given parental support for their child’s academic success in school.
1. The “Parents Make the Difference” newsletter will be distributed monthly to each students containing information on how parents can help their child with homework, discipline, etc.
2.  A monthly calendar through “Parents Make the Difference” will be provided for parents of each student in each grade level outlining daily topics and questions for discussion by parents and students.
3. Parents will be invited to support their children through attending various school events including student programs, performances, assemblies, sports events, etc.
4. A monthly event calendar will be maintained on each school’s website.
5. Parents will be provided with curriculum information from the new common core standards sites detailing skills that are tested in each grade level and subject area on state tests.  The Scott County School District website has a link to the new curriculum standards  on the State Department website at www.state.tn.us/education/ listed under curriculum.
6. Parents will be provided with pamphlets and brochures with suggestions for successful parenting skills.  The Scott County School District website has a link to additional parenting education resources.
7. Parents will be encouraged to monitor and/or supervise homework and daily reading activities that reinforce or enrich their child’s classroom learning and a list of selected books to read is provided.
8. Parents will be encouraged to monitor their children’s television viewing as well as their use of free time.
9. Referrals are being made to the provider for court-ordered parenting-classes for students with excessive absences.
10. Family Reading Night will be held monthly by each school.
11. Teachers are required to do home visits for Pre-K students.
 
B. Parents/families participation in joint projects such as the Science Fair, Math Fair, and read-a-thons that involve children and teachers will be encouraged and supported.
1.  Each year every elementary school has a large number of students that participates in the school and county-wide Science Fair with winners being able to compete in the Regional Science Fair at TTU in Cookeville.
2. Boy/Girls Scouts gives parents and students an opportunity to work together on projects.
3. The district will provide multiple opportunities for parents to develop their parenting and child-rearing skills to help their children succeed in school and life.
4. Parents are asked to participate in PACT time with students (Parents and children together).    
5. The Family Resource Center will provide Parenting Classes at the Central Office Training Room.  The “Active Parenting” series will also be used to give parents information on providing a positive home environment for their child that:
• Is safe, drug-free and positive 
• Fosters a positive self-confidence/self-esteem
• Provides developmentally appropriate behavior
• Holds high expectations 
• Establishes clear rules and boundaries
• Has a balanced and nutritional diet along with quality health care
 

IV. Parents/Families and community organizations will be provided numerous opportunities to share in decision-making and to become leaders in the advisory and advocacy roles in the schools including school review and steps for school improvement.

A. The district and schools will invite parents to participate as partners in decision-making activities.
1.   One or more parents from each representative school center were involved in the development of the District/School Family Engagement Plan, School Improvement Plan, NCLB Committee, etc.
2. Each school site will establish a Parent/Family Advisory Committee to meet quarterly with minutes being recorded.
3. Each school center will encourage the organization and promotion of a PTA/PTO and Booster Organization.
4. A Suggestion Box will be set up in each school center to give parents/families an opportunity to give suggestions for improvement.  A copy of the suggestions will be given to Bill Hall, Director of Schools.
 
B. The District and Schools will collaborate with business and community organizations. 
1.  The Family Resource Center will collaborate with the community and businesses to link parents/families to school and community resources.
2.  A Parent/Community/Business Resource Program in which parents and community members share expertise, talents, and experiences will be established.
3.  Community and business partners will be recruited to provide incentives for good attendance, etc.
• McDonalds
• Flonnie’s Drive-In
• Sonic
• Subway
• Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken
• Long John Silvers
• Arby
• Huddle House
• The Herb Shop
• Pizza Hut
 
4.  Collaboration with the Clinch-Powell Head Start Program has been established in which their playground equipment is shared with our Pre-K classes.  
5.  There is collaboration with Head Start in transitioning students from Head Start to Pre-K or Kindergarten.
6.  The Children’s Center of the Cumberlands is partnering with our school district to provide a program entitled “Safe Touching” to our students and also provides "Prevention of Child Abuse” Training for out teachers and assistants.
7. The First National Bank provides teachers an opportunity to earn funding for classroom instructional materials for projects through the First National Bank Mini-Grant Program.
8. A handbook containing a list of community resources found in the school district will be provided to give the district/schools information regarding community resources.
9. Other collaborations have been established to develop a mutual support and appreciation between business, community, and schools.
• Roane State Community College
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters
• 4-H Club
• Mission of Hope
• Health and Wellness Program - ALQI
• Dental Screenings- ALQI
• The STAND Program
• Amazing Discovers – Ridgeview Counseling/Career Center
• Kiwanis Club
• Lions Club – Vision Screening
• The D.A.R.E. Program
• UT Extension Agency
• Big South Fork National Park
• Appalachian Habitat
• Plateau Electric
• Goodwill – Special Needs Students
• Local Fire Departments
• The Salvation Army
• Boys & Girls Club
• Space for meetings provided by Scott County Mayor’s Office, Huntsville Presbyterian Church, Pizza Plus, etc.
 
10. The Scott County School System and the Clinch Powell Head Start Program have collaborated with a Pre-K Expansion Grant awarded from the State Department of Education.  The Head Start Program has provided the space, and the Scott County School Board has provided the teacher.  Both organizations provide expenses for the teacher assistant and supplies.  This collaboration is a win-win for both organizations.
 
 

SECTION II – COORDINATION, ASSISTANCE, AND SUPPORT

I.  The School District will provide the coordination, technical assistance and support through direct participation of Central Office Staff and the Family Engagement Advisory Council to assist schools in planning and implementing effective Parent/Family Involvement activities.

A. Training for Teachers/Staff on the importance of Family Engagement and “Family Friendly Schools” has been provided.
1.  The school district provided professional development sessions on “Family Friendly Schools” with Dr. Steven Constantino and Jerry King for all teachers and  staff to educate them in how to reach out to parents, communicate and work with parents as partners.    Each school center invited parents/families to the session.
 
2. Principals received training on Family Friendly Schools and also received a copy of Dr. Constantino’s book entitled, “Engaging All Families” to be kept in their schools.  Copies are also available for check-out at the Central Office.
 
B. The Central Office will provide technical assistance and support in helping schools in planning and implementing their School Parent/Family Involvement Plan.
1.  The Central Office staff provided technical assistance and support in helping the schools implement the annual “Back to School” Celebration.  Central Office staff advertised the event in the news media, provided invitations and a sample agenda, and Central Office staff attended a specified school site to provide assistance during the event.
 
2. Principals attended a meeting at the Central Office to work on their School Parent/Family Involvement Plan.  Each school’s Family Engagement Plan will be submitted to the Central Office.
 

III.  EVALUATION

A.  The Family Engagement Advisory Council will annually evaluate the content and effectiveness of the Family Engagement Program in the district and schools.
 
Family and Community feedback concerning the effectiveness will be received  through multiple outlets in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the engagement program.  Feedback will be accepted from our website, emails, suggestion boxes, and annually at our Family Engagement Meeting. 
 
B. Documentation from district/school/family engagement activities such as a scrapbook including sign-ins with name and position, minutes of meetings, surveys, questionnaires, invitations, agendas, pictures, videos, newsletters, and news releases will be maintained at the district and at each school center
 
 C. The Family Engagement Advisory Council will develop strategies to address respondent concerns.
1.  To improve open and two-way communication between families and schools/teachers as listed in Goal I. 
a.  Update each school’s website.
b.  Provide teacher contact information (phone number, e-mail address, and planning time) for parents/families.
1.  Place contact information on the welcome letter that is sent home at the beginning of the school year.
2. Place contact information on each correspondence that is sent home to parents throughout the school year.
3. Provide business cards with teacher contact information (could be placed on a magnet and placed on the refrigerator).
c.  Send a newsletter home to parents regularly.
 
D.  The Family Engagement Advisory Council will identify and develop strategies to remove barriers that prevents parents from participating in district/school family engagement activities. 
1.  Many of our parent/family members work and cannot attend during the school day.
a.  Provide more activities at night.
b.  Combine parent trainings with Family Reading Night - an activity with high attendance.
 

The school district with input from the Family Engagement Advisory Council has sent to parents the parent involvement policy and information about school programs, meetings, and activities.

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