Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

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.

Pine Spring 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.

Pine Spring Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2021-2022 school year. Several the provisions specifically address state or federal expectations for the policy and compact.

This policy and compact is 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 email and parent coffees. 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.

Parent-Teacher Conferences                                                 

  • November TBD
  • additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November
  • February
  • April
  • June

School Events

  • Virtual Back to School Night: TBD
  • Annual Meeting: TBD
  • Open House: October 7th
  • Partners in Print: TBD
  • Family Math Night: TBD
  • Family Science Night: TBD

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 courteous faculty and staff, parent-friendly signs, availability of resources in multiple languages, etc.
  • 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 conferences, understanding school processes, and navigating the school’s academic programs.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through language interpretation for all meetings.

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 School Improvement, Community Chat and Chews, and Principal coffees.
  • 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 international night and the welcome back dance.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as support in classroom, recycle team support, Wednesday folders, and lamination nation.
  • Encourage families to take part in the annual evaluation of the division-level Title I parent and family engagement policy in order to identify:
    • barriers to greater family participation,
    • ways to help family members be better able to assist in student learning, and
    • 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 with families such as Parent Coffees, Twitter, eNotify for emergencies, News You Choose, telephone calls, and text messages, monthly parent newsletter, weekly Thursday Communication folders, school memos, event flyers, and the PSES website which contains a variety of information for students and parents/caregivers
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on spring at Pine Spring Elementary, to share information about Title I services, explain Title I grant requirements, and inform families of their right to be involved in the school.
  • 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 through math, science and literacy nights for all grades.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by attending the math and literacy nights.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as teacher communication via email, phone calls and monthly newsletters
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.

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:

  • Hold workshops connecting caregivers to tools and resources, such as AAP, math and literacy.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through Principal Coffees.
  • 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, such as AAP, math, and literacy nights.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as Parent Liaisons.
  • Provide mentors for students though Mentor Works.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as school supplies, weekend food program, winter coat drive, and clothes donations.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Assistance League of Northern Virginia, Cooper MS, Elks Lodge, Fairfax County 911 Dispatch, General Dynamics, Innovation Health, CityLight Church and Vocelli Pizza.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as such as pyramid meetings, and PTA events.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as such as HIPPY program and language supports for adults.  

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.
    • Provide multiple opportunities for parents to receive an overview of the school’s Title I Program, including meetings that provide an opportunity for questions and input.
    • Have parents serve on the School Improvement Planning (SIP) Team.
    • Make meeting agendas and minutes available to parents.

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.
    • Provide materials and training for parents in strategies for supporting their children’s learning.
    • Publish announcements in requested correspondence languages
    • Adopt and implement a model or approach for family engagement.
    • Publish dates for parent-teacher conferences and distribution of student progress reports.
    • Provide access to school calendars, supply lists, contact information, class work, homework, and events

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.
    • Attend PTA meetings to share information about the Title I program
    • Hold Principal Coffees to share information with caregivers.

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

    • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement and Innovation Planning (SIIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the SIIP and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.

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. 
    • Send my child to school on time, well rested and prepared for learning.
    • Stay informed about my child’s education by checking my child’s backpack regularly for school communication, such as the weekly folder, and will respond to teachers’ notes, school forms, and other communication.
    • Make sure child devotes 30 minutes to reading at home, at least 5 days a week.
    • Be involved in school activities and events to build community and support academic achievement.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state’s challenging standards through the following’s actions:

    • Get enough sleep every night.
    • Come to school on time unless I am sick.
    • Try my hardest and work with my classmates to complete learning tasks.
    • Give my parents all notes and papers from my teacher.