The Lamar County Board of Education affirms and assures the rights of parents, guardians, and teachers of children being served in activities funded by Title I, No Child Left Behind [NCLB]. Opportunities are provided to participate in the design and implementation of these educational activities. Membership in National Network of Partnership Schools, a research-based program, allows Lamar County Schools to establish mechanisms for maintaining on-going communications and implementing system and school level Parent Involvement Plans. The Lamar County Schools’ Title I Office assists in coordination of and provides technical assistance to each Title I eligible school as needed to ensure the effective planning and implementation of parental involvement activities.
The system and each school will develop Parent Involvement Action Plans collaborating with parents and other stakeholders. These are developed by Action Team Partnerships at the system and school level. The System Action Team will act as the district wide parent advisory council on all matters related to parent involvement.
Each Parent Involvement Action Plan includes parent involvement activities which are based on the six keys from National Network of Partnership Schools, elements from the Georgia School Standards, and Title I requirements. Parents participating in the Action Team Partnerships will be involved in making decisions about, but not limited to:
- Annual review of the written parent involvement policy whether for system or for each Title I school;
- To determine the effectiveness of the policy toward increasing parent involvement.
- To identify barriers to greater parent participation, giving attention to the economically disadvantaged, those that are limited English proficient, or to those with limited literacy or to any ethnic minority.
- Annual evaluation & school review of Parent Involvement Action Plans and School Improvement plans;
- Expenditure of parent involvement funds;
- Educators’ training of parental involvement strategies to improve the training for educators; and,
- Other reasonable support for parental involvement activities as requests are made by parents.
All parent involvement activities are held periodically during the school year at the school and system level and are implemented to the extent feasible and applicable.
Meetings involving parents will be arranged at a variety of times, such as morning and evenings, to maximize opportunities for parents to participate in school related activities. Teachers and other educators who work directly with participating children may arrange in-home conferences where appropriate and feasible, with parents who are unable to attend conferences scheduled at school.
Since Title I focuses on building a greater capacity for parental involvement, Lamar County Schools will maintain the following principles that should build both school and parent capacity for parental involvement. These principles will be accomplished through communication, and through training and instruction of parents, educators, and other stakeholders. Provisions for such training and instruction for each of these principles may occur via brochures and other media, community meetings, parent workshops, or avenue of learning that is appropriate for the information being conveyed.
- Parents must understand federal and state policies and objectives concerning their children’s education. Training will be provided to help parents, educators, and other stakeholders acquire an understanding of the following, to the extent applicable or feasible:
- National Education Goals;
- State Title I content standards and student performance standards;
- Requirements for Title I, Part A, including the required 1% reservation of funds allocated for parent involvement activities;
- School improvement and corrective action process;
- Components of a school wide program;
- Components of a targeted assisted program;
- State and local assessments;
- Ways parents can monitor their children’s progress and work with educators to improve the performance of their children; and,
- Ways parents can participate in decisions relating to the education of their children
- Parents must be notified according to the requirements of NCLB. This includes but is not limited to:
- Notifying each child’s parent of the results of the annual school review of Adequate Yearly Progress [AYP]. Parents may have input on the school improvement plan at this time;
- Notifying parents that a school has been identified for school improvement, corrective action or restructuring. The notification must include the following:
- An explanation of what identification means, and how the school compares to other Lamar County Schools;
- The reason for identification;
- What the school is doing to address the problem of low achievement;
- What the Lamar County Board of Education and GA State Department of Education is doing to help the school address the problem of low achievement;
- How parents can become involved in addressing the school’s academic problems; and,
- The parents’ option regarding their right to seek a transfer of their children to another public school or to seek supplemental services, if applicable.
- Notifying parents about the professional qualification of their child’s teacher at the beginning of each school year; and,
- Notifying parents with a timely notice if their child is taught by a teacher who is not highly qualified for four or more consecutive weeks.
- The system or school will coordinate parent literacy training including all academic areas and use technology from other sources, to the extent feasible and applicable. The parent literacy training will focus on helping parents work with their children to improve their children’s achievement by:
- Monitoring their children’s progress and work with educators to improve the performance of their children;
- Participating in decisions relating to the education of their children; and,
- Participating in training with educators when feasible to improve the instruction and services to Title I students.
Provisions for materials and training will occur as designated in the system or school level Parent Involvement Action Plans.
- Educators and other stakeholders need to understand the value and utility of contributions of parents and learn to reach out to, communicate and work with them as equal partners, and build ties between home and school by implementing and coordinating parent programs. Provisions for materials and training will occur as designated in the system or school level Parent Involvement Action Plans.
- Parent involvement plans, to the extent feasible and applicable, will collaborate coordinate, and integrate with the state funded pre-kindergarten program and other programs such as Head Start, Even Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, Migrant & Homeless.
- Parent Involvement Action Plans include, to the extent feasible and applicable, suitable roles for community-based organizations and businesses encouraging the formation of partnerships between elementary, middle and secondary schools and local businesses that include a role for parents and other opportunities such as life skills training, family crisis intervention, and community education opportunities.
- Parent Involvement Action Plans will include opportunities for parents to learn about child development and child rearing [beginning at birth]. These will be designed to help parents become full partners in the education of their children. The opportunities include but are not limited to Passport to Success workshops, school-based Parent Resource Centers, and parent meetings. Local schools are encouraged to implement activities that are appropriate, needed and/or of interest to their participating parents.
- International families shall be provided information in the language used in the home. The information provided shall relate to system or school programs, parent programs and meetings, and other activities of participating children.
The Parent Involvement policy of the Lamar County Schools and of each participating school is evaluated annually as to the effectiveness in increasing parent participation and identifying barriers to parent participation such as low income, disabilities, limited literacy, language or other cultural or ethnic considerations. The findings of the annual evaluation are used to design strategies for school improvement or to redesign the parent policies. All non-satisfactory parent comments regarding parent involvement plans or activities at the system or school level are collected and documented in the Lamar County Title I Office and sent to the State Department of Education as required.