Family Engagement Policy and 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.

Herndon 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. 

Herndon Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2016-2017 school year. A number of 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 monthly PTA meetings and a parent coffee each semester. 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.

Important Dates       

Parent-Teacher Conferences                                                  

  • November 6
  • additional dates, as needed

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 15
  • February 14
  • April 25
  • June 23

School Events

  • Open House:  August 24
  • Back to School Night and Annual Meeting: September 7 (K-2) & September 13 (3-6)
  • PTA Meetings:  Monthly
  • Thanksgiving Luncheon: November 16

Building Capacity for Involvement

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 PTA meetings and opportunities to serve on various Herndon parent committees.
  • Engage caregiver input when developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP), Title I Schoolwide Plan, 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 Title I Schoolwide Plan, offer multiple methods for caregivers to submit comments about programs they may not find satisfactory, and submit any such comments with the Title I Schoolwide Plan to FCPS central offices.
  • Invite family members to help in organizing and executing a variety of school events to build collective ownership, such as PTA meetings and various Herndon ES parent committees.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as in classrooms, on field trips, and during PTA functions.
  • Encourage families to take part in annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness 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 to families such as a Thursday folder, News You Choose, KIT messages, and social media such as Twitter.
  • ◊Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual PTA meeting 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, such as during PTA meetings and parent coffees.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school's goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by communicating student and school goals via school newsletter and during PTA, and semester parent coffees.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as the weekly Thursday folder and regular office hours with our parent liaison.
  • Provide ongoing feedback on student progress through quarterly progress reports that show specific areas of proficiency and areas for continued growth.
  • Hold parent-teacher conferences for all students at least annually in the fall and more often, as needed.

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 having a variety of parent information sessions throughout the school year such as use of the FCPS databases, introduction to DreamBox, parenting workshop, etc.
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school's academic, behavioral, and social programming through monthly PTA meetings.
  • 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 Partners in Print and academic curriculum nights.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as the parent liaison, the Advanced Academic Resource Teacher, and Social Worker.
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as backpacks, school supplies and winter coats.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Trinity Presbyterian Church.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as Neighborhood Networks.

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 the Back to School Nights, Open House, parent workshops, and family school events.
  • 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: obtaining legal service, basic medical care, shelter, food, vision services, and dental services.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through PTA Meetings that are translated into Spanish by the Parent Liaison.

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.
  • Be aware of the individual needs of each child.
  • Treat each child with dignity and respect.
  • Encourage parents to participate in scheduled Family Literacy nights and other family oriented events.

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.
  • Support content areas with computers and Dream Box learning.
  • Provide opportunities for students to explore individual choice through after school clubs

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.
  • Provide parents with the Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy and Compact.

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 Title I Schoolwide Plan 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 by reading to or with my child each night.
  • Encourage my child to do his/her very best every day.
  • Check my child's Thursday Folder each week, sign, and return any necessary paperwork.

The student will:

Share the responsibility to improve my academic learning to achieve the state's challenging standards through the followings 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.
  • Follow Herndon's expectations in all settings.