Family Engagement Policy and School-Home Compact

Purpose of the Engagement 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.

Sleepy Hollow 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.

Sleepy Hollow Elementary jointly developed this policy and compact with members of the school community and adopted it for the 2019-2020 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 the Title I Annual Meeting. 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 5
  • additional dates, were used before the 5th to accommodate families that needed translators

Progress Report Distribution

  • November 13
  • February 5
  • April 22
  • June 12

School Events

  • Back to School Night : September 4
  • Back To School Picnic: September 14
  • Family Field Trip American History Museum: October 19
  • Thanksgiving Lunch/Veteran’s Day: November 11
  • Student Holiday Gift Shop: December 17
  • Barnes and noble Book Night: November 15
  • Partners In Print: April
  • Math Night: February
  • Book Fair: March 30-April 3
  • International Night: May 28

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 the school board’s Title I Parent Advisory Committee, School Improvement and Innovation Planning Team and the PTA.
  • 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 Book Fairs, Heritage Night, Family Field Trips and Movie Nights.
  • Provide opportunities for caregivers to volunteer within the school in various ways, such as room parents, library helpers, After School Clubs, and PTA events.
  • 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 FCPS News You Choose, weekly folders, event flyers, Sleepy Hollow website, Facebook with PTA events, Twitter and phone and email messages.
  • Encourage all caregivers to attend an annual meeting on September 12, 2019 during 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 PTA meetings and parent conferences.
  • Provide opportunities throughout the year for families to better understand the school’s goals for students and find ways to improve student learning by PTA meetings and Back To School Night.
  • Maintain resources for caregivers to review student assignments and ongoing communication about student work, such as the student planner in Grades 4 & 5, interim reports, progress reports, emails, phone calls and conferences.
  • 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 internet safety, advanced academics and tools to help for SOL’s (math & reading).  
  • Offer regular opportunities for families to learn directly from school staff about the school’s academic, behavioral, and social programming through PTA meetings, SHES Handbook, Wednesday Folders, Grade level newsletters and counseling services.
  • 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 Math Night and Partners In Print.
  • Provide ongoing access to resources in the school, such as family nights at Willston center, books, and checkout materials.  
  • Provide mentors for students though staff members and community volunteers. 
  • Provide opportunities to donate and access supplies donated by others, such as school supplies, winter clothing, food resources and delivering our milk to Food for Others.
  • Leverage partnerships with local businesses and organizations to enhance school programs and events, such as Britepath and Lake Barcroft Ladies Club.
  • Support parents in accessing county and community resources, such as health care and counseling through the school social worker and school nurse.
  • Offer outreach and training for targeted families, such as curriculum nights. 

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, welcoming signs, availability of resources in multiple languages, and parent liaison.
  • 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 interpretation and translation.
  • Expand access for family participation in informational meetings and learning sessions through FCPS News You Choose, Wednesday folders and monthly PTA meetings.

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 an instructional day that allows for either math or language arts educational activities.

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.
    • Implement responsive Classroom strategies to build positive relationships.

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 information through school events and parent nights.

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

    • Include caregivers as members of the School Improvement Planning (SIP) Committee and as collaborators in developing the Title I Schoolwide Plan and plans for the use of Title I family engagement funds.
    • Provide multiple opportunities for parents to receive an overview of the schools Title I program, including meetings that provide an opportunity for questions and input.

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.
    • Attend schoolwide events and participate in parent meetings.

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.
    • Ask for help, when needed.