Established under the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act in 2010, Milford School District Board of Education recently received an update to the district’s Parental Involvement Policy which will be voted on at their next meeting. According to Dr. Bridget Amory, Director of Student Learning, the updated policy will now be known as the “Parent and Family Engagement” policy.
“Under the guidelines of Title I, we are required to have this policy,” Dr. Amory said. “The original policy needs to be updated to meet the requirements of the Every Child Succeeds Act. When we went through our federal funding last year, we were able to receive feedback from the state on how this policy should be updated and we began working on it then. However, the COVID closure pushed this back a bit until we were able to establish virtual meetings to complete it.”
The new policy provides information on how the district will offer parents and families the opportunity to become involved in the education of their children, regardless of English proficiency, limited literacy, disability, economic status, migratory status as well as race or ethnic background. Under the revised policy, staff members will strive to communicate thoroughly with all parents, allowing them to play an integral role in learning as well as encouraging the involvement of parents and families in the learning process.
The district will provide annual parent and family surveys in multiple languages as well as hold regular meetings of the District Family Engagement Committee. Parent and family participation in school strategic planning as well as the involvement of parent and family members in advisory task forces is also required under the policy. Task forces may include Positive Behavior Supports committees, strategic planning, school calendar, district dress code task force and more.
In addition, the policy will include parents through effective communication methods, wills hare and receive feedback from volunteers that represent the district population, offer surveys to collect data as well as provide opportunities for parents and families to solicit ideas in order to advance parent engagement with schools. The policy also includes methods of annually evaluating that the district is following the policy properly as well as methods used to coordinate services, both within and outside the district. Parents and family members whose children are served by Title I funds are also provided with mechanisms to determine how the one percent of funds reserved for parent and family engagement is spent.
“Much of the feedback we have gotten about this is not so much about policy, but about strategies in how the district can support and encourage family engagement,” Dr. Amory said.
School Board President Jason Miller pointed out that this policy is federally mandated. Anyone with any questions regarding the policy prior to the board voting on it in Jan. 2021 can reach out the Milford School District by calling 302-422-1600.