Family Involvement Policy

Family Involvement Policy 
Title 1 Program of Westfield Public Schools

The goal of the Title 1 Program of Westfield Public Schools is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. Engaging families as partners is essential to the attainment of this goal. The Title 1 Program supports and encourages the active involvement of parents/guardians in the education of their children. Recognizing the diversity of family structures, circumstances, and cultural backgrounds, this document will use the term “parent” to include participation of all individuals who have parental responsibility for the child. The term “family” includes all those who play an important role in the child’s upbringing and well-being. 

The family involvement component of the Title 1 program will be comprehensive and coordinated in nature. In collaboration with families, programs, and practices that enhance family involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and their families will be implemented. They will include, but not be limited to:
1. Parents will have the opportunity to assist in developing the Title 1 plan, review the program, and formulate suggestions for improvement. To accomplish this:
All parents will be invited to an annual meeting/forum which will be advertised and open to all parents. The agenda will include Title 1 objectives; description of instructional methods; the student selection process; test scores and how schools are identified for school improvement; and the parent’s right to know the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals in their school. 
The program components listed above will also be made available to parents through the Title 1 bulletin board in each school, newsletters, the Title 1 website, at Title 1 events and Open Houses, and the information distributed at these events. 
2. Support will be provided to families and teachers as they plan and implement effective family involvement by:
Providing a variety of parent and family workshops based on assessed needs and interests. 
Developing a Home / School Compact in cooperation with both parents and teachers and promoting its use for the betterment of students. The compact will be presented in a way that attends to the literacy and language of parents. 
Providing current, reputable parent literature/materials through a variety of venues, in a format that is understandable to parents.
3. In order to promote the school’s and parents’ capacity to form a strong partnership and work toward higher student academic achievement, the Title 1 Program will:
Provide parents with information which will increase their capacity to participate in decisions regarding the education of their children and effectively work with educators to improve academic achievement. This will include, but not be limited to, assisting parents in understanding the state and local curriculum frameworks and assessments, how to monitor a child’s progress, and interpret school performance reports.    
Inform parents of Title 1 activities through newsletters, postings on Title 1 bulletin boards, mailings, flyers, and the Title 1 website. 
Encourage staff to have regular two-way, meaningful communication with parents through parent teacher conferences, progress reports, newsletters, school websites and providing opportunities for observation of classroom activities.
Encourage the education of teachers and other staff in the value and utility of contributions families can make in the education of children.
Make information available, in a format and, to the extent possible, in the language families can understand.
Provide training and materials to help families work with their children to improve their children’s academic achievement.
4. The Title 1 Program of Westfield Public Schools will encourage coordination of family involvement activities with parent/teacher collaborative, the Westfield Education Association, the Coordinated School Health Advisory Council, English Language Learners Program, and other organizations dedicated to increasing student achievement by sharing information, co-sponsoring workshops, and encouraging attendance and/or participation in activities that serve the needs of both groups.
5. Families will participate in an annual evaluation and needs assessment of the content and effectiveness of the Title 1 program, including family involvement guidelines. Using the evaluation findings, they will be involved in designing strategies to increase family involvement and overcome barriers which may limit participation for those who are economically disadvantaged, homeless, disabled, have limited literacy, have limited English proficiency, or are of racial/ethnic minority background. 

The family involvement guidelines will be distributed annually at each school’s Open House and made available to parents at Title 1 events. A copy of the goals will also be available in the Title 1 office, the office of each school, and on the Title 1 bulletin board in each school. The guidelines will be reviewed annually by parents, teachers, support staff, and the Title 1 Family Involvement Coordinator to accommodate the changing needs of the parents and schools, in an ongoing effort to increase family involvement and input in the Title 1 program. 

Adopted May 2004
Reviewed September 2005, September 2006, September 2007, September 2013
Revised September 2008
References to Reading First and update agency collaborations September 2009
Revised to delete references to Headstart June 2012
Revised September 2008, September 2009 – wording changes only
Reference to homelessness and ELL added June 2012
Revised September 2017

These are the Title 1 Family Involvement Guidelines for the district. For individual school documents, visit the My School page for each school.