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Policy 10000 - Parent, Family and Community Involvement

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the school system that endorse and encourage meaningful partnerships between and among schools, parents, families, and the community to support the social, emotional and academic growth of students.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County believes that the education of children is a responsibility shared by parents, families, the school system, and the community.

The Board recognizes the parent as a student’s first and lifelong teacher and that it is essential to create a welcoming climate to involve parents in educational decisions as primary advocates for their students. The Board is committed to engaging all parents of students in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) and to promoting their involvement in their students’ education.

The Board encourages collaboration with parents and the community as participants in school governance and as active partners in forwarding the school system’s goals and philosophy.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the school system that endorse and encourage meaningful partnerships between and among schools, parents, families, and the community to support the social, emotional and academic growth of students.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Advocate – A person who pleads another’s cause; a person who speaks or writes in support of something.

  2. Community – The society at large which includes, but is not limited to, families, businesses, faith communities, government agencies, non-profit service organizations, other organizations, and individuals.

  3. Family – A child’s primary care-giving unit.

  4. Governance – A collaborative team approach to setting mutual goals and making shared policy, procedure, and program decisions.

  5. Parent – Any one of the following, recognized as the adult(s) legally responsible for the student:

    1. Biological parent – A natural parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    2. Adoptive parent – A person who has legally adopted the student and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    3. Custodian – A person or agency appointed by the court as the legal custodian of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    4. Guardian – A person who has been placed by the court in charge of the affairs of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    5. Caregiver – An adult resident of Howard County who exercises care, custody, or control over the student but who is neither the biological parent nor legal guardian, as long as the person satisfies the requirements of the Education Article, §7-101 (c) (Informal Kinship Care).

    6. Foster parent – An adult approved to care for a child who has been placed in their home by a state agency or a licensed child placement agency as provided by the Family Law Article, §5-507.

  6. Partnership – An association of the HCPSS with two or more parties taking part in activities in common with one another or others; two or more parties engaged with the HCPSS in working toward the same outcomes.

IV. Standards

  1. HCPSS staff will comply with this policy and related implementation procedures.

  2. HCPSS staff will establish programs, partnerships, and practices to cultivate a respectful climate and a safe and nurturing environment, promote open communications, and provide opportunities for effective parent and community involvement and engagement.

  3. HCPSS staff will develop appropriate programs, partnerships, and practices to promote the involvement and engagement of all parents and the community.

  4. The HCPSS will comply with the requirements of federal and state regulations related to parent and family involvement.

  5. HCPSS staff will encourage parents and families to be involved in their student’s education and assume a vital role in ensuring success in school for their students.

  6. Principals will include students and parents in decision making groups such as the School Improvement Team (SIT).

  7. The HCPSS Central Office staff will provide professional development and resources to enable staff to meet the expectations of this policy.

  8. The HCPSS staff will provide methods by which parents, families, and the community can contribute suggestions for the continued improvement of the school system, including providing opportunities for these groups to communicate directly with the Board, such as at public hearings.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will ensure that staff are provided professional development and resources to implement this policy and will monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy and procedures.

  2. Principals and central office staff will include and provide formal and informal processes for addressing concerns of family and community members, and for providing input on school system policies and procedures.

  3. HCPSS staff will demonstrate a commitment to parent, family, and community involvement in the education process and will take appropriate steps to meet the mandates of this policy.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will determine annually whether to recommend revision to this policy and implementation procedures based on staff and stakeholder input.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • No Child Left Behind Act 2001 (Sections 1112, 1116, and 1118)

  • COMAR 13A.01.04.06

C. Relevant Data Sources

  • Black Student Achievement Program Saturday Math Academy Annual Data Report

  • Climate Surveys

  • Hispanic Achievement Program Parent Academy data

  • International Parent Leadership Academy data

  • HCPSS Educational Partnerships Annual Report

  • Family and Community Outreach Parent Participation Summary

  • Title I Family Involvement Plans

  • BRIDGES 21st Century Learning Centers Evaluations of Family Involvement Initiatives

D. Other

  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  • The Epstein Framework of Six Types of Involvement

VIII. History

ADOPTED: November 22, 1994

REVIEWED: July 1, 2014

MODIFIED:

REVISED: November 9, 2006, February 13, 2013

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2013