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Policy 10000 - Student, Parent, Family and Community Engagement

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 well-being and academic achievement 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 cultivating an inclusive and nurturing learning community that engages all parents of students in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) regardless of demographic indicators and to promote parent engagement in their students’ education.

The Board encourages collaboration with parents and a diverse representation of community members as participants in school governance and as active partners in discussing and 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, 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) or has been issued a U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Verification of Release form entering into a custodial arrangement with the federal government.

    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.

  7. Stakeholder – Any person or organization that has an interest in the success of students and/or the organization.

IV. Standards

  1. HCPSS employees will establish programs, partnerships, and practices to cultivate a safe, engaging and supportive school environment, promote open communications, and provide opportunities for effective parent and community engagement.

  2. HCPSS employees will develop appropriate programs, partnerships, and practices to promote the engagement of all students, parents, families and the community.

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

  4. HCPSS Title I school employees will involve their schools’ parents in the development, implementation, and annual review of the Title I Parent and Family Involvement Plan, associated HCPSS policies, and Title I School Level Parent and Family Engagement Plan and School Parent Compacts.

  5. HCPSS employees will encourage and support parents and families to be involved in their student’s education and to be effective partners in ensuring success in school for their students.

  6. HCPSS principals will include students, parents, families and community members, in decision-making groups that impact school culture, climate, and the academic success of students when possible.

  7. HCPSS employees will provide methods by which students, 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 and through various digital platforms.

  8. HCPSS employees will provide services to ensure access for all families to information, translation and interpretation services, technology support, opportunity to meet with support liaisons, and additional services as needed.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Superintendent/designee will ensure that employees 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 employees will include and provide formal and informal processes for addressing concerns of students, parents, families, and community members, and for providing input on HCPSS policies and procedures.

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

  4. Principals and Central Office employees will develop and distribute information about opportunities for student, parent, family, and community engagement.

  5. The Superintendent/designee will determine annually whether to recommend revision to this policy and implementation procedures based on employee and stakeholder input.

  6. The Superintendent/designee will provide annually to the Board a report detailing system-wide and school-level efforts on student, parent, family, and community engagement.

VI. Delegation of Authority

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

VII. References

  • COMAR 13A.01.04.06

  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2015

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 Program data

  • HCPSS Educational Partnerships Annual Report

  • Title I Parent, Family, and Community Involvement Plans

  • Title I School Level Parent and Family Engagement Plan and School Parent Compacts

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

D. Other

  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

  • HCPSS Supports and Information

  • HCPSS Parent Formal Concern Form & Process

  • HCPSS Bullying Reporting Options

  • HCPSS School Safety & Security

VIII. History

ADOPTED: November 22, 1994

REVIEWED: July 1, 2014

MODIFIED:

REVISED:

  • November 9, 2006

  • February 13, 2013

  • June 13, 2019

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2019