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Elementary and Secondary Education Parent, Family and Community Engagement

Families saying hi while they get food.


Family and community engagement is an integral part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title I, Part A helps to provide local educational agencies (LEAs) with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families with funds to help ensure that all students are receiving a high quality education. ESSA funds assist schools in providing supports and programs to students that help them to meet challenging state academic standards. Schools and LEAs must actively engage parents, families and community members in the development of state and local education plans for the use of ESEA funds including Title I, Part A, Title I, Part C, Title II, Title III, Title IV and Title V. Schools must partner with stakeholders in the development of school improvement plans for any schools identified for support and improvement under ESSA.

Written Family LEA Engagement Policy (District Level):

Each LEA receiving Title I, Part A funds shall maintain a written parent and family engagement policy that is, jointly developed, agreed upon and distributed to parents and family members of students participating in Title I programs or services. The parent and family involvement strategies outlined in the district’s written policy must be evaluated to demonstrate effectiveness in supporting academic achievement for students.

Written Title I School Parent and Family Engagement Policy (School Level):

Each Title I school shall maintain a written parent and family engagement policy that is, jointly developed with, distributed to, and agreed on by parents of students participating in Title I, Part A programs and services. Parents shall be notified of the School Parent and Family Engagement Policy in an understandable and uniform format, to the extent practicable, provided in a language the parents can understand. The policy must be made available to the local community and updated periodically to meet the changing needs of parents and the school.

Annual Title I Meeting:

Schools receiving Title I, Part A funds must convene an annual meeting at a convenient time to inform parents of their school’s participation in Title I, Part A services, programs or activities. The school must offer multiple meetings and involvement opportunities such as morning or evening events. Schools must also, if requested by parents, offer opportunities for regularly scheduled opportunities to provide suggestions and to participate in decisions regarding the education of their student. 

School-Parent Compact:

A component of the Title I, Part A school level Parent and Family Engagement policy, is for each Title I school to jointly develop with parents, a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved academic achievement. 

Allowable Activities

LEAs receiving a Title I, Part A allocation of $500,000 or greater must use the Parent Activities set-aside for at least one of the following activities:

  • Support schools and nonprofit organization in providing PD for district and school personnel regarding parent and family engagement strategies
  • Support programs that reach parents and family members at home, in the community and at school
  • Share information on best practices focused on parent and family engagement
  • Collaborate, or provide subgrants to schools to enable the school to collaborate with community-based organizations, businesses or employers
  • Engage in any other activities and strategies that the district determines are appropriate and consistent with the parent and family engagement policy
  • Provide literacy or math trainings to share practices with families that support student academic achievement
  • Provide transportation and child care costs to enable parents to participate in school-related meetings and training session associated with family involvement activities
  • Conduct in-home conferences between teachers or other educators to maximize parental involvement and participation
  • Adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement

For Additional Information Contact

Kristen Collins
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