Children are more successful in school when parents are involved in their children’s education. This brochure lists what the California Department of Education (CDE), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools MUST do to promote parental involvement in schools that receive Title I funds. The information is based on requirements found in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. Note: LEAs are school districts, county offices of education, and direct-funded charter schools.
What the California Department of Education MUST do:
Partner with other agencies and institutions to provide leadership and guidance to LEAs and schools in accord with Section 1118, Parental Involvement, of NCLB to enable parents to become strongly involved in their children’s education.
Disseminate to LEAs and schools information about effective parental involvement practices that:
Make use of the most current professional research.
Foster high achievement by all students.
Lower the barriers to greater participation by parents in school planning and the process of review and improvement.
Provide parents with an easy-to-understand annual state report card regarding student achievement and the professional qualifications of instructional staff.
Review the progress of each LEA annually to determine:
If schools are making adequate yearly progress.
If each LEA is carrying out its responsibilities regarding assessment, parental involvement, school improvement and support, and the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals.
Monitor compliance with Title I law, including review of the LEA’s parental involvement policies and practices.
What local educational agencies MUST do:
Provide meaningful consultation with the parents of students served.
Plan and implement programs, activities, and procedures, as required under Title I, that involve parents in the education of their children.
Develop a parental involvement policy with the participation of parents. This policy becomes a part of the LEA Plan and establishes the LEA’s expectations for parental involvement. The parental involvement policy describes how the LEA will:
Involve parents in helping to develop the LEA Plan.
Involve parents in the process of school review and improvement.
Provide schools with the assistance necessary to plan and implement effective parental involvement activities that will improve student academic achievement and school performance.
Build a school’s capacity for strong parental involvement by:
Helping parents understand the state academic content standards and state assessments.
Providing materials and training to help parents work with their children to improve their children’s academic achievement
Involving parents in school activities, especially academically related ones.
Educate teachers and other staff, with the assistance of parents, about:
Recognizing the value and usefulness of parents’ contributions.
Reaching out to, communicating with, and working with parents as equal partners.
Implementing and coordinating parent programs.
Building ties between parents and the school.
Coordinate the parental involvement program with other programs, such as Head Start, Reading First, and public preschools.
Provide reasonable support for parental involvement activities under Title I as parents may request.
Conduct, with the help of parents, an annual evaluation of the parental involvement policy and its effectiveness in improving the academic quality of Title I schools.
Identify barriers to greater participation by parents in activities authorized by Title I.
Submit parents’ comments to the CDE if the LEA Plan is not satisfactory to parents.
Reserve one percent of the Title I funds for parental involvement activities if the LEA receives more than $500,000. LEAs shall:
Involve parents in the decisions regarding how the parental involvement funds are spent.
Distribute 95 percent of the parental involvement funds to Title I schools.
Provide opportunities for full participation to parents with limited English proficiency, parents of migrant children, and parents with disabilities.
Include parents, when possible, as a part of school support teams designed to assist LEAs and schools in increasing student achievement.
Give parents an easy-to-understand annual LEA report card.
Notify parents when the child has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet the teacher requirements of NCLB.
Provide parents with timely information about schools in a language and format they can understand. The information shall include annual notification of:
The level of achievement of their child in each academic assessment required by state and federal laws
The names of schools identified by the state as Program Improvement (PI) schools
The parental option to transfer a child from a PI school to a non-PI school (Transportation is to be paid by the LEA according to local policy. If demand exceeds available funds, priority for this service goes to the lowest-achieving students.)
The supplemental educational services available in PI schools:
Eligibility requirements for students to obtain supplemental educational services
Names of approved providers and their qualifications
Help available to parents in selecting a provider, if requested
Assurance of fair and equitable procedures for serving students
Privacy policies that protect the identity of the student
Information about English learners (if Title I funds are used to provide an educational language-instruction program):
The reasons the child is identified as an English learner and where he/she will be placed
The child’s levels of English and academic achievement and how the levels were assessed
A description of the programs available, the differences between them, and the methods of instruction
The ways in which the programs will meet the child’s educational strengths and needs
The ways in which the programs will help the child learn English and grade-level standards for promotion and graduation
The exit requirements of the program, including the expected rate of transition to an English-language mainstream classroom, and the expected rate of graduation from high school
The ways in which the programs will meet the objectives of an individualized education program for a child with disabilities
The right of the parent to decline enrollment, request the child be moved from the program offered, or receive help in choosing another one
The right to request the professional qualifications of their children’s classroom teachers, including:
The teacher’s qualifications to teach the subject matter
The type of credential held
The degree or graduate certificate held
If services are provided by a paraprofessional, what type of services and the paraprofessional’s qualifications
Additional information regarding supplemental services can be found on the California Department of Education Web site Supplemental Educational Services.
What local educational agencies May do:
Build the schools’ capacity for strong parental involvement and enable parents to become highly involved in their children’s education by taking the following actions:
- Involve parents in the development of training for teachers, principals, and other educators to improve the effectiveness of training.
- Provide necessary family literacy training if the LEA has spent all other sources of funding for such training.
- Pay reasonable and necessary expenses related to parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents to attend school meetings and training sessions.
- Train parents to help other parents get involved.
- Arrange school meeting at various times or conduct home conferences between teachers of children receiving services under Title I and parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school.
- Adopt and implement model approaches to improve parental involvement.
Involve parents in the development of training for teachers, principals, and other educators to improve the effectiveness of training.
Provide necessary family literacy training if the LEA has spent all other sources of funding for such training.
Pay reasonable and necessary expenses related to parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents to attend school meetings and training sessions.
Train parents to help other parents get involved.
Arrange school meetings at various times or conduct home conferences between teachers of children receiving services under Title I and parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school.
Adopt and implement model approaches to improve parental involvement.
Establish a parental advisory council for the LEA to provide advice on all matters related to parental involvement in Title I programs and services to Title I students.
Develop appropriate roles for community-based organizations and businesses in parental involvement activities.
What schools MUST do:
Work with parents to develop a written parental involvement policy that is agreeable to them and describes ways of meeting the following requirements in Title I of NCLB (if a school already has a parental involvement policy that applies to all parents, the school may amend that policy to meet Title I requirements):
Notification to parents of the policy in an understandable format and language
Periodic updates of the policy to meet the changing needs of parents and the school
Hold an annual meeting, at a convenient time, for all parents of participating children. The purposes of this meeting are to:
Inform parents of their school’s participation in the Title I program.
Explain the requirements of Title I.
Explain the right of parents to be involved.
Offer parental involvement meetings at various times, such as morning or evening. Schools may use Title I funds to pay for transportation, child care, or home visits related to parental involvement.
Involve parents in an organized, ongoing, and timely way in the planning, review, and improvement of Title I programs, including the school parental involvement policy for all parents and the Single Plan for Student Achievement.
Submit parents’ comments on the schoolwide program plan to the LEA if parents do not find the plan to be satisfactory.
Provide the following items to the parents of participating students:
Timely information about Title I programs
A description and explanation of the curriculum used at the school, the academic assessments used to measure student progress, and the proficiency levels students are expected to reach
Opportunities for regular meetings, if requested by parents, to:
Receive timely responses to suggestions
Participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children
Develop jointly with the parents or caregivers of participating students a school-parent compact that outlines:
The shared responsibility of parents, students, and the entire school staff to improve students’ academic achievement
The shared responsibility between the school and parents to help children achieve the statewide academic content standards
The school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that helps children served under Title I meet the statewide academic content standards
The ways in which parents will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion, and television watching; volunteering in their children’s classroom; participating, as appropriate, in decisions related to the education of their children and the positive use of their children’s extracurricular time
The importance of ongoing communication between teachers and parents through (at a minimum):
Annual parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools, in which the compact shall be discussed in relation to the individual child’s achievement
Frequent reports to parents about their children’s progress
Reasonable access to staff
Reasonable opportunities to volunteer at the school, participate in their children’s class, and observe classroom activities
Additional information about parental participation in schools may be found at the following Web sites:
CDE Web site Title I
CDE Web site Parents/Family & Community