Van Buren County Schools

Family and Community Involvement Plan

The Van Buren County School District has always valued and encouraged assistance in the important endeavor of educating this community’s youth. We realize the critical role that family involvement plays in helping students achieve their greatest potential. Family and community input is invited and encouraged so that the partnership between home and school is strengthened. There are many levels of involvement in the educational process. In the Van Buren County School District, we work hard at finding ways for everyone to play a role.

Utilizing all of its resources to implement the Family-Community Involvement Plan, the Van Buren County School District will strive to develop and promote activities that enrich meaningful involvement. The cultivation of involvement will be based on the identified needs of students, families and this community. It is common knowledge that when parents and community stakeholders support education the following student results are evident:

Improved attendance;

Increased motivation and better self-esteem;

Higher grades, test scores and graduation rates;

Decreased usage of drugs and alcohol;

Fewer instances of violent behavior; and

Fewer suspensions from school.

Family involvement means everything from helping your child with homework on a daily basis to volunteering in your child’s school. We encourage family involvement from preschool through grade 12.

Family Input in Developing the Family Involvement Plan

The following actions will take place to ensure family and community involvement in the development and revision of this plan:

bulletDevelop the plan with the assistance of the Van Buren County District Advisory Committee.
bulletDistribute the plan to families and students annually at the beginning of the school year.
bulletPost the plan on the district website.
bulletConduct an annual evaluation of the plan

Providing Assistance to Schools and Other Support for Parents

Van Buren County Schools will coordinate technical assistance and other support to assist schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement activities by:

bulletAdding a “Parent Information” section to the district website
bulletPosting curriculum standards and the system report card on the district website
bulletProviding opportunities for the families and the public to become informed about educational and community issues
bulletScheduling at least two family/teacher conferences yearly
bulletProviding opportunities for parents to inspect all learning materials
bulletProviding assistance and support to teachers and school administrators that will help them implement parent involvement activities
bulletIncluding parents in professional development opportunities
bulletProvide reasonable support for activities that parents request
bulletOpportunities for full participation will be provided for parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities and parents of migratory children

Communication with Families

In order to improve communication between the home and school, we will attempt to inform parents about school programs and student progress by:

bulletHolding Parent -Teacher events in all schools
bulletPosting pertinent information on school and district websites
bulletUsing Global Connect messages, email and letters home to communicate frequently
bulletAll parent communications will be sent in a language that they can understand
bulletProviding a school calendar that includes important dates and activities
bulletProviding translation services if needed
bulletProviding parents with copies of school handbooks, which contain information about grading scales, school rules, courses of study, etc.
bulletSending progress reports or report cards home every three weeks

Family Involvement Activities

In order to build a strong relationship with families and schools, efforts will be made to recruit and organize family help and support for the school and individual classrooms by:

bulletSurveying families and community members to see who is willing to donate time, talents and resources to supplement the curriculum
bulletNotifying families and community members of volunteer opportunities-PTO activities, field trips, book fairs, Project Graduation, athletic programs, etc.
bulletEncouraging families to participate in after school programs and summer reading
bulletEncouraging families to participate in all activities at Spencer Elementary School, which is our only school served by Title I

Development of Family and Community Capacity

The Van Buren County School District will work to broaden the support system for families and the community by:Providing parents with materials and training to help them work with their child

Encouraging administrators and staff members to reach out, communicate and work with parents as equal partners

Coordinate parent involvement activities with other community resources and programs

Maintain our partnership with Head Start to assist in the transition process from Head Start into the mainstream school system

Helping to educate families on the state’s achievement standards; NCLB requirements; Title I, Part A requirements; and how to monitor their child’s progress

Involving parents and community members in school improvement planning

Collaborating with the Community

Community resources will be used to strengthen schools, families and student learning by:

bulletPromoting school tours for business and community members
bulletProviding opportunities for community use of school facilities
bulletEncouraging off-site tours for family, business and community members to visit other schools and communities to get ideas and see model programs in action
bulletProviding GED classes for all interested stakeholders
bulletProviding a district representative to participate in Leadership Van Buren
bulletInviting community members to participate in the annual “CTE Day”

Annual Evaluation of the Family Involvement Plan

The Van Buren County School District will conduct an annual evaluation of the family involvement plan at the end of each school year. The evaluation shall specifically look at barriers to parent involvement, level of parent involvement, and strategies to increase involvement of parents from all population segments. The evaluation shall comprise parent surveys and parent forum discussions. The district shall use information gathered from the evaluations to revise and update the actions and strategies to achieve a greater level of parent involvement.

Continuous Improvement Philosophy

In keeping with the Van Buren County School District’s on-going commitment to continuous improvement, this facet of the district’s endeavors will benefit from:

bulletCareful monitoring of activities
bulletReflection on activities-what can we do to improve? What is working? What needs adjustments?
bulletRecommendations for the future

Formalization of what had been occurring for many years in the Van Buren County School District is important and will only heighten our efforts. This Family and Community Involvement Plan will help us to continue to make a difference in the lives of students, their families and this community.