Family Engagement Plan Overview
Family engagement is defined as:
“The mutual responsibility of families, schools, and communities to build relationships to support student learning and achievement, support family well-being, and the continuous learning and development of children, families, and educators. Family engagement is fully integrated in the child’s educational experience and is both culturally and linguistically appropriate.” Texas Administrative Code §102.1003.
It has long been recognized by both researchers and practitioners that family engagement plays a non-negotiable role in education. It is no longer a suggestion, rather a mandate, in Texas with the passage of house Bill 4 in 2015. Texas Education Code §29.168, created by House Bill 4, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, requires a school district or charter school to develop and implement a Family Engagement Plan to assist the district in achieving and maintaining high levels of family involvement and positive family attitudes toward education. The local Family Engagement Plan shall be based on the family engagement strategies established by Texas Education Agency in collaboration with other state agencies.
The Coppell ISD Early Childhood Program embraces the individuality and uniqueness of families and promotes a culture of learning that is child-centered and age-appropriate. Building partnerships between educators and families, by way of the Family Engagement Plan, ensures that every learner is encouraged, supported, and challenged to achieve the highest levels of knowledge, skills, and character.
The six Coppell ISD Family Engagement Plan strategies are based on empirical research and are proven to demonstrate positive short-term and long-term outcomes for early childhood education. This plan expresses what is contained in the Commissioner’s Rule (102.1003(f)) in addition to specific examples of how each of the family engagement strategies will be accomplished in our high-quality Early Childhood Program. The following articulates strategies within each of the six domains:
Strategies in Action: (1) Facilitating Family-to-Family Support
Coppell ISD’s Early Childhood Program creates a safe and respectful environment where families can learn from each other as individuals and in groups; including families and community volunteers, to share their educational and career experiences with current families; and ensures opportunities for continuous participation in events designed for families. Examples of events include:
- Orientation during the initial days of each school year that creates a welcoming space for parents to gather and talk informally with one another before and/or after the event
- "Meet the Teacher" night facilitating family to family interactions
- Celebrate Week of the Young Child with various district and community events
Strategies in Action: (2) Establishing a Network of Community Resources
The CISD Early Childhood Program Family Engagement Plan builds strategic partnerships by leveraging community resources; establishing and maintaining partnerships with businesses, faith-based organizations, and community agencies; monitoring and evaluating policies and practices to stimulate innovation and create learning pathways; identifying support from various agencies, including mental and physical health providers; partnering with local community-based organizations to create a family-friendly transition plan for students arriving from early childhood settings; and identifying partners to provide translators and culturally relevant resources reflective of home language. Examples of Strategies in Action (B) include:
- Community Health & Wellness Resource List
- Immunization Information
- Partner with Coppell and Irving Public Libraries to showcase community resources
- Celebrate Week of the Young Child with various district and community events
- Campus counselor can partner families with community resources to assist with short term family guidance and needs
- Campuses partner with Coppell Fire and Police Department to coordinate visits and speakers that share resources with families
- Campuses partner with “Coppell Cares” to provide food, after school snacks, and back to school backpacks for learners in need
- Partner with ESL/Bilingual Department to secure interpreters and translation of materials as needed
Strategies in Action: (3) Increasing Family Participation in Decision-Making
Coppell ISD increases/promotes family participation in decision-making by developing and supporting opportunities related to district and campus goal-setting efforts targeting family engagement; developing and supporting leadership skills for family members and providing opportunities for families to advocate for their children/families; collaborating with families to develop strategies to solve problems and serve as problem solvers; engaging families in shaping program activities and cultivating the expectation that information must flow in both directions to reflect two-way communication; developing, in collaboration with families, clearly defined goals, outcomes, timelines, and strategies for assessing progress; providing each family with an opportunity to review and provide input on program practices, policies, communications, and events in order to ensure the program is responsive to the needs of families.
Utilize appropriate tools such as surveys or focus groups to gather feedback on the Family Engagement Plan. Examples of family participation in district and campus decision-making opportunities include:
- Campus Site-Based Decision-Making Committee composed of campus staff, community partners, parents, and business representatives focusing on planning, curriculum, budgeting, staff development, overall school organization, all with the intent of improving the achievement of all learners at the campus
- https://www.coppellisd.com/Domain/2875 District Education Improvement Council (DEIC) is a committee that includes parents, business and community members, educators, administrators and other district staff to advise district leadership in establishing and reviewing district education goals, objectives, and major district-wide classroom instructional programs
- https://www.coppellisd.com/Domain/3443 Campus visitation and volunteering
- Share strategies with parents on how to advocate for themselves and their children appropriately
- Educate families regarding their rights under State and Federal law regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act https://www.coppellisd.com/Domain/64
- Create and maintain an environment that values and affirms parent leadership.
- Analyze family enrollment information so educators can learn about the children in their classrooms from their parents’ perspective and begin mutual goal setting with each family.
- Using parents as equal partners with staff in reviewing family engagement results and making decisions regarding plans for continuous improvement
- LPAC parent representation
- Regularly held parent/teacher conferences
- Progress monitoring/Report card information is shared with parents encouraging their feedback, questions, and ideas regarding future learning experiences.
Strategies in Action: (4) Equipping Families with Tools to Enhance and Extend Learning
Pre-Kindergarten educators in CISD recognize the families of our learners as the first and best teachers in the child’s life. In order to equip families with tools to enhance and extend their child’s learning, our educators work with families to design or implement existing home educational resources to support learning at home while strengthening the family/school partnership; provide families with information and/or training on creating a home learning environment connected to formal learning opportunities; equip families with resources and skills to support their children through the transition to school and offering opportunities for families and children to visit the school in advance of the pre-kindergarten school year; provide complementary home learning activities for families to engage in a home with children through information presented in newsletters, online tech tools, social media, parent/family-teacher conferences, or other school-related events; provide information focusing on age-appropriate developmental expectations; collaborate with families to appropriately respond to children’s behavior in a non-punitive, positive, and supportive way; and assist families to implement best practices that will help achieve the goals and objectives identified to meet the needs of the child and family. Examples of how CISD equips families with tools to enhance and extend learning include:
- CISD offers a high-quality full day Pre-Kindergarten program to eligible learners, enhancing and extending socialization and facilitating parent involvement for Pre-Kindergarten families
- Teacher/parent conferences held throughout the school year and collaborating with them in setting goals for their children while in the Pre-Kindergarten program
- Encouraging family members to volunteer in the classroom, using the time to foster enhanced communication regarding their child’s development
- Utilize parent survey results to create parent workshops reflecting parent choice and interest, possibly in a mini-session platform
- Sharing technology tips/resources that are family-friendly to enhance parents’ knowledge on child development (CLI Engage, VROOM, etc.)
- Pre-Kindergarten registrations and throughout the summer and school year that include campus tours and school/program information
- Pre-Kindergarten district webpage that shared information supportive of enhancing and extending learning for children participating in the program
- Parents are encouraged to access class/campus/district information from the Parent Portal on the CISD website
- Parents are provided with learner progress by way of regular report cards, weekly teacher communication, etc.
- “Family Projects” opportunities
- Quarterly goals and benchmarking
- “Family Engagement Night” modeling activities that can extend learning in the home environment.
- CISD Student Code of Conduct
Strategies in Action: (5) Developing Staff Skills in Evidence-Based Practices
Coppell believes in a continuous improvement philosophy. We provide essential professional development for educators in understanding communication and engagement with families, including
training on communicating with families in crisis; promoting and developing family engagement as a core strategy to improve teaching and learning among all educators and staff; and developing staff skills to support and use culturally diverse, culturally relevant, and culturally responsive family engagement strategies. Strategies in Action (E) include:
- Develop educator skills to support and use culturally diverse, culturally relevant, and culturally responsive family engagement strategies
- Promoting and developing family engagement as a core strategy to improve teaching and learning among all educators and staff
- Continuous professional development achieved through Early Childhood training opportunities Pre-K Academy and district level opportunities
- Educators will brainstorm and actively seek out ways parents participate/volunteer within the classroom
- Utilize developmentally appropriate activities to help children understand differences in families, cultures and traditions
- Educators will continue training targeting how to support families in crisis
- Train educator about the resources that are available in the community that support families’ interests and needs
- Implementation of the CISD Classroom Management Plan
- Utilization of resources available in CLI Engage and Circle Progress Monitoring platforms
- Continuing membership in the Region 10 Early Childhood Coop as a means of professional learning, program effectiveness, and practices associated with HQPK implementation
- Child Find training for early childhood educators/instructional aides
Strategies in Action: (6) Evaluating Family Engagement Efforts and Using Evaluation for Continuous Improvement
Self-assessment will be a cornerstone to the overall process of evaluating for program effectiveness and to support future improvements. Our PK program develops a data collection systems that monitor family engagement; uses data to ensure alignment between family engagement activities and district/school teaching and learning goals and to promote continuous family engagement; employs an evaluation plan to guide action; uses a cyclical process to ensure evaluation results are used for continuous improvement and adjustment; and ensures educators and parents play a role in the family engagement evaluation process. Efforts contributing to the evaluation process include:
- Parent surveys will gain information on preferences of program components and parents’ perception of program effectiveness. Survey results serve to improve program design and to increase parent outreach and involvement.
- CISD will conduct an annual EOY program evaluation and review of the results will support improvement efforts for the new school year considering all areas of the Family Engagement Plan.
- Incorporating goals related to family engagement into the program/campus strategic planning initiatives
- Utilize the “High Quality Checklist” for Family Engagement Plan provided by Region 10 ESC.
- Utilize the “High Quality Pre-Kindergarten Self-Assessment” instrument created by the TEA to include results indicating strengths, opportunities to grow, and next steps for continuous improvement.
- Participation in family involvement activities will be quantitatively documented and monitored at the campus/district levels. Qualitative data will be collected to ensure the specific needs of families are being address through surveys. Evaluation results will future planning efforts in an effort to optimize family involvement within the school and Coppell community.
Early Childhood & Family Engagement Contacts:
Dr. Patricia Cheatham, Director of ESL/Bilingual Programs/PreKindergarten - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Anita De La Isla, Directory of Language and Literacy/PreKindergarten - email@example.com
Becky Rainbolt, Special Education Coordinator/Coppell ISD - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Barnes, Asst Director Early Childhood Services/Region 10 ESC - email@example.com
Kelley-Estes Jones, Pre-Kindergarten/PPCD Program Coordinator/Region 10 ESC - Kelley.firstname.lastname@example.org