Parental Involvement is the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. The purpose is to ensure that parents play an integral role in their child’s learning and are active in their child’s education at school.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
Some opportunities for parental involvement include:
(1) Parent workshops and trainings
(2) Parent advisory committees
(3) School Council member
(4) PTO, PTSO, PTA
(5) Parent volunteers
(6) Parent-Teacher Conferences
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT COORDINATORS
Each school has a parental involvement coordinator who coordinates parent activities. For more information regarding activities at your school, please call your child’s school. If you have any comments or suggestions, always feel free to contact your parental involvement coordinator. Your coordinator will take your feedback to the leadership team of the school and will provide helpful tips to school staff.
Every year, students, parents and school staff sign a compact or agreement. This compact outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State’s high standards. This compact is given out at the beginning of each school year.
At the beginning and end of the school year, schools send out a parent questionnaire. The results of this survey are used to review the effectiveness of parent activities. Feedback from these surveys is very important. The school parental involvement policy and school activities are developed from feedback parents give on these surveys.
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT POLICY
The purpose of the school parental involvement policy is to ensure that strong strategies are in place to: 1) build the capacity to involve parents in an effective partnership with the school; 2) share and support high student academic achievement. The school and parents must jointly develop and agree on the policy. It is revised every year to meet the changing needs of parents. Finally, the policy is distributed to parents.
The school district also has a school parental involvement policy. It is also revised every year. A copy of this document is distributed to parents as well.
PARENT RESOURCE CENTER
Your child’s school has a parent resource center filled with materials. The Parent Involvement Coordinator will be conducting various trainings and activities throughout the school year. For more information, call your child’s school and ask to speak to the Parent Involvement Coordinator.
The school system has a parent resource center located at A.Z. Kelsey Academy (200 A.Z. Kelsey Avenue). This center is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm; however, since the Parent Engagement Specialist, Carole Bland, is often out in the schools, you will need to call and schedule an appointment to be sure she is available to assist you. Resources are available for checkout from the center and computers are also available for use. The number to the center is 770-229-3796. Please make sure to check out this great center!
Finally, there is also a Georgia State PIRC (Parent Involvement Resource Center) located at 600 West Peachtree Street, Suite 1200, in Atlanta, GA 30308. You may email the Director, Ms. Julie Hollis at firstname.lastname@example.org, access their website at www.georgiapirc.net, or call their office at 404-881-3292, fax number 404-888-5789. The operating hours are from 8:00am – 5:00pm EST. The Georgia State PIRC’s goal is to address barriers and weaknesses in communities such as poverty and illiteracy and to encourage families to realize the benefits of parental involvement and take advantage of services available that lead to the academic success of children. The goals are to enhance the abilities of parents across the state to participate effectively in their children’s education, and to improve student achievement through expanded and effective use of parental involvement programs.
ACADEMIC STANDARDS INFORMATION NATIONAL EDUCATION GOALS
The National Education goals are the focus for education reform and describe how educational systems can be measured. Congress approved the goals and they are:
(1) School Readiness – all children in America will start school ready to learn.
(2) School Completion - high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent.
(3) Student Achievement and Citizenship - students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in academic subjects so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship.
(4) Teacher Education and Professional Development – educators will have access to programs for the continued improvement of their professional skills.
(5) Mathematics and Science - students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
(6) Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning - every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
(7) Safe, Disciplined and Alcohol and Drug-Free Schools - every school in the United States will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol.
(8) Parental Participation - every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting growth of children.
GEORGIA STUDENT ASSESSMENTS
Griffin-Spalding administers all state-mandated assessments: Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) Grades 4 & 7, Criterion-Reference Competency Tests (CRCT) Grades 1-8, Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (GKIDS), Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT), Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), and the Georgia Writing Assessment Test in grades 3, 5, and 8. In addition to these tests, we administer local benchmarks in Reading/English Language Arts and math. At the high school level, we give TSARS predictor tests in the fall to 11th grade students in the areas of science and social studies. In addition to these tests, schools develop their own additional assessments to indicate student mastery of standards.
ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is part of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is an annual measure of student participation and achievement on statewide assessments and other academic indicators. The State of Georgia, each local school district, and each individual school is held accountable for the academic success of its students. AYP requires schools to meet standards in three areas: Test Participation, Academic Performance and a Second Indicator such as attendance. The second indicator for elementary and middle schools in the Griffin-Spalding County School System is student attendance. For high schools in the district, as well as in the state of Georgia, the second indicator is graduation rate. Georgia uses the Criterion-Reference Competency Tests (CRCT) as the AYP assessment tool for the elementary and middle school grades.
The Griffin-Spalding County School System follows the Georgia Performance Standards for K-12 Language Arts, K-10 Mathematics (Grade 11 to be implemented & assessed 2010-2011; Grade 12 to be implemented & assessed 2011-2012; these two grades are still under the QCC Objectives, which can also be located on the GDOE website), K-12 Science, and K-12 Social Studies. Additional grade and content specific information on the standards that outlines exactly what students are expected to know and be able to do can be found at www.georgiastandards.org.
GEORGIA PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
Georgia Performance Standards are both content and performance standards. The standards are definitive in what a student should know and be able to do.
Information obtained from the following websites:
GA DOE Website: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/
US DOE Website: http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml?src=a