Family Engagement

Children choosing books to take home at a family engagement school event

The Title I Program includes measures designed to increase parental engagement in the education of Title I students.

Parents are a very important part of Title I. With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, the involvement of families at the state, district, and school levels was made stronger and more crucial to student success. The law requires the following components to shape family engagement programs at Title I schools:

  • Written policies for family engagement at the school and district levels
  • Shared responsibility for high performance, as evidenced in a school-family compact
  • Greater capacity for school and family engagement by providing training for parents and/or care givers

In addition to these components, Title I schools also have some parental notification requirements. These are as follows:

Parents in Title I schools must be notified at the beginning of each school year that they have the right to request, and the district will provide on request, information regarding the professional qualifications of the student's classroom teachers, including:

  1. Whether the teacher has met state qualifications and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subjects the teacher is teaching
  2. Whether the teacher is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which state qualification or licensing has been waived
  3. The baccalaureate degree major of certification or degree held by the teacher, and the field of discipline of certification or degree
  4. Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications
Students doing a letter find activity

In Prince William County's Title I program, parents are involved at both the school and the division levels. Each Title I school is required to hold at least four Title I meetings for parents during the school year. The first meeting is called the Annual Meeting, and is held early in the school year to explain the program to the families at Title I schools. The last meeting of the school year focuses on reducing the summer learning loss that often occurs with long stretches of time students spend away from school. The other two meetings are usually designed around ideas to help families work with their children at home, or to give parents more information about what is happening with instruction at school, and the resources to able to continue the learning at home.

In addition to meetings at the school, parents are also involved in their child's Title I program by assisting in the development of a Family-School Compact. Families are invited and encouraged to work with school staff on developing this agreement that outlines the needs and responsibilities of the students, family and instructional staff. Each Title I Compact is unique and defines the following as each Title I school:

  • The school's responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction
  • The parents' responsibility for supporting their child's learning
  • The child's responsibility for learning at school and at home

Communication about student learning is critical. Title I teachers send home progress reports and conference with parents to provide updates on how the students with whom they provide supplemental instruction are achieving.

Each Title I school also has a written parent involvement policy on file which is jointly developed with the parents of participating children and agreed upon by the parents of that school.

The Parent Engagement Specialist with the Title I office is Theresa Dawkins-Smith, and she can be reached through the Title I office at 703-791-7248. She can put parents whose children attend Title I schools in touch with resources and information on an as-needed basis.

Mrs. Dawkins-Smith can be reached also by email at [email protected].

The PWCS Title I office strives to work closely with schools, families, and community members to ensure the greatest possible learning experiences for our students.