In Highline Public Schools, we recognize that families provide early and ongoing education to their children, and a strong collaboration between families and schools will ensure that students continue to receive the supports they need to graduate. Our schools should be welcoming environments for our students and families, while also embracing high expectations for all our students in academic achievement and in conduct. We all—School Board, Superintendent and principals; teachers and staff; families and students; the Highline community—have a shared responsibility to educate our students. We believe that all students can be successful when schools and families partner in children’s education.
The Highline School Board supports and encourages family engagement in education at home, in our schools and communities, and in school governance. We recognize the diversity of family structures, circumstances, and cultural backgrounds and respect families as important decision makers for their children’s education.
We will motivate, empower, embrace and engage active participation of families in the education of all students. We will promote mutual trust and culturally relevant practices among school, home, and community.
We recognize that family engagement in education has a positive effect on student achievement and is an important strategy in reducing achievement gaps. The intent of this policy is to create and maintain a district-wide climate conducive to the engagement of families and to develop and sustain partnerships that support student learning and positive child and youth development in all schools.
High quality family engagement includes multiple methods that encourage two-way communication and welcomes families into the school and learning environment. It also validates the diverse knowledge, learning styles, and cultural backgrounds within the school community.
For the purposes of this policy the terms “parent” and “family” are designed to be inclusive of the many relationships that students have with parents, guardians, other relatives, or community members, pursuant to state and federal laws surrounding confidentiality.
Parent and family engagement is one of the four pillars in the district’s strategic plan. In order to reach our strategic plan goals the school district and individual schools will form partnerships with parents and families. These partnerships will empower parents and families to:
1. Understand their children’s school experience;
2. Participate in their children’s education in a variety of ways;
3. Learn strategies to support student learning at home;
4. Participate in important decisions affecting their children; and
5. Access community resources that support their children’s education and well- being.
A. School Level: Parent and Family Engagement Plans
When developing school-based annual action plans, schools shall engage parents and families in developing engagement goals to ensure:
- All families understand their children’s school experience and have the opportunity to advise staff on their children’s education—families should know what their child should know and what their child should be able to do by the end of the school year.
- Families have access to a variety of opportunities to be involved with their children’s education and information about how to support their children’s learning at home.
- Families have access to appropriate school staff to advise them when they encounter difficulty with a school issue.
- Staff communicate with parents effectively, respectfully, and in a culturally appropriate manner.
Each school’s Family Engagement plan (included in the school’s Annual Action Plan) shall include a timeline for implementation, specific outcomes, measurable goals, and a system for reporting to the school community and the school district.
A. The board shall review progress each year toward the district’s family partnership goals.
B. Subject to legal and contract requirements, criteria shall be included in personnel performance reviews to assess the effectiveness of district personnel in carrying out their role in implementing this policy.
C. The Superintendent’s Family Action Committee shall be invited annually to report to the Board on the Committee’s work and suggestions that Committee members have to improve the parent-family-school relationship.
The Board shall use polling, community meetings, and participation in the meetings of other organizations to (1) understand public expectations for the schools and (2) evaluate satisfaction with school and district partnerships.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: June 1998
Revised by the Board 11.08, 4.16