Engaging Families in ESSA
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law on December 10, 2015. The measure reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. According to the statement of purpose in ESSA, "The purpose is to provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps."
Based on a series of criteria, a number of schools in the Liverpool Central School District (LCSD) currently qualify for ESSA-funded programs. Pursuant to ESSA, LCSD must develop a Parent and Family Engagement plan and policy to communicate important provisions and requirements to parents and family members of participating children in these schools.
“Parent and family engagement” is defined as the participation of parents and families involved in regular, meaningful communication involving academic learning, including the assurances that:
- parents and families play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning
- parents and families are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education
- parents and families are included, when appropriate, on advisory and decision-making committees to assist in the education of their children
The LCSD Board of Education policy establishes expectations for parent and family engagement and describes how schools will implement specific parental and family engagement activities. This policy will be made available to parents and local community and be updated periodically.
School buildings schools in LCSD that currently qualify for ESSA-funded programs will:
- convene an annual meeting and invite parents of participating students to attend this informational meeting about the school’s programs tied to this funding. The schools will involve parents when determining meeting dates and will offer a flexible number of meetings to be held at convenient times and places for families. The school’s Parent and Family Engagement Plan and dates for meetings will be sent home with students at the beginning of each school year and be posted to the school’s website.
- provide timely information about ESSA-funded programs to parents of participating students. This will include opportunities to attend regular meetings held to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children.
- make available to parents, family members, and/or other stakeholders information about filing a complaint with New York State or the LCSD regarding ESSA-funded programs. Those with complaints have two options:
- The LCSD will disseminate free of charge to parents and family members of children in ESSA-funded programs, and to appropriate private school officials or representatives, information regarding the District's written complaint procedures. This information is available on the LCSD website.
- If an attempt to resolve the complaint at the local level is not successful, parents and family members of children in ESSA-funded programs can then submit a complaint including the following:
- A statement that the school has violated a requirement of a federal statute or regulation that applies to any applicable program listed above.
- The facts on which the statement is based, including information as to when, where and the nature of activity that is perceived to be in violation of law and/or regulation.
- Documentation of attempts to resolve the issue with appropriate personnel at the school where the child, subject to the complaint, attends.
- The complainant’s recommendation for resolving the complaint.
- For information on ESSA-funded complaint procedures, please click on this link
- provide assistance to parents of children receiving ESSA-funded supports in understanding State and local academic assessments and how to monitor a child's progress and work to improve the achievement of their children.
- provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their achievement and to foster parental involvement.
Lastly, LCSD will ensure equivalence among schools of the same grade span and levels of instruction regarding staff, curriculum materials, and instructional supplies in ESSA-funded programs.