State law requires parent or family member representation on school governance councils or in school improvement planning efforts.
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nurturing School Community
G. Student, Family, and Community Engagement
- Each LEA shall provide a broad spectrum of activities, programs, and services that directly involve families in their children's education and personally engage families in the school. Therefore, each LEA shall adopt the national Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Standard for Parent/Family Involvement Programs, which state:
- a. Communication: Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful;
- b. Parenting: Parenting skills are promoted and supported;
- c. Student Learning: Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning;
- d. Volunteering: Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought; and
- e. School Decision Making and Advocacy: Parents are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families.
This document describes the credentials and criteria for school counselors.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-53.1-2. Establishment of school improvement teams
(a) (1) The school board or school committees of the cities and towns shall establish a school improvement team for each school in the district, and shall develop procedures for the election and appointment of school improvement team members. Each school improvement team shall be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school, provided that vocational-technical center and high school school-improvement teams shall include students, and middle and junior high school school-improvement teams may include students. Members representing teachers, education support employees, students, and parents shall be selected by their peer groups at the school in a fair and equitable manner. At the middle and high school levels, where there are designated department heads, those department heads will also be included on the school improvement team. At a minimum, these school improvement teams at this middle and high school level shall include at least one department head from a humanities subject area and at least one department head from one of the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics subject areas. (2) Business and other community members shall be selected by the school according to a procedure established by the school board. The school board shall review the membership composition of each school improvement team. Should the school board determine that the membership elected by the school is not representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school, the board shall appoint additional members to achieve proper representation. For the purposes of school improvement teams, the term "teacher" includes classroom teachers, certified student services personnel, and media specialists. For purposes of this subsection, "education support employee" means any person employed by a school who is not defined as instructional or administrative personnel pursuant to law and whose duties require twenty (20) or more hours in each normal working week. (b) The school board may establish a district school improvement team representative of the district and composed of teachers, students, parents, and other citizens or a district school improvement team which may be comprised of representatives of each school improvement team.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-67-7. State advisory council
A state advisory council shall be established by the department of elementary and secondary education. The council shall be composed of fifteen (15) members, to be appointed by the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, and be representative of the population to be served or have demonstrated an interest in programs for educationally disadvantaged students. In appointing members to the state advisory council, the commissioner shall ensure that membership be broadly representative of the school population and include representation by teachers, parents, administrators, and school board members. Members of the state advisory council shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner, shall serve without compensation, and shall be residents of the state. The advisory council shall advise the commissioner on all matters pertaining to the literacy and dropout prevention program.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-94-3. Findings of fact
(a) Research supports a positive correlation between family engagement with a student's school or school district and the performance of the student, school, and district. Students whose parents are involved in their education have better school attendance, earn higher grades and higher test scores, are subject to fewer disciplinary problems, and have a greater long-term success following graduation from high school. (b) The benefits of greater family engagement also extend to families and teachers. Parents develop more confidence in the school and in themselves as parents. Teachers experience improved morale and receive more support from families. (c) It is often difficult to obtain a comprehensive amount of feedback from all stakeholders across the educational spectrum when making educational policy. Well-intentioned education-related initiatives which are introduced or produced without sufficient feedback or input from families/guardians of students involved often produces negative feedback from these families/guardians, which results in potentially effective initiatives being interrupted or abandoned altogether. (d) The creation of a state-wide family engagement advisory council would help to streamline this process and promote the implementation of strong, positive educational initiatives.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-94-4. Family engagement advisory council established
(a) Creation. There is hereby established a state-wide family engagement advisory council. The purpose of the council shall be to serve as an advisory body to the governor, the department of education, the board of regents, and to school districts. The council shall consist of twenty-one (21) members to be appointed by the governor, to be selected as follows: one of whom shall be a member from the Rhode Island Parent information Network; one of whom shall be a member from the Rhode Island State PTA; one of whom shall be a member from the Child Opportunity Zone Network; one of whom shall be a representative from the Rhode Island Department of Health Division of Community, Family Health and Equity; one of whom shall be a representative from an agency or association with experience and expertise in family engagement; four (4) of whom shall be current educators from within Rhode Island school districts, which shall include a district level administrator, a principal, a teacher, and a school committee member; one of whom shall be a representative from the department of education; and eleven (11) of whom shall be parents and/or guardians of children currently enrolled in a Rhode Island public school. School districts, agencies, and associations with expertise in family engagement shall be solicited for proposed nominations and recommendations for the parent/guardian members. (b) Terms. All the members shall serve for a term of three (3) years and/or until their successors are appointed and qualified. A member shall be eligible to succeed himself or herself. A vacancy other than by expiration shall be filled in the same manner as an original appointment but only for the unexpired portion of the term. (c) Officers. The officers of the council shall be a chairperson, who shall be a representative of the family/guardian members, and vice chairperson and a secretary, who shall be elected from the membership. Officers shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the council members; a majority of the appointed members shall constitute a quorum; the council is authorized to obtain or to contract for any services that may be necessary to enable it to carry out its duties. A majority vote of those present shall be required for action. (d) Expenses of members. The members of the council shall serve without compensation. (e) Gifts, grants, or donations. The council is authorized to receive any gifts, grants, or donations made for any of the purposes of its program, and to disburse and administer the gifts, grants, or donations in accordance with the terms of it.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-97-9. Comprehensive study -- Unified approach to statewide education
(c) The board of education shall base its timetable for implementation of the unified approach to education on the time necessary to promulgate rules and regulations with respect to the following policies: (1) Instituting a process for drawing up curriculum frameworks for the core subjects covered by the academic Standard adopted by the board (common core state Standard): (ii) The establishment of curriculum frameworks, and any further revisions, shall be open and consultative and take into consideration: (A) The knowledge and experiences of classroom teachers, school administrators, faculty of schools of education, parents, and any other persons with the knowledge and experience who may assist the committee in the furtherance of its objectives.