State law requires districts to adopt plans, policies, or strategies to engage parents and families in the educational process.
Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.19.007-Appendix A. The Standard for accreditation
Standard 3-B School-level Improvement Plans and Reporting 3-B.1 Each public school in Arkansas shall develop, with appropriate staff and community participation, a school-level improvement plan. School goals shall be compatible with district, state and national educational goals and shall address local needs in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas and the rules of the Department. The school-level improvement plans must be approved by the district and school board and posted to the district website under State - Required Information by August 1. (D/C) 3-B.2 By October 15, each public school district board of directors shall systematically and, at least annually, explain its policies, programs, and goals to the community in a public meeting that provides opportunities for parents and other members of the community to ask questions and make suggestions concerning the school program in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas and the rules of the Department. The report shall detail the progress of the district and schools toward accomplishing program goals, accreditation Standard, and proposals to correct deficiencies. The report shall be made available to the public and the public shall be notified of the meeting. (D/C) 3-B.2.1 The annual report to the public shall be posted on the district website under State - Required Information no later than 10 days after the public meeting is held. (D/C) [...] Standard 5 Stakeholder Communication / Family and Community Engagement The stakeholder communication / family and community engagement system of a public school district ensures stakeholders are engaged in meaningful communication to provide an effective learning experience for each student. Standard 5-A Comprehensive Plan for Communication and Engagement 5-A.1 Each public school district shall have a written plan for parent, family, and community engagement, including the scheduling of at least two (2) parent-teacher conferences each year, in accordance with the laws of the State of Arkansas and the rules of the Department. By October 1, the plan shall be posted on the district website under State - Required Information. (D/C)
Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.22.013-3.00 Definitions
3.06 Pre-K through 6th Grade Programs: Programs that target at-risk students, which may include, but are not limited to, before and after school services, parent centers, parent involvement activities, family literacy, service-learning, tutoring, and mentoring.
Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.22.20-3.00. Parental Involvement Plans
3.00 Parental Involvement Plans. 3.01 Each public school district, in collaboration with parents, shall establish a parental involvement plan that establishes the district's expectations for parental involvement, and that includes programs and practices that enhance parental involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and their families. 3.01.1 Collaboration with parents may be accomplished through the coalition of parents and representatives of agencies, institutions, businesses and industries. 3.01.2 Annually by October 1, the public school district's parental involvement plan shall be: 3.01.2.1 Developed, or reviewed and updated by the public school district; 3.01.2.2 Posted to the website of the public school district; and 3.01.2.3 Filed with the Department's electronic filing process in electronic format, specifically in Microsoft Word (.doc or.docx), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), or Rich Text (.rtf) format. 3.01.2.4 Provided in a parent-friendly summary as a supplement to the student handbook. 3.01.2.4.1 The parent shall sign a form acknowledging receipt of the summary and return the signed form to the school where the student is enrolled. 3.02 Each public school, in collaboration with parents, shall establish a parental involvement plan that reflects the specific academic improvement needs of the school, and that includes programs and practices that enhance parental involvement and address the specific parent involvement needs of students and their families. 3.02.1 Collaboration with parents may be accomplished through the coalition of parents and representatives of agencies, institutions, businesses and industries required for development and implementation of the school-level. 3.02.2 The parental involvement plan shall be incorporated into the public school's improvement plan. 3.02.3 Annually by October 1, the public school's parental involvement plan shall be developed, or reviewed and updated by the public school. 3.02.4 Annually by October 1, the public school shall post to the website of the public school or public school district: 3.02.4.1 The public school's parental involvement plan; 3.02.4.2 A parent-friendly explanation of the public school's and public school district's parental involvement plans; 3.02.4.3 The informational packet required by Section 5.01.1; and 3.02.4.4 Contact information for the parent facilitator designated by the public school under Section 5.08 of these Rules. 3.03 A public school's parental involvement plan shall: 3.03.1 Involve parents of students at all grade levels in a variety of roles, including without limitation: 3.03.1.1 Involvement in the education of their children; 3.03.1.2 Volunteer activities; 3.03.1.3 Learning activities that support classroom instruction; 3.03.1.4 Participation in school decisions; 3.03.1.5 Collaboration with the community; 3.03.1.6 Development of school goals and priorities; and 3.03.1.7 Evaluating the effectiveness of the school-level improvement plan; 3.03.2 Be comprehensive and coordinated in nature; 3.03.3 Recognize that communication between home and school should be regular, two-way, and meaningful; 3.03.4 Promote and support responsible parenting; 3.03.5 Acknowledge that parents play an integral role in assisting student learning; 3.03.6 Welcome parents into the school and seek parental support and assistance; 3.03.7 Recognize that a parent is a full partner in the decisions that affect his or her child and family; 3.03.8 Recognize that community resources strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning; and 3.03.9 Support the development, implementation, and regular evaluation of the program to involve parents in the decisions and practices of the school district, using, to the degree possible, the components listed in this section.
Arkansas Administrative Rules 005.22.20-5.00. Public School Responsibilities
5.01 To encourage communication with parents, each public school shall: 5.01.1 Prepare an informational packet to be distributed annually to the parent of each child in the school, appropriate for the age and grade of the child, describing in a parent-friendly manner: 5.01.1.1 The school's parental involvement program; 5.01.1.2 The recommended role of the parent, student, teacher, and school; 5.01.1.3 Ways for the parent to become involved in the school and his or her child's education; 5.01.1.4 A survey for the parent regarding his or her interests concerning volunteering at the school; 5.01.1.5 Activities planned throughout the school year to encourage parental involvement; and 5.01.1.6 A system to allow the parents and teachers to communicate in a regular, two-way, and meaningful manner with the child's teacher and the school principal; and 5.01.2 Schedule no fewer than two (2) parent-teacher conferences per school year. 5.01.2.1 The school may plan and engage in other activities determined by the school to be beneficial to encourage communication with parents. 5.02 To promote and support responsible parenting, each public school shall, as funds are available: 5.02.1 Purchase parenting books, magazines, and other informative material regarding responsible parenting through the school library, advertise the current selection, and give parents an opportunity to borrow the materials for review; 5.02.2 Create parent centers; and 5.02.3 Plan and engage in other activities determined by the school to be beneficial to promoting and supporting responsible parenting. 5.03 To help parents in assisting students, each public school shall: 5.03.1 Schedule regular parent involvement meetings at which parents are given a report on the state of the school and an overview of: 5.03.1.1 What students will be learning; 5.03.1.2 How students will be assessed; 5.03.1.3 What a parent should expect for his or her child's education; and 5.03.1.4 How a parent can assist and make a difference in his or her child's education; 5.03.2 Provide instruction to a parent on how to incorporate developmentally appropriate learning activities in the home environment, including without limitation: 5.03.2.1 Role play and demonstration by trained volunteers; 5.03.2.2 The use of and access to Department website tools for parents; 5.03.2.3 Assistance with nutritional meal planning and preparation; and 5.03.2.4 Other strategies or curricula developed or acquired by the school district for at-home parental instruction approved by the Department; and 5.03.3 Engage in other activities determined by the school to help a parent assist in his or her child's learning. 5.04 To welcome parents into the school, each public school shall: 5.04.1 Not have any school policies or procedures that would discourage a parent from visiting the school or from visiting a child's classrooms; 5.04.2 Encourage school staff to use the volunteer surveys to compile a volunteer resource book listing the interests and availability of volunteers so that school staff may: 5.04.2.1 Determine how frequently a volunteer would like to participate, including the option of just one (1) time per year; 5.04.2.2 Include options for those who are available to help at home; and 5.04.2.3 Help match school needs with volunteer interests; and 5.04.3 Engage in other activities determined by the school to welcome parents and families into the school. 5.05 To encourage a parent to participate as a full partner in the decisions that affect his or her child and family, each public school shall: 5.05.1 Include in the school's policy handbook the school's process for resolving parental concerns, including how to define a problem, whom to approach first, and how to develop solutions; 5.05.2 Sponsor seminars to inform the parents of students in grades nine (9) through twelve (12) about how to be involved in the decisions affecting course selection, career planning, and preparation for postsecondary opportunities; and 5.05.3 Engage in other activities that the school determines will encourage a parent to participate as a full partner in the decisions that affect his or her child and family. 5.06 Each public school shall investigate and, where feasible, utilize community resources in the instructional program of the school. 5.07 To take advantage of community resources, each public school shall: 5.07.1 Consider recruiting alumni from the school to create an alumni advisory commission to provide advice and guidance for school improvement; 5.07.2 Enable the formation of a Parent Teacher Association or organization that will foster parental and community involvement within the school; 5.07.2.1 Leaders of this organization shall be utilized in appropriate decisions affecting the children and families; and 5.07.3 Engage in other activities that the school determines will use community resources to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning. 5.08 The principal of each public school shall designate one (1) licensed staff member who is willing to serve as a parent facilitator to: 5.08.1 Help organize meaningful training for staff and parents; 5.08.2 Promote and encourage a welcoming atmosphere to foster parental involvement in the school; and 5.08.3 Undertake efforts to ensure that parental participation is recognized as an asset to the school. 5.08.4 The certified staff member serving as a parental facilitator shall receive supplemental pay for the assigned duties as required by law.
Arkansas Code 6-13-1305. School district policy — Contents.
The policy adopted by the local school district board of directors to implement site-based decision making shall also address the following: (1) Parent, citizen, and community participation, including the relationship of the school council with other groups; (2) Cooperation and collaboration within the school district, with other school districts, and with other public and private agencies; (3) Professional development plans developed pursuant to the state accreditation Standard; (4) School-level improvement plans, including the form and function of strategic planning and its relationship to school district planning; (5) School budget and administration, including:
- (A) Discretionary funds;
- (B) Activity and other school funds;
- (C) Funds for maintenance, supplies, and equipment; and
- (D) Accounting and auditing; (6) Assessment of individual student progress, including testing and reporting of student progress to students, parents, the school district, the community, and the state; (7) Requirements for waiver of school district policies; (8) Requirements for record keeping by the school council; (9) A process for appealing a decision made by a school council; and (10) Teacher evaluations, professional growth plans, and teacher support under the Teacher Excellence and Support System, § 6-17-2801 et seq.
Arkansas Code 6-15-1005. Safe equitable and accountable public schools
- (1) All public schools will have a plan of parental involvement.
- (A) Every school will have a plan for allowing parents to be involved in the education of their children.
- (B) These plans will address communication with parents, volunteering, learning activities that support classroom instruction, participation in school decisions, and collaboration with the community.
- (3) Every school will involve parents in developing school goals and priorities and evaluating the effectiveness of the school-level improvement plan.
Arkansas Code 6-15-1701. Parental Involvement Plan Findings
The General Assembly recognizes that:
- (1) A child's education is a responsibility shared by the school and family during the entire time the child spends in school;
- (2) To support the goal of the schools to educate all students effectively, the schools and parents must work as knowledgeable partners;
- (3) Although parents are diverse in culture, language, and needs, they are an integral component of a school's ability to provide for the educational success of their children;
- (4) Engaging parents is essential to improve student achievement; and
- (5) Schools should foster and support active parental involvement.
Arkansas Code 6-15-1702. Parental Involvement Plan
(a) Each public school district and each public school within its boundaries, in collaboration with parents, shall establish a parental involvement plan, including programs and practices that enhance parental involvement and reflect the specific needs of students and their families.
(b) The parental involvement program in each school shall:
- (1) Involve parents of students at all grade levels in a variety of roles;
- (2) Be comprehensive and coordinated in nature;
- (A) Recognize that communication between home and school should be regular, two-way, and meaningful.
- (B) To encourage communication with parents, the school shall:
- (i) Prepare an informational packet to be distributed annually to the parent of each child in the school, appropriate for the age and grade of the child, describing:
- (a) The school's parental involvement program;
- (b) The recommended role of the parent, student, teacher, and school;
- (c) Ways for the parent to become involved in the school and his or her child's education;
- (d) A survey for the parent regarding his or her interests concerning volunteering at the school;
- (e) Activities planned throughout the school year to encourage parental involvement; and
- (f) A system to allow the parents and teachers to communicate in a regular, two-way, and meaningful manner with the child's teacher and the school principal; and
- (ii) Schedule no fewer than two (2) parent-teacher conferences per school year.
- (C) The school may plan and engage in other activities determined by the school to be beneficial to encourage communication with parents;
Arkansas Code 6-18-2004. Comprehensive student services.
- (1) A school counselor shall spend at least ninety percent (90%) of his or her working time during student contact days providing direct services and indirect services to students.
- (2) Direct and indirect services may be provided in collaboration with other school personnel and include without limitation: (G) Serving as a contributing member of decision-making teams, which include without limitation: (iv) Parental involvement or family engagement programs [...] (c)
- (1) Administrative activities performed by a school counselor shall not exceed more than ten percent (10%) of the school counselor's time spent working during student contact days.
- (2) Administrative activities provided by a school counselor in collaboration with other school personnel include without limitation: (C) Coordinating of: (iv) Parental involvement or family engagement programs.
Arkansas Code 6-20-2302. Legislative findings.
(c) The General Assembly finds that a suitable and efficient system of public education should: (7) Encourage parental involvement in the public schools and in public school activities.
PARENT AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
This site provides different templates for school and district parent and family engagement plan.