State law requires districts to adopt plans, policies, or strategies to engage parents and families in the educational process.
200-RICR-20-10-1.1.4. Expectations for the Local Education Agency in Implementing the Basic Education Program.
B. Functions of the Local Education Agency
- Each LEA shall address seven core functions in order to ensure that all of its schools are providing an adequate education to every student: e. Engage Families and the Community. The LEA shall implement effective family and community communication systems; engage families and the community to promote positive student achievement and behavior; and provide adult and alternative learning opportunities integrated with community needs.
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.
Z. “Site-based leadership” refers to building-level leaders (e.g. principals, school improvement team members, parents, teachers) who are responsible for creating educational environments conducive to student learning and making decisions that promote student achievement.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-94-5. Duties of the council.
(a) The duties of the family engagement advisory council shall include the following: (1) The council shall research and generate a series of recommendations on how to develop family engagement policies and practices that meet the following principles and Standard for family-school partnerships: (i) Welcome all families to be active participants in the life of the school, so that they feel valued, connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning in class; (ii) Communicate effectively by ensuring regular two-way, meaningful communication between family members and local educational agency and school staff in a manner, language, and mode of technology that family members can understand and access; (iii) Support student success by fostering continuous collaboration between family members and local educational agency and school staff to support student learning and healthy development at school and at home; (iv) Speak up for every child and empower family members to be advocates for all students within the school; (v) Share power and assure that family members, local educational agencies, and school staff are equal partners in family engagement decision making; (vi) Collaborate with community and partner with community organizations and groups to turn the school into a hub of community life; (vii) Create a continuum of family engagement in student learning and development from cradle to career; (viii) Train and support superintendents, principals, and teachers to fully engage families in the education of their children; (ix) Participate in evaluating the effectiveness of family engagement strategies and policies; and (x) Participate in developing recommendations for creating a positive school climate and safe and healthy schools. All such recommendations shall be forwarded to the board of regents, governor's office, department of education, and local school districts.
(2) Provide assistance and advice to the board of regents, governor's office, department of education, and local school districts on family engagement in Rhode Island public schools and the impact on student achievement, communication, partnerships with community and other groups, and school family engagement practices and strategies. (3) To identify best practices in family engagement in Rhode Island public schools as well as in other states, and to develop recommendations on how to incorporate, implement, or adopt such practices in Rhode Island public schools. (4) Make recommendations to the board of regents, governor's office, department of education, and local school districts, on state resources and materials which could promote and improve family engagement in Rhode Island public schools. (b) The council shall submit an annual report to the board of regents, the governor, the department of education, and local school districts summarizing the council's activities during the year.