State law requires districts to adopt plans, policies, or strategies to engage parents and families in the educational process.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-305. Development and adoption of program to promote involvement of parents and guardians.
(a) The LEA, in consultation with parents, teachers and administrators, shall develop and adopt a policy to promote the involvement of parents and guardians of children enrolled in the schools within the school district. The plan shall be submitted to the commissioner of education as part of the district's school improvement plans and shall be consistent with the Tennessee parent/family involvement policy of the state board of education. The plan shall include:
- (1) A plan for parent participation in the schools which is designed to improve parent and teacher cooperation in such areas as homework, attendance, discipline, and planning for higher education opportunities for students; and
- (2) Procedures by which parents may learn about the course of study for their children and have access to all learning materials.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7001. General provisions.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Parent Educational Participation Act."
- (1) It may be the duty of the board of education of each school district to develop a program for the voluntary participation of parents in the educational and teaching process at the school in which the parent has a child enrolled in school.
- (2) It may include, but shall not be limited to, such activities as educational assistant, library assistant, hall monitor, recreation supervisor and any other activity that enables the parent to more fully observe and understand the school, the faculty, the students and the educational and teaching activities.
- (3) The parent's participation shall be varied.
- (4) In any school having a full-time principal with no teaching duties and a school secretary, the principal may maintain records on the program at the school and submit conclusions and recommendations to the board on the effectiveness of the program as to the student and parent.
- (5) State employees with children enrolled in schools may, subject to department approval or the approval of the employees' immediate supervisor, take off up to one (1) day a month from work to voluntarily participate in the educational and teaching process described in this subsection (b). Upon request of a state employee, a school shall provide documentation verifying the employee's participation in the educational and teaching process.
- (6) Private employers, subject to the constraints and resources of their workplaces, are urged to develop programs that permit their employees with children in school to take time from work to voluntarily participate in the educational and teaching process described in this subsection (b).
(c) The state board of education may establish guidelines for the development of programs by the local board of education and may assure that each school district has such a program.
(d) The board of education of each school district may periodically schedule alternate meetings to the regular parent-teachers association meeting to permit working parents to attend.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7005. Improving parental involvement in children's education.
(b) LEAs are authorized and encouraged to partner with individuals, community and faith-based groups and organizations and nonprofit and for-profit entities to design and implement programs to improve parental involvement in their children's education and schools, particularly in high priority schools or school systems.
Developing a Written Parent
and Family Engagement Policy
A Guide for Districts and Schools
Guidebook to help schools develop family engagement policies
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7002. Parent-teacher meetings.
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Parent-Teacher Partnership Act of 1989.”
(b) It is the duty of the board of education of each school district to develop a program whereby parents or guardians and appropriate faculty members may meet at least two (2) times per school year to discuss any pertinent problems or other matters of concern regarding the development and education of each student who is enrolled in the school system. However, these meetings shall not occur during school hours of any day that is counted for purposes of meeting the one hundred eighty (180) days of classroom instruction required by § 49-6-3004, nor shall the meetings be substituted for a day of classroom instruction; provided, that these restrictions on meetings shall not bar any LEA from scheduling the meetings at a time beyond the six and one-half (6½) hour classroom instructional time or during any free time that a teacher might have available during the six and one-half (6½) hours.
(c) LEAs are urged to consider the work schedules and needs of working parents when scheduling parent-teacher meetings.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7003. Parental inspection of school instructional materials.
(a) The board of education shall adopt and file in its official operating policy pamphlet its policy on inspection of school instructional materials by parents or legal guardians of students enrolled in that LEA.
(b) The policy shall provide that a parent or legal guardian is entitled to:
- (1) Review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent or legal guardian's child; and
- (2) Review tests that are developed by and graded by a teacher of the parent or legal guardian's child.
(c) The LEA shall make all teaching materials, including handouts readily available for review upon request by the parents or legal guardians.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7004. Parental involvement contracts.
(a) As used in this section, “parent” means the parent, guardian or person who has custody of the child or individual who has caregiving authority under § 49-6-3001.
(b) LEAs are encouraged to develop and implement parental involvement contracts with parents of students. These parental involvement contracts will be voluntary and should be designed to encourage and facilitate a parent's involvement with the parent's child's education.
(c) The department of education shall develop a model parental involvement contract that may be used by LEAs. The model parental involvement contract shall provide that a parent will commit to do at least the following:
- (1) Review homework assignments and offer assistance when needed;
- (2) Sign report cards;
- (3) Ensure that the student gets to school each day, on time and ready to learn;
- (4) Demonstrate interest in the student's well-being by attending school functions and supporting the student's school activities; and
- (5) Make every effort to attend parent-teacher conferences.
(d) In signing a contract, the parent shall agree to maintain within the parent's best efforts involvement with the parent's child's education to the extent required by the contract. The contract should include a means for a parent to explain any obstacles that may prevent the parent from complying with the contract. If a contract includes an explanation of obstacles that may prevent the parent from complying with the contract, then school employees shall consider accessing possible resources to help overcome the obstacles identified.