State law encourages districts to implement parent education or support programs to address family needs.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-305. Development and adoption of program to promote involvement of parents and guardians.
(b) The policy adopted by the LEA pursuant to this section may also include the following components:
- (1) A plan by which parents will be made aware of the district's parental involvement policy and this section, including:
- (A) Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. § 1232 et seq.), relating to access to children's official records; and
- (B) Information through which parents may access LEA policies and curriculum;
- (2) Efforts to encourage the development of parenting skills;
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-7005. Improving parental involvement in children's education.
(c) LEAs shall identify or encourage development of parenting classes that are provided at low or no cost to parents by organizations within the community and that are designed to improve parental involvement in their children's education.
(d) Parenting classes in these parent involvement programs should provide parents with information and skills related to improving student performance. For example, these classes may address:
- (1) How to be a positive role model for children in motivating them to do well in school;
- (2) How to maximize the benefits of parent-teacher conferences;
- (3) The importance of sleep and good nutrition in school performance;
- (4) How to help with homework assignments and to establish an environment conducive to completion of homework assignments;
- (5) Techniques that can be taught students to improve studying and classroom performance;
- (6) How to access and use technology provided by the LEA or school that furnishes information about school assignments, activities and events and about student attendance and performance;
- (7) The importance of school attendance and the consequences of truancy;
- (8) How to help students prepare for entrance into college or the workforce; and
- (9) Ways of becoming involved in a child's school, including opportunities to volunteer in the school.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-115. Family resource centers.
(a) Family resource centers may be established by any LEA in order to coordinate state and community services to help meet the needs of families with children. An LEA may directly operate its own family resource centers or may contract with a locally based nonprofit agency, including a community action agency, to operate one (1) or more such centers on behalf of the LEA. Each center shall be located in or near a school. The local school board shall appoint community service providers and parents to serve on an advisory council for each family resource center. Parents shall comprise a majority of each advisory council.
(b) Upon approval by the department of education, basic education program (BEP) funds may be expended by an LEA to plan and implement a family resource center. The application for such approval shall identify a full-time director and other professional staff from the school or community, or both, which may include psychologists, school counselors, social workers, nurses, instructional assistants and teachers. In establishing family resource centers, the department shall consult with the departments of health, mental health and substance abuse services, intellectual and developmental disabilities and children's services.
(c) The commissioner of education is authorized to award grants of up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) to LEAs for the purpose of planning, implementing and operating family resource centers. All LEAs, upon receiving such grants for a period of three (3) school years, shall be evaluated by the commissioner to determine progress in attaining objectives set forth within this section. Those LEAs awarded satisfactory evaluations shall be eligible to continue receiving such grants for a period of three (3) additional school years. Beginning with the 1995-1996 school year, the number of family resource centers receiving such planning, implementation and operation grants shall be increased at least fifty percent (50%) above the number of centers receiving grants during the 1994-1995 school year.
(d) LEAs with state approved family resource centers may be given priority in receiving additional state funding for:
- (1) Formal parent involvement programs in elementary schools;
- (2) Early childhood programs for children at-risk;
- (3) Programs for parents with preschool at-risk children;
- (4) Learning centers in urban housing projects;
- (5) Programs in high schools for pregnant teenagers; and
- (6) “Jobs for Tennessee Graduates” in high schools.
- (1) Family resource centers shall provide interagency services/resources information on issues such as parent training, crisis intervention, respite care and counseling needs for families of children with behavioral/emotional disorders.
- (2) Family resource centers shall serve the function of being the center of information sharing and resource facilitation for such families.
- (3) Family resource centers shall also serve the function of helping families answer questions regarding funding for the options of service their child or family requires.
(f) The purpose of each family resource center shall be to maximize the potential learning capacity of the child by ensuring that school environments and neighborhoods are safe and socially enriching, that families are strong and able to protect children and meet their basic needs and that children are physically healthy, emotionally stable, socially well-adjusted and able to connect with enriching opportunities and experiences in their schools and communities. In order to enable children to attain the most benefit possible from the time they spend in educational settings, the family resource centers shall focus on providing information to families about resources, support and benefits available in the community and on developing a coordinated system of care for children in the community in order to effectuate this purpose.
(g) The department of education and the department of children's services shall jointly develop guidelines for the operation of family resource centers, focusing on the requirements of this section, including the stated purpose of family resource centers in subsection (f). The guidelines shall be used by all family resource centers established pursuant to this section.