Boulder Valley School District

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Adopted: April 25, 2023  
 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

Boulder Valley School District recognizes that partnership across families, schools, and communities is essential for the following goals:

  1. To create and sustain positive learning environments

  2. To address long-standing disparities in participation and access to opportunities

  3. To improve student academic outcomes

  4. To advocate for the needs and interests of diverse students and families

BVSD believes that cultivating positive family, school, and community partnership is a shared responsibility in which the district and its schools, as well as families and school communities are collaborative, responsive, and equal partners.

BVSD and the communities it serves shall establish, support, and evaluate meaningful and robust partnership programs and practices for families, schools, and communities. These partnership practices should be intentional, linked to learning, actionable, collaborative, systemic, and sustained.

The School District has a responsibility to proactively seek viewpoints and perspectives from diverse families, guardians, and community members, and provide meaningful opportunities for those partners to participate in collaborative decision-making about educational goals, school climate, and possible implementation strategies. The School District should strive to allow sufficient time for families, guardians, and community members to engage in such opportunities and to consider all feedback. The School District will support diverse, accessible, and meaningful opportunities for parents, families, and community members to:

  • be welcomed as active participants in their child's school

  • engage with and support students’ learning and educational needs

  • communicate and promote improvement in student experiences


Scope of Partnership

For the purposes of this policy, “partnership” encompasses a wide variety of activities and practices that connect parents, guardians, family members, and community members to schools and the School District. These activities--both formal and informal-- can directly support students’ learning, but also include practices that support children’s readiness to learn, including sharing experiences and developing common understandings; promoting social, emotional, and mental health; and creating learning

opportunities across home and community contexts. Partnership can also include activities designed to strengthen and support specific school communities or expand learning opportunities for all students more broadly. Partnership should be understood as a dynamic, reciprocal, empowering, and bi-directional process.

Partnership can involve BVSD leadership and staff; school building leadership and staff; the District Accountability Committee (DAC); School Accountability Committees (SACs); BVSD equity councils; formal BVSD parent/family organizations and community groups; and, individual or informal groups of students, families, and community members.

Partnership can also include avenues for groups to advocate for expanded educational opportunities and more equitable school and district practices and policies.

Roles and Responsibilities

These roles and responsibilities are partially overlapping and mutually reinforcing. These lists are non-exhaustive and are intended to be generative and adaptable.

District

  • Designate one or more District Liaison(s) to act as the point of contact for family partnership training and resources who will facilitate the School District’s efforts to increase parent partnership within the District and work with the Colorado State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE), and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

  • Commit to creating an inclusive culture and environment, including ensuring equitable representation on committees and in working and advisory groups, and training staff to be alert to power dynamics and differences across families, and between families and schools.

  • Encourage, build, and maintain supportive, mutually trusting relationships between the district, school staff, school families, and constituent communities.

  • Dedicate necessary resources to support authentic, multi-directional communication that helps schools meet the standards set by CDE to “ensure all essential communications related to school, parent programs, meetings and other activities are sent to parents and families in a format and language parents can understand.”

  • Ensure that students, parents, families, and communities have adequate, regular, and easily accessible means of providing the district with feedback on engagement practices.

  • Regularly communicate how student, parent/family, and community feedback is being taken up and used to shape district priorities and practices.

  • Evaluate partnership programs and practices and share the results of those evaluations.

  • Collaborate with and maintain productive partnerships with community groups and organizations to identify, address, and support student, parent, and family needs.

Schools

  • Create and sustain a safe, welcoming, and inclusive culture and environment,

  • Provide regular updates to parents and families regarding student learning outcomes, performance, and school assessments.

  • Honestly and openly embrace parents and families as education partners by establishing and communicating clear grade-level specific expectations, educational practices, and assessment measures and tools.

  • Ensure that students, parents, and families have adequate, regular, and easily accessible means of bi-directional communication to express questions, comments, and concerns.

Parents and Families

For the purposes of this policy, “parent” and “family” are designed to be broad and inclusive terms that refer to any parent, guardian, family member (siblings and non-adult family members), or other significant adult - not necessarily residing in the same household as the student - who is engaged in supporting a child’s education and access to schools and school resources, whether physical or virtual.

  • Support their students in accessing their education.

  • Advocate for the needs and interests of children and students to district, school, and community stakeholders.

  • Utilize communication channels provided by the district and/or the schools to voice opinions, feedback, and support the co-creation of engagement programs and practices.

Community

Community is intended to be a broad term inclusive of individuals, groups, organizations, governmental and non-governmental entities, for-profit and nonprofit organizations and businesses, usually within the boundaries of the school district and its constituent schools.

  • Share relevant opportunities, programming, and resources that might support the work of the district, the schools, and the parents and families in their engagement efforts.

  • Express ideas and concerns about the schools through such means as written suggestions or proposals; presentations at hearings; responses to surveys made through interviews, written instruments or other means; comments at meetings of the Board; service on advisory committees; participation in focus groups and involvement in community engagement processes.

  • Continue performing needs assessments and providing essential human services (healthcare, IT infrastructure, housing, etc.) to BVSD students and families.

LEGAL REF.:

C.R.S. 22-7-301 (measures to increase parental involvement in public education)
C.R.S. 22-11-302 (1)(g) (duties of the district accountability committee include increasing parent engagement)
C.R.S. 22-11-402 (1)(h) (duties of school accountability committees include increasing parent engagement)
C.R.S. 22-30.5-109 (publicity regarding educational options)
C.R.S. 22-32-142 (1) (board must work with the parent members of the district accountability committee to adopt parent engagement policy and identify a district employee to act as "point of contact")

CROSS REF.:

AE, Accountability/Commitment to Accomplishment
AEA, Standards Based Education
KBA, Title I Parent Involvement

 

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