Text Box:  

 

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

EMSC-VESID Committee

 

FROM:

Jean C. Stevens

 

SUBJECT:

Regents Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance

through Parent and Family Partnerships

 

DATE:

January 22, 2007

 

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1, 2 and 4

 

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Action

 

          Should the Board of Regents approve the revised Regents Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance Through Parent and Family Partnerships?

 

Reason(s) for Consideration

 

          Approval of proposed policy.

 

Proposed Handling

 

          The question will come before the EMSC-VESID Committee for discussion on February 12, 2007.

 

Procedural History

 

 In June 2006, the Board of Regents directed State Education Department staff to seek public comment on the revised policy statement.  The Regents P-16 reform strategy calls for a comprehensive policy and action plan to build the capacity of parents to support student achievement and school improvement. The revised Regents Parent and Family Partnerships Policy Statement is intended to support the role of parents and the family as critical contributors to the implementation of the P-16 reform strategy.  On January 8, 2007, the Board of Regents discussed and concurred with the direction outlined in a staff report on revising the Regents Parent and Family Partnerships Policy based on public comment.

 

Background Information

 

In 1991, the Board of Regents adopted a policy entitled, “Parent Partnerships: Linking Families, Communities and Schools.”  To ensure that the policy is consistent with current research and practice, resonates with communities, and is aligned with institutional priorities and resources, in May 2005 the Board of Regents directed Department staff to seek comment from constituencies across the State on implementation of the 1991 Regents policy and on proposed revisions to the policy statement.

 

          After conducting a series of hearings throughout the State attended by more than 500 persons during the 2005-2006 school year, State Education Department staff presented the Board of Regents in June 2006 with a draft of a proposed revised policy statement on Family and Parent Partnerships. The Department also identified seven policy priorities for implementation of the policy. The Regents directed staff to seek comments on the proposed revised draft policy, and Department staff again held meetings during the Fall that were attended by over 300 persons. In addition, an on-line survey, available in English and Spanish, was completed by over 300 persons and a number of organizations submitted formal written comments in response to the draft.

 

          Based on the Regents direction in January to Department staff to revise the policy statement, it is now before the Board for approval.

 

Recommendation

 

VOTED:  That the Board Regents approve its Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance through Parent and Family Partnerships contained in Attachment A and direct State Education Department to develop a plan for implementation of the revised policy.

 

Timeline for Implementation

 

          An implementation plan will be submitted to the Board of Regents following approval of the policy statement.

 

 

Attachments


Parent and Family Partnerships:  A Policy Review

 

In January 2007, Department staff presented the Regents with a summary of public comments, preliminary changes and a framework for additional revisions to the proposed policy governing parent and family partnerships.  The Regents concurred that the proposed revisions and implementation priorities were appropriate for framing the final version of a revised policy.  The Department recommends that the June 2006 draft policy statement be revised as follows:

 

1.     Amend the title of the proposed policy statement to highlight the link between student achievement, school improvement, and parental and family involvement to “Board of Regents Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance through Parent and Family Partnerships.” 

 

2.     Include the following bullet in the Regents statement of recognition in the beginning of the policy statement:

 

·       Schools and districts are responsible for implementing plans, policies, and practices that support parental and family involvement in the education of children and the State Education Department is responsible for monitoring school and district implementation of federal and State laws and regulations.

 

3.     Add in the Regents affirmation statement on successful program components the following bullet to highlight the need for data-driven planning and evaluation:

 

·       Data is collected, analyzed, and reported to guide program design, operation, and evaluation.

 

In addition, amend the second bullet to reference the need to not only promote responsible parenting, but also “pre-parenting.”

 

4.     Amend the Regents action statement to state that it is the policy of the Board of Regents that:

 

·       parents and families be encouraged to fully engage in and contribute to the academic development of their child and to the school’s learning environment;

·       schools and districts create opportunities for parents and families to support academic achievement; and

·       each school board develop and implement a comprehensive parent partnerships policy that ensures that every school develop and implement an effective plan for parental and family engagement.

 

5.     Amend the second bullet of the Regents action statement to emphasize that school districts are expected to inform parents not only of their rights but also of their responsibilities.

                                                                

6.     Add a section to the policy statement that defines the expectation of the Regents for how the State Education Department and University of the State of New York (USNY) institutions will support, monitor, and report on implementation of the policy.  This new section of the policy has the Board of Regents direct the Department to:

 

·       Seek statewide partnerships with other governmental agencies and providers of services to families and advocate for the creation of such partnerships in regions throughout New York State.

·       Improve the Department’s internal and external communication in support of parent and family partnerships.

·       Develop and implement a technology and communications plan to support effective and sustainable partnerships with parents and families.

·       Increase the Department’s oversight of field efforts through regulatory enforcement and the reporting of results.

·       Evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations and practices at promoting parent and family partnerships.

·       Allocate or reallocate sufficient resources to implement the Department’s responsibilities under the policy.

 

7. Revise priority statements numbers 1, 2, and 4 to incorporate suggestions made by the Regents at their January meeting regarding creating interagency collaborations, making the securing of resources to promote partnerships a priority, and ensuring that appropriate assessment and accountability mechanisms are developed in terms of the implementation of parent and family partnerships.

 

          The new policy (see Attachment A) builds upon and goes beyond the 1991 policy statement.  Consideration is given to the impact of federal laws and State regulations, demographic changes, and structural differences over the past 16 years.  In particular, the revised policy statement centers the question of parental and family partnerships on the connection to student achievement and school improvement.  The purpose of creating partnerships is to enlarge the learning community and share the responsibility and privilege of educating our students. 

 

          The revised language presents the Board of Regents and SED with the opportunity to model the best practices of partnerships with parents and families and to reach out to the entire educational community to develop and support family and parent partnerships. 

 

What are the next steps?

 

§       Staff present the Board of Regents with an implementation plan for the proposed revised Parent and Family Partnerships Policy Statement – May 2007.

 

§       Staff present the Board of Regents with baseline findings on implementation of a revised Board of Regents Parent and Family Partnerships Policy Statement and Implementation Plan – Spring 2008.


Attachment A

 


 

Board of Regents Policy Statement on Improving Student Achievement and School Performance through Parent and Family Partnerships

 

The Board of Regents defines “parent” as a natural parent, a legal guardian, or other caretaker standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare); and the Board of Regents defines “partnership” as active engagement between parents and families and the education community supporting student achievement.

 

The Board of Regents recognizes:

 

·       Federal and State laws and regulations require plans, policies and practices that support parental and family involvement in the education of children.

·       Schools and districts are responsible for implementing plans, policies and practices that support parental and family involvement in the education of children and the State Education Department is responsible for monitoring school and district implementation of federal and State laws and regulations.

·       Improved student achievement is linked to engaging parents and families in the education process.

·       Parents and families are the first educators of children.

·       Education is the shared responsibility of schools, parents and families, and the community.

 

The Board of Regents affirms the following components of successful family involvement programs:

 

·       Communication between home and school is regular, two-way, meaningful, and conducted in the language or mode of communication most accessible to parents and caregivers.

·       Responsible parenting and pre-parenting is promoted and supported.

·       Parents play an integral role in assisting student learning.

·       Parents are welcome in the school, and their support and assistance are sought.

·       Parents and families are full partners in the decisions that affect children and families.

·       Professional development is provided to parents, teachers, and administrators.

·       Community resources are made available to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning.

·       Educators demonstrate socio-economic and cultural competence in the design, implementation, and evaluation of parental and family involvement policies and programs.

·       Data is collected, analyzed and reported to guide program design, operation and evaluation.

 

In order to ensure that successful family partnerships are created and implemented, it shall be the policy of the Board of Regents that:

 

·       parents and families be encouraged to fully engage in and contribute to the academic development of their child and to the school’s learning environment;

·       schools and districts inform parents of their rights and responsibilities in a manner that is clear, courteous, consistent, and in a language that they understand;

·       schools and districts create opportunities for parents and families to support academic achievement;

·       each school board develop and implement a comprehensive parent partnerships policy that ensures that every school develop and implement an effective plan for parental and family engagement;

·       the State Education Department develop and implement a plan for USNY coordination and interagency collaboration in support of family partnerships;

·       the State Education Department include where appropriate a parent and family involvement component in all policy and program initiatives; and

·       appropriate USNY institutions  be encouraged to develop and implement a parent and family education and outreach program.

 

To ensure appropriate implementation of the Board of Regents policy, the Board of Regents directs SED to take actions to:

 

·       Seek statewide partnerships with other governmental agencies and providers of services to families and advocate for the creation of such partnerships in regions throughout New York State.

·       Improve the Department’s internal and external communication in support of parent and family partnerships.

·       Develop and implement a technology and communications plan to support effective and sustainable partnerships with parents and families.

·       Increase the Department’s oversight of field efforts through regulatory enforcement and the reporting of results.

·       Evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations and practices at promoting parent and family partnerships.

·       Allocate or reallocate sufficient resources to implement the Department’s responsibilities under the policy.

 

February 2007