The Wilkes County Board of Education recognizes the critical role of parents in the education of their children and in the schools. Each parent is encouraged to learn about the educational program, the educational goals and objectives of the district, and his or her own child’s progress. The board also encourages parents to participate in activities designed by the schools to involve them, such as parent conferences, in order to encourage effective communication.
The Board of Education directs each school to develop a parental involvement plan as a part of the school improvement plan. This plan must include, at a minimum, the board directives provided below. The superintendent and each school may provide further direction on parental involvement. This policy applies to the parents, legal guardians and legal custodians of students who are under 18 years old and are not married. The policy also applies to parents, legal guardians and legal custodians of students who are served in the exceptional children program.
A. Parent Communication and Conferences
The Board of Education encourages regular contact with parents by school personnel for commendation as well as for notification of concerns. Teachers are responsible for scheduling conferences with parents and students on an as needed basis.
B. Title I Parent Consultation Policy
The Title I program offers assistance to meet special educational needs of educationally and economically disadvantaged children according to federal guidelines. The Board of Education encourages parents to participate in the design and implementation of the programs and activities in order to increase the effectiveness of the program and the success of the children.
Each Title I school will establish an active parent involvement program to make parents aware of opportunities and activities and to provide input for the program. Title I schools will invite parents to meet annually to discuss Title I funding, programs, and activities. Parents will be invited to participate in home learning activities as well as to serve as classroom volunteers. The board encourages parents to confer with their child’s teacher on a regular basis.
Home-School compacts highlighting responsibilities of the student, parent, and school are signed each year. In Pre-K – 5, students, parents, teachers, and principals sign the agreement to show support for the student’s achievement and growth.
C. Annual Notification
Each year schools will notify parents of the following:
- parent rights related to student records (policy 4700, Student Records);
- student behavior policies and school standards and rules (policies in the 4300 series);
- Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Complaint Procedure 1720/4015/7225
- Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010);
- grading practices that will be followed at the school and, in the high schools, the means for computing the grade point averages that will be used for determining class rank (Evaluation of Student Progress, policy 3400; Class Rankings, policy 3450);
- a description of the curriculum being offered (Curriculum Development, policy 3100);
- Attendance (policy 4400); • performance standards of the board and school district (policies in the 3400 series);
- sports and extracurricular activities available for students (Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations, policy 3620);
- supportive services available to students, including guidance and health services (Comprehensive Health Education Program, policy 3540; Counseling Program, policy 3610); and
- opportunities for parents to be involved in the school.
D. Opportunities to Withhold Consent
Each year schools will notify parents of the opportunity to withhold consent for the following:
- release of student directory information about his or her child for school purposes or to outside organizations (Student Records, board policy 4700);
- students in grades 6-9 participation in curriculum related to sensitive health education topics such as (1) prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, (2) the avoidance of out-ofwedlock pregnancy, (3) abstinence until marriage or (4) comprehensive sex education. A copy of the materials that will be used in these curricula will be available in each school during the school year.
- Healthful Living Notification – All students must take Healthful Living Education in grades Kindergarten through 9th grade (G.S. 115-C81[e]). The nature of Health Education often includes the discussion of sensitive topics. In these situations, health teachers, school nurses and school counselors are trained for appropriate and accurate content as well as proper teaching methods. A parent may request that his/her child be excluded from certain health topics due to religious/personal beliefs by contacting the school principal in writing. These students will be given an alternative health assignment.
- student’s use of guidance programs for individual counseling, small group counseling related to addressing specific problems, or referral to community resources in accordance with board policy 3610, Counseling Program. Parental notification and permission are not required for large group sessions, initial consultations intended to identify the student’s needs, or counseling where child abuse or neglect is suspected. (See board policy 4240, Child Abuse -Reports and Investigations.)
- trips inside/outside the school district
- Internet access.
Any parent or legal guardian wishing to withhold consent must do so in writing after receiving notice. Otherwise, consent to the programs or activities are presumed. After the annual notification, the school is not required to provide further notice to the parent as to the manner in which student directory information is used, the curriculum is provided, or the guidance programs are made available.
E. Parental Permission Required
Written parental permission is required prior to the following activities:
- medicines administered to students by employees of the Wilkes County Schools (see policy 6125, Administering Medicines to Students);
- any release of student records that are not considered directory information unless the release is allowed or required by law (see policy 4700, Student Records);
- trips inside/outside the school district ;
- participation in all sports or high impact extracurricular activities, such as mountain climbing (see also policy 4220, Student Insurance Program);
- parental permission as required by law for exceptional children (see policy 3520, Special Education Programs/Rights of Disabled Students); and
- parental permission as required by law for certain health services.
Legal Reference: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; Strengthening and Improvement of Elementary and Secondary Schools Act, 20 U.S.C. 6319; G.S. 90-21.1, 115C-81(e1), -307(c)
Cross Reference: Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (Policy 1740/4010), Curriculum Development (Policy 3100), Performance Standards (all policies in the 3400 series), Evaluation of Student Progress (Policy 3400), Class Rankings (Policy 3450), Special Education Programs/Rights of Disabled Students (Policy 3520), Comprehensive Health Education Program (Policy 3540), Counseling Program (Policy 3610), Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations (Policy 3620), Student Insurance Program (Policy 4220), Child Abuse - Reports and Investigations (Policy 4240), Student Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Student Records (Policy 4700), Administering Medicines to Students (Policy 6125)
Adopted: January 9, 2006
Revised: April 29, 2008, January 31, 2011