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Lyons Community School Family Involvement Policy

At the Lyons Community School, we believe family involvement is essential to our success as individuals and as a community. Our family involvement policy consists of two key documents: Our School-Family Compact (see attached) and our Student Handbook. In conjunction with our regular communication systems with families – advisor phone calls, our Skedula grading system, our PTA, - and the ongoing work of our Parent Coordinator, these documents represent the common understanding and commitment on the part of staff, students and families to make Lyons the best learning community it can be. The School-Family Compact is distributed and collected at the start of the school year, and revisited at the quarter mark during family conferences. Our Student Handbooks are distributed at the start of the school year, and form the basis of our advisory curriculum. Advisories meet three times per week in the middle grades and once each week in the high school. Most importantly, the Lyons Family Involvement Policy is designed to reflect how the diverse talents, interests and experiences of our entire family community can best support the school’s mission and vision.

The School-Family Compact

The School-Family Compact consists of basic agreements on the part of students, staff and families which promote a safe, productive and supportive school environment for all members of the community. The document is signed by the principal, student and parent or caregiver. The compact will be revisited during family conferences where applicable, and at the end of the school year on the committee level.

Progress Reports, Report Cards and Family Conferences

Four times each year, Lyons families receive progress reports or report cards that detail their child’s academic progress in school. Progress reports and report cards, created using our online grading and attendance program Skedula, provide detailed information about completed or missing assignments, conduct and skills acquisition. Skedula is always accessible online all year long to families and students, and is updated weekly by teachers. Formal family conferences are held once in the Fall semester and once during the Spring, but families are encouraged to schedule conferences with teachers whenever there is concern about or interest in student progress.

Volunteering at Lyons

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to volunteer in the following areas of Lyons school life:

Field Studies chaperoning: Each week every Lyons student travels outside of our school building as part of our Field Studies program. The program’s curriculum is rooted in one of the major subject areas, and requires intensive supervision so that students can focus on their learning while in the field. Family members are encouraged to accompany Field Studies groups on an ongoing basis.

Breakfast, Lunch and Hallway Support: This is an important time of day at school, a time where students benefit from extra supervision and support. Family involvement at these times ensures smoother transitions and increased student respect for our school building. Hallway monitoring is key to promoting a safe and orderly school environment.

Fundraising: Families are encouraged to make phone calls and supervise fundraising efforts at school, such as t-shirt and bake sales. Members of our PTA work with their employers as well to support our fundraising efforts. 

Office Support: There are numerous ongoing opportunities for family members to volunteer in our main office, such as the organization of schoolwide mailings.

Classroom Support: Lyons teachers enjoy collaborating with families in the classroom. Family members are encouraged to volunteer as Field Studies escorts and small-group assistants and to lead student learning in their fields of interest or specialty. Before working in our classrooms, as in all areas of school volunteering, families meet with school administrators and teachers to establish common expectations and roles, so that volunteers can make meaningful and constructive contributions in the classroom.

Committees

The School Leadership Team and Parents & Teachers Association meet on the final Tuesday of each month at 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM, respectively. PTA meetings are announced in our school newsletters and on our school website. Our PTA meetings are open to all families and students alike. Family members are encouraged to…

“…Attend all possible PTA meetings; Serving, to the extent possible, on policy advisory groups, such as being the Title I, Part A parent representative on the school’s School Improvement Team, the Title I Policy Advisory Committee, the District-wide Policy Advisory Council, the State’s Committee of Practitioners, the School Support Team or other school advisory or policy groups.” (Lyons School-Family Compact)

SCHOOL-FAMILY-STUDENT COMPACT

Lyons Community School and the families of our students participating in activities, services, and programs funded by Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (participating children), agree that this compact outlines how family members, the entire school staff, and the students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and families will build and develop a partnership that will help children achieve their greatest potential, which include the State’s high standards. We will agree to build a safe, healthy, collaborative community that is responsive to all its members.

This school-family-student compact is in effect during the 2010-2011 school year.

Lyons Community School will:

1.             Provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the participating children to meet the State’s student academic achievement standards as follows:

  • Design classrooms that promote collaboration, independent access to classroom materials, curiosity about the world and ongoing interest in school curriculum;
  • Provide teachers with regular individual support and professional development around curriculum design, instruction and assessment that addresses the needs of diverse learners;
  • Instill, in all classrooms and courses, a spirit of questioning and a pursuit of deep understanding that promotes meaningful, self-sustaining learning in our students;
  • Provide students with coursework that taps into their interest and connects to real-world subject matter;

2.           Hold family-student-advisor conferences twice a year during which this compact will be discussed as it relates to the individual child’s achievement.  Specifically, those conferences will be held:

  • Once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester;
  • When families request a conference, given two days advance notice

3.              Provide parents/guardians with frequent reports on their children’s progress.  Specifically, the school will provide reports as follows:

  • Staff members will make regular phone calls to students’ homes, to update families on student progress or to inform them of significant anecdotes relating to their child;
  • Student progress reports will be mailed out to families at the end of each quarter;
  • Student progress, in the form of completed and missing assignments, and grades, is also accessible to students and families through Skedula, our online grading program. Skedula will be explained, and student/family access, will be made available.

4.             Provide parents/guardians reasonable access to staff.  Specifically, staff will be available for consultation with parents as follows:

  • Lyons staff advisors and deans will make regular phone contact with school families, and will be available for conferences within two days of a family’s request.

5.              Provide parents/guardians opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class and to observe classroom activities, as follows:

  • Family members are encouraged to visit our school. Families should call school if they are interested in volunteering at Lyons or observing instruction. 

Parent/guardian Responsibilities:

We, as parents and guardians, will support our children’s learning in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that the student is on time and present each day;
  • Ensure that homework is completed and submitted in a satisfactory way and on time;
  • Attending all possible PTA meetings; Serving, to the extent possible, on policy advisory groups, such as being the Title I, Part A parent representative on the school’s School Improvement Team, the Title I Policy Advisory Committee, the District-wide Policy Advisory Council, the State’s Committee of Practitioners, the School Support Team or other school advisory or policy groups;
  • Monitoring the student’s use of television, internet and video games, and making sure he/she reads every night.;
  • Staying informed about all school calendar events, and responding promptly to all school mailings;
  • Being available to Lyons staff members for phone contact, and returning phone calls promptly;
  • Supporting Lyons Community School’s Code of Conduct;
  • Addressing personal concerns privately, and at an appropriate time and place. 

Student Responsibilities:

We, as students, will share the responsibility to improve our academic achievement and achieve the state’s high standards.  Specifically, we will:

·         Do my homework every day, submit it complete and on time and ask for help when I need it;

·         Read at least 30 minutes every day outside of school time;

·         Give my parents or guardians all notices and information received by me from my school every day.

·        Agree to resolve conflicts peacefully with other students or disagreements with teachers using all of our peer and staff supports, including Peer Mediators, Justice Panel, Advisors and our school Social Worker and SPARKS counselor;

·         Participate in all school activities, including Field Studies activities;

·         Respect all learning materials and areas in our school;

·         Give my best effort in pursuing my personal learning goals;

·         In the high school grades, plan and monitor my progress toward full credit completion.

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