Parent & Community Engagement

UPA campuses have active and engaged parent communities. Learn more about our campus policies and how you can play an active role in your student’s educational career at University Prep Schools.

ELLEN THOMPSON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PARENT INVOLVEMENT POLICY

At UPA Ellen Thompson Elementary School, we believe that a strong partnership with parents is a critical aspect of any successful school. In our view, this kind of partnership involves a shared commitment to rigorous educational goals for every student, a collaboratively developed plan accomplish those goals, ongoing discussions about student progress and cooperation in working through any problems that develop.

To that end, we believe that parents should be meaningfully involved in:

  • developing and implementing appropriate strategies for helping their child achieve the learning objectives that lead to accomplishing the learning outcomes;
  • home environment which encourages learning and augments, the learning experiences provided by the school;
  • establishing the learning outcomes for their child with the goal of developing a responsible, adult member of society;
  • establishing and supporting a consistent and shared approach to child guidance and discipline;
  • providing for the proper health, safety, and well-being for their child;

The University Prep Elementary Ellen Thompson campus is committed to providing clear and concise communication to parents. The Principal is responsible for maintaining an environment for effective communication with parents which includes:

  • Providing child’s individual assessment results, reading results and narratives
  • Providing student handbooks that outline each school’s discipline plan, attendance policy and uniform policy.
  • Providing multiple opportunities for direct communication with teachers
  • School Newsletters and classroom newsletters and /or blogs informing parents of events at the school or in class.
  • Parents as Partners/Round Table discussions will be scheduled to allow for parents to voice concerns and ways to improve the school environment and student achievement.
  • Parent-student-teacher compact (outlines how parents and school staff will share the responsibility for improved student achievement of their children). This compact will be discussed at the first learning team meeting and as necessary throughout the school year.
  • School will have a “meet your teacher week”.
  • Learning Team Meeting/Exhibitions will be held four times per year. These are a parental involvement requirement.
  • Narratives are sent home three times per year

Teachers can and will use multiple ways of communicating with parents:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Newsletters
  • Narratives
  • Learning Team Meetings
  • Websites/blogs
  • Other as necessary
  • Ensuring that all communications are provided in language parents understand.
  • Ensuring disabled parents can fully participate in child’s education and school activities.

PARENT-CAMPUS RELATIONSHIP
University Prep Elementary – Ellen Thompson Campus depends on parents to assume and exercise responsibility for their children’s behavior. We recognize the responsibility to monitor students’ behavior and the importance of cooperation between the school and the parents in matters relating to conduct.

For the benefit of the child, the school expects parents to support their child’s career in school by:

  • participating in school;
  • Volunteering (in classroom or school events)
  • Attending Parents as Partners Meeting
  • Attending Scheduled LTM/Exhibitions
  • supporting the teachers and the school in maintaining discipline and a safe and orderly learning environment;
  • requiring their child observes all school rules and regulations;
  • supporting and/or enforcing consequences for their child’s willful misbehavior in school
  • sending their children to school with proper attention to his/her health, personal cleanliness, and proper UPA uniform
  • maintaining an active interest in their child’s daily work, and making sure all assigned work is completed on time ant to the best of the student’s ability
  • reading all communications from the school, signing all appropriate documents and asking questions when necessary attending all Learning Team Meetings and Exhibitions and being a vital part of the team in moving your student academically and socially forward
MARK MURRAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

PARENT INVOLVEMENT POLICY

At UPA Mark Murray Elementary School, we believe that schools belong to the people who create them and these schools excel when they are supported by informed and knowledgeable stakeholders; with parents being the most important group of stakeholders. We believe that meaningful parent involvement is based upon the parents’ knowledge, understanding of, and participation in the development of the goals and objectives of the school. Such a partnership means a mutual belief in and a commitment to significant educational goals for a student, a plan for the means to accomplish those goals, cooperation on developing and implementing solutions to problems that may be encountered and continuing communication regarding the progress in accomplishing the goal(s). We are deeply committed to creating multiple opportunities for parents to participate in the planning, implementation and evaluations of school programs, as well as their own children’s education and to removing any obstacles that might prevent parents’ involvement.

We set forth these policies;

To build parents’ understanding of our school programs and policies we will:

  • Hold Parent Orientation meetings prior to students entering our school
  • Disseminate a Parent Handbook that outlines important programs and policies
  • Post information about our school and its programs on our district website
  • Convene an Annual Report meeting in the Fall of each year to review student achievement results and explain the priorities of our School Improvement Plan

To build and maintain strong two-way communication with parents we will:

  • Distribute a monthly school newsletter
  • Make use of classroom newsletters and blogs
  • Provide parents with cell phone numbers of all staff so that they may be easily contacted in the evening and on weekends
  • Hold monthly coffee with the Principal sessions for unstructured conversation

To create a strong parent-staff partnership in support of each student’s academic achievement we will: 

  • Conduct at least 3 Learning Team Meetings for each student each year. During these meetings parents, students, and the classroom teacher will review each student’s progress and create an individual Learning Plan for each student.
  • Discuss all standardized test results with parents to ensure understanding of results and address questions and/or concerns
    Encourage parents to be actively involved in the classroom as schedules permit
  • Hold monthly Parents as Partners meetings to discuss issues of concern to parents, share information about our instructional programs, and provide parents with strategies to support them in working with their children at home.

To obtain engage parents in planning, implementation monitoring and evaluation of school programs we will: 

  • Engage parents as part of our School Improvement Team
  • Survey our parents annually to determine their level of satisfaction with our programs and services

To provide parents with opportunities for participation in our Title I programs and services, we will:

  • Convene an annual Title I meeting to explain our Title I programs and inform parents of their right to access Title I programs and services.
  • Provide opportunities for parents to provide positive and/or negative feedback regarding our Title I programs and services.
  • Involve parents in the planning, implementation/monitoring and evaluation of Title I programs and services as appropriate.
  • Provide information about our Title I programs and services in a language the parents can understand.
  • Schedule parent meetings to accommodate the differening schedules of our parents.
  • Provide training and support for parents so that they can be effectively involved in their children’s education and help their children with at-home learning.
  • Provide training and support to build staff capacity to effectively involve parents.
  • Create a collaborative school-parent-student compact that outlines the responsibilities of each party in working together with the goal of improved student achievement.
  • Provide all necessary accommodations to facilitate the participation of parents who are disabled, migratory/migrant and/or non-English speaking

The school Principal will serve as the facilitator of this policy. This policy will be reviewed annually. The Principal will provide leadership in the development, implementation, annual review and revision of this policy.

UPA MIDDLE SCHOOL

PARENT INVOLVEMENT POLICY
At University Prep Middle School, we believe that the success of any school and any student’s education depends on the close collaboration of parents and school staff. We furthermore believe that parents’ ability to participate in meaningful collaboration depends upon the school creating meaningful opportunities for all parents to receive important information about the schools’ goals, activities and results, to provide ideas and feedback that shape programs and procedures, to raise issues and suggest solutions, and to interact on a frequent basis with their child (ren)’s teacher(s) to monitor achievement, help generate effective strategies for their individual child(ren) and learn what they can do at home to support their child(ren)’s success.

The staff of University Prep Middle School is fully committed to creating multiple opportunities for all parents to participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of school programs, as well as being intimately involved in their own child(ren)’s education.

To that end:

  • University Prep Middle School staff has worked with parents to jointly develop the Parent Involvement Policy that describes the key activities and organizational structures that will build and maintain strong school-parent collaborations. This policy is was developed by the School Improvement Team and was based upon parent input obtained through our annual Parent Satisfaction survey and several focus group meetings. This plan will be reviewed annually as part of our Annual Report Meeting and our the Annual Title I Parents’ Meeting and revisions will be made based upon parent input gathered during those meetings. The policy will be posted on our district website and distributed to parents of all parents at the first Learning Team Meeting of the Year.
  • To ensure that parents receive all necessary information regarding school programs and practices, grade level curricula and expectations, achievement goals, strategies and outcomes and ways to support student learning at home, the staff of University Prep Middle School will hold monthly Parents as Partners Meetings. Topics for these meetings will be based upon parent input gathered through a parent survey. These meetings will be organized to: provide parents with information/strategies/materials to help children reach academic benchmarks, to elicit parent concerns and suggestions, and to provide an opportunity for input into planning, implementation, and evaluation of school programs. These meetings are used as opportunities to distribute informational flyers and pamphlets that help support the instructional program at home. Similar information will be available in the school will be shared through the University Preparatory Middle School monthly newsletter. In addition, our Mobile Parent Resource Closet will be available at each Parents as Partners Meeting. This is our Parent Lending Library of supplementary math, language arts and parenting materials that parents can borrow to use at home.
  • The Principal of University Prep Middle School will convene a presentation of our school’s Annual Report and an Annual Title I Parent Meeting. The Annual Report meeting will present information about the demographics of our school, the goals of our school, our improvement strategies and student performance outcomes. The Annual Title I Meeting, to which parents of all Title I students will be invited, will inform parents about Title I programs at our school and will gather parent input regarding program offerings and suggestions for the future. Information about Title I regulations, procedures, and parent involvement will be shared at this time. Multiple means will be used to invite parents to this meeting and to encourage their participation. At least two sessions of this meeting will be offered, one during school hours and one in the evening, to accommodate parents’ different scheduling needs.
  • The University Prep Middle School community is committed to providing a safe, respectful and easy-to- access environment for all parents. We will take active steps to address parents; language, cultural, physical, sensory and scheduling needs. Parent Meetings will be scheduled at a variety of times to address the different schedules of families and steps will be taken to ensure accessibility for parents who may have a handicapping condition, which requires special accommodations. Community resources will be consulted to ensure a strong understanding of diverse cultures and strategies to implement to build and maintain a welcoming, respectful environment for all families. We will use the information gathered from these experts to provide appropriate professional development for our staff.
  • In addition to the group meetings described above, the staff of University Prep Middle School will schedule formal parent-teacher-student conferences (Learning Team Meetings) at least three times each year for every parent in the school. These meetings will be used to share information regarding student performance on standardized tests and daily work, to establish individual learning outcomes for each student that are consistent with MDE standards, and to identify specific learning strategies and activities for each student.Additional conferences will be scheduled on an as-needed basis to address academic, social and/or behavioral issues of concern to parents and/or teachers.
  • The Principal of University Prep Middle School will convene a School Improvement Team each year. This team, which will always include parent representation (including at least one Title I parent), will be responsible for collecting demographic, perception and achievement data, organizing reviews/analyses of the data, facilitating the development of improvement goals, objectives, and strategies and monitoring implementation of the School Improvement Plan.
  • The staff of University Prep Middle School will use a variety of strategies to keep parents abreast of their children’s learning activities and progress towards grade level expectations. University Prep Middle School teachers organize at least three parent-teacher-student conferences (Learning Team Meetings) for each child each year. The purpose of these meetings is to develop individual Learning Plans for each child that describe specific learning goals, strategies and projects to address each student’s learning profile and needs. These plans are developed by reviewing student assessment results in relation to grade level expectations and through discussion of each student’s interests, learning styles, and progress. In addition, three narrative reports are sent home each year, one at the end of each trimester. Copies of standardized test results, such as MEAP results and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test results are included with the narrative report letters. Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers whenever they have questions, concerns or suggestions. They are provided with teachers’ cell phone numbers and are welcome to stop by classrooms at any time. Meetings are routinely scheduled at parents’ convenience.
  • University Prep Middle School understands the importance of family involvement. We have developed our School-Parent-Student Compact to help us clarify our collaborative relationship in service of student achievement. This compact is reviewed at each student’s first Learning Team Meeting of the year, and all parties sign the compact at that time. The compact is reviewed annually by the School Improvement Team and is amended, as appropriate, based upon parent and staff input obtained through annual surveys. We will also provide our staff with professional development to build their capacity to work with parents as equal partners. Will we use all-staff professional development sessions, professional learning community study groups, and Rookie Induction programs to achieve this.
UPA HIGH SCHOOL

PARENT INVOLVEMENT POLICY

The University Prep High School community believes that durable and significant learning by a student is more likely to occur when there is an effective partnership between the school and the student’s parents/guardians (“parents”). Such a partnership means a mutual belief in and commitment to significant educational goals for the student, a collaboratively developed plan to accomplish those goals, continuing communication regarding progress towards goals, and cooperation in developing and implementing solutions to problems that may arise. In addition to working with families to promote high achievement of each individual student, the University Prep High School community also believes that our school significantly benefits from collaborating with parents on the ongoing development, implementation and evaluation of school programs to ensure that we are always improving in our efforts to fully develop student potential and reach the highest standards of achievement.

To that end, University Prep High School parents will be involved in:

  • Participating with school staff and their child in establishing individual learning objectives that build upon their child’s interests and address their learning needs in required Learning Team Meetings at least three times per year
  • Developing and implementing appropriate strategies to help their child achieve High School Content Expectations
  • Providing input for the planning, implementation and evaluation of school programs
  • Creating a home environment that encourages learning and augments the learning experiences provided by the school
  • Establishing and supporting a consistent and shared approach to child guidance and discipline
  • Providing for the proper health, safety and well-being of their child

The University Prep High School staff is fully committed to providing clear and ongoing communication to parents through the following means:

  • Providing individual assessment results, quarterly reviews and end-of-semester narrative reports
  • Providing student handbooks that outline our school’s discipline, attendance and dress code policies and offers way that parents can support these policies
  • Reviewing the Parent-Student-School Compact in Learning Team Meetings so that parents have a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities fundamental to their child’s school success. This will be reviewed at the first Learning Team Meeting of the year and discussed at follow up Learning Team Meetings as needed.
  • Scheduling and holding an individual Learning Team Meeting with every parent and his/her student at least 3 times per year.
  • Using multiple means to communicate with parents, including phone, email, newsletters, websites, blogs, and face-to-face meetings. Arranging meetings at times convenient to parents and employing all necessary accommodations to ensure every parent receives all necessary information and can contribute to their child’s education. This includes using translators for parents with limited English, making parents aware of handicap access to our buildings, using specialized equipment to communicate with parents with hearing impairments or other sensory impairments, etc.

The Principal of University Prep High School will be responsible for maintaining an environment in which parents are meaningfully involved and programs are effectively implemented. To that end, the Principal will:

  • Create processes to share school program and performance information with parents and obtain their input for School Improvement and Title I program development activities, including the holding of the Annual Title I meeting and the presentation of the school’s Annual Report
  • Publish a monthly newsletter to keep parents informed of upcoming school activities and to share important school news
  • Hold periodic Parents as Partners Meetings to provide parents with information about the school’s improvement goals, strategies and results, and to share strategies that parents can use to support their children’s academic achievement
  • Build and maintain a warm, inviting atmosphere that welcomes parent input
  • Ensure the distribution, collection and analysis of the Annual Parent Satisfaction Survey
  • Provide oversight for the implementation of all parent involvement strategies, including the annual distribution of the Parent Involvement Policy and the review of the Parent-Student-School Compact

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