Proposed Parental Involvement Policy for Union County Board of Education
The Board recognizes the critical role of parents in the education of their children and in the schools. The Board directs school administrators to develop programs that will promote and support parental involvement in student learning and achievement at school and at home and encourage successful progress toward graduation. Each parent is encouraged to learn about the educational program, the educational goals and objectives of the school system, and his or her own child’s progress. The Board also encourages parents to participate in their children’s education and in activities designed by school personnel to involve them, such as parent conferences, in order to foster effective teacher and parent communication. Parents are responsible for cooperating with school employees to facilitate their children’s compliance with Board policies concerning homework, school attendance, and behavior.
As required by law, the Board shall post a list of specific parent rights with regards to their child's education with any corresponding policy numbers on the school district website.
For purposes of this policy, “parent” includes parents, legal guardians, and legal custodians of students who are under 18 years old and who have not been emancipated.
A. Parental Involvement Plans
- Parental Involvement Plan as Part of the School Improvement Plan
The Board directs each principal to ensure that the school improvement team develops a plan for the school’s parental involvement program as a part of the school improvement plan. The principal shall publicize drafts of the parental involvement plan prior to finalization and solicit input from parents of students in the school. This plan must include, at a minimum, efforts to enhance parental involvement by promoting the following priorities:
- regular, meaningful, two-way communication between home and school;
- responsible parenting;
- involvement of parents in student learning;
- parental volunteering in the school;
- involvement of parents in school decisions that affect children and families;
- parental training based on parents’ informational needs;
- collaboration with community agencies and other organizations to provide resources to strengthen school programs, families, and student learning; and
- student health awareness among parents by addressing the need for health programs and student health services, which are linked to student learning.
- Title I Parent and Family Engagement Plan
Each school participating in the Title I program must develop, with parents and family members, a school-level written parent and family engagement plan that involves parents in the planning and improvement of Title I activities and describes the means for carrying out school-level policy, sharing responsibility for student academic achievement, building the capacity of school staff and parents for involvement, and increasing accessibility for participation of all parents and family members of children participating in Title I programs.
- Parental Involvement Component of a School Plan for Managing Student Behavior
Each school’s plan for managing student behavior should include parental involvement strategies that address when parents will be notified or involved in issues related to their child’s behavior.
B. Parent Communication, Participation, and Conferences
- Communication with Parents
The Board encourages school personnel to have regular contact with parents for informational purposes as well as for commendation of students and notification of concerns. School personnel shall communicate with parents about student behavior issues and attendance in accordance with requirements of policy. In addition, parents will be notified promptly if school personnel suspect that a criminal offense has been committed against the parent’s child, unless notification would impede an investigation by law enforcement or the child welfare agency.
The principal must effectively communicate to parents the manner in which textbooks are used to implement the school’s curricular objectives. Any parent interested in learning more about their child’s course of study or the source of any supplementary instructional materials should contact the principal for more information. If a parent would like to inspect and review particular instructional materials, the parent should make such a request in accordance with policy.
The principal also shall ensure that information about the nature and purpose of all clubs and activities, curricular and extracurricular, offered at the school is available at the school’s main office. Any parent who would like information about such clubs or activities should contact the school’s main office.
The principal or designee shall provide the parent of each student in kindergarten, first, or second grade with written notification of the student’s reading progress. The notice will be provided three times a year, following each benchmark assessment and will include: (1) assessment results, (2) whether the child may not reach reading proficiency by the end of third grade, and (3) instructional support activities for use at home.
- Parent Participation at Schools
The Board encourages parents to engage in activities in their children’s schools. Parents are welcome to visit schools, and, if interested, are urged to participate in school volunteer programs. In addition, opportunities exist for parents to participate on school advisory councils, such as the school health advisory council, school improvement teams, school media advisory committees, etc.
Teachers are responsible for scheduling conferences or meetings with parents. The Board encourages local business leaders, including the local chambers of commerce, to encourage employers to adopt, as part of their stated personnel policies, time for employees who are parents or guardians to attend conferences with their child’s teachers.
C. Parental Notification
- Title I Notifications
Each principal or designee of a Title I school shall effectively notify parents of all parental rights and other required information regarding Title I schools and programs, in accordance with federal law. Parents of students in Title I schools shall receive a copy of the system-wide Title I parent and family engagement policy and the school-wide parent involvement plan.
- Parent Guide for Student Achievement
Each year, the Superintendent or designee shall create a parent guide for student achievement that meets the requirements of state law and the State Board of Education. All parents will receive a written copy of the guide, and information in the guide will be discussed at the beginning of each school year in meetings of students, parents, and teachers.
- Additional Annual Notifications
The principal or designee shall annually notify parents of the following information to the extent that it has not already been provided to parents as part of the parent guide for student achievement:
- parental rights related to student records;
- parental rights related to student surveys;
- the approximate dates of any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is: (a) required as a condition of attendance, (b) administered and scheduled in advance by the school administration, and (c) not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of students;
- the schedule of pesticide use on school property and their right to request notification of nonscheduled pesticide use;
- student behavior policies, the Code of Student Conduct, and school standards and rules;
- the permissible use of seclusion and restraint in the schools;
- prohibition against bullying and harassing behavior;
- student and parent grievance procedure;
- the dates of the system-wide and state-mandated tests that students will be required to take during that school year, how the results from the tests will be used, and whether each test is required by the State Board of Education or by the local Board;
- grading practices that will be followed at the school and, for parents of high school students, the method of computing the grade point averages that will be used for determining class rank;
- available opportunities and the enrollment process for students to take advanced courses and information explaining the value of taking advanced courses;
- if applicable, that their child will be provided advanced learning opportunities in mathematics or will be placed in an advanced mathematics course;
- a clear and concise explanation of the North Carolina testing and accountability system that includes all information required by federal law;
- a report containing information about the school system and each school, including, but not limited to:
- the following information both in the aggregate and disaggregated by category: student achievement, graduation rates, performance on other school quality and/or student success indicators, the progress of students toward meeting long-term goals established by the state, student performance on measures of school climate and safety, and, as available, the rate of enrollment in post-secondary education;
- the performance of the school system on academic assessments as compared to the state as a whole and the performance of each school on academic assessments as compared to the state and school system as a whole;
- the percentage and number of students who are:
- assessed using alternate assessments,
- involved in preschool and accelerated coursework programs, and
- English learners achieving proficiency;
- the per pupil expenditures of federal, state, and local funds; and
- teacher qualifications;
- the grade earned by the school on the most recent annual report card issued for it by the State Board of Education if the grade was a D or F;
- supportive services available to students, including health services;
- for parents of students in grades 5 through 12, information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, and human papillomavirus, including the causes and symptoms of these diseases, how they are transmitted, how they may be prevented by vaccination, including the benefits and possible side effects of vaccination, and places parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children;
- information about and an application form for free and reduced-price meals and/or free milk;
- information about the school breakfast program;
- information about the availability and location of free summer food service program meals for students when school is not in session;
- for parents of children with disabilities, procedural safeguards;
- information on the availability of the asbestos management plan and planned or in-progress inspections, re-inspections, response actions, and post-response actions, including periodic re-inspection and surveillance activities;
- education rights of homeless students;
- the content and implementation of the local school wellness policy;
- that the school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age, and that the school system provides processes for resolving discrimination and harassment complaints;
- that the school system provides equal access to its facilities, programs, and activities to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups; and
- the availability of and the process for requesting a waiver or reduction of student fees.
4. Opportunities to Withhold Consent/Opt Out Notifications
As a part of the annual notification described above, parents will be effectively notified that they may opt out of any of the following:
- release of student directory information about their child for school purposes or to outside organizations;
- release of their child’s name, address, and telephone listing to military recruiters or institutions of higher education;
- their child’s participation in curricula related to (a) prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; (b) avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy; or (c) reproductive health and safety education. A copy of the materials that will be used in these curricula will be available in the school media center during the school year and at other times that the media center is available to the public. To meet any review periods required by law, materials also may be made available for review in the central office;
- their child’s participation in academic or career guidance or personal or social counseling services of a generic nature offered to groups of students (e.g., peer relations strategies offered to all sixth graders). However, parental notification and permission are not required for: (a) short-duration academic, career, personal, or social guidance and counseling and crisis intervention that is needed to maintain order, discipline, or a productive learning environment; (b) student-initiated individual or group counseling targeted at a student’s specific concerns or needs; and (c) counseling if child abuse or neglect is suspected;
- their child’s participation in any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is: (a) required as a condition of attendance; (b) administered and scheduled in advance by the school administration; and (c) not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of students;
- the collection, disclosure, or use of their child’s personal information for marketing purposes; and
- release of their child’s free and reduced-price meal information to State Medicaid or State children’s health insurance program (SCHIP).
Any parent or legal guardian who wishes to opt out/withhold consent must do so in writing within one month after receiving notice. Otherwise, consent to the programs or activities is presumed. After the annual notification, the school is not required to provide further notice to the parent or legal guardian as to the manner in which student directory information is used, the curriculum is provided, or guidance programs are made available.
D. Parental Permission Required
Written parental permission is required prior to the following activities:
- the administration of medications to students by employees of the school system;
- the release of student records that are not considered directory information, unless the release is allowed or required by law;
- off-campus trips;
- students’ participation in high-impact or high-risk sports or extracurricular activities, such as football or mountain climbing;
- all decisions or actions as required by the IDEA with regard to providing special education or related services to students with disabilities;
- certain health services, as required by law;
- participation in a mental health assessment or mental health services under circumstances prescribed by federal law;
- students’ participation in programs or services that provide information about where to obtain contraceptives or abortion referral services;
- students’ participation in surveys that are conducted concerning protected topics;
- disclosure of students’ free and reduced-price lunch eligibility information or eligibility status; and
- students’ access to the Internet.
E. Procedures for Parental Involvement in Student Health
- Parent Notifications Regarding Student Physical and Mental Health
At the beginning of each school year, the principal or designee shall notify parents of (1) each health care service offered at their children’s schools and the means for parents to provide consent for any specific services; (2) acknowledgement that consenting to a health care service does not waive the parents’ right to access their children’s educational records or health records or to be notified of changes in their children’s services or monitoring; and (3) the procedures to exercise the parental remedies for concerns related to student health provided by G.S. 115C-76.60 and described below in subsection E.6.
Before any student well-being questionnaire or health screening form is administered to students in kindergarten through third grade, the principal or designee shall provide parents with a copy of the questionnaire or form and shall inform parents of the means for parents to consent to the use of the questionnaire or form for their children.
The principal or designee shall notify parents of changes in services or monitoring related to their children’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school’s ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for their children prior to or contemporaneously with the changes being made. In addition, the principal or designee shall notify parents before any changes are made to the names or pronouns used for their children in school records or by school personnel.
No school system policy, procedure, or form will expressly or otherwise prohibit school employees from notifying parents about their children’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being or a change in related services or monitoring, nor will any school system policy, procedure, or form intentionally encourage or be designed in a manner that is reasonably likely to have the effect of encouraging any children to withhold from their parents information about their mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being or a change in related services or monitoring. School personnel shall not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.
- Discussions Related to Student Well-Being
In accordance with the rights of parents provided in Chapter 114A of the General Statutes, when issues of a student’s well-being arise, school personnel shall encourage the student to discuss the issues with his or her parent. As appropriate, school personnel may facilitate discussions of such issues with parents.
- Parent Access to Student Records
Parents will not be prohibited from accessing any of their children’s education and health records created, maintained, or used by the school system, except as permitted by law.
- Student Support Services Training
Student support services training developed or provided by the school system to school personnel will adhere to student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Department of Public Instruction.
- Instruction on Gender Identity, Sexual Activity, and Sexuality
Instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality will not be included in the curriculum provided in kindergarten through fourth grade, regardless of whether the information is provided by school personnel or third parties. For purposes of this subsection, curriculum includes the standard course of study and support materials, locally developed curriculum, supplemental instruction, and textbooks and other supplementary materials, but does not include responses to student-initiated questions.
- Remedies for Parental Concerns Related to Student Health
If a parent has a concern about the school or school system’s procedure or practice under Part 4 of Article 7B of Chapter 115C, as described here in Section E of this policy, the parent should submit the concern in writing to the principal. The principal shall schedule and hold a meeting with the parent within five days after the concern was submitted. The principal shall conduct any necessary investigation. If possible, the principal should resolve the concern within seven days after the concern was submitted. If the principal cannot resolve the concern within seven days, the principal shall immediately notify the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall assist, as needed, in resolving the concern.
If the concern has not been resolved within 15 days after the parent initially submitted the concern, the Superintendent or designee shall schedule a Board hearing to be conducted pursuant to the administrative guidelines to policy 1-18 Hearings Before the Board, to occur within the next 15 days. If the concern is not resolved 30 days after the parent initially submitted the concern, the Board will provide a statement of the reasons for not resolving the concern.
If the concern is not resolved within 30 days of initial submission, the parent has the right to pursue additional remedies as provided in G.S. 115C-76.60(b).
F. Parent Requests for Information
A parent may request in writing from the principal any of the information the parent has the right to access under Part 3 of Article 7B of Chapter 115C. The principal, within 10 business days, shall either provide the requested information to the parent or provide an extension notice to the parent that, due to the volume or complexity of the request, the information will be provided no later than 20 business days from the date of the parental request.
If the principal (1) denies or fails to respond to the request for information within 10 business days or (2) fails to provide information within 20 business days following an extension notice, the parent may then submit the written request for information to the Superintendent, along with a statement specifying the time frame of the denial or failure to provide information by the principal.
If the Superintendent denies or does not respond to the request for information within 10 business days, the parent may appeal the denial or lack of response to the Board no later than 20 business days from the date of the request to the Superintendent. The Board will place the parent’s appeal on the agenda for the next Board meeting occurring more than three business days after submission of the appeal.
G. Community Services Available
A variety of community services are available to provide parents and families of students in the school system with needed information, support, and resources. Parents are encouraged to utilize applicable community services such as the following:
H. Reporting Requirements
By September 15 of each year, the Superintendent or designee shall report to the State Board of Education parental involvement information as required by G.S. 115C-76.70.
Legal References: Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, 15 U.S.C. 2641, et seq.; Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 C.F.R. 108.9; Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 200; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 C.F.R. pt. 99; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq.; McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431, et seq.; National School Lunch Program, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq., 7 C.F.R. 210.12, 7 C.F.R. pt. 245; Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. 1232h, 34 C.F.R. pt. 98; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 705(20), 794, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 100; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 106; 20 U.S.C. 7908; G.S. 90-21.1, -21.10B; 95-28.3; 114A-10; 115C-47(47), -47(51), -47(54), -47(58), -76.1, -76.20, -76.25, -76.30, -76.35, -76.40, -76.45, -76.50, -76.55, -76.60, -76.65, -76.70, -81.25, -81.30, -81.36, -105.41, -109.1, -174.26(d), -307(c), -375.4, -390.2, -391.1, -402.15, -407.16; 16 N.C.A.C. 6D .0307; State Board of Education Policies KNEC-002, PRNT-000, TEST-001
Parents' Bill of Rights
The Union County Board of Education recognizes the value of family engagement in a child’s academic success and believes that the education of children is an ongoing cooperative partnership between the home and the school. Parents and other family members are their children’s first teachers; therefore, the continued involvement of parents and family members in the educational process is most important in fostering and improving educational achievement.
The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed Senate Bill 49—Parents Bill of Rights. This act was voted on to enumerate the rights of parents to direct the upbringing, education, healthcare, and mental health of minor children.
As more information and guidance about the Parents’ Bill of Rights is made available from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, we will post it on this page.