Migrant Education Program
Preliminary Guidance for Title I, Part C
Public Law 103-382

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Links Among Schools, Parents, and Communities

The parental participation provisions of Goals 2000 and the reauthorized Title I programs, including the MEP, emphasize parental involvement as a vital component of national education reform. Goals 2000 recognizes the importance of parental involvement a nd includes it as one of the eight national education goals. It calls on every school to promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children. The reauthorized ESEA emphasizes the need for parents and schools to develop partnerships and build ongoing dialogues around student achievement. Title I supports parental involvement by enlisting individual parents to help their children do well in school. In addition, the new Title I encourages schools and communities to coordinate services in ways that make a difference in the learning and lives of children and families.

Resource Available from the U.S. Department of Education

Strong Families, Strong Schools provides the following suggestions for parents to support their children in school:

  • Read together.
  • Use TV wisely.
  • Establish a daily family routine.
  • Schedule daily homework times.
  • Monitor out-of-school activities.
  • Talk with children and teenagers.
  • Communicate positive values and character traits, such as respect, hard work, and responsibility.
  • Express high expectations and offer praise and encouragement.

To request a single copy of this publication, contact the Department's Publications Hotline at (202) 401-3132.

Involving Parents of Migrant Children

Section 1304(c)(3) of Title I, Part C requires that state and local migrant education programs and projects be carried out, to the extent feasible, in a manner consistent with the parental involvement requirements of Section 1118 of Title I, Part A. Ther efore, state and local education agencies providing services for migrant children through the MEP must make every reasonable effort to comply with the parental involvement requirements of Section 1118 in operating their programs and projects.

The provisions of Section 1118 emphasize three components of parent involvement:

  • Policy involvement at the district and school levels, including parental involvement in developing school improvement plans (See table 1);

  • Shared responsibility for high performance embodied in school-parent compacts (See table 1); and

  • Building capacity for parent involvement through such means as increased training and enhanced partnerships with community organizations and businesses (See table 2).

The parent involvement provisions of Section 1118 include the activities listed in the following tables. Note that while these tables list the activities that schools and LEAs must provide under Section 1118, they do not specify the requirements for carr ying out each activity. More detailed information on these requirements may be obtained from Title I, Part A of the statute or from the guidance for programs under Title I, Part A.

TABLE 1 -- Parental Involvement Activities Under 1118
LEAs Schools

--Develop jointly with parents and distribute to parents a written parent involvement policy, agreed upon by these parents, that provides a framework for parental participation in the district and describes how the LEA, among other things, will:

  • Build capacity for strong parent involvement through activities described in table 2;

  • Coordinate and integrate parental involvement strategies for Title I programs with parent involvement strategies under other programs, such as Head Start, Even Start, the Parent as Teachers (PAT) Program, the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), and state-run preschool programs; and

  • Conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the LEA's parent involvement policy, including identifying barriers to greater participation by parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background.

--To the extent practicable, provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency or with disabilities, including providing information and school profiles in a language and form that parents understand.

--Provide information about any Goals 2000 parental information and resource centers that have been established in the state.

--Develop jointly with parents and distribute to parents a written parent involvement policy, agreed upon by these parents, that describes how the school will carry out the further provisions of Section 1118 described below and in table 2.

--Provide for parent involvement in policy formulation and evaluation by:

  • Convening an annual meeting to inform parents of their school's participation in the Title I program;

  • Offering a flexible number of meetings and possibly providing for transportation, child care, translation, or home visits to encourage parent participation;

  • Involving parents in the planning, review, and improvement of Title I programs; and

  • Providing parents with: information about programs, school performance profiles, and individual student assessment results; a description of the school's curriculum and the assessments used to measure student performance; opportunities for regular meetings to share experiences and provide suggestions; and opportunities to comment on schoolwide program plans.

--Develop jointly with parents a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student achievement and how the school and parents will work together to help children achieve the state's high standards.

--To the extent practicable, provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency or with disabilities, including providing information and school profiles in a language and form that parents understand.

-- Provide information about any Goals 2000 parental information and resource centers that have been established in the state.

TABLE 2 -- Parental Involvement Activities Under 1118(e):
Building Parental Involvement Capacity
Schools and LEAs
  1. Provide assistance to parents in areas such as the National Education Goals, the state's content and student performance standards, state and local assessments, the requirements of Title I, how to monitor their child's progress and work with teachers to improve their child's performance, and how they can participate in decisions relating to the education of their children.

  2. Provide materials and training, such as literacy training in conjunction with other programs or training on how to work with children to improve their achievement.

  3. Educate teachers and other school staff, with the assistance of parents, on how to reach out to parents, communicate with parents, work with parents as equal partners, and build ties between school and home.

  4. Coordinate and integrate parental involvement activities with Head Start, Even Start, the Home Instruction Programs for Preschool Youngsters, the Parents as Teachers Programs, public preschool programs, and other parental involvement programs.

  5. Develop appropriate roles for community-based organizations and businesses and encourage partnerships between elementary, middle, and secondary schools.

  6. Conduct other activities, as feasible, such as parent resource centers and child development workshops to help parents become full partners in the education of their children.

  7. Ensure, to the extent possible, that information is sent to homes in the languages that are used in those homes.

  8. May involve parents in the development of training for teachers and other staff.

  9. May provide necessary literacy training from funds under Title I if no other resources exist for such training.

  10. May pay reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parental involvement activities, including transportation, child care, or translation to enable parents to participate in school-related activities.

  11. May train and support parents to enhance the involvement of other parents.

  12. May arrange meetings at a variety of times, such as mornings or evenings, to maximize opportunities for parents to participate in school-related activities.

  13. May arrange for teachers to conduct in-home conferences with parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school.

  14. May adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement, such as the Even Start program.

  15. Provide other reasonable types of support for parental involvement as parents request.

Accessibility of Parent Involvement Opportunities

As noted in table 1, schools and LEAs carrying out the parent involvement provisions of Section 1118, to the extent practicable, must provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency or with disabilities, includ ing providing information and school profiles in a language and form such parents understand (Section 1118(f)). Examples of parental involvement strategies that focus on the parents of students with limited English proficiency include, but are not limite d to:

  • The use of bilingual and bicultural parent liaisons;

  • Family literacy programs that bring parents into the school community to strengthen their role in improving the education of their children;

  • Availability of staff proficient in multiple languages to translate any materials that go to the school community or parents, and who serve as interpreters in school functions;

  • Cultural awareness and language classes for teachers and other school staff working to build ties between home and school;

  • Availability of translators for meetings; and

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for interested parents of participating students.

Resource Available from the U.S. Department of Education

Model Strategies in Bilingual Education: Family Literacy and Parent Involvement offers administrators and teachers examples of strategies for working with parents of students with limited English proficiency. The report profiles nine exemplary sites which exhibit a wide range of parent involvement and family literacy programs. The programs employ a number of common strategies, including:

  • Creating natural contexts for literacy development, often by providing direct services to parents and children at the same time;

  • Helping parents understand the demands of U.S. schools and providing them with skills to become their child's teacher and advocate; and

  • Providing English language instruction and other services to parents to enable them to participate more actively in their communities.

To request a copy, contact the Department's Publications Hotline at (202) 401-3132.

Examples of Innovative Parent Involvement Strategies

  • In Kentucky, migrant parents are being trained to present workshops for other migrant parents on such topics as "How to Make Your Home a Learning Place," "Reading to Your Child," and other areas of concern for migrant parents. The state plans to have 25 parents trained to make presentations from a repertoire of 20 different workshops. Contact: Crichton Comer, Program Consultant; Division of Program Resources; State Department of Education; 500 Mero Street; Capital Plaza Tower, Room 2109; Frankfort, Kentucky 40601; (502) 564-7272.

  • Parents at Snively Elementary School are encouraged to become involved in school activities by a coupon-redemption program in which they earn coupons--redeemable for food, clothing, or household items (many of which were donated by services clubs, bus inesses, etc.) at the school-operated family center--by attending their child's class, participating in field trips, or other volunteer efforts. Last year, parents volunteered more than 5,000 times at the school--an average of 10 times per student. Furt hermore, every teacher visits the home of every child he or she teaches. Snively works at being "the ultimate community school." Contact: Snively Elementary School; 1004 Snively Avenue; Winter Haven, Florida 33880-5551; (813) 291-5325.

  • In 1993 the Region X California Migrant Education program piloted a "parents as home educators" program in which five migrant parents, selected by their peers on the regional parent council, received training in how to train other parents in family ma th, family science, and family literacy. The five parent "mentors" then provided workshops for other migrant parents, in both Spanish and English, on how to create home activities that promote academic learning. More parents have subsequently been trained and the repertoire of workshops has been expanded to include family health and parent leadership. The project has also begun sponsoring regional parent institutes for teams of two parents and a staff member from schools throughout the county , with the parent "mentors" serving as coaches and providing follow-up. Contact: Magdalena Socea, California Region X MEP; (310) 922-6164.

Parent Advisory Councils (PACs)

The MEP also requires "appropriate consultation" with state and local-level PACs in the planning and operation of state and local programs and projects of one school year in duration (Section 1304(c)(3)). Each state will make its own determination of wha t constitutes "appropriate consultation" with PACs. PACs should not be used as a substitute for participation of individual parents through the policy involvement, shared responsibility, and capacity-building activities under Section 1118.

Use of Funds for Parent Involvement

For programs funded under the MEP, the SEA must assure that, to the extent feasible, it will provide for advocacy and outreach to migrant children and their families and for family literacy programs (Section 1304(c)(6)). An SEA has the flexibility to res erve MEP funds for the purpose of carrying out family literacy programs as well as other parental involvement activities. To make the most effective use of these funds, an SEA should coordinate training programs and activities, to the fullest extent possible, with parental involvement programs and activities under Part A, as well as programs such as Head Start and Even Start. Local migrant education programs and projects may also plan and implement parental involvement activities using MEP funds, subject to approval by the state.

Title I, Part A requires each local education agency to reserve not less than one percent of its allocation under Part A to carry out parental involvement activities under Section 1118, including family literacy and parenting skills, unless one percent of the LEA's allocation, other than funds allocated under Section 1002(e) for capital expenses, is $5,000 or less. Parents of migrant children provided services under Title I, Part A should benefit from such reserved funds in the same manner as all other p arents of children receiving services under the Part A program. MEP staff should collaborate with Title I, Part A program staff to determine how parental involvement funds reserved under Section 1118 will be used to effectively carry out programs and activities for parents.

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Last Modified: 05/15/2009