2016-17 District Ratings Summary

 Category  Rating 
 Fine Arts  Recognized
 Wellness and PE  Recognized
 Community and Parent Involvement  Recognized
 21st Century Workforce Development  Acceptable
 Second Language Acquisition  Acceptable
 Digital Learning Environment  Exemplary
 Dropout Prevention Strategies  Exemplary
 GT Program  Acceptable
Compliance   Yes
 Overall  Recognized

Family Engagement Plan

Overview

    Family engagement is defined as the mutual responsibility of families, schools, and communities to build relationships to support student learning and achievement, and to support family well-being and the continuous learning and development of children, families, and educators. Family engagement is fully integrated in the child’s educational experience and supports the whole child and is both culturally responsive and appropriate. TAC 102.1003
    It has long been recognized by both researchers and practitioners that family engagement plays a non-negotiable role in education. It is no longer a suggestion, but rather a mandate, in Texas with the passage of House Bill 4 in 2015. TEC 29.168, created by HB 4, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, requires a school or charter school to develop and implement a Family Engagement Plan to assist the district in achieving and maintaining high levels of family involvement and positive family attitudes toward education. The local Family Engagement Plan must be based on the family engagement strategies established by TEA in collaboration with other state agencies. 
    The proposal also identifies in rule the family engagement strategies that districts and charter schools are required to address in a Family Engagement Plan in order to be eligible to receive grant funding under this program. TEA has identified six family engagement strategies which must be incorporated into the local Family Engagement Plan. 
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Family Engagement Strategies

  1. Facilitate Family-to-Family Support
    • Ranch Academy wants to establish more opportunities for parent-to-parent training and parent-to-parent support. 
    • Ranch Academy has several prospective day students meetings throughout the year. At these meetings, parents of current students are invited to attend the meetings to share their experience with Ranch Academy with prospective parents and students. 
    • Ranch Academy has developed a parent network to assist in a carpooling/ride-share program for students from surrounding areas. 
    • Parent education for parents of children receiving special education services is on-going.
    • Ranch Academy has an open communication policy with parents, which allows parents to communicate with teachers throughout the day via telephone. 
    • Ranch Academy sends weekly progress reports to parents regarding student work and behavior. 
  2. Network of family resources: Ranch Academy has established multiple resources for families. This is an ongoing process. Positive collaboration has been established with:
    • Andrews Center
    • Texas Workforce Commission
    • Van Zandt Juvenile Probation
    • Trinity Valley Community College
    • Multiple Business Leaders
    • Department of Child and Family Services
    • Private therapists and physicians 
  3. Increased participation in decision making
    • Ranch Academy has established a strong foundation of collaboration with parents and community partners. The district offers multiple parent and community involvement opportunities each year including:
      • Participation in graduation ceremonies
      • Participation in campus events
      • Social work community resource services
      • Parent participation with campus and district level committees
    • Melissa Pardue, Ranch Academy Superintendent and Principal, holds regular meetings with parents to discuss school issues and to allow parents to provide input.
    • Parents and educators have the opportunity to provide input through Edgenuity and parent surveys.
  4. Equip families with tools to enhance and extend learning.
    • Parents are encouraged to access their student’s progress through Edgenuity.
    • Parents are encouraged to schedule conferences by phone or face to face to get support and provide input.
    • Information will be provided to parents in a language that they understand.
    • Parents are provided weekly reports on student progress. Progress reports are sent home by mail weekly. Reports cards are sent home through mail each six weeks.
    • Parents will be provided information about the level of achievement of the child in each of the required state academic assessments in the final report card or as soon as possible.
    • Formal parent conferences are scheduled at least once per year. Conferences are available at any time as needed by parents or teachers.
    • Enrolling students will complete a Home Language Survey.
    • The Ranch Academy Homeless Liaison will inform parents/guardians of homeless students of the education opportunities and other services available to the child.
  5. Provide professional development opportunities for educators on culturally responsive, evidence-based strategies that support the education of the child.
    • Ranch Academy staff will be educated in the value and utility of the contributions of parents, and in building ties between parents and schools. 
    • Cultural, economic, language and demographic issues will be given attention through the selection of focus groups and committees.
    • Professional development will be provided including, but not limited to, cultural diversity, strategies for socio-economic populations, behavioral strategies, and students experiencing trauma.
  6. Evaluate family engagement efforts and use evaluations for continuous improvement.
    • Ranch Academy currently uses individual parent conferences to gain information on preferences of programs and parents’ perceptions of program effectiveness. Conferences are held each spring to gather information to plan for the next school year. 
    • Comprehensive Needs Assessment – Family engagement efforts will be evaluated on a continuous basis to determine whether the level of participation has increased and if activities meet the needs of parents. Programs and activities will be continuously monitored, identifying strengths and weaknesses, in order to affect change at the earliest possible date to assure program effectiveness.
    • Annual Parent Survey- parents will be surveyed annually to determine their input regarding family engagement, decision-making processes and receive program evaluation and staff feedback. 

Information Resources

Ranch Academy Family Engagement Contacts

Melissa Pardue         Shelley Pinkerton
Superintendent/Principal         Director of Special Education
903-939-8000 ext.1000         903-939-8000 ext.1005
mpardue@raschools.com         spinkerton@raschools.com

TEA Family Engagement Contacts

Christine McCormick, Statewide Coordinator        NCLB Parental Involvement
21st Century Learning Centers                            Division of State Education Policy
512-463-2334                                                     512-463-9414
Christine.McCormick@tea.texas.gov                   nclb@tea.texas.gov