Darby Junior High School recognizes
that a student’s education is a responsibility shared by the entire school
community during the entire time the child spends in school. To support the
goals of Darby to educate all students effectively, the school and community
must work as knowledgeable partners. Parents are an integral component of our
school’s ability to provide for the educational success of our students. Darby
Junior High fosters and supports active parental involvement.
The following outline is in compliance with the legal
requirements of Arkansas Act 603 of 2003. In 2007, Act 307 replaced Act 603.
This plan represents a joint development with parents, teachers, staff, and
requires that communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and
and support communication that is regular, two-way and meaningful, Darby Junior
The website address for Darby Junior
High is http://www.fortsmithschools.org/darby/Home.aspx.
This website contains information
about Darby’s mission, history, academics, faculty, events, extra curricular
activities, policies, and our school’s safety guidelines. Darby’s teachers have
been trained in a site titled Pbwiki. Parents may access specific class
information using this site.
Darby also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account that
parents can “like” and have up to date information about events, announcements
and general information.
Fort Smith School District utilizes
a computer program called HAC. This program has a parent viewer which allows
parents to view student’s grades on a daily basis.
Teachers and administration
frequently communicate through e-mail. Teachers’ e-mail addresses are posted on
Darby’s website. General homework resources, subject area resources, and
educational resources and links may be viewed at the address above.
Daily announcements are broadcast in
Darby Junior High schedules two
parent/teacher conferences every school year.
Report cards and mid-term grades are
sent to parents on a scheduled basis. Mid-terms go home every three weeks.
Four PTSA meetings are held during
the school year. One issue the PTSA works on is the school parent compact. The school and parents will build a
partnership to help children achieve the state’s high academic standards. All stakeholders will sign the compact.
Darby Junior High School has 95% of
the student population receiving free or reduced lunch.
Under the school accountability for
public schools in the state of Arkansas, Darby Junior High School is considered
a Needs Improvement Targeted Focus School.
Open House gives parents the
opportunity to meet the teachers and be informed on teacher/classroom
expectations. Other information obtained at open house include: a report on the
state of the school, an overview of what students will be learning, how
students are assessed, parental expectations, and parental involvement
opportunities. Darby will provide a list of volunteer opportunities during
orientation of parents. Teachers will
explain the requirements to parents and encourage them to become involved in
the school. A brief training will take place so that the parents will be put at
ease and make the experience pleasant and successful.
Each family is provided with a Darby
handbook which contains information concerning Darby’s policies and procedures.
Families are also provided with a current district calendar which informs them
of athletic events and extra-curricular activities for students and parents.
A parent resource center is
stationed in the media center. The center provides information about programs
and resources within the community which provide support services to families.
Materials to assist parents in their child’s academic achievement are located
in the center, as well as materials which involve the growth and development of
adolescence and related adolescent issues (drug use, depression, etc.). Many of
the materials are free while others may be checked out. Parents are made aware
of the center and its contents through discussions at PTSA meetings.
Parent Kits are provided to the
parents as a tool to communicate with teachers, staff, and administration.
A seventh grade orientation was
introduced and will be held every school year. Parents receive general
information regarding Darby, its policies and procedures. In 2006, a seventh
grade transition day was introduced. This allows in-coming seventh graders the
opportunity to get familiar with their schedules, purchase a lock, learn how to
operate the lock, and get a tour of Darby to familiarize themselves with our
Standardized test results are sent
home while counselors serve as a resource to help parents interpret scores.
Staff and teachers communicate with
parents by notes and phone calls as situations arise.
Parents are invited to sit on
Parents are invited to review
Darby’s process for resolving concerns should there be a breakdown in
Parents are encouraged to meet and
discuss the latest educational technology, graduation requirements,
prerequisite criteria and exit criteria.
Act 603/307, schools are to make parents feel welcome at school.
In an effort to make parents feel
welcome, Darby posts welcoming signs and messages in the front entry. The
message board contains all of the names of Administrators and office personnel.
School maps are displayed to aid parents in finding their way around Darby. An
encased message board with posters is located in the hall across from the
cafeteria informing parents and students of any current brochures, pamphlets or
resources which have been placed in the Parent Center in the library.
Darby does not have any school
policies or procedures which discourage a parent from visiting the school.
Parents are encouraged to visit a
child’s classroom, attend sports activities, and extra-curricular events.
states that schools must have a Parent Resource Center. It also requires
schools to aid parents by promoting/supporting responsible childcare.
The Parent Resource Center, family
nights, and seventh grade orientation are all avenues which will aid parents by
promoting and supporting responsible childcare.
Parent Kits have been provided by
the Arkansas Center for Effective Parenting. These kits have varied pamphlets,
articles and books. Examples are: NCLB information to include school
accountability, public school choice, and supplemental Educational Services
(SES). It includes tips on study skills, homework, parent/teacher conferences,
organizational skills, learning and grades, and how to create a home
environment for learning. A DVD is also provided for the parent to check out
and view at their convenience.
Parent surveys are given to the
parents and they are encouraged to fill them out. This aids the teachers,
administrators, and staff to better serve the needs of our parents and
survey will also collect specific information on the (1) growth in number of
parents participating in workshops and meetings; (2) specific needs of parents;
(3) effectiveness of specific strategies; and (4) engagement of parents in
activities to support student academic growth.
states that schools will recognize that community resources strengthen school
programs, family practices, and student learning.
Members of Darby’s current advisory
commission who are not former Darby students are: Dr. Darren McKinney, school
principal; Kelly Daniels, school counselor; and Michelle Linam, the current PTSA president. Ami
Griggs is also on the commission and is an alumnus of Darby.
Engage in other activities that the
school determines will use community resources to strengthen school programs,
family practices, and student learning.
Numerous speakers from the community
have been utilized to strengthen the vision that community resources are
necessary as a tool to help our students be successful individuals.
Eight local businesses which are
part of Darby’s Partners in Education program are: KFSM-5, Sparks Regional
Medical Center, Staples, Area Agency on Aging, Jerdau –Mac Steel, Goody’s
Frozen Yogurt, Susan G. Coleman and Darby Foundation.
Darby students have participated in
several community projects over the past few years. Some of these projects
*Salvation Army food drive
*Coats for Kids
*Treat Bags for Pre Kindergarten and Kindergarteners at Tillis Elementary
*United Way Back Pack program
*March of Dimes
*Placing flags at the National
requires the principal of each school in a district to designate one certified
staff member willing to serve as a parent facilitator to organize meaningful
training for staff and parents and to promote a welcoming atmosphere toward
parent involvement in the school in order to foster parental participation. The
certified staff member serving as a parent facilitator shall receive
supplemental pay for the assigned duties as required by law.
Kelly Daniels is serving as Darby’s
Supplemental pay to the parent
facilitator is five percent of teacher’s base salary.
The facilitator will plan two hours
of staff development for the Darby faculty for the year. Administrators will earn three hours of staff
development each year.
Parental Involvement Committee
Dr. Darren McKinney – Principal
Kelly Daniels – Counselor/Parent
Cherri Byford – Counselor
Angela Veatch - Parent