Parent Involvement Plan

  • Parental Involvement

    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 community.  

    Act 603/307 requires that communication between home and school is regular, two-way, and meaningful to promote and support communication that is regular, two-way and meaningful, Darby Junior High shall:  

    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, Twitter account, Instagram account, and Periscope account that parents can “like” and have up to date information about events, announcements and general information. 

    Darby has LiveSchool to document student behavior. Parents and students have online access to the documentation.

    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 broadcasted in all classrooms.

    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 Junior High.

    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 various committees.

    Parents are invited to review Darby’s process for resolving concerns should there be a breakdown in communication. Parents are encouraged to meet and discuss the latest educational technology, graduation requirements, prerequisite criteria and exit criteria.

    According to 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.  

    Act 603/307 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 students.  The 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.  

    Act 603/307 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. Kreimer Hall, school principal; Kelly Daniels, school counselor; and Angela Coleman, a current PTSA member. 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. Seven local businesses which are part of Darby’s Partners in Education program are: KFSM-5, Sparks Regional Medical Center, Area Agency on Aging, Gerdau, Susan G. Coleman, Darby Legacy Project, and Darby Foundation.

    Darby students have participated in several community projects over the past few years. Some of these projects include:

    • Community Clearing House Food Drive
    • Reading to students at Tilles
    • Volunteer at Paint the Park Pink
    • Wreath preparation for the National Cemetery
    • Placing flags at the National Cemetery

    Act 603/307 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 parent facilitator.

    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 Members are:

    • Katie Kreimer Hall  – Principal
    • Kelly Daniels – Counselor/Parent Facilitator
    • Cherri Byford – Counselor
    • Ana Funes - Parent