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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 163         FILED ON: 1/7/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 517

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Martha M. Walz

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to parental involvement in schools.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Christopher G. Fallon

33rd Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 163        FILED ON: 1/7/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 517

By Ms. Walz of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 517) of Martha M. Walz and others relative to parental involvement in schools.  Education. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 1083 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to parental involvement in schools.
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to increase parental involvement in schools, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Chapter 71 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 37O the following section:-

              Section 37P. (a) Each school district, commonwealth charter school, approved private day or residential school and education collaborative shall have a written parental involvement policy.  The policy shall be developed, and from time to time revised, in consultation with parents and guardians who have a child who attends the school. Parents or guardians shall be notified of the policy in an understandable format and, to the extent practicable, provided a copy of the policy in a language the parents can understand. The policy shall be posted on the website of each school district, charter school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school and shall be updated periodically to meet the changing needs of students, parents or guardians and the school.

              (b) The parental involvement policy shall establish expectations for parent involvement and describe how the school district, commonwealth charter school, approved private day or residential school and education collaborative will:

              (1)              involve parents or guardians in the activities of the school;

              (2)              provide assistance to parents or guardians, as appropriate, in understanding such topics as state academic content standards and student academic achievement standards, state and local academic assessments, and how to monitor a child's progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their child;

              (3)              provide materials and training to help parents or guardians work with their child to improve their child's achievement, such as literacy training and training on using technology, as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;

              (4)              educate teachers, pupil services personnel, principals, and other staff, with the assistance of parents or guardians, in the value and utility of contributions of parents and in how to reach out to and communicate and work with parents or guardians as partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents or guardians and the school;

              (5)              coordinate and integrate parental involvement programs and activities with other community-based programs that encourage and support parents or guardians in more fully participating in the education of their child; and

              (6)              conduct, with the involvement of parents or guardians, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parental involvement policy in improving the academic quality of the school, including identifying barriers to greater participation by parents or guardians in activities authorized by this section with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background, and use the findings of such evaluation to design strategies for more effective parental involvement, and to revise, if necessary, the parental involvement policy.

              (c) As a component of the parental involvement policy, each school district, commonwealth charter school, approved private day or residential school and education collaborative shall jointly develop with parents or guardians a school-parent compact that outlines how parents or guardians, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents or guardians will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve. Such compact shall:

              (1)              describe the school's responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables students to meet the state’s student academic achievement standards, and the ways in which each parent or guardian will be responsible for supporting their child’s learning, such as monitoring attendance, homework completion and television watching; volunteering in their child's classroom; and participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their child and positive use of extracurricular time; and

              (2)              address the importance of communication between teachers and parents or guardians on an ongoing basis through, at a minimum:

              (A)                parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools, at least annually, during which the compact shall be discussed as the compact relates to the individual child's achievement;

              (B)                frequent reports to parents or guardians on their child's progress; and

              (C)                reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child's class, and observation of classroom activities.

              (d) The department of elementary and secondary education shall: (i) publish a model compact for school districts and schools to consider when developing a school-parent compact; and (ii) compile a list of resources, programs, best practices and academic-based research on parental involvement that shall be made available to schools.

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