Parental Involvement Policy

Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork Parental Involvement Policy

I. Introduction

The Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork (hereinafter the "Academy") recognizes that a child's education is a responsibility shared by the Academy and family and promotes and supports parental involvement in student learning, achievement at school and at home, and encouragement of students toward graduation. The Academy will communicate with parents regarding student expectations and progress, provide opportunities for parent/teacher collaboration, and will create an environment in the school conducive for parental involvement.

II. Scope

This policy applies to the parents, legal guardians, and legal custodians of students who are under 18 years old. 

III. Definitions

  1. Advisory Board - The Appalachian State University Advisory Board was established pursuant to NCGS 116-239.8(b)(1) to provide advice and guidance to the Chancellor regarding the operation of the Academy.
  2. Parent(s) - Includes parents, legal guardians, and legal custodians of students who are under 18 years old and who have not been emancipated. 

IV. Policy

4.1 Parental Involvement Plans

  1. The Academy shall develop a plan for the school's parental involvement program as a part of the school improvement plan. The principal shall publicize drafts of the parental involvement plan prior to finalization and solicit input from parents of students in the school. This plan must include, at a minimum, efforts to enhance parental involvement by promoting the following priorities:
    1. regular, meaningful, two-way communication between home and school.
    2. responsible parenting.
    3. involvement of parents in student learning
    4. parental volunteering in the school.
    5. involvement of parents in school decisions that affect children and families.
    6. parental training based on parents' informational needs.
    7. collaboration with community agencies and other organizations to provide resources to strengthen school programs, families, and student learning and
    8. student health awareness among parents by addressing the need for health programs and student health services, which are linked to student learning.
  2. Title I Parent and Family Engagement Plan: The Academy shall develop, with parents and family members, a school-level written parent and family engagement plan that involves parents in the planning and improvement of Title I activities and describes the means for carrying out school-level policy, sharing responsibility for student academic achievement, building the capacity of school staff and parents for involvement, and increasing accessibility for participation of all parents and family members of children participating in Title I programs.
  3. Managing Student Behavior: The Academy's plan for managing student behavior shall include parental involvement strategies that address when parents will be notified or involved in issues related to their child's behavior.

4.2 Parent Communication, Participation, and Conferences

  1. Communication with Parents:The Academy shall communicate with parents on a regular basis to encourage student growth and development. In particular, the Academy will communicate with parents concerning:
    1. Student behavior issues.
    2. Student attendance.
    3. Should school personnel suspect that a criminal offense has been committed against the parent's child unless notification would impede an investigation by law enforcement or the child welfare agency.
    4. The manner in which textbooks are used to implement the school's curricular objectives.
    5. The nature and purpose of all clubs and activities, curricular and extracurricular, offered at the school.
    6. Students identified as at-risk in the implementation and review of academic and/or behavioral interventions.
    7. Reading progress (K-1st grade).
  2. Parent Participation at Schools: The Academy encourages parents to engage in activities at the Academy. Parents are welcome to visit schools in accordance with visitor policies and are urged to participate in school volunteer programs.
  3. Conferences: Teachers are responsible for scheduling regular conferences or meetings with parents. Parents may also request additional conferences or meetings as may be necessary.

4.3 Parental Notification

  1. Title I Notifications: The Academy shall effectively notify parents of all parental rights and other required information regarding Title I schools and programs in accordance with federal law. Parents of students in Title I schools shall receive a copy of the system-wide Title I parent and family engagement policy and the school-wide parent involvement plan.
  2. Parent Guide for Student Achievement: Each year, the Academy shall create a parent guide for student achievement that meets the requirements of state law and the State Board of Education. All parents will receive a written copy of the guide, and information in the guide will be discussed at the beginning of each school year in meetings of students, parents, and teachers.

    At a minimum, the guide will include the following:
    1. Information for parents regarding the following as it pertains to their child: (1) requirements for promotion to the next grade, including the requirements of the North Carolina Read to Achieve Program as set forth in Part 1A of Article 8 of Chapter 115C; (2) the course of study, textbooks, and other supplementary instructional materials and policy 3210, Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials, which provides for the inspection and review of those materials; (3) the child's progress toward achieving State and unit expectations for academic proficiency, including policies for student assessment, and the child's assessment results, report cards, and progress reports; (4) qualifications of the child's teachers, including licensure status; and (5) school entry requirements, including required immunizations;
    2. Parental actions that can do the following: (1) strengthen the child's academic progress, especially in the area of reading as provided in the North Carolina Read to Achieve Program; (2) strengthen the child's citizenship, especially social skills and respect for others; (3) strengthen the child's realization of high expectations and setting lifelong learning goals; and (4) place a strong emphasis on the communication between the school and the home;
    3. Services available for parents and their children, such as family literacy services; mentoring, tutoring, and other academic reinforcement programs; after-school programs; and college planning, academic advisement, and student counseling services;
    4. Opportunities for parental participation, such as parenting classes, adult education, school advisory councils, and school volunteer programs;
    5. Opportunities for parents to learn about rigorous academic programs that may be available for their child;
    6. Educational choices available to parents, including each type of public school unit available to residents of the county in which the child lives and nonpublic school options, educational choice options offered within the school system, and programs for scholarship grants for nonpublic schools (Part 2A of Article 39 of Chapter 115C) and for personal education student accounts for students with disabilities (Article 41 of Chapter 115C);
    7. Rights of students who have been identified as students with disabilities, as provided in Article 9 of Chapter 115C;
    8. Contact information for school and unit offices;
    9. Resources for information on the importance of student health and other available resources for parents, including the following information on available immunizations and vaccinations: (1) a recommended immunization schedule in accordance with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations; and (2) information about meningococcal meningitis and influenza, including the causes, symptoms, and vaccines, how the diseases are spread, and places where parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children as required by G.S. 115C-375.4; and
    10. This policy (Parental Involvement); Title I Parent and Family Engagement; Business Advisory Council; Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials; School Improvement Plan; Comprehensive Health Education Program; Attendance; School Volunteers; Visitors to the Schools; and Student Wellness.
  3. Additional Annual Notifications:The principal or designee shall annually notify parents of the following information to the extent that it has not already been provided to parents as part of the parent guide for student achievement:
    1. Parental rights related to student records.
    2. Parental rights related to student surveys.
    3. The approximate dates of any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is: (a) required as a condition of attendance, (b) administered and scheduled in advance by the school administration, and (c) not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of students;
    4. The schedule of pesticide use on school property and their right to request notification of nonscheduled pesticide use.
    5. Student behavior policies, the Code of Student Conduct, and school standards and rules.
    6. The permissible use of seclusion and restraint in the schools.
    7. Bullying and Harassing Behavior Prohibited.
    8. Student and Parent Grievance Procedure.
    9. The dates of the system-wide and state-mandated tests that students will be required to take during that school year, how the results from the tests will be used, and whether each test is required by the State Board of Education or by the local board.
    10. Grading practices that will be followed at the school and, for parents of high school students, the method of computing the grade point averages that will be used for determining class rank (see policies 3400, Evaluation of Student Progress, and 3450, Class Rankings).
    11. Available opportunities and the enrollment process for students to take advanced courses and information explaining the value of taking advanced courses.
    12. If applicable, their child will be provided advanced learning opportunities in mathematics or will be placed in an advanced mathematics course.
    13. A clear and concise explanation of the North Carolina testing and accountability system that includes all information required by federal law.
    14. A report containing information about the school system and each school,
    15. The grade earned by the school on the most recent annual report card issued for it by the State Board of Education if the grade was a D or F.
    16. Supportive services available to students, including health services.
    17. For parents of students in grades 5 through 12, information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, and human papillomavirus, including the causes and symptoms of these diseases, how they are transmitted, how they may be prevented by vaccination, including the benefits and possible side effects of vaccination, and places parents and guardians may obtain additional information and vaccinations for their children.
    18. How to reach school officials in emergency situations during non-school hours.
    19. Information about and an application form for free and reduced-price meals and/or free milk.
    20. Information about the school breakfast program.
    21. Information about the availability and location of free summer food service program meals for students when school is not in session.
    22. For parents of children with disabilities, procedural safeguards.
    23. Information on the availability of the asbestos management plan and planned or in-progress inspections, re-inspections, response actions, and post-response actions, including periodic re-inspection and surveillance activities.
    24. Education rights of homeless students.
    25. The content and implementation of the local school wellness policy.
    26. Their right to take four hours of unpaid leave from their jobs every year in order to volunteer in their child's school as stated in G.S. 95-28.3.
    27.  That the school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age, and that the school system provides processes for resolving discrimination and harassment complaints.
    28. That the school system provides equal access to its facilities, programs, and activities to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
    29. The availability of and the process for requesting a waiver or reduction of student fees.
  4. Opportunities to Withhold Consent/Opt-Out Notifications:As a part of the annual notification described above, parents will be effectively notified that they may opt out of any of the following:
    1. Release of student directory information about their child for school purposes or to outside organizations.
    2. Release of their child's name, address, and telephone listing to military recruiters or institutions of higher education.
    3. Their child's participation in curricula related to (a) prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS; (b) avoidance of out-of-wedlock pregnancy; or (c) reproductive health and safety education, Comprehensive Health Education Program.
    4. Their child's participation in academic or career guidance or personal or social counseling services of a generic nature offered to groups of students.
    5. Their child's participation in any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening that is: (a) required as a condition of attendance, (b) administered and scheduled in advance by the school administration, and (c) not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of students.
    6. The collection, disclosure, or use of their child's personal information for marketing purposes; and
    7. Release of their child's free and reduced-price meal information to State Medicaid or State children's health insurance program (SCHIP).

      Any parent or legal guardian who wishes to opt out/withhold consent must do so in writing after receiving notice. Otherwise, consent to the programs or activities is presumed. After the annual notification, the school is not required to provide further notice to the parent or legal guardian as to the manner in which student directory information is used, the curriculum is provided, or guidance programs are made available.

4.4 Parental Permission Required

  1. Written parental permission is required prior to the following activities:
    1. The administration of medications to students by employees of the school system.
    2. The release of student records that are not considered directory information unless the release is allowed or required by law.
    3. Off-campus trips.
    4. Students' participation in high-impact or high-risk sports or extracurricular activities, such as football or mountain climbing.
    5. All decisions or actions as required by the IDEA with regard to providing special education or related services to students with disabilities.
    6. Certain health services, as required by law.
    7. Participation in a mental health assessment or mental health services under circumstances prescribed by federal law.
    8. Students' participation in programs or services that provide information about where to obtain contraceptives or abortion referral services.
    9. Students' participation in surveys that are conducted concerning protected topics.
    10. Disclosure of students' free and reduced-price lunch eligibility information or eligibility status; and
    11. Students' access to the Internet.

4.5 Procedures for Parental Involvement in Student Health

  1. Parent Notifications Regarding Student Physical and Mental Health:At the beginning of each school year, the principal or designee shall notify parents of:
    1. Health care services offered at their children's schools and the means for parents to provide consent for any specific services.
    2. Acknowledgment that consenting to a health care service does not waive the parents' right to access their children's educational records or health records or to be notified of changes in their children's services or monitoring.
    3. The procedures to exercise the parental remedies for concerns related to student health provided by G.S. 115C-76.60.

      Before any student well-being questionnaire or health screening form is administered to students in kindergarten through third grade, the principal or designee shall provide parents with a copy of the questionnaire or form and shall inform parents of the means for parents to consent to the use of the questionnaire or form for their children.

      The principal or designee shall notify parents of changes in services or monitoring related to their children's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school's ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for their children prior to or contemporaneously with the changes being made. In addition, the principal or designee shall notify parents before any changes are made to the names or pronouns used for their children in school records or by school personnel.

      No Academy policy, procedure, or form will expressly or otherwise prohibit school employees from notifying parents about their children's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being or a change in related services or monitoring, nor will any school system policy, procedure, or form intentionally encourage or be designed in a manner that is reasonably likely to have the effect of encouraging any children to withhold from their parents information about their mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being or a change in related services or monitoring. School personnel shall not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being.
  2. Discussions Related to Student Well-Being: In accordance with the rights of parents provided in Chapter 114A of the General Statutes, when issues of a student's well-being arise, school personnel shall encourage the student to discuss the issues with his or her parent. As appropriate, school personnel may facilitate discussions of such issues with parents.
  3. Parent Access to Student Records: Parents will not be prohibited from accessing any of their children's education and health records created, maintained, or used by the school system, except as permitted by law.
  4. Student Support Services Training: Student support services training developed or provided by the school system to school personnel will adhere to student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Department of Public Instruction.
  5. Instruction on Gender Identity, Sexual Activity, and Sexuality: Instruction on gender identity, sexual activity, or sexuality will not be included in the curriculum provided in kindergarten through fourth grade, regardless of whether the information is provided by school personnel or third parties. For purposes of this subsection, curriculum includes the standard course of study and support materials, locally developed curriculum, supplemental instruction, and textbooks and other supplementary materials, but does not include responses to student-initiated questions.
  6. Remedies for Parental Concerns Related to Student Health: If a parent has a concern about the school or school system's procedure or practice under Part 4 of Article 7B of Chapter 115C, as described in this policy, the parent should submit the concern in writing to the principal. The principal shall schedule and hold a meeting with the parent within five days after the concern was submitted. The principal shall conduct any necessary investigation. If possible, the principal should resolve the concern within seven days after the concern was submitted. If the principal cannot resolve the concern within seven days, the principal shall immediately notify the Director of Laboratory Schools ("Director") or designee. The Director or designee shall assist, as needed, in resolving the concern.

    If the concern has not been resolved within 15 days after the parent initially submitted the concern, the Director or designee shall schedule an Advisory Board hearing to be conducted within the next 15 days and determine the appropriate advice to provide the Chancellor. If the concern is not resolved 30 days after the parent initially submitted the concern, the Advisory Board will provide a statement of the reasons for not resolving the concern.

    If the concern is not resolved within 30 days of initial submission, the parent has the right to pursue additional remedies as provided in G.S. 115C-76.60(b).

4.6 Parent Requests for Information

A parent may request in writing from the principal any of the information the parent has the right to access under Part 3 of Article 7B of Chapter 115C. The principal, within 10 business days, shall either provide the requested information to the parent or provide an extension notice to the parent that, due to the volume or complexity of the request, the information will be provided no later than 20 business days from the date of the parental request.

If the principal (1) denies or fails to respond to the request for information within 10 business days or (2) fails to provide information within 20 business days following an extension notice, the parent may then submit the written request for information to the Director of Laboratory Schools ("Director"), along with a statement specifying the time frame of the denial or failure to provide information by the principal.

If the Director denies or does not respond to the request for information within 10 business days, the parent may appeal the denial or lack of response to the Advisory Board no later than 20 business days from the date of the request to the superintendent. The Advisory Board will place the parent's appeal on the agenda for the next board meeting occurring more than three business days after submission of the appeal.

The information in this section will be posted on the school system's website along with the list of parents' legal rights for their child's education as described in G.S. 115C-76.25.

4.7 Community Services Available

 A variety of community services are available to provide parents and families of students in the school system with needed information, support, and resources.  Parents are encouraged to utilize applicable community services. The Academy shall maintain a repository of community services available to Academy students. 

4.8 Reporting Requirements

By September 15 of each year, the Academy shall report to the State Board of Education parental involvement information as required by G.S. 115C-76.70.

V. Authority

Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., 28 C.F.R. pt. 35; Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, 15 U.S.C. 2641, et seq.; Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905, 34 C.F.R. 108.9; Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 200; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, 34 C.F.R. pt. 99; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq.; McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431, et seq.; National School Lunch Program, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq., 7 C.F.R. 210.12, 7 C.F.R. pt. 245; Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, 20 U.S.C. 1232h, 34 C.F.R. pt. 98; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 705(20), 794, 34 C.F.R. pt. 104; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 100; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., 34 C.F.R. pt. 106; 20 U.S.C. 7908; G.S. 90-21.1, -21.10B; 95-28.3; 114A-10; 115C-47(47), -47(51), -47(54), -47(58), -76.1, -76.20, -76.25, -76.30, -76.35, -76.40, -76.45, -76.50, -76.55, -76.60, -76.65, -76.70, -81.25, -81.30, -81.36, -105.41, -109.1, -174.26(d), -307(c), -375.4, -390.2, -391.1, -402.15, -407.16; 16 N.C.A.C. 6D .0307; State Board of Education Policies KNEC-002, PRNT-000, TEST-001

VI. Original Effective Date

January 31, 2019

VII. Revision Dates

November 6, 2023