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Parent & Family Engagement Policy

Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) believes that family engagement involves the participation of parents and family members in regular two-way meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. Our family engagement program and activities are designed to ensure that:

  • Parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning.
  • Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education.
  • Parents feel supported and empowered by staff.
  • Parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.
  • Parents feel connected to other GCA families and the GCA community as a whole. 

2019-2020 Parent and Family Engagement Policy

What is the Parent and Family Engagement Policy?

GCA’s Parent and Family Engagement Policy is our Plan for Shared Student Achievement which describes how GCA will provide opportunities to improve family engagement to support student learning. GCA values the contributions and involvement of parents, Learning Coaches, and family members to establish an equal partnership for the common goal of improving student achievement. This policy describes the different ways that GCA will support family engagement and how parents can help plan and participate in activities and events to promote student learning at school and outside of the virtual classroom.

How is it revised?

GCA invited all parents to attend our Title I Family Engagement End of Year Review & Input Meeting last spring to review and provide input on our Family Engagement Policy as well as our school-parent compacts, and our family engagement budget. We also distributed our annual survey online to all families to ask parents for their suggestions on the policy, school-parent compacts, and the use of funds for family engagement. Additionally, parent input and comments regarding this policy are welcomed throughout the school year through focus groups, survey feedback, email feedback, online meetings, and phone calls. The policy is posted on our website for families to view and submit feedback throughout the year. Parents and family members are also welcome to give feedback during parent meetings provided throughout the school year. The Family Engagement Team reviews feedback annually to provide revisions for the Family Engagement Policy. We welcome Learning Coach, parent, and family feedback. All parent feedback received during the current school year will be used to revise the plan for the following school year.  If you would like to provide feedback, please contact:

Kristy Howard

Kristy Howard
Family Engagement Coordinator

Where is it available?

At the beginning of the year, the policy is emailed to all families by the Family Engagement Team. The policy is also provided in our Annual Title I Meeting, available on our website under the Title I Program section and can also be found in our online Parent Resource Room at under the Title I Board

Title I

GCA is identified as a Title I district and school as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Title I is designed to support state and local school reform efforts tied to the challenging state academic standards to improve teaching and learning for students. Title I programs must be based on effective means of improving student achievement and include strategies to support family engagement. All Title I schools must jointly develop with parents and family members a written parent and family engagement policy.

Reservation of Title I Funds

GCA will reserve 1% from the total amount of Title I funds to carry out parent and family engagement requirements.  Furthermore, at least 90% of the 1% will be reserved to support family engagement programs and activities. Family Engagement programs and activities are to ensure that parents are provided opportunities and experiences that enable them to promote high student academic achievement and be involved in an effective partnership with the school.

State and Federal Collaboration

GCA coordinates and integrates parent and family engagement strategies with the Georgia Department of Education through ongoing collaborations and continuing education. GCA is proud to have participated with the Georgia Department of Education’s Family-School Partnership Program as one of the 2017-2019 Family-Friendly Partnership Schools, which included ongoing feedback, support, and growth of GCA’s Family Engagement Program.  

Strengthening Our School

Ongoing staff professional development is provided district wide by the Family Engagement Team to strengthen our staff’s family engagement practices. Some of the topics that will be covered are best practices in effectively the value and utility of contributions of parents; how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners; how we implement and coordinate parent programs; and how to build ties between parents and the school. Parents are asked to participate and provide feedback on staff family engagement professional development. 

School-Parent Compact

GCA staff and parents/learning coaches work collaboratively to develop the Student-ParentTeacher Compact as part of the Parent and Family Engagement Policy. This Compact outlines how parents/learning coaches, school, staff, and students share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents/learning coaches will build and develop a partnership to help students achieve the state's high standards.  School-Parent Compacts

Information in an Understandable Language

In carrying out the parent and family engagement requirements established by Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Family Engagement Team will communicate and collaborate with the Title III Coordinator, Homeless/Migrant Liaison, and Student Support Services Team to ensure opportunities for participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents of migratory children, and parents with disabilities are provided information and school reports in a language parents can understand. 

Annual Evaluation

The GCA Annual Parent Survey is conducted each spring to evaluate the content and effectiveness of the parent and family engagement policy and programming in improving the academic quality of our school.  The survey is also used to identify barriers to greater participation by parents and to identify the needs of parents in how they can further assist with the learning of their student. Results from this survey are used in the planning of future parent and family engagement programming and documentation. 

Meaningful Input Opportunities

Input and suggestions from parents, Learning Coaches, family members, and community partners are an essential component of the district and school improvement process. GCA will host the following online meetings for the purpose of sharing information and providing a platform for input into our district and school planning. Surveys will also be provided if stakeholders are unable to attend live or watch the recordings. 

CLIP (District Improvement Plan)

CLIP (District Improvement Plan) Family & Stakeholder Input Meeting

March 26, 2020

Input and suggestions from parents, family members, and community partners are an essential component of the district/school improvement plan that is developed each year. Georgia Cyber Academy invites our families and stakeholders to participate in developing a Consolidated LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP). Parents, family, community partners, and staff will be given the opportunity to volunteer on school improvement committees in the meeting and via email. If you would like to provide feedback at any time on our District Improvement Plans, please contact:
 

Lucretia Nolan

Lucretia Nolan
Assistant Director of Federal Programs

Title I End of the Year Review

Title I End of Year Review & Input Meeting

April 16, 2020

We will review our Title I Family Engagement Program and evaluate its effectiveness for the 2019-2020 School Year. We will be providing the opportunity for feedback on how we can improve our documents and programming for the 2020-2021 School Year. Those items include: the District Wide/School Wide Plan, Title I Funding (including 1% set-aside for parent and family engagement activities), Parent and Family Engagement Policy, School Compacts, and Family Engagement Staff and Parent Trainings. If you would like to provide feedback at any time on our Title I Family Engagement Program, please contact:

Kristy Howard

Kristy Howard
Family Engagement Coordinator

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

Parent Meeting and Training Opportunities

GCA will host the following online meetings to build the capacity of our parents and families with the goal of fostering family-friendly partnerships and improving student academic achievement. 

August 15, 2019

District Town Hall

August 15, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year with updates from district leaders and open forum to ask questions and discuss concerns.  

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

September 19, 2019

Parent Meeting & Parent University

September 19, 2019 

In the Parent Meeting, we will discuss Attendance Awareness Month and how to work with educators to improve academic achievement of your students. After the Parent Meeting, we will transition into school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) Parent University Rooms where educators will review our state standards, curriculum maps, and state and local assessments.  

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

October 17, 2019

Annual Title I Meeting

October 17, 2019

The purpose of this meeting is to provide our Parents, Learning Coaches, and stakeholders with information about our Title I Program and our parents’ right to be involved in their child's education. We will review items and documents such as the District Wide/School Wide Plan, Title I Funding (including 1% set-aside for parent and family engagement activities), Parent and Family Engagement Policy, School Compacts, and Family Engagement Staff and Parent Trainings. 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

October 24, 2019

English Learner Family Night 

October 24, 2019 

In this meeting, we will discuss the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at GCA and show parents of ESOL students how they can be involved in the education of their children as well as become active participants in assisting their children to attain English proficiency, achieve at thigh levels within a well-rounded education, and meet the challenging academic standards expected of all students. 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

November 21, 2019

Parent Meeting & Parent University

November 21, 2019  

In the Parent Meeting, we will discuss Family Engagement Month. We will also share Parent and Learning Coach best practices for how to help your student stay organized, keep up with their assignments, and you can check in on their progress and grades. After the Parent Meeting, we will transition into school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) Parent University Rooms where educators will review how you can help support your student in Reading and English Language Arts. 
 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

December 19, 2019

Parent Meeting & Parent University

December 19, 2019  

In the Parent Meeting, we will share our parent programs and involvement opportunities as well as discuss how you can become more involved with other GCA families in your community. After the Parent Meeting, we will transition into school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) Parent University Rooms where educators will review how you can help support your student in Math. 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

January 16, 2020

District Town Hall

January 16, 2020

We will celebrate the upcoming School Choice Week. District school leaders will provide updates and share important news. An open forum to ask questions and discuss concerns will be provided at the end of the meeting. 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

February 20, 2020

Parent Meeting & Parent University

February 20, 2020

In the Parent Meeting, we will discuss Parent Leadership Month, thank our parent leaders, and show you how you can become a parent leader. After the Parent Meeting, we will transition into school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) Parent University Rooms where educators will review how you can help support your student in Science. 
 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

March 19, 2020

Parent Meeting & Parent University

March 19, 2020

In the Parent Meeting, we will discuss Georgia Milestone Assessments and how your family can prepare for state mandated testing. After the Parent Meeting, we will transition into school level (Elementary, Middle, and High) Parent University Rooms where educators will review how you can help your student prepare for Milestone Assessments.  
 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

May 7, 2020

District Town Hall

May 7, 2020

We will celebrate school year accomplishments and achievements.  District school leaders will share end of year updates, and provide glimpse into the next school year. An open forum to ask questions and discuss concerns will be provided at the end of the meeting. 

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

Technology Trainings

The Family Engagement Team hosts Technology Training sessions for parents and families to become more comfortable with the online tools so that they can effectively support their student in the virtual schooling environment. Topics to be covered include: navigation of our new online school, navigation of our new online classroom, navigation of online programs, as well as internet safety, copyright piracy, and Milestones testing platform navigation.  

For more information about upcoming meetings or to access recordings from previous meetings, please visit our GCA Parent Calendar. Recordings will be placed on the calendar. Recordings will contain meeting documents and input opportunities. 

Parent Engagement and Involvement Opportunities

GCA welcomes our parents and Learning Coaches to become active participants through volunteering and participating in parent leadership opportunities at our school. Please consider partnering with us to ensure the academic success of all students and the engagement of all families at GCA. 

Parent Teacher Student Organization

Georgia Cyber Academy Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (GCA PTSO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and enhance the educational experience for the children attending GCA. The PTSO provides an avenue of communication, offers volunteer opportunities, and fundraises to assist with school related programs and projects. More information about GCA PTSO and how you can be involved is located on the PTSO website

Parent Volunteer

Parent leadership is successfully achieved when parents and educational professionals build effective partnerships and share responsibilities, expertise, and leadership in decisions being made that affect student success, families, and communities.  GCA parents and learning coaches have many opportunities to participate in this program including regional volunteer opportunities. The Volunteer Interest Form for the 2019 - 2020 School Year can be found at http://bit.ly/1920parentvolunteer. If you have questions or would like to volunteer as a Parent Leader, please contact:

Michelle Gilyard

Michelle Gilyard
Family Engagement Coordinator

Parent Advisory Council

The purpose of the Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA) Parent Advisory Council is for parents to be able to provide input on policies, projects, and plans that impact students and their families. Advisory Council members are particularly focused on how to increase parent and family engagement to ensure student academic success. Members serve as advisors and meet with school leaders and the Family Engagement Coordinators several times throughout the school year. The goal of the GCA Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is to ensure effective involvement of parents and to form a partnership with GCA, parents, and the community with a focus on improving student academic achievement. If you have questions relating to the GCA Parent Advisory Council or would like to apply, please contact:

Veronica Okpani

Veronica Okpani
Family Engagement Coordinator

Family Supports and Resources

School Website

Our school website has a wealth of information such as: staff contact, school policies, school news, academic and events calendars, department information, Georgia Milestones resources, new family resources and much more.

School Calendar

The GCA Calendar contains details about in-person events and online support sessions. In-person events are planned by our school, teachers, and parent leaders all over the state in order to provide educational and social opportunities with other GCA families.  Online support sessions cover a variety of topics.  View the GCA Calendar

Learning Coach Live Help

The Family Engagement Team hosts online open office help sessions at the beginning of the school year. Department leaders from Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Counseling, and Special Education are available to help answer families’ questions and provide support. Learning Coach Live Help will take place daily Monday-Friday from 2:00-3:00 starting July 29th and ending October 31st. For more information and to find the session link, please visit the GCA Events Calendar

Online Parent Resource Room

The online GCA Resource Room provides families with useful, interesting, inspiring and engaging supplemental educational content to help further support student’s academic achievement.  Visit the GCA Resource Room

Family Success Liaisons

The role of the GCA Family Success Liaison (FSL) is to provide holistic support to each student and their family throughout each school year. The purpose is to guarantee that all GCA families have adequate support and individual communication in order to foster family-school partnerships that lead to increased student achievement. The Family Success Liaison is a gateway to many other resources and departmental support.  Visit the Family Academic Support Team page for more information.

Thank you for your collaboration in building an effective parent-school partnership for the continuous improvement of our school. 

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