Family & Community Engagement Plan
- Positive School Climate
- Communication With Families
- Conferences / Meetings
- Staff Training
- Title I Literacy Events
- Parent Training
- How You Can Help - Volunteer!
- School-Parent Compact
Positive school climate is fostered throughout White Pine school. Administration has led out with the idea that "We are Stronger Together" and this has become our new school slogan. This frame of mind will foster positive school climate and our school counseling department will monitor our progress with this idea as they administer the Olweus Bullying survey and the School Climate survey to students during the year.
Throughout the year, counselors work with both elementary and middle school students to ensure growth in the areas of mental, social, and physical health. Individual and group counseling sessions are available, as well as sessions that include parent involvement. Counselors also push out into individual classrooms to offer lessons encompassing these three areas, as well as study skills and guidance as it relates to high school scheduling and college or career pathways.
White Pine has a strong Parent-Teacher Organization. PTO seeks to involve teachers, parents, and community leaders. Recent projects include fund raising for new gym flooring, purchase of benches to be placed at our front entry, a re-model of the teacher workroom, and new window coverings for the entrance. Improvements such as these raise school pride, which fosters a positive climate.
Cyclone Service, a middle school service learning organization, is offered for middle school students. Members are encouraged to focus on their community and ways they can make a positive impact. Projects include assisting teachers, staff, and younger students at the school level, as well as participating in food and coat drives, making Christmas ornaments for nursing home patients and veterans, and collecting items to be used by the homeless or by foster children in the community.
National Honor Society promotes positive behavior and academic excellence. White Pine’s National Junior Honor Society offers service opportunities for students, just as Cyclone Service does. Students feel a sense of honor and achievement when chosen as members.
The White Pine Student Nutrition Department also encourages positive school climate. They prepare healthy meals and offer food choices that provide proper nutrition for young, growing bodies. Students that are healthy come to school feeling better and can grow into lifelong learners.
Positive school climate is indeed a team effort and these are just some of the ways White Pine School students, faculty, and staff are proudly working to build this positive atmosphere.
Newsletters are a great way for teachers to communicate with parents the happenings in the classrooms. Sent weekly or monthly, the class newsletter provides information about events, homework assignments, instruction, skills, and assessments. Many teachers use technology with a phone app called Remind. Teachers can send messages to subscribed parents information about assignments and events.
With the advent of distance learning in the 2020-21 school year, teachers are communicating with students and parents through email, phone calls, and TEAMS meetings on a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis.
Parent-teacher conferences are held in October and in March at White Pine School. Parents are encouraged to attend these conferences to be become more aware of the demanding academic standards taught in the classroom, discuss ways to reinforce skills at home, ask questions, and voice any concerns. Parents will receive news about meetings through classroom newsletters, the school's website https://wps.jc-tn.net/, weekly one-call messages, and the sign in the front of the school. If additional meeting times are needed, our faculty is more than happy to make appointments with parents during planning times or after school. Bilingual translation is provided if needed. Teachers have also been given a daily time designed to support distance learners and their families.
Staff training will be provided throughout the school year during professional development sessions. Professional development generally refers to ongoing learning opportunities available to teachers and other education personnel through their schools and districts. The sessions will consist of curriculum information, instruction/assessment, and technology trainings. Curriculum trainings give educators new ideas for teaching academic lessons. Instruction/Assessment trainings show educators new ways to assess learning in the classroom. Technology is constantly changing. Therefore, educators must be updated on the latest improvements or newest websites available. In addition, each grade level will have weekly meetings also known as Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). During these meetings, items for discussion will include data such as TCAP scores and academic lessons from Math, Science, History, and Language Arts.
We are a school-wide Title I school, which means we receive federal funds to benefit all students due to our demographics. Mrs. Patterson, Instructional Coach, coordinates parent involvement activities such as a Book Character Pumpkin decorating contest in the fall, Supper with Santa in December and a PTO Book Fair night in the spring. Our school also celebrates Read-Across America each March with activities to promote literacy awareness. These activities include Pre K-8th grades. Our school, in partnership with the Mossy Creek Literacy Council, participates in the “Young Authors” contest for K-8 students each year. Additionally, Pre K families are invited to an Early Literacy Development Workshop each year to increase knowledge and receive resources to promote literacy development with our youngest learners.
Every fall, the ESL department hosts a K-2 Literacy Night for Spanish speaking families. This year, the literacy night will focus on writing. The students, with their parents, will make and write a book in English. Additionally, the parents will also receive information, such as tumble books, on books accessible online after school hours.
To adequately meet the needs of our diverse community, outreach at White Pine School has focused efforts on engaging families through cultural events that provide opportunities for Spanish speaking families to participate in school life. The initial task was to create a welcoming environment in which non-English speaking parents could meet, receive school information and share questions or concerns in an accessible language. The 'Familia ESL' group of WPS has formed out of these meetings, and along with the ESL team, continues to sponsor our school salsa garden, our 'Christmas in Mexico' and 'Cinco de Mayo' cultural events, and our ongoing English language classes for parents. These events have allowed our Spanish speaking families a chance to increase their school involvement despite any language barriers and engage the English-speaking community. In conjunction with the parent group, a Student Ambassador group of bilingual middle school students was formed to welcome and assist Spanish speaking parents attending school events to further increase participation. The benefit to academic achievement comes from the ownership taken by Spanish speaking families in their school community, resulting in their students' growing enthusiasm in attendance and increased academic performance, as well as a greater desire to access literacy skills through the Spanish lending library and K-2 elementary family literacy night. The focus of the literacy night will be on writing. Students, with their parents, will make and write a book together. Parent participation in weekly meetings has led to an opportunity to develop an after-school student club that will provide enrichment activities otherwise inaccessible to this demographic. As well, the garden provides a parent sponsored project that can be used across grade levels as an educational tool. Moving forward, we hope to establish a connection between the garden space and local FFA and CTE programs to build interest in possible careers in local industry.
School-wide communication has increased in weekly Blackboard calls that reach families in both English and Spanish, keeping everyone informed of school events. Open house and PTO provide yet another engagement activity for parents to visit the school and engage teachers. The PTO has incorporated family activities into these events to create an interactive experience between parents, students and teachers along with beautification projects to create a more welcoming space.
By far, our largest parent involvement event of the year takes place during December. The event provides activities to engage parents and students in academic and cultural literacy activities and the opportunity to meet other members of the community in a festive environment. It has also allowed our 'Familia ESL' team to showcase various aspects of Latino culture and food.
Not only does our school run on the many staff members we have in each of our buildings, but they also run on volunteers. Without the help of parents, community members and families, our school would not be the success that it is today. Below is information about how to get involved in your school, White Pine School.
· Complete the Parent Volunteer Agreement
· Participate in a class for guidelines to protect you and the students
· Complete a background check
Thank you for your desire to make White Pine great!
As an effective Title I institution, it is our mission to clearly outline our expectations to all stakeholders in our community. In order to meet this requirement, our school administrators, faculty, and parents designed a School-Parent Compact. This document describes our commitment to quality curriculum and instruction and establishing a safe learning environment. It also includes information about conferences/meetings, grade reports, and access to staff and parental responsibilities. A copy of the school-parent compact is sent out at the beginning of each school year and additional copies will be available in our front office. The School-Parent Compact is also available on our school's website.