17:406.6        Parental involvement school policies; demonstration program

 A. (1) The purpose of this Section is to provide a family-school partnership to increase parental involvement in schools, to involve individuals and organizations that work with parents, and implement parental strategies that lead to improvements in student academic achievement as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

(2) It is further the purpose of this Section to authorize experimentation in strategies to increase parental involvement in schools and to establish a mechanism by which the results of such strategies can be evaluated and positive results identified and replicated in city, parish, and other local public school systems throughout the state.

B. (1) A demonstration program is hereby established for two school years, beginning with the 2003-2004 school year.

(2)(a)(i) Provided that funds are available through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program, the program established in this Section shall be implemented in any city, parish, or other local public school system and shall include schools that are recipients of federal Title I funds, to be selected by the independent review panel from among all eligible schools identified by the local public school board as having either a lower test score result for students on the most recent Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test than its immediately prior result or less than a five point improvement in such scores as determined by the state Department of Education for use in determining the school's school performance score as part of the School and District Accountability Program.

(ii) The independent parent review board shall select from among the eligible schools a cross section of elementary, middle, and high schools after considering both the test scores and an assessment of school readiness.

(b) Each participating school shall undergo an official comprehensive evaluation of its parental involvement program conducted by an independent parent review board as defined and provided for in Subsection C of this Section.

(3)(a) Schools that excel in involving parents in meaningful ways, as defined and determined by the independent parent review board, may be eligible for rewards. Those schools determined to have model programs shall receive public recognition.

(b) Schools that are determined to be in noncompliance by the independent parent review board shall be required to comply with the provisions of this Section within a period not to exceed one year from the date of the official review unless a waiver is granted by the independent parent review board.

(c) Failure of schools to comply as deemed necessary by the parent review board may result in the assignment of technical support to assist the school in its efforts and in random monitoring by the independent parent review board.

C. (1)(a) An "independent parent review board" shall be a nonprofit community-based organization whose primary purpose is to increase and facilitate parental involvement in schools by providing the coordination and support necessary to assist participating schools in planning and implementing effective parental involvement activities that improve academic achievement and school performance.

(b) To qualify for selection as an independent parent review board, the nonprofit community-based organization shall:

(i) Have been in existence for at least four years prior to consideration.

(ii) Have an available research-based model for systemic evaluation that can be implemented at scale.

(iii) Provide professional development to teachers, administrators, and district level managers.

(iv) Have experience working in the target communities on related issues.

(v) Have documented success.

(vi) Have experience working with urban or rural schools and families of school-aged children.

(vii) Be able to engage in research activities.

(viii) Have experience with building and working in community-based collaboratives with related agencies.

(c) Such independent parent review board shall be selected by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from applications sent to the state board from qualifying organizations for the purposes as provided herein.

(2) The independent parent review board selected shall:

(a) Involve parents in the planning, review, and improvement of the programs that are part of the parental involvement policy of a participating school.

(b) Conduct, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of a parental involvement policy of a participating school in improving the academic quality of schools.

(c) Identify barriers to parental involvement in schools and use such strategies to facilitate greater participation by parents.

(d) Assist any participating school to revise its parental involvement policy as may be necessary.

(e) Report the findings of each evaluation from each participating school in the demonstration program to the state board.

(3) The findings from each evaluation shall be considered public information and may be included in the state's report card.

Added by Acts 2003, No. 833, s 1, eff. July 1, 2003.