Every Student Succeeds Act Title I

Our History

In 1994 Project Appleseed Advised the White House on the creation of the first parental involvement provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Title I

Parent & Family Engagement

 Every Student Succeeds Act 

Title I Parent and Family Engagement

Every Student Succeeds Act 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) which was last reauthorized in 2002 as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Since its inception, the intent of the law has been to raise achievement for low-income and otherwise disadvantaged children. Parent and family engagement and consultation have always been a key piece of the law, focused on the low income parents of “Title I-participating” children. We know that gaps in educational opportunity and achievement will only be remedied when those closest to the affected students – parents, families, and communities – are driving decisionmaking. This brief seeks to provide advocates with a full overview of the ESSA’s requirements, and opportunities, for parent, family and community engagement.


Parent and Family Engagement Policies

In order to receive Title I funds, districts must conduct outreach to parents and family members and must implement programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents and families in Title I funded activities . Each district must jointly develop with and distribute to families, in a language they can understand, a written parent and family engagement policy. The engagement policy must be periodically updated to reflect the needs of families and be incorporated into the district plans described above. Title I-receiving schools in the district must also distribute parent and family engagement policies agreed to by the parents.


School Districts: The district parent and family engagement policy must describe how the district will:

Involve parents in the joint development of the district plan;

  • Provide the support necessary to assist schools in implementing effective family engagement activities;

  • Conduct an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy in improving the academic quality of Title I schools, including identifying barriers to greater participation by families, (especially family members who are economically disadvantaged, disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are a racial or ethnic minority) and use the findings to design strategies to support successful school and family interactions and revise engagement policies; and

  • Involve families in schools activities, which may include establishing an advisory board to develop, revise and review the engagement policy.


Title I Schools: The school parents and family engagement policy must describe how the school will:

  • Convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time to which all parents of low-income students are invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents that their school receives Title I funds, that these funds come with requirements, and that parents have a right to be involved;

  • Offer a flexible number of engagement meetings at convenient times for families (for which the school may provide transportation, child care, or home visits using Title I funds);

  • Provide parents and families with:​

    • Information about Title I-funded programs;

    • An explanation of the curriculum and achievement levels the school uses; and

    • If requested, opportunities for regular meetings to participate in decisions relating to the education of their student.


AS A PARENT, GRANDPARENT, OR CARING ADULT, I hereby give my pledge of commitment to help our community’s children ....


Project Appleseed's Parental Involvement Toolbox is ourl program designed for educators and parent leaders to supersize and mobilize family engagement.

Report Card

Project Appleseed provides this self-diagnostic tool which is intended to help parents rate their contributions to their child's success at school.


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How well does your school reach out to parents. The following questions can help you evaluate how well your school is reaching out to parents.


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For 25 years we have lead American education with two celebrated events – National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week


Download our slideshow: Strong Families, Strong Schools! Family engagement should be an essential strategy in building partnership with parents.