Parent and Family Engagement Requirements

Parent and Family Engagement, formerly Parental Involvement under No Child Left Behind, has been retitled under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), enacted on December 10, 2015. Parent and Family Engagement reflects the four principles upon which the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), the nation's national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students, is based. These principles provide the framework through which families, educators and communities can work together to improve teaching and learning:

  •  accountability for results
  •  local control and flexibility
  •  expanded parental choice
  •  effective and successful programs that reflect scientifically-based research

Parent and Family Engagement also focuses on accountability between schools and parents for high student achievement, while offering parents important insight into their children's education, the professional qualifications of their child's teacher and the quality of the schools they attend.

Parent and Family Engagement in Law

Parent and Family Engagement is addressed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Public Law 114-95 Section 1112, Local Educational Agency Plans; Section 1114, Schoolwide Programs; and Section 1116, Parent and Family Engagement.

Section 1112
Section 1114
Section 1116

Required Parent Notifications

TransACT ParentNotices include ESSA Parent Notifications and GenEd Parent Notifications. DESE provides this site free of charge to all public/charter school, Education Service Cooperative, and DESE personnel in Arkansas. Your subscription gives you access to parent engagement guidance, as well as expertly written forms or notices that are required by your district, state or the federal government. The notices are already translated into ten priority languages by certified translators. Arkansas educators may go to the TransACT website and sign up using their district, ESC, or DESE assigned email address and a password of their own choosing.

Parent and Family Engagement Planning Documents

As the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) seeks to support schools and districts in planning efforts for engaging families and community, these documents serve as tools for considering each of the components required by State and Federal regulations. The way in which each school or district responds to each section and its components is to be determined by the committee members and leadership team. Submitting the district plan in Indistar is required. Submitting school plans in Indistar is optional, but encouraged. The district plan shall also be posted to the district website by August 1.

Please consider the following tools as samples for creating parent-friendly plans. Schools and districts are not required to use the sample template or guide.

District Template
District Guide
School Template
School Guide

Parent and Family Engagement Sample Surveys

Please consider the following sample surveys for evaluating the effectiveness of parent and family engagement plans. Schools and districts are not required to use the sample surveys.

District Survey
School Survey


For more information, please contact:

Chelsey Moore, Coordinator of Engagement
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Public School Accountability
Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot #26
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone:  501-371-8051