Edison Local Schools has entered a partnership for literacy with the goal of building family and community engagement within its elementary buildings.
District Administrative Assistant Fatima Smuck said Edison was part of Partnerships for Literacy, an initiative to improve their student’s early literacy skills through the development of new and improved family and community engagement strategies. It focuses on improvements in communication with families about literacy, supporting language and literacy learning at home and community partnerships for literacy. The partnership began last year and several meetings were held with parents, grandparents, Smuck, district Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta, literacy coach Miguel Brun and preschool intervention specialists. So far, those talks yielded literacy night events and the implementation of the Sit Together and Read program for parents and students at Stanton and John Gregg Elementary Schools. However, the advent of COVID-19 impacted other ventures and the most recent session was conducted online Sept. 29 and involved 25 family members and educators.
Smuck said the session was informative and the group is looking to develop an action plan to improve upon literacy in grades K-12. During the meeting, officials discussed educator Joyce L. Epstein’s six types of literacy involvement with key emphasis on learning at home. Meanwhile, Brun updated the group on the literacy program and planned monthly meetings while State Support Team Region 12 representatives Lisa Baker, Kayley Andrews and Diane Enama reviewed results of last year’s sessions. Information from the partnership meeting will be shared with the district leadership team (DLT), which will seek ways to implement them in the school buildings during their own meeting scheduled on Nov. 3.
She added that officials were working to address concerns by bolstering communication and providing any additional assistance.
“We implemented more communication [through the REMIND App] and are talking about technology training for parents,” she said. “They contact our tech department for help. Our tech department is available and we’ll also do trainings onsite in the district. We’re going to work on helping students and parents who are working remotely and give them strategies to navigate through online.”
Other outcomes of the session included an explanation of assessment results and a suggested schedule to help parents struggling to help their children complete daily assignments.
“The meetings are part of the process of the district leadership team. We focus on things that parents and teachers think we need to bring up as action steps,” Smuck noted.
More partnership meetings will be held throughout the year and SST-12 officials will also return in the spring to review inventory practices as well as the action steps.