Learning continues long past the final bell at CNE Elementary School
By Dick Maloney
CLERMONT COUNTY – Schools are in session for less than half a day, but learning continues long past the final bell. The Clermont Northeastern Elementary School staff recognizes that and is working to increase its engagement with families in order to make the most of the time parents have with their children.
Principal Tonya Schmidt reported that more than 500 people attended the curriculum night. While the spring night focused on reading, the fall night included math, science and reading activities. Teachers Stacey Ciraci and Trina Farrell, CNE’s reading specialists, and Diane Fetter, the school librarian, helped organize the activities.
Tents were set up in the school library, where scavenger hunts were conducted. Every family who attended the event received a ticket for a raffle in which gift baskets donated by the school’s PTO were raffled. The PTO also supported the event by providing and serving dinner. Parents also donated snacks such as Oreos, Goldfish and juice boxes. A Kona Ice truck was on site and proceeds were given to the Clermont Northeastern Foundation.
“We put together raffle baskets with donations and help from some of our amazing parents,” PTO President Ashley Ledbetter said in an email. “We also set up a station to teach families about the BoxTops for Education app. We collect box tops to help raise money for school.”
“The entire event was free to our families. It is always great to be able to provide food for our evening events so families do not need to worry about providing dinner and can just come out and enjoy the fun,” Schmidt said.
“The Ready Rockets program for Kindergarten students allows teachers to provide learning and fun activities to do with the students so that parents are free to participate in programs with staff or with special guests. At our first event, parents learned about the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment as well as our school-wide behavioral support and reward system, PBIS (Positive Behaviors, Interventions and Supports),” Schmidt said.
“The goal is to build strong partnerships with our parents and get them engaged earlier in what we are doing with their children here at school. We want our families to feel more and more comfortable at school and more confident and armed with tools that will enable them to teach their children,” Schmidt said.
In January, incoming kindergarteners (fall 2020) will be invited to participate in the Ready Rockets. The goal of this second phase of the program is to try to further impact the outcomes for our youngest students.
As a part of the initiative, parents will be given books and physical teaching tools (manipulatives) they can take home and use for simple math games, to talk about letters and letter sounds, as will as other early numeracy and literacy activities to help increase the chances of kindergarteners coming to school with the skills they need.
“There will be another K-5 curriculum night in the spring, perhaps focusing on science and social studies activities. We are trying to think of other ways to engage our families and get student activities and learning tools in front of our parents,” Schmidt said.
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