ELD/TITLE III Family Engagement Night

    Meeting Notes for June 2, 2020


    I.  Welcome and Introductions

    This meeting was held virtually using the Zoom platform. The start time was 6:00 pm and the agenda began with introductions of staff members, family members, and visitors. In attendance were district administrators, principals, ESL teachers, and family members were joined by volunteer interpreters. The volunteers were invited to assist in communications for English Learner families.

    HHSD Staff members in attendance:

    Dr. Monica Taylor, Assistant Superintendent; Dr. Sue Vaites, ESL Coordinator; Ms. Mo Bailey, Title III Administrative Assistant; Ms. Kai Coleman-Morris, KV Assistant Principal; Mr. Steve Glaize, Principal; Dr. Ryan Thomas, Principal; Ms. Brea D’Angelo, Principal; Lori Fox, ESL teacher; Dipa Richardson, ESL teacher; Heather Kornfeld, ESL teacher; Juan Suarez Romero, ESL teacher and Cultural Competency Facilitator; Sejal Kaneria, ESL Assistant

     Attendance for families and visitors was collected by Ms. Bailey.

    II.  English Language Development Program

    Included in the meeting was an overview of adjustments made to the English Language Development Program during the school closure period. The agenda included a reminder about the translation functions available on the district website, and a demonstration on how families and students can find information on the ELD Department page of the website. Following the overview, families were invited to provide feedback about the remote learning environment and how the district might better support them if the school closure were to continue. The questions for the discussion can be found under number three.

    III.  Remote Learning

    1. How is it going?
    2. What has been working for your children?
    3. How can we improve our supports?

     IV.  Virtual Summer Academy – Title I Program

    Information about the Title I summer program was provided, including a description of how students are selected for invitation. English Learners receiving Title I supports in reading or math in grades K-4th during the school year are offered participation in the summer academy and beginning ELs for this year are invited to attend a section specifically designed by an ESL teacher.

    V.  Questions and Answers

    The agenda then followed with an opportunity for parents and family members to ask questions about the program and the district’s response during the school closure.

    Question: How do you know which homework needs to be turned in and when is the homework due? Is homework part of the grade and will it count against the student if they do not do assignments?

    Answer: This question may depend on the grade level and the specific teacher. Most grade level teams are planning assignments that can be done across several days and indicating the assignments that must be turned in versus those assigned as practice activities. For questions about assignments it is best to ask the classroom teacher directly.

    In terms of grades, given the closure period and the difficulty doing assessment and reteaching of skills, grades will show whether a student was satisfactory in meeting the standards in grades K-8, but will not receive failing grades during this trimester. Rather teachers will work to support students to close the gap when we return to the classroom in the fall.

    Question: What will we do to help students who missed things this year? Will they be expected to go forward with the next grade level work? What will happen if they struggle?

    Answer: The district is working with teachers to modify instruction in the fall to accommodate the learning gaps that may have occurred. Curriculum and instruction in the receiving grade will be revised to provide a bridge from the learning from the previous year to the standards and skills for the next year.

    Question: Will the summer program help students with the gaps?

    Answer: The Title I Summer Academy will focus on the skills that were identified as needed by students earlier in the year that require supplemental support and resources. The program will run from July 7-30th and will be offered remotely for students qualifying for this service.

    Question: Do we teach students about cyber bullying?

    Answer: The district STEM Curriculum includes teaching the Digital Citizenship Standards to students at all grade levels. Dr. Taylor reminded families that any incident of cyber bullying that a student might be experiencing in the remote environment should be reported to the teacher or administration for the student’s school so that it can be addressed right away.

    Question: Will students have to take PSSA when they return to school?

    Answer: The Pennsylvania Department of Education has cancelled state assessments for the 2019-20 school year. The tests that were missed will not need to be made up. Rather, students will take PSSA and Keystones during the next calendar year. The WIDA ACCESS assessment for English Learners were able to complete this state assessment before the school closure period. Families will be receiving a report of their child’s progress in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening domains over the summer.

    As there were no additional questions, we thanked participants and concluded the virtual meeting at approximately 7:00 pm.