On Friday January 9, 2014 parents of FSDB students in Title I schools gathered in the Moore Hall Training Room for a full morning, beginning with a Progress Review. These reviews are scheduled periodically throughout the year, so parents can see how the Title I monies are being spent and weigh in on these matters. Title I emphasizes meaningful and valid parent involvement. Title I Assistant Coordinator Tracie Snow conducted this portion of Friday’s line-up, and also provided delicious apple bread she had baked herself. Participants first introduced themselves, and then shared one fun thing they did during the winter break even if “it was just sleeping in.”
The First Semester Progress Review began. Snow reviewed the key expenditures and projects below, explaining and clarifying for parents, as needed:
- Grant Funded Tutors are in action around campus, providing after-school tutoring in academic content areas (for details, contact your child’s teacher and school assistant principal).
- Curriculum Teams have a Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) focus this year. The teams receive partial funding by Title I; they are integrating “inquiry science” and piloting a new financial literacy curriculum to see if these are a good fit for FSDB students.
- Title I Progress Monitoring Analysts have been collecting academic data, particularly from the KidBiz/TeenBiz/Achieve 3000 programs, to determine student progress and learning gains.
- The Christel Reaves STEM Workshop held last October went very well; parents shared a few of the techniques they learned and implemented.
- Title I provides funding for Homeless Students, in conjunction with private donors who have ensured all homeless students have backpacks stocked with the necessary “school tools.”
- Title I also funds the purchase of School Pace/eIRLA subscriptions, to ensure that students are reading and bringing home books (with colored stickers) appropriate for their learning/developmental level.
- Positions and affiliated expenses part of the K-2 iPad Implementation Project are due to begin in February. The project includes a facilitator, a consultant, professional learning community (PLC) participants, applications, and accessories.
- The Title I funded campus Digital Curriculum Integration project (aligned with Florida Standards) begins in this second semester.
- In keeping with a STEM focus for 2014-15, Title I funds were set aside for Science Inquiry Training consultation during this second semester.
Parents, as usual, asked many great questions, too many to record for the purposes of this article. The Title I administrators are deeply grateful to the parents who made it to this meeting, so closely on the heels of the long winter break!
The next Title I Parent Team meetings will be held in conjunction with Parent Engagement Workshops. Mark your calendars for 8:30-9:30 am on April 10, 2015 and May 22, 2015. The April meeting will include a Third Quarter Progress Review and 2014-15 overall grant programming evaluation. The May meeting will include LEA Level Parent Involvement Plan evaluation and budgetary plans for parent involvement during the 2015-16 school year.
Submitted by Christi Boortz, Curriculum Development
Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit www.fsdb.k12.fl.us.