As part of the FSDB Title I Parent Advisory Team, parents, teachers, and administrators met on Friday, January 31, 2014. Tracie Snow, Title I coordinator and meeting chair, gave a status update on grant activities and expenditures. Among the many activities she outlined, Title I funding enabled administrators to take part in a national Love and Logic conference. Love and Logic is a unique program that fosters independent problem solving in children. Title I funds were used to purchase American Reading Company themed baskets, with user-friendly leveled text sets and prompts for teachers or parents to use with students. First grade students in Joy Carriger’s Blind Elementary School class recently received braille watches with Title I funds, a wonderful time-telling tool that they are enjoying as well! Distribution and use of iPads, iPad Minis, and iPods in the Deaf Elementary and Blind Elementary Schools began this semester. Students and teachers have been anxiously awaiting this technology integration opportunity.
Snow shared professional development opportunities provided through Title I monies. In addition to the literary braille class that is available to teachers, a new class was offered specifically on braille methodology, and the teaching of braille to students who are blind or visually impaired. Teachers in the Deaf Elementary, Blind Elementary, and Blind Middle Schools also received training on the American Reading Company’s 100 Book Challenge. Coming up, on Saturday, May 16, 2014, teachers and academic support staff will attend a workshop provided by consultant Christel Reaves on developing warm and powerful parent-teacher relationships.
Parent Liaison Misty Porter in the FSDB Parent Services department spoke next, outlining some exciting new class offerings for parents. ASL and Braille classes began in the first week of February, as well as the first-ever Assistive Technology class with Patrick Turnage. Porter explained that these classes, held after school hours, take advantage of our resident experts–our campus teachers–having expertise in working with students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired. Christel Reaves will also present to parents in May 2014, on the newly renamed Florida Standards and their impact on schools. If you are a Title I parent seeking travel reimbursement to attend meetings or parent development classes on campus, please contact Misty Porter at 904.827.2988 or Kim Satterfield at 904.201.4527 VP.
After a short break, Snow discussed the brochure, Parent Power: Build the Bridge to Success, available from the U.S. Department of Education. This resource handout provides advice to parents on how they can help their children attain success in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. The brochure features a quote by U.S. President Barack Obama, who said, “To parents, we can’t tell our kids to do well in school and then fail to support them when they get home. You can’t just contract out parenting. For our kids to excel, we have to accept our responsibility to help them learn. That means putting away the Xbox and putting our kids to bed at a reasonable hour. It means attending those parent-teacher conferences and reading to our children and helping them with their homework.” Parents then discussed creative ways they can do more to support their child’s success at school–use the TV selectively; set a good example by pointing out and apologizing for parental mistakes; act as a mediator in conflict situations; appreciate every aspect of family daily life. As one parent put it, “You can make anything quality time!
The next Title I Parent Advisory Team meeting will be held on Friday, April 18, 2014 on the FSDB campus in Moore Hall. The team will provide feedback for the 2013-2014 overall grant program, plan for the Parent Involvement set-aside for the 2014-2015 grant program, and critique the 2013-2014 LEA Parent Involvement Plans (PIP) to aid in the development of the same for 2014-2015. Please contact Christi Boortz by Monday, April 14, 2014 if you would like to observe the Parent Advisory Team in action.
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.