Dear Ocean Shore Families,
Hello! What beautiful sunny weather we are having! I hope are about to enjoy a lovely weekend outside. Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year! I already have my pumpkin candles burning at home with fall decorations going up this weekend!
Reflections from My Office:
This coming week is a special event. It is our first PTO general meeting for all families on September 19 at 6:30 pm. While we do ask that all families attend, I believe it is important to inform you on why this matters. You have heard me mention the importance of family engagement quite a bit lately. It's because this matters for our kids so much. While Ocean Shore was founded on a family partnership model, what matters most is how your involvement begins at home with your expectations of your child’s success. Attending the general meeting on Thursday is an important bridge between home and school and links those family expectations to school.
I am really proud of the work our PTO has done over the past year to make PTO meetings meaningful for parents. You may be have noticed that there are more workshops for parents on things like student wellness and how to support learning at home. The meeting on Thursday will offer important updates, this years budget, other business, and you will be introduced to the various groups that represent all of our programs and initiatives and help connect with a group. In addition, the bulk of the evening will offer various breakout sessions for parents to help them develop their child's literacy skills across all ages and reading levels. Please take a moment to carefully look at the 5 different sessions being offered by our very own Ocean Shore faculty along with some community resources. I am really excited about this event and can’t wait to share this informative and special evening with you!
We ask that you SIGN-UP for the 3 sessions in effort to keep each session organized with balanced group sizes. Session sizes are limited to 40 people due to classroom size.
SIGN-UP's for the PTO Breakout Sessions are POSTED HERE!
Why should you attend the PTO Meeting? Simple: “Family participation in education was twice as predictive of students’ academic success as family socioeconomic status. Some of the more intensive family engagement programs had effects that were 10 times greater than other factors.” (Wahlberg, 1984).
To help how this quote can relate to Ocean Shore, I wish to share with you the personal story of an Ocean Shore family who joined our school a few years back. I recently heard about their journey here at Ocean Shore and felt it inspiring to share with you. Currently, this family is very involved in their children’s education but this was not the case at first. When they arrived to Ocean Shore, they had just moved from another county. They were grateful for the new school and community yet had a different perspective of the role of home and school than our parent participation model. In their experience in the past, the role of the family and school were very separate. The school was the sole provider of teaching and learning experiences, while the home provided everything else. Families were not involved in their child’s learning experiences because this was the role of the school. When this family arrived, they began to notice one of their children was having some difficulty learning to read. It was after a parent-teacher conference when this was discussed that things began to change. The teacher and parent talked about how reading at home would greatly support the work being done at school. This work at home does not replace the role of the school, but enhances the practices at school to optimize the learning for the child. The parent did not take over the role of the teacher but assisted in making sure their child established a reading routine at home that worked for their family.
In her reflections, she shared with me, “I realized how much this meant to my son. He really wanted to have that time with me (to read together). When I started making it important, he started making it important. And then I started to notice the improvement at home and in his classwork. It was then that I realized it was really important for me to be involved at home which helps him at school. I love being in the classroom for both of my kids. I hope other parents can learn from this experience to help understand why it is important to know what your kids are doing at school and how you can help them at home – no matter what age they are or how well they are doing in school.” I hope this can be a great reminder for all of us on the value of supporting your child’s learning at home and at school. This triangle of support will provide the best education possible!
PODCAST: Dolphinently Talks! Speaking of ways families get involved, hear from our kids on what it means to have their parents involved in school! Check out the latest episode! Episode 2 is all about WHY FAMILIES SHOULD ENGAGE IN SCHOOL (from a child's perspective!). CLICK HERE!
UPDATES: (Click here for links to flyer posted below!)