On July 27, 2018, 10am – 3pm, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) invited Families Leading Change (FLC) and the West Virginia Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to participate in a WVDE-sponsored Community Engagement Advisory Council meeting at the Capitol Compound, (Bldg. 6). This event was open to all FLC steering committee and mini-grant team members as well as WV PTA board members.
The first part of the meeting included presentations by six WV Department of Education (WVDE) staff members about new state-wide policies, support, student assessment reporting tools, and expanded resources available through the WVDE website. Below is a list of WVDE contacts and how to access the resources discussed in the July 27 Community Engagement Advisory Council.
- WV Board of Education Policy Forecast – Clayton Burch, Associate Superintendent, WVDE
- Math and Literacy Support – Monica DellaMea, Exec. Dir., Office of Early & Elementary Learning & Joe Wiseman, Exec. Dir., Office of Middle & Secondary Learning, WVDE
- Lexile and Quantile Report – Vaughn Rhudy, Exec. Dir., Office of Assessment, WVDE
- Go Noodle Plus – Josh Grant, WVDE
- Mental Health Resources – Stephanie Hayes, Coordinator, Office of Leadership and System Support & Susan Beck, Asst. Dir., Office of Special Education, and Becky King, Lead Coordinator, Office of Special Education, WVDE
The morning portion of the Community Engagement Advisory Council also included a presentation by Claire Freeland, a student at Nutter Fort Intermediate School regarding FLC mini-grant at her school called, “See It and 3D It!” If you think 3D printing is too difficult for third through fifth graders, Claire can quickly let you know that nine year olds are absolutely capable of 3D printing, and they take responsibility for setting up and maintaining their 3D printer too.
After a short lunch break the Community Engagement Advisory Council reconvened and proposed a list of 22 ideas regarding what efforts could make schools stronger for families. The suggestions proposed by the community representatives are shown in the image pasted below. The dots show which ideas participants voted to be most important and which individuals felt they would be willing to work towards achieving.
From 1-3pm a panel of nine experts from WVDE, other government-supported organizations, and private sector community service organizations led a discussion on mental health services for school-age children. Topics covered included issues going on around the state with educators, parents, students, and stakeholders as well as possible solutions to help our struggling students no matter what temporary or long-term issue they are facing.
To see how other communities like Pittsburgh Public Schools are encouraging family involvement in schools, read: How school-parent engagement empowers students, teachers, and families.