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Family Liaison Update: June 2015

Family Liaison Update: June 2015
Posted on 06/08/2015
Hello Peabody Community:

Since we are coming to the close of the school year, I thought I would provide the Community with a snapshot of what I have been working on this year.

As is always the case, I have been very busy touring prospective families. While a large proportion of these folks were incoming Kindergarten (or Junior Kindergarten) families, I also tour families that may want or need to change schools; families that are new to Cambridge or families that are considering moving to Cambridge. I take my tours with families very seriously. I am aware that I provide that first, important glimpse into what their new school will look like.

My work with prospective families does not end there. I stay connected with them on their journey through the decision process. I help them understand what to expect when it comes to controlled choice and hopefully, ease their minds during what can feel like an overwhelming process.

I am pleased to let you know that we remain a highly chosen school. Of course I believe that this is well deserved. I believe that Peabody has so many wonderful things to offer and I am always excited that people see that and want to be part of this Community.

Beyond that very obvious part of my position, there are many other ways that I help families. I help find summer camps for families; I assist folks to find appropriate afterschool activities. With assistance from the Cambridge Community Center outreach workers, I am able to help navigate non- English speakers way through the Cambridge Public Schools and assist them in fulfilling their needs.

I enjoy my involvement with the Connection and the School Council. It is very exciting to have ideas flowing through the Community and finding their way to fruition. When I can help facilitate that, I am very happy to do so.

Most recently, I am continuing the work that I trained with Karen Mapp with over the past couple of years regarding Family Engagement. I am a member of the Family Engagement Task Force for the District. I represent the liaisons throughout the District on this group. Recently we held a City-Wide School Council meeting. Every school was well represented. CPS has identified one shared goal: “Supporting the Success of Children and Youth.” As a District and school, we will be working on this goal. While this may sound somewhat broad stroked, it has many fine tuned facets. We will be including this goal in our School Improvement Plan and I will keep you updated as we continue our work towards the success of this goal for all of our students.

Currently, I am very busy preparing our incoming JK and Kindergarten families for next year. We are planning play dates, events and creating a schedule for next year. The Connection, specifically, Deirdre Logan and Miranda Pierce have begun a buddy system process and I am so grateful to them for this. It is so wonderful to have families feel as welcome as possible to our Community.

A huge thanks you to all of the parents and caregivers that have signed up to be room parents. This is a work in process, since this is a renewed Peabody program. I enjoyed brainstorming with many of the Room Parents and am very excited about next year and kicking off our Room Parent group with vivacity. A special thank you to Becky Harmon and K.B. Mello for their help in getting this program started.

I love working and spending time with your children. They give me reasons to smile every day. I continue to facilitate the Mystery Club, along with parents extraordinaire: Karen Soroca and Emily Holman (thanks ladies!). Watching the children’s mind’s work with such complete excitement over the mystery they are writing is so gratifying. Each week, we are amazed by the fantastic ways their minds work and where their thought processes take us!

Thank you to our BOKS supporters! Specifically Paula Akiba, Susan Hargrove and Jesselyn Opie. They make Tuesday and Wednesday mornings a blast for so many of our students.

All of you involved in the weekend backpack program deserve our entire community’s thanks. Your behind the scenes devotion to ensuring the nourishment of all of our children is an honorable gift of love.

I know how many of you enjoy seeing the marquee up to date. Thank you to Susan Hargrove for dedicating herself to this task rain or shine.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Ellen van Bever and John O’Neil for their devotion to the Connection. This has been a great way for the school and families to collaborate and I am appreciative of their fine leadership. The families and caregivers, who are able to attend meetings, help with different initiatives. The families who help from home (and anyone I may have forgot!); you are all such important assets to our community at large. Thank you!

Although I am sure I will see you over the coming weeks, I want to wish you a most enjoyable summer. Enjoy your time with your families and I look forward to seeing you around town and back at school in September.