Students, families, faculty members and administrators gathered on May 31 for the district’s second annual “Taste of a Service” Parent Fair. Coordinated by Shaw Avenue Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi and Director of Special Services Nicole Schimpf, the event took place at Shaw Avenue School to showcase the wide range of services offered to all children in the district.
All were invited to take part in the evening, including incoming kindergarten students and their families. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicholas Stirling greeted those in attendance and all three school PTAs joined in to support the event. Volunteer language ambassadors were also present to provide translations for family members to easily communicate and understand what services are available.
Snacks were provided as families traveled around to different tables in the school’s gymnasium. Reading specialists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, classroom/physical education teachers, behavioral consultants, school nurses, school psychologists and enrichment specialists from throughout the district were stationed at the tables to speak with families on strategies that are used in the classroom and what they can use at home to support their child’s learning.
Topics such as learning styles and strategies, fostering independence, emotional intelligence, differentiated instruction, IEP (Individualized Education Program) reading and analysis, motor development, raising healthy kids and enrichment were some of the discussion points of the evening.
School psychologists Dr. Lauraine Casella, Sonya Jackson, Jennifer Orellana and Dr. Francyne Zeltser dressed in different colored shirts to represent the Mood Meter as it relates to social-emotional learning to help students identify and label their emotions. In addition, enrichment teachers Danielle Bonaccorso and Ilissa Epstein showcased different enrichment activities for all students to embrace their thinking skills and creativity. Families learned how to build a straw tower or a pipeline following specific guidelines at their station.
“This event is a one-stop opportunity for our families to know all the services and resources that they have available to them at any one of our three schools,” said Schimpf. “We really want to share with them helpful instructional technology tools and other activities they can go back home and try with their own children.”