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Finding ways to connect: Sweeney Elementary School

Angelica Suarez

Sweeney Elementary School

This Fall Semester, we have not been able to rely on our school campuses as the centralized meeting place to see families and our students. This semester CIS has worked really hard to connect with our families by phone, text - or even socially distanced front porch visits - but we still needed to find a way for our families to come together.

One by one, I have reached out to families and invested the time to teach them how to gather on virtual platforms. Through their cell phones, I have helped families learn how to open an email, download the Google application, and to accept an invitation to Google Meet. It is such a surprise for them when this process, that involves a lot of patience, WORKS! When they see their faces on the computer screen they feel such an accomplishment!

For me, as the school's CIS Site Coordinator, what is most rewarding about this process is that we have helped over 100 families in my school learn how to access this technology. This little bit of computer literacy that we are teaching has allowed CIS to develop our virtual parent lunches that meet two times a month. The Google meetings at Sweeney have grown from 10 to over 30 participating families and empowers these parents to be a voice in our school community. We are even incorporating Parent Teacher Organization meetings at these sessions!

As we leave for the Holiday break, my heart feels full for the fact that we are rebuilding our parent engagement and community connection. This has been a gift.

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