Central Elementary School Coffee with Administration and Parents
December 4, 2019
Principal: Alexandra Nannicola Superintendent: John Grabowski
Parents: Jason Pleacher, Jodi Pleacher, Kerry Planty, Bethany Rowland, Kellie Cleland, Jason Cleland, Marie Downs, Casey Downs
Parent Teacher Conference Time Slots
Question: In 4th Grade, Parent Teacher Conferences were set to be only five minutes, but it was not enough time for parents to ask questions in their time slot. Other grade levels’ conferences were 10 minutes long. Is it possible to make changes to allow more time for the meeting or provide the packets of information they hand out prior to the meeting to parents?
Answer: Thank you for this feedback. We will take this into consideration when scheduling February conferences and also look at other options for scheduling in the future.
Cafeteria Food Has Improved Significantly
Comment: Our kids are now actively watching the lunch calendar to see what food is being served for lunch as they are so much happier with the choices and the quality of lunch offerings.
Answer: Federal regulations have guided the lunch program for many years. Mr. Harper, our director of facilities, has worked with his staff, administration, and even student groups to help guide their decisions on what to put on the menu.
Safe Arrival/Student Attendance Call-Off 1-844 Number Concern
Question: When I call my child off sick, at the end of the prompts it asks if I would like to put in a different phone number. Would this allow someone to change our contact number in the system for our children?
Answer: In reviewing the system prompts, it does ask if you would like to enter another phone number. However, the Safe Arrival call off system will not accept another number for your child that is not in the school system’s. The numbers that are in that system are from the information that you have given the district through the FinalForms Emergency Medical Authorization Form. This would notify the parent or guardian with the other number that the child was reported off sick by email as well.
Parent Participation in STEM Activities at CES
Question: My child is in 4th grade. In prior grade levels the teachers have asked parents to come in to help students with STEM activities. Is this still happening as the students get older? We have really enjoyed participating in the past and would like to know how to volunteer if possible in the future.
Answer: Thank you for the suggestion. We will let the science teachers know in 4th grade that there is strong interest for parents to participate in STEM activities.
Timeline of Events for Students
Question: As we talk about some of the activities that are available to our students, I wonder when some of these things will become available to my children. It may give them something to look forward to and prepare for in the future. Is there a place where the activities are listed and what age they begin at?
Answer: Currently there is not, but it is a great idea. The district will begin designing a Timeline Infographic to show when and what students can look forward to as they move from one grade to another and from one building to another.
Social Media Posts About the School
Question: Often we see posts come up on social media regarding the school and incidents may have transpired. One particular post referenced five police in the building, are they there for a reason? How does the school monitor and respond to those posts?
Answer: We do not actively monitor or respond to posts on pages other than Champion Local Schools sites. We encourage parents and community members to notify the school when they have a concern or a question about something that may be happening in the schools. We will notify parents through our automated calling system if there is an issue going on in the school of great significance. Our goal is to be as transparent as possible. We will share the information that we can by law in order to update the families in our communities.
Communication between Teachers and Parents
Question: In the past, Kindergarten teachers have used Bloomz and 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades have used Class Dojo as a way to share upcoming projects, assignments, school spirit events, and other activities. Also, we have been receiving late notification on evening events and clothing students are to wear to these events. It does not give us adequate time to support our children and get them what they need. We love having access to these communication channels and to be able to email teachers if we have questions. What is the protocol that teachers are to follow? Do they all use electronic communication?
Answer: All teachers are encouraged to communicate through Bloomz and Class Dojo. Parents should expect a return call or email within 24 hours. Teachers are able to “quiet” their communication after 5:00 PM to allow for personal family time. Class Dojo may be used with a smartphone or PC. We will do our best to get important event information to families at least one week prior to the event.
Amount of Homework in 4th Grade
Question: In 3rd grade our kids were able to navigate the amount of homework they were receiving at night easily. Now that they have moved on to 4th grade it seems like the amount of homework is taking them sometimes 3 hours to complete. This is making it difficult to stay on top of their school work the way they need to and be able to play a sport, go to dance, or take music lessons. Is three hours of homework excessive, and can it be condensed so kids can be kids?
Answer: Thank you for the feedback. We will look into the areas where we can relieve some of the homework burden for families.
Comments for Ms. Nannicola and the Elementary School
Even though some community members may get on social media and say negative things about the school, any time a comment comes up about Mrs. Nannicola, people respond very quickly to defend Ms. Nannicola and that she is doing a great job to create a positive learning environment for all.
We are thankful that we have an opportunity to address some of the small things here at the coffees that continue making our schools better. We have a family with kids in other school districts and other states, and we are impressed with the rigor of the coursework in Champion and how much kids are learning.
Thank you all for coming to participate in the Central Elementary School Parent Coffee Dialogue