On Monday, February 10th, Lavelle Elementary families were invited once again to participate in a Parents as Partners in Math workshop held at the school that afternoon. Classes were open to all parents and students in grades 3-5 as a resource for guardians struggling to help their children with schoolwork and test readiness at home.
Since its initial launch in 2019, Alessandra DeMeo, founder of the Parents as Partners program, describes the after-school sessions as a true breakthrough. “Personally, I have noticed student growth in reading levels and specific reading skills since the first Parents as Partners in Literacy workshop last year,” DeMeo says. “After great success with starting our literacy workshop, my colleagues and I decided to start up another in a different core subject to better support our parents.”
As a fourth grade teacher at Lavelle, DeMeo drew inspiration within her own classroom. She recognized the importance of bridging the home-to-school gap and the positive shifts that occur when families are involved in their child’s education in a hands-on way.
“Common Core Math requires a lot of different strategies that parents may not have learned when they were growing up. Like our Parents as Partners in Literacy, we decided to focus on strategies to assist our parents with home instruction in mathematics as well.”
At the beginning of each session, small groups of families are seated in designated classrooms and spend around forty-five minutes reviewing current content taught in their math courses. Throughout the workshop, teachers guide parents in engaging children in their work and offering tips and tricks to help improve their understanding of the material. Children leave with homework packets for practice as well as a slice of pizza for their hard work.
Towards the end of the workshop, parents are encouraged to reflect on the class by filling out an “exit ticket” to determine how teachers could better meet the needs of families. “Parents always express such gratitude and comfort knowing that we are there to support their families both in the classroom and at home,” DeMeo explains. “Our parents always write that they truly benefit from learning the skills necessary for academic success!”
One mother states, “As a parent, I realized that I needed to relearn different principles of English and Math myself to help my child excel. I believe the partnership between a parent and their child’s teacher allows us to better understand how to help at home…We appreciate it so much!”
A few parents in attendance spoke of how Parents as Partners has helped ease their concerns about standardized testing. “The most helpful tips I learned this afternoon were specifics on how our children should go about answering questions on state exams,” one father considers. “For example, it’s important to talk through word problems to make sure they understand every aspect of the question.”
Though the current focus is math and literacy, according to DeMeo, the future of Parents of Partners is bright. “I’m interested in playing with the idea of hosting social and emotional workshops using our Sanford Harmony Curriculum for both parents and students. I also have thoughts for the parent workshop for our mini K-2nd grade wolves incorporating Orton Gillingham, STEM, and Movement!”
In the meantime, information about upcoming workshops can be found primarily through Class Dojo. While the next Parents as Partners in Math meeting has yet to be announced, it is expected to be scheduled before the state exam in April, and we are certain it will be an informative and fun experience for all of our Lavelle Prep families.