A bright red old-fashioned popcorn machine sat at one end of the Shaw Avenue School gymnasium on June 2 for the school district’s first parent fair.
“We wanted to make it fun,” said Director of Special Services Nicole Schimpf.
Schimpf and Assistant Principal Christopher Colarossi organized the fair to showcase the variety of different services available to all students in District 30. Faculty and staff set up informative booths throughout the gym to teach parents and students about services like online curriculum used in the district (eSpark learning, Think Through Math), individualized education programs in reading and analysis and how parents can help with instruction at home.
Colarossi said he hoped the parent fair would grow into a bi-annual event so that parents would have more than one opportunity each year to learn about the available services in detail.
In addition to teachers, speech pathologists, school psychologists and other members of the special services staff provided information about emotional intelligence and motor development to attendees — some of whom were parents of the incoming kindergarten class for the 2016-17 school year. Supervision was provided for young children to allow parents a comfortable environment to engage and ask questions.
“It was clear that there was a need for more information regarding services that are available to students as they go through the school system,” said Stirling. “It’s not enough just to have it, but you also have to have time to really hear about what the service is.”