MPS Hosts Family Engagement Nights

MPS Hosts Family Engagement Nights
Posted on 12/20/2023
Open Forum for English as a Second Language (ESL) Parents of Multilingual Learners (MLs)
Nearly 35 families attended Montclair Public Schools’ recent Open Forum for English as a Second Language (ESL) Parents of Multilingual Learners (MLs). District ESL liaison teachers and bilingual interpreters in Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish were on hand to provide language assistance.

Dr. Vicky Chang, Supervisor of World Language/ESL (WL) and Yasmin Hernandez, WL/ESL Consultant kicked off the event, providing an overview of the District’s multilingual population: Over 16 different languages spoken; most common home languages are Spanish (68%), Portuguese (10%) and Turkish (7%), others (15%) and a total of 124 Multilingual Learners (as of Dec. 1, 2023).

ESL night group pic ESL night

The MPS Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee for MLs was introduced as an opportunity for families to gather, communicate their concerns and support their children’s education. In-person meetings will be held Feb. 26, April 22 and May 20, 1-2 pm at the Fuzzy Furlong Field House/Aubrey Lewis Athletic Complex, 10 Essex Ave., Montclair. Interpretation services will be provided in Spanish/Portuguese/Turkish at all meetings. Tentative meeting topics are: How to Help Children with Homework at Home; Familiarizing parents with the ACCESS 2.0 Test for Multilingual Learners’; and Learning about Community Offerings and Resources. Interested families should fill out this Google form

ESL family workshop ESL family workshop

Andre Aparcana, District Technician, explained to attendees the Emergency Connectivity Fund for those struggling with Internet access and how to report tech issues involving damaged or broken devices. Aparcana took families through a step-by-step Genesis Parent Tutorial via videos that can be found on the District website

In addition, a Free, 10-Week, Adult ESL Program for Parents/Guardians of Montclair Public Schools’ students was announced. Sessions will take place on 10 Mondays: March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29 May 6, 13 and 20, 6:30-8 pm at the Charles H. Bullock Elementary School, 55 Washington St, Montclair. Certified teachers will be on hand in this safe and supportive learning environment where participants will receive free textbooks. Refreshments and childcare will also be provided. 

ESL family workshop ESL family workshop

“This was an empowering event where I truly felt honored to serve this community,” said Montclair High School Spanish teacher Michelle Mendoza. 

“It's indeed a privilege to have such a talented group of bilingual staff to support the ESL Parent Night,” added Chang. “I truly believe that ‘A different language is a different vision or life,’ (Federico Fellini).’"

Hernandez concurred, sharing this quote from U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona: "Let's build a future where every student in America is multilingual, where every young person understands that their native language is an asset, and learning more than one language is a superpower."

Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences
Last month, Montclair Public Schools co-sponsored a workshop with the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, “Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences,” providing valuable insight and strategies to engage families to ask key questions to support their children in achieving success in school. 

The program was facilitated by Latifah Jannah, Community, Parent and Student Engagement Coordinator and featured Ylonda Gault-Caviness: Author, Veteran Parenting Journalist, Education Advocate and Montclair Parent of three. 

family workshop family engagment

Stacie, a parent of a 5th grader, had praise for the workshop. “The ‘Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences’ workshop was insightful and gave great information to parents on how to engage with teachers and keep the lines of communication open in order to collaborate as a team for student success,” she said. “Thank you to MPS for organizing and hosting events like these for caregivers. Looking forward to more.” 

View the presentation and be sure to visit the Parent Resources page for more information. 
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