First-Ever Family Conference, A Roadmap to Navigating the School District of Philadelphia, is a HUGE Success!

Posted on November 6, 2017
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Categories: Multilingual Family Support

The last place you would expect to see droves of families and kids the Saturday morning before Halloween would be the School District of Philadelphia—but at 10:00 in the morning on Saturday, October 28, the District Central Office was the place to be for families. The District’s Office of Family and Community Engagement held its first-ever Family Conference: A Roadmap to Navigating the School District of Philadelphia, and over 500 families and children came out to learn about important topics like bullying and harassment, school selection, the School Progress Report, and services for multilingual and immigrant families.

The event lasted from 10:00am – 2:00pm and started off with the Family Engagement Month Awards Ceremony, where winners of the Family Leadership Award and Family School Partnership Award were honored by Superintendent William Hite, Comcast’s Robert Smith, and FACE Executive Director Jenna Monley.

Families were then invited to attend concurrent workshop sessions facilitated by District staff people in the following topic areas:

  • Special Education
  • Language Access & DACA
  • School Selection
  • Attendance & Truancy
  • Overview of the SPR (School Progress Report)
  • Title I
  • Early Childhood Literacy
  • Supporting Mental Health
  • Education through Displacement – Homelessness Services
  • Getting Involved in Your Child’s School – Volunteering & Joining SAC
  • Bullying & Harassment Concerns

Between sessions, families enjoyed lunch and were able to peruse vendors and programs offered through the conference’s resource fair.

The conference also included many free giveaways. The first 300 attendees received either a free bookbag with school supplies or a $30 uniform voucher to Forman Mills, and free winter coats were given away while supplies lasted.

After families attended a workshop session, they were given a star sticker on their conference program, which they were then able to redeem for a raffle ticket. Families had a wide range of raffle items to choose from, including 76ers tickets, laptops, Disney on Ice tickets, Please Touch Museum Tickets, Philadelphia Zoo Tickets, and much more.

Families left the event feeling better-equipped to navigate their own children’s education—and also knowing who from the District to contact if they need help getting back on track.