Oct. 14, 2021 -- Like a parent hiding vegetables in their child’s macaroni, Oxford Elementary School found a way to sneak some specific instruction and data-sharing into a fun, outdoor get-together. On Thursday, September 30, the Building Leadership Team welcomed nearly 60 families, some with multiple children, to Oxford’s Fall Festival. Families were able to meet teachers face-to-face, enjoy dinner and giveaways, and connect with one another – a rare gift after the long pandemic separation.
The point of the gathering was to share specific data on each child based on their initial MAP and Acadience test scores, along with strategies and suggestions for ways that families can help their children achieve their academic goals. Each family received a personalized Data Folder with their student’s scores from the two baseline assessments, including their areas of strength and weakness, and target goals for the year. Also included were lists of games, websites, and other resources “to empower families with the tools they need at home for their child to reach their goal,” according to Principal Jackie Taylor.
The event also featured donations from various local churches, including books from Peace Lutheran Church and bags of toiletries and masks from The Empowerment Church, both of whom partner with area schools to support students and families.
Students who participate in Oxford’s 21st Century Grant-funded after-school program, the Oxford HUB, also joined in on the fun. HUB Coordinator Erin Hill brought mini pumpkins and markers for all Festival attendees to decorate and take home. The PTA also had a table with sign-ups and information, and there were games and activities for children to enjoy.
While Principal Taylor was most excited to share the data folders and resources with families, she knows that the majority of parents and children were just happy to see each other. “People were very appreciative to have the time to get to know one another in a safe, outdoor environment,” she said. This was especially true for families who started at Oxford in the past year and a half, when all other social connections were paused.
Data folders were sent home the following day with any child whose family was unable to attend the festival.