Greenwich Discovery currently works closely with the Greenwich School Readiness Council with particular focus on parent leadership and quality preschool education.
The grants from the Graustein Memorial Fund and SERC support the parent leadership programs along with support from the Greenwich Youth Service Council and from the Greenwich Title I Grant. Following a successful 'tasting' of PSEE last spring, Parents SEE will offered in the spring of 2012. Greenwich is excited to be currently offering a program showcased at Stone Soup 2011, Abriendo Puertas. Two parent leaders were trained to facilitate this program April 2011 and presently 16 parents are enjoying this experience. We anticipate graduation in mid December. Greenwich graduated 18 parents from PEP last December.
Parent Leaders in Greenwich have tried to become more immersed in the parent fabric of Greenwich. One parent has completed her two terms on the BOE, another parent has applied to serve on the Greenwich Housing Board with another is serving on the DSS board. Two parents offered mini workshops on parent leadership opportunities at a special education conference for parents held in Greenwich. Parents have shared that attend IEP meeting with confidence feeling better prepared. Over the last six years, parents have been trained as facilitators for PLTI, PEP, EPIC, Ready Set Read and Abriendo Puertas and have offered the workshops. Leadership from the BOE have begun to recognize the work of parent leaders.
In Greenwich, professional learning opportunities for early childhood educators are believed to be the path toward improving quality in early education for young children. Toward that end, a series of workshops based on the CT Frameworks continues to be offered. Cross level workshops between early care and education providers and kindergarten teachers continue to be well received as they cover relevant topics and open doors for communication with a goal being seamless traditions for young children. Last spring, Yotisse Williams offered a workshop to Greenwich educators and parents on early learning goals; he uses an interactive and musical approach as the foundation of his creative teaching techniques. Parents also attended a workshop offered by Gaye Gronund on developmentally appropriate play. The November 2012 parent forum led by Pam Shiller on Skills for Success was postponed until the spring because of the hurricane that impacted the area. Kathy Stewart who chairs the quality preschool sub committee was honored in 2011 receiving the Connecticut AEYC Early Childhood Outstanding Service Award. She and her committee are planning to offer to early educators another workshop on SRBI and a workshop on the Musical Childhood this school year.
We continue to update how we share information across levels, again, looking to improve the process. The educational information sharing has improved and become more widely valued through the form based on the CT Frameworks. Conversation is beginning about the age children start kindergarten in Connecticut and concern about the growing number of Greenwich children who are offered an extra year in preschool and how this impacts a kindergarten class. We continue to make strides in providing opportunities for all 4 year olds to have a quality preschool experience with the help of the Greenwich Public Schools. With a new Superintendent of Schools in place in Greenwich, we are hoping to capitalize on his interest in the young child.
Greenwich Discovery collaborates with the Preschool Directors Group, the Greenwich Public Schools and the SRC toward implementation of the work identified in the early childhood blueprint created in 2009. The results the Greenwich community expected and has worked toward with some success include: a high percentage of children having a formal preschool experience; an increase in the percentage of children achieving mastery on the CMT in grade 3; an increase in the percentage of parents attending report card conferences at the elementary level; an increase in the percentage of preschools embracing the CT Frameworks; establishment of an improved and high quality transition plan for children going to kindergarten; the maintenance of a professional learning spectrum of opportunities for early educators.
For further information, Mary Ann Murray, 203-413-8490 or via e-mail.
Mary Ann Murray
203-413-8490 | Maryann_murray@greenwich.k12.ct.us