Roberts Paideia Academy families and community partners came together to share with and learn from each other at the second annual “WOW! Parent Learning Day Conference.”
“We are really excited to host some of our family and community members for a day of relaxed learning and community building,” said Alpacino Beauchamp, principal at Roberts. “The idea is that, at the end of the day and after all the sessions, you will be so blown away with what you learn that you’ll say, ‘wow!’
The day of learning kicked off with a pancake breakfast provided by the Roberts PTO. Principal Beauchamp gave opening remarks, sharing how the school year has gone so far and the school’s progress on Vision 2020. Roberts will be a Vision 2020 school starting for the 2019-20 school year. The school has solicited input and ideas from students, teachers, staff, parents and family and community members to help shape their focus.
“Deciding our Vision 2020 program has been really interesting,” said Beauchamp. “Each group was a little different, but we found a lot of commonalities, especially around the themes of improving peer relations, the notion of language and culture extended at our school and how we can take these themes further with technology.”
Roberts’ grade levels extend to eighth grade, different than most CPS elementary schools, which end after sixth grade. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of Roberts’ population is bilingual, and 90 percent of students are English learners.
“These next few months will be really exciting as we solidify our plan,” said Beauchamp. “It’s really about taking the unique characteristics of our school and culture and building a curriculum around it.”
Throughout the morning, students could participate in crafts and games in the Roberts Welcome Center while parents attended breakout sessions addressing a variety of topics. Topics ranged from responsible technology use at home to immigration and legal services to understanding stress.
One session, led by two representatives from the Cincinnati Early Learning Center (CELC), shared tips for helping children develop fine motor skills early in life (zero to five years).
“Parents are the first teachers,” said April Mueller, director of family outreach at CELC. “You don’t need to buy fancy toys or screens to get your child thinking and using their hands. There are a lot of things that you might have around the house that can make an engaging activity.”
CELC led parents through an example: making homemade playdough with flour, vegetable oil and other items commonly found in the kitchen.
In another classroom, attorney Julie LeMaster shared protocol and processes about immigration and what legal services were available for immigrant families. In another classroom was a discussion around understanding stress, its effects on personal health and what to do to help combat stress.
After the breakouts, families could reconvene in the cafetorium for lunch provided by La Soupe. There was even a surprise visit from Santa Claus, who sat with students for pictures and helped raffle off a bicycle.
Roberts thanks all community partners and breakout session speakers who gave their time and expertise to families:
- 4C for Children – Monica Arenas Losacker, family and community engagement specialist
- Central Clinic – Kaitlynn Bochenek, therapist and social worker
- Cincinnati Early Learning Center – April Mueller, director of family outreach; Maria Rivera, early childhood resource coordinator
- Cincinnati Health Department – Nicole DeGreg, family nurse practitioner; Fernando Rico-Alarcon, registered nurse; Pamela Heard, medical assistant
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Jenna Williams, registered dietitian
- Cincinnati Public Schools – Ligia Cuevas’Johnson, teacher at Roberts; Lisa Owens, teacher at Roberts and responsive classroom champion; Antonio Fernandez, director of Roberts Welcome Center
- Extended Day Services – Kerissa Hicks, enrichment program manager, with Antonio Fernandez translating
- Immigration & Refugee Law Center – Julie LeMaster, attorney
- Women Helping Women – Julia Figueroa-Gardner, bilingual outreach advocate
Learn more and keep up with Roberts throughout the school year at roberts.cps-k12.org.