South Orangetown Central School District

School Social Workers Jessica Inglis and Jessenia Cursio hosted the District’s Noche de Participación (Family Participation Night) for Spanish-speaking families in the South Orangetown Middle School library yesterday.

Although 28 languages are spoken across South Orangetown, Spanish is now the primary household language for eight percent–more than 220–of our District’s K-12 students.

“With Spanish being the second-most spoken language in our District, it’s important that we continue to bridge the gap that can sometimes exist due to the language barrier,” explained Cursio. “This event was aimed at helping families feel welcomed, engaged and ‘in the know’ about the most important aspects of a successful start to the school year and I am so happy to see that so many families came out for this important conversation.”

Inglis added, “The District’s strategic goal of promoting academic success by, in part, meeting the needs of diverse learners is crucial to improving overall student success and outcomes. Parental involvement and connectedness to the school environment is a significant indicator and predictor of achieving this goal. We want to continue building these home-school-community partnerships to nurture connections that promote student achievement and overall social emotional health.”

Topics covered included the importance of consistent attendance, school communications, COVID-19 precautions and reporting, homework resources, enrichment opportunities and how families can support their children’s academic, physical and mental wellbeing and access help through our schools. Families were also introduced to English as a New Language teachers Jessica Yapkowitz and Alex Tsironis, Family Engagement Center Coordinator AJ Walker, as well as school and District administrators.

View the presentation slides here.

Noche de Participacion attendees