Moshannon Valley School District Family Virtual Chat

Moshannon Valley School District  |  Posted on

The Moshannon Valley School District in rural Clearfield County has spent the past two school years consciously focused on improving school and family relationships and engagement. The district has utilized annual Twitter campaigns to connect academic events in the classroom with families. It increased family events, like the monthly evening event with families preparing healthy meals together, where elementary families prepare a nutritious meal together like fresh homemade pineapple salsa and homemade crispy tortilla chips, free of charge to all families. Other events like Breakfast with Santa, Reading Under the Lights, Spring Carnival, Safe Trick-or-Treat, and others, also bring the families and school district together. In the “new normal” of COVID-19, that family engagement focus continues.

To provide additional family support and outreach the district introduced a new program created by their new instructional coach, Mrs. Ashley Nunley. The instructional coach’s primary focus is to work with staff to help support student learning, but she wanted to expand that focus to include supporting students both at home and at school. She created a new monthly series: MoValley Family Zoom Chat. The September topic could not be more timely or helpful for families, a focus on social and emotional learning or SEL. The district made a significant investment in SEL learning with lessons taught through their Second Step Program in grades K-8, but every student and family can benefit. The September family session discussed strategies to help children deal with emotions and build relationships during this especially challenging time when they cannot be together with friends and teachers like they desire.

Laura Mihalko, a mother with two students in the district, commented, “Mrs. Nunley did a wonderful job. She spoke professionally and knowledgeably on the topic and with extreme care and compassion for families. I am so happy she (and our school district) is providing this for families!”

Mrs. Nunley added, “I want families to think this is meaningful, valuable, and not a waste of their time. It is my hope to share resources and strategies that will have a positive impact on our students and families. One way to share these resources and strategies is through our monthly family chats.” The district’s upcoming topics include growth mindset and self-efficacy, time management, organizational skills, and problem solving. Mrs. Nunley is always looking for feedback to assist in planning the monthly family chats. “I want to provide topics that our families need,” she added.

The event even provided prizes with selected families winning a copy of The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Daniel Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson.