Ohio School District Story: Youngstown Schools’ Supports for Families During the Pandemic

Linda Hoey
Chief of Family Engagement
Youngstown City School District

During this Pandemic, with Covid-19, many of the parents my team and I speak with are concerned about the impact it will have on their children’s’ academic achievement.

It has always been a priority of the Youngstown City School District to make sure our students achieve academically, therefore, from the start of the pandemic we worked hard to adjust to a new way of teaching our children and helping parents to be a part of that adjustment.

The week that we were told to shut down, staff pulled together and created packets to send home with our students per grade level to continue their instruction. Teachers worked with our students from a number of platforms such as Google Classroom, Progress Book, and Remind. Some teachers also did videos of instruction and placed them on YouTube for students.

Our parent office (Parent Pathways) provided instructions on how to access Google Classroom, Progress Book, and also how to download the remind app on our YCSD website to assist parents. If parents did not have access to technology, the district parent engagement coordinators assisted them with the process to receive technology from the school.

The parent engagement coordinators also assisted in getting that technology to those that did not have transportation. At the end of school year 2019 -2020, arrangements were made at each school to have the first packets that were sent home with the students dropped off at the students individual schools, along with technology that was given out.

Everything that could be done was done to relieve parents of their concerns, including sending Robo calls weekly to update them on when they were able to pick up a week’s food supply for their children. If parents did not have a ride, parent engagement coordinators and even teachers delivered that food to the parents.

Food distribution will continue through July and Parent Coordinators will continue to reach out to parents to assist with resource information. This will take place with phone calls and posting on social media.

At this time there are no plans for summer school, as the district is anticipating possible remote learning at the beginning of the 2020 – 2021 school year, and would like to make sure our teachers are trained and fluent in Google Classroom, Google Apps, Remind, Zoom and Illuminate.

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On September 16, 2022, you are invited to join people from around Ohio and the world at our annual free Family Engagement Leadership Summit! Register now and learn more about this event on our Summit Webpage.

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