Come Together + Community Circles
E-Team hosts Community Circles as part of our
Family Resource Network. Circles offer a chance to get to know others as part of smaller conversations within our larger event. In 2019, we launched Come Together events held at local schools four times each year in partnership with the PTO. Come Together offers a chance for families, students, and teachers to enjoy a meal together, sit in circle and get to know each other first as people. By the second session, circles are grouped by topic so participants can identify areas where they can create solutions together so all students get what they need. Oftentimes, difficult conversations about race and privilege are necessary to push for change in the community. Families, educators, and community members learn strategies to connect to resources and support their student.
Our Network provides ongoing connection with other families, agencies and resources for advocacy.
Parent and Teacher Workshops
As parents and teachers, E-Team members know that we all have times when we need someone to help us navigate the education system with our children. In addition to our Mentor Teams, we hold regular workshops on subjects such as Transitions, How to Have a Meaningful Parent-Teacher Conference, Trauma-Informed Teaching, and How to Navigate an IEP. We plan these sessions with teachers included so that we're able to bridge and strengthen the relationships between families and teachers that result in stronger partnerships and outcomes for students
Power of Partnerships
Model for Enrichment and Support
PoP is a model for after-school and summer enrichment created and launched in 2009 at Holmes Elementary School. Trained tutors/mentors from OPRFHS and Dominican University work with students who benefit from extended learning opportunities. Other community partners include the Oak Park Public Library, Beyond Hunger, Trader Joe's, the Township of Oak Park, the Oak Park Education Foundation, the Collaboration for Early Childhood, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio.
Restorative Justice &
Data clearly indicates disproportionate discipline rates for students of color. Our communities and schools need conversations about race and implicit bias. The E-Team meets with teachers to discuss classroom practices as they relate to race and equity. We also hold forums on these topics to create space for conversation and mobilize community members to push for action and a change in our school policies. We are currently working with The New York Times on a forum to engage the community on the documentary America to Me directed by Steve James and filmed at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Early Childhood to
College and Career
Our team meets with families to help navigate the transitions that students face from cradle to college or career. Oftentimes, resources exist, but are not easily accessed. We provide information and connections for families and students to take advantage of every opportunity that is available to them.
Power of Partnerships Summer Program at the Oak Park
PoP Summer is a collaboration between the
E-Team, the Oak Park Public Library, Dominican University and District 97. Oak Park elementary and middle-school students enjoy a new and exciting type of summer school opportunity created to enhance their study and reading skills while preparing them for the academic year ahead. This program connects learning to inquiry, experimentation, and hands-on projects that focus on collaboration and relationship building while supporting basic skill development in literacy and math. Much of the work explores themes of social justice and empowering all voices. The partnership with families and teachers continues into the school year.