City schools start community advisory team


A new family and community advisory team for the Dunkirk City School District has set its inaugural meeting for Nov. 28.

The district’s communications director, Jennifer Westerholt, explained the team during a recent Board of Education meeting.

The team was outlined in the district’s successful application for a My Brother’s Keeper Family and Community Engagement grant, Westerholt told the OBSERVER.

“We’re not looking at it as supplemental work,” she told the Board of Education. “We’re looking at it as critical work that needs to be part of everything that we’re doing.

“What it really is, is it’s about relationships. It’s about partnering with family members, caregivers and community members to support our student growth, our student learning.

“We know that all families want, and can, learn how to do that. In an equal partnership with two-way communication, we can help provide those resources to community members and family members who can support their students at home.”

The first step in that is the advisory team. Westerholt said it contains family and community members, building leaders and teachers. “It is an opportunity for us as a district to really listen and learn about the barriers that families face in supporting their students at home,” she said.

The first meeting of the advisory team is 5 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at Jamestown Community College’s North County Facility on Route 60. A light dinner will be offered. “There will be two or three more meetings this year… the work that is done at these meetings will drive our work going forward,” Westerholt said.

Everyone is welcome. “We don’t want people just coming in to listen. We want to make everyone equal partners and comfortable.”

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