The efforts of Hoover officials to increase family involvement at both school and in the home have been acknowledged by the Indiana Department of Education, recently designating the south side elementary as a “Family Friendly School.”
Created in 2015, the designation focuses on addressing the academic, physical, emotional and social needs of students by “providing the needed resources and fostering the active involvement of their families.”
Dr. Scott Bowling, superintendent of Crawfordsville Schools, said the title is indicative of teachers’ methods and principles that have already been in use for some time.
“To be 34 of 1,925 schools in the whole state to achieve this designation is a huge honor,” he said. “I think it shows how hard our teachers at Hoover work. It’s a real credit to them and to the staff.”
Hoover Principal Marcy Galinowski and her staff have been rolling out programs and opportunities for parent involvement. Parent nights and informational resources top the list, but Crawfordsville’s distinctive graduating system of moving from building to building has also provided some rare educational opportunities.
“One of the things that makes Crawfordsville unique is our K-1, 2-3, 4-5 system,” she said. “Some of the things we’ve been doing is putting in events and parent nights for parents to get to know Hoover as students transition from Nicholson.”
Similar work is done when students graduate from elementary school to Crawfordsville Middle School.
“This year all of Crawfordsville Schools has been
working really hard on increasing weekly communication with parents,” Galinowski said. “It’s not one thing, it’s just really putting ourselves out there and getting active with our families. We need parents to be involved in their student’s education, and this is a way to formalize that process.”
The use of a user-friendly application system — more commonly known as an “app” — for parents has already seen some great results, Special Education Teacher Jennifer Hall said.
“One of the things we’ve implemented is just using an app to do instant feedback with parents so they can find out all day long what’s going on in the classroom,” she said. “If a teacher or parent has a question, they can immediately send a message. They don’t have to wait for a phone call or conference to communicate with us.”
Starting this spring, parents of third-grade students transitioning from Nicholson will be invited to Hoover for a carnival to become familiar with the teachers and the environment, replacing the traditional field trip that the students typically made without their families present.
“I think when parents see that they’re going to realize that this is a place that cares about kids,” Crawfordsville Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling said. “You can trust that when you’re bringing your kid to school here, you have a very caring staff that’s going to take care of them — that’s going to meet their kid where they are and help them grow.”
For more information about Family Friendly Schools, visit www.doe.in.gov/effectiveness/family-friendly-schools-program. To learn more about Hoover’s upcoming parent events, call the school at 765-362-2691.