For the majority of the 2013-24 school year, select iZone schools took on the Essential Allies Challenge to strengthen family engagement in school communities. Read about some of the prototypes in action:
MS 328 tested a mobile living room concept to engage families in their local neighborhoods. The school’s design team focused on creating a welcoming environment outside of the school building to engage families in discussions about student literacy, upcoming state exams, and other available resources.
New Design High School is developing a new user-friendly website that can be easily edited by staff and students. The website will host video and visual content about the schools’ various areas of study. Check out the school’s site map.
New Heights Middle School collaborated with their students to digitize their weekly paper newsletter into a video format. Students planned, directed, and edited the videos under the guidance of the school’s design team. At a recent parent conference, the design team create a “video lounge” where students proudly showed their video creations and families were asked to rate the effectiveness of the digital newsletter.
PS 333 Manhattan School for Children tested a live-streaming system to broadcast their student-led conferences for 7th and 8th grade students. The live stream allows parents and families to watch the student-led conferences remotely on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Tompkins Square Middle School worked with their students to create How-To videos to inform families about student advisory techniques. To bridge the information gap of classroom practices, students acted out scenarios of creating SMART goals and action plans.
Validus Preparatory Academy is building a team of data savvy parents to help teach and inform other parents how to access and interpret their child’s school data. To this aim, Validus hosted three hands-on workshops to introduce parents to student data including attendance, behavior, and academic achievement.
West Prep Academy created a streamlined one-stop shop mobile web application to foster greater connectivity with families, and seeks to reduce the barriers to entry by equipping families who lack connectivity with devices and WiFi. Check out their app, available on iTunes and Google play.
Interested in learning more about iZone Innovation Challenges? Read about our current opportunities.