A Communities In Schools alumni network has been launched and is seeking help with reaching out to graduates of the district so they can join.

Based on input from alumni around the country, the network will connect and empower alumni and gives them opportunities to give back to their schools and communities, a school district announcement said.

 Communities In Schools of Palm Beach County is looking for teachers and students who have been involved in any way with the agency.  This includes those who were associated with the organization when it was known as Cities In Schools.

 It is a place where alumni can connect with each other, locally and nationally, and access career and education opportunities and it offers them a chance to give back to those following in their footsteps.  Teachers are being asked to join so they can connect with students and see what they have accomplished over the years.  Students can join to re-connect with their favorite CIS teachers.

 As soon as the organization reaches 100 members, it will hold a gathering of teachers and students so members can meet in person. Anyone who had a connection with Communities In Schools may sign up, including teachers, students, administrators, facilitators and special guests.

Meanwhile, the district announced that the popular Multicultural Teachers’ Desk Calendar was being sent to around 8,000 public school teachers across Palm Beach County.

 The calendar doubles as a teacher’s favorite finger-tip resource for instructional strategies, classroom activities and suggestions to enhance parent involvement.

It is distributed each year through the district’s Multicultural Education Department, working in collaboration with the Department of Federal and State Programs.

The calendar is designed specifically for all elementary school teachers,

middle school English teachers, language arts teachers, intensive reading and ESOL teachers, high school ESOL coordinators and all guidance counselors.

It includes monthly interactive homework activities called Parents Involved in Creating Kids’ Success (PICKS) and Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork (TIPS) on how to develop successful partnerships for student success.

 Each year, the Multicultural Education Department asks school administrators  to support these efforts by supplying paper for duplication to be sent home with students; including family involvement strategies from each of the six national PTA standards in their school improvement plans; promoting a family friendly atmosphere at schools; and asking teachers to send home the monthly interactive homework.

This year’s calendar offers tips for creating a community of diverse learners in each classroom and school. In addition, a variety of culturally and historically significant events have been included. Guidance Counselor/Specialist Connie Berry, who oversees the project each year, says the calendar is popular because it is “full of research-based ideas for the classroom and for parent engagement.”

“It’s also full of culturally based facts and important dates that make it easy to plan activities that help incorporate the students' culture into the instruction in the class,” Berry said.

For more information about interactive homework or School, Home and Community Partnerships, call Berry at 561-434 -7348 or e-mail Connie.Berry@palmbeachschools.org.

To join, e-mail your information to Communities In Schools Executive Director Margaret Bagley at mbagley@cispbc.org or call 561-471-9681.