Monthly Administrative Updates
December 2022 Administrative Update
by: Cindy Marinaccio
Director of Pupil Services
Stronger Families = Stronger Schools
It is a core belief of EA Schools that the primary educators of children are their families. We, as a school district, are here to assist parents in this role, but never to replace them. However, what happens when the stressors of the “real world” land square in the middle of the ‘first classroom’, known as the kitchen table?
Behind our Norman Rockwell-esque Main Street, the presence of families under stress (or in crisis!) is a growing reality in East Aurora. Adding to the monumental stressors that families endured during the covid-19 pandemic, the on-going societal, economic, political reality continues to affect the health, functioning, and cohesiveness of the family structure. Many families who never required assistance before are finding they need it for the first time. And, when this happens, they often don’t know where to turn or how to navigate the various social supports.
As a result of this increasing need, a solution has made itself clear to those of us who work with the children of these families: A larger, comprehensive, and accessible network of support must be available to the community. This is why the School Board and the District have decided to reintroduce its Family Support Center.
The newly revitalized Family Support Center (FSC) aims to build off the success of the past while growing to meet the needs of families in a more complicated, post-pandemic world. While supported by the District, it runs tangential to the District, and allows community families to access a hub of support without directly involving the school.
The stated methodology of the FSC has a three-pillar approach to supporting families: The first is linkage to emergency assistance; food, clothing, and shelter. The second is increasing access to mental health services; both by linking families to community partners and by bringing relevant and appropriate services on-campus. Third, it seeks to provide educational opportunities for parents and families, either individually or through community forums such as the Parent Speaker Series.
However, there is a forth, unstated but ever-present pillar: The school district, through its FSC, seeks to reduce the stigma of families who are struggling as a result of 2+ years of societal trauma. Its existence reminds parents of what Colleen Babcock, Coordinator for Parent and Family Support at Horizon Health asserts: “Our children haven’t changed, it's our world that has changed.”
By confidentially working to provide linkage between agencies and whatever support or service that an East Aurora Family needs, the FSC indirectly but clearly supports the District’s mission of providing the best possible educational experience for the students who sit in our classrooms each day.
Families who have a family-based need that may impact their child’s ability to be successful in school (no matter how large or small that need may be) are encouraged to contact the East Aurora FSC directly. The center is located in the East Aurora Middle School and operates during regular school hours. To contact the FSC, call 687-2317, email email@example.com, or visit eastauroraschools.org/o/district/page/family-support-center.
If you have an immediate need or are in crisis, adults can call Crisis Services at 716-834-3131 and those under 18 can call Spectrum CARES 716-882-4357. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.