Dr. Dixon at OLA Language School

By focusing on the needs of Rome City Schools’ students and their families, system administrators have fostered a culture that enhances the education process.

Dr. Leslie Dixon, Director of Federal Programs for Rome City Schools, identified a program that will aid in communicating valuable information to non-English speaking-parents with children enrolled in RCS. This year, Dr. Dixon has enlisted the help of her fellow educators in developing a series of classes designed to facilitate caregivers learning the English language. On January 4, Rome City Schools hosted the first class in this series at the RCS College and Career Academy, and educators say the response has been great.

“We are very excited to partner with OLA Language School to provide free English classes for our parents,” Dixon said. “These classes are made available using federal family engagement funds. Our goal is for parents to become proficient in English to be able to communicate with their children's teachers as well as help their children with their schoolwork. We are always happy to provide interpreters at our schools and translate documents for our families, but we feel that learning basic communication skills in English will empower our parents and help them become even more engaged in their children's academic success. Learning English was also a need expressed by parents in our most recent stakeholder surveys. We are thrilled that we can provide this service to our families at no cost to our families.”

Dixon said that there is currently a waiting list for parents who wish to attend the classes. The classes will take place every Tuesday from 6 - 7:30 p.m. from now until May 10. Supplies are included, including a workbook, and instructors are certified in ESOL and Adult Education. Free childcare is being provided by the high school’s Teacher Education Pathway students at CCA. Focus will be on academic English, conversational English, as well as American culture.

Attendees gathered in the school board meeting room where they were given a brief introduction to the instructors and the facilities. After the meet-and-greet, the group was split into two classrooms where they communicated in English and learned the basics of communicating using the language.

Parents who brought their children along were able to leave them under the watchful eye of RCS teachers and students enrolled in the early childhood education pathway. Activities were available to the children while their parents took the hour-long class.

“We are happy to see the turnout for this opportunity we are offering our families,” Dixon said. “We hope to continue to grow this program and offer more of our families the chance to become more proficient in the English language. Our goal is to make sure we can work as a team with our parents and provide a better educational experience for Rome City Schools families.”

For information about how to sign up for the OLA Language School, contact Dr. Leslie Dixon at 706-236-5050 or email her at ldixon@rcs.rome.ga.us