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District Parent Conference Brings Families Together

22 April 2024 · Office of Communications

As always, Orange students shine, highlighting how the district is committed to student success.
Sharing information and resources with parents will foster higher student success in Orange Public Schools.  

ORANGE, NJ — On Saturday, April 20, Orange Public Schools hosted its highly anticipated annual District Parent Conference – an important public event that provides invaluable resources and insights to numerous families across the school district and the City of Orange. 

In a fun kick off to the day, Ms. Faith Alcantara, Executive Director of Innovation and Community, and Community Engagement Officer Mr. Barry Devone, welcomed parents to the conference. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Fitzhugh warmly welcomed parents and expressed gratitude for their active engagement with the district. Representatives from the district’s parent council provided a presentation on the Genesis Parent Portal and resources available to families, such as community-based enrichment programs for and summer programming. The district extends thanks to Heywood parent Ms. Elyssa Pierre-LeBris and RPCS parent Ms. Alely St. Hilaire for contributing as presenters. 

The district’s Office of Innovation and Community Engagement regularly hosts events to increase stakeholder engagement among parents. 

To give parents a hands-on demonstration of experiencing problem-solving activities, Mr. David Scutari, Executive Director of STEM-Focused Learning, joined by math and science supervisors Mrs. Meng Li Chi Lui and Mr. Henie Parillon, led parents an engaging hands-on journey of taking difficult measurements with volume-based items. 

Ms. Felicia Williams-Ware, the district’s supervisor of guidance, informed parents on how to prepare their students for postgraduate success out in the world. Ms. Dana Jones and Mr. Lyle Wallace informed parents about Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). This session was highly informative because it gave many parents an overall understanding of its impact in the classroom and identified ways to support their students.

Once the breakout sessions reconvened in the main meeting space, attendees heard many tips on self-care from Matthew Blackwell from Family Connections. Family Connects has provided counseling, prevention and training, family bonding, family reunification, and social-emotional skill building for more than 4,000 residents over the past decade. Family Connections’ dedicated team of highly trained professionals, renowned for their expertise, compassion, and unwavering commitment to excellence, extend their support beyond our school walls. 

Family Connections also maintains two school-based programs in the district: “The Space” at Orange High School and “The Zone” at the Orange Preparatory Academy of Inquiry and Innovation. Through their innovative programs, Family Connections empowers families to not only navigate and overcome challenges but also to thrive. Their holistic approach fosters healing and success for thousands of mothers, fathers, veterans, seniors, and others, enabling them to flourish in various facets of life, including education, employment, and overall well-being. 

Orange Public Schools hosts the district parent conference every year. We look forward to seeing families next year!  




About Orange Public Schools

Orange Public Schools provide a diverse range of opportunities and programs to meet the needs of over 5,800 students supported by over 900 staff members in eight elementary schools, one middle school, one comprehensive high school, one alternative high school, one high school dedicated to advanced STEM studies, a gifted and talented academy, and a renowned preschool program for children ages three and four.