Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Excellence 2000+: Building Strong Family-School Relationships

By Jami Breslin, IMSA Excellence 2000+ Project Director

Parental involvement plays an important role in the highly successful and ever-expanding statewide IMSA Excellence 2000+ (E2K+) Program, an after-school enrichment program for students in grades 4-8.

Students and their parents participate in IMSA Excellence 2000+ activities together during Parent Nights.

The IMSA E2K+ Program, which has served more than 6,700 Illinois students, originated at the request of the Illinois General Assembly and is modeled, in part, after the Mitchell Excellence 2000 enrichment program for students in Israel.  The IMSA E2K+ Program is designed for students in grades 4-5 and middle school students in grades 6-8 who are talented, interested and motivated in mathematics and science, with a special emphasis on students who are historically underrepresented and underserved in those content areas.  E2K+ serves predominantly as a professional development program for teachers focusing on strengthening instructional strategies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) using the IMSA core competency attributes of teaching and learning.  

Parent involvement in the IMSA E2K+ Program is a significant factor in its success at an individual school. Parental understanding of the goals of the program and its potential to academically advance their child, will engage them as partners in their child’s education. Also, involved parents can be instrumental in providing additional resources, feedback, and assistance for the program.

E2K+ school teams are encouraged to provide information on the program for parents through their school website, newsletter or by means of special E2K+ news bulletins. In addition, inviting parents to locally planned IMSA E2K+ events two or three times during the school year is strongly encouraged. During these special events,  the students have an opportunity to showcase their work or engage their parents in their E2K+ activities. Observing students helping parents through lab activities is tremendous!  One recent event held at Eureka Middle School was featured in the Woodford County Journal.  Read the story here.

The IMSA E2K+ team continues its visits to partner schools throughout the fall, conducting presentations and activities at parent-student information sessions and other events at participating schools.  These unique opportunities bring parents and students together to learn about the program, the Academy, and to experience the types of activities they will enjoy in E2K+ units.

IMSA E2K+ looks forward to another school year filled with excited and eager parents, students, teachers, and administrators throughout Illinois. E2K+ is committed to parent involvement, and to enhancing family-school relationships.

The energy is contagious!