2013-2014 Annual Report
2013-2014 Annual Report
Our mission is to provide model inclusive programs for young
children, where diversity is celebrated and all are free to learn and grow.
Jowonio is dedicated to:
Creating innovative educational settings where children of all abilities
are full participants, encouraged to reach their potential.
Offering a wide range of therapeutic and family support services.
Providing training and development for teachers, therapists and parents collaboration with educational institutions and community agencies.
Advocating for the inclusion of all children in school and in society.
Jowonio School, 3049 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13224 (315) 445-4010 www.jowonio.org
Message from the Director
We are happy to present this Annual Report for the 2013-2014 school year at Jowonio School. It is a joy to
work with our diverse group of young children, families, and talented teachers and therapists. We are so
fortunate to have a dedicated staff, supportive parents and Board members, and an engaged community of
collaborative agencies. Jowonio is not your average preschool! The school has a long standing mission to
welcome all students, create a sense of caring among adults and children, assist families, provide an enriched curriculum and innovative indoor and outdoor spaces, and as well as a commitment to reflective
practice and professional growth of staff. Each year brings new people, children and adults into the school
and allows us to learn from and with them. The quality of our program is a result of the work of many: staff,
parents, Board members, volunteers and donors. We are so grateful for everyone’s gifts of ideas, time, energy and funds...all of which contribute to the excellence of our school.
- Ellen Barnes
“I honestly believe Jowonio has changed my
child’s life. I could not ask for a better preschool. The teachers are phenomenal and my
child’s therapy team has practically worked
miracles over the last year. I couldn't be
happier, and I thank you all for your support
Jowonio Children are Diverse
181 students from 17 school districts in 3 counties
42% receive special services
10% have English as a Second Language
Jowonio is governed by the Jowonio School Board, composed of parents and community volunteers. This Board serves to set the direction of the school and also provide programmatic and fiscal guidance. The Friends of Jowonio owns and manages
the building at 3049 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York 13224. The two
Boards work together through joint committees to determine the vision for the
school, oversee finances, make decisions to maintain and improve the building and
determine personnel policies, fundraising efforts and Board development.
This past year saw significant changes to board structure and governance. In order to
better serve the school and increase fundraising capacity, the Jowonio School Board
assumed responsibility for fund raising and created the Fund Development Committee. The committee plans and oversees the major fundraising events including the
Annual Appeal, “Friends, Flowers & All That Jazz”, and the summer Golf Tournament. This past year grants and those activities brought over $211,000 to the school.
The Boards also finalized and approved the Strategic Plan that will help guide the
school and the Boards of Directors for the next five years. “The Plan also looks to the
future and challenges the School to develop new and enhanced systems that will ensure the School’s continued growth and resilience for decades to come.” - Jowonio
School Strategic Plan 2013-2017.
100% of the Jowonio School Board volunteered at fundraising events, participated
on Board and committee activities, and contributed financially to the school.
JOWONIO SCHOOL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dave Tyler, President
Jennifer Abdella, VicePresident
Gary Clark, Secretary
Kelly Wichmann, Treasurer
FRIENDS OF JOWONIO BOARD
Dan Goetzmann, President
Steve Snyder, Treasurer
Creating innovative educational settings...
Rich environments and experiences
Multiple enrichment spaces in addition to classrooms:
Secret Garden (Occupational and Physical Therapy)
Pooh Corner (Speech Therapy)
Playgrounds, Trike Town & Sarah’s Path
Twice monthly field trips to extend curriculum into the community
Using the Environment Rating Scale for early childhood (ERS), four Jowonio
classrooms were assessed by an independent observer and they received an overall average of 6.52 out of a possible 7.00.
Quality Stars is a state-wide rating system for early childhood programs; as a
Quality Stars New York participant, Jowonio received a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.
“I sing the praises of Jowonio consistently. The staff go above and beyond to teach, support, care for, nurture, connect,
and love our daughter. We love all what Jowonio has to offer and have made every effort possible to financially secure
her place there because it is an amazing experience, not just for her but for our entire family.”
Jowonio was named the Best Early Childhood
Program for 2014 by the Syracuse New Times.
...where children of all abilities are full
participants, encouraged to reach their potential.
According to the end of the year parent survey (Report Card on Jowonio):
93% of parents agree that with the help from adults at Jowonio, their child has
built effective skills for solving problems.
91% of parents agree that their child has developed pre-academic skills (e.g. learning
colors, shapes, counting, letters, etc.)
98% of parents agree that their child grew in his/her ability to play well with peers.
(Behavior and social skills in preschool are top indicators of school success.)
98% of families agree that they would recommend Jowonio to other families.
Syracuse City School District Universal Pre-K Outcomes:
Of the 25 four year old students tested on the SCSD Developmental Curriculum, 48%
were at age level or above on the pre-test (9/2013); 96% were at age level or above on
the post-test (6/2014).
Start and End of Year Performance on Creative Curriculum*
(Creative Curriculum is a nationally recognized research-based curriculum that provides guidelines regarding widely held expectations
for development by age.)
Percent of Children Exceeding Expectations
Percent of Children Meeting Expectations
Percent of Children Performing Below
Start End Start End Start End Start End Start End Start End Start End
Fine Motor Language
Offering a wide range of therapeutic and family support services...
In addition to special education, speech language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy
services, students at Jowonio and their families receive expert support from
A School Psychologist
An assistive technology team
And, through collaboration with other agencies serving preschoolers, a music therapist, audiologists, teachers of the deaf, and teachers of the visually impaired
Jowonio places a strong emphasis on alliances with families. We have an open door policy for families,
and communicate regularly through notebooks, emails and phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.
Jowonio’s family support team plans a variety of parent education and parent support events
Over the year, 79 parents attended parent education events (e.g. social skills group, feeding group,
98 parents attended parent support events (e.g. Couples Night Out, Dad’s Night Out); in addition
approximately 2/3 of our families come to our Fall Open House and Family Potluck Dinner
55 attended whole family events (parents and children) planned by our Family Support Team;
200+ extended family members joined us for the March Follies.
102 utilized respite hours
partnership we have made with the teachers in the Earth Room as well as Jowonio staff members has surely
enabled the growth of our daughter socially, emotionally, and educationally.”
“I absolutely love Jowonio. My son has grown so much since being here. I’m really sad that his time has come to an
end as he will be going to kindergarten. However, this has been a great experience for him and my family as a whole!”
Providing training and development for teachers, therapists and
parents in collaboration with educational institutions and
Jowonio staff are highly qualified, experienced, and committed
100% of Jowonio lead teachers have graduate degrees (compared to the average in
child care of 7%)
90% of Jowonio assistant teachers have bachelors or masters degrees (compared to
area average of 19%)
Jowonio has a 29% turnover of teacher aides compared to an average of 40%
The average tenure of Jowonio staff is 10.03 years (ranging from one to 35 years)
Jowonio staff are helping prepare the next generation of teachers
In the 2013-14 school year 74 interns, student teachers, and volunteers have been placed at Jowonio
from three high schools and the undergraduate and graduate programs at 11 colleges and universities.
In a survey over two years regarding their experience at Jowonio, 56 volunteers/interns responded.
98% agreed that their experiences at Jowonio supported them to think positively about inclusion.
Interns agreed they learned skills to adapt to support children’s individuals needs (95%); positive approaches to challenging behaviors (95%); information about a variety of disabilities (89%); and to
work cooperatively as a team (86%).
learned so much in my 30
hours spent at Jowonio, more
than I learned in any of my
Advocating for the inclusion of all children in schools, in society
Collaborations at 2 area nursery schools allow Jowonio special education teachers and therapists to
serve 16 additional students who receive special services, and have supported staff at those settings to
embrace a philosophy of inclusion and learn strategies to support students with a wide range of needs
in their neighborhood nursery school settings.
Jowonio staff members presented at 2 different national conferences on strategies for effectively supporting students with a wide range of abilities and needs to participate in inclusive classrooms and
Jowonio staff members actively work with receiving school districts to advocate for inclusive and
comprehensive supports to be in place as children move on to kindergarten.
95% of 2014 graduates with IEPs went on to inclusive kindergarten placements; 2 families explored
their districts’ options for support in inclusive settings and chose to send their children to selfcontained settings with more intensive supports.
Jowonio administrators are Board members for several area organizations working on early childhood
education, including Syracuse Association for the Education of Young Children, Options in Education, CNY Preschool Coalition, the Bellevue Heights Nursery School, and the Preschool Task Force of
ACTS (Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse).
Visitors from 14 school districts and 22 organizations came to observe and learn about our program.
Posted on Jowonio’s Facebook page:
“Love this school. It is truly a testament to the power of inclusion. So many of our university students have learned
their craft through placements at Jowonio. I wish every school could achieve what Jowonio does every day, and year
after year, literally for generations.”
- - Douglas Biklen, Emeritus Dean, School of Education, Syracuse University
Eleanor, a sweet, 3 year old girl came to us in 2012, dually enrolled in our Bernice Wright/Jowonio
School collaboration. The following year she joined the Earth Room, full-day, at Jowonio. Eleanor
has a medical diagnosis of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome and receives comprehensive special education including a visual specialist and a 1:1 aide as well as speech—language pathologist and occupational and physical therapist. In her classroom Eleanor has access to the following equipment; a Leckey stander, Special
Tomato classroom chair, high back bumbo chair, wheelchair (as needed), rocket switch, Big Mac communicator, and iPad. Thanks to the Assistive Technology Lending Library at Jowonio (grant funded by
the Allyn Foundation, The Boeheim Foundation and The Community Foundation), Eleanor’s family
was given the opportunity to try many of these physical and communication supports at home before
deciding to purchase them.
Eleanor’s mother Anna comments:
“It’s difficult to capture what a significant difference Jowonio has made for our daughter and family. My husband Scott and I have been blown away by the professionalism and dedication of the classroom, therapy, after
school and family support teams….Loving classmates have welcomed her every morning like a rock star...As a
result of the targeted “cross-disciplinary” exercises designed by her teachers and PTs/OTs/STs/VTs, Eleanor has
made significant progress in a number of areas, ranging from head control and endurance in the stander to maintaining a firmer grasp on objects...During class time and in speech therapy, she has gotten to explore iPad apps,
auditory scanning with a switch, picture and Yes/No cards, a compartmental communicator with four buttons,
etc...Eleanor found her voice at Jowonio. Of all the gifts we have been granted here, this may be the longestlasting.”
2013-2014 Revenue and Expenses by Category
2013-2014 Grants and Gifts
During the 2013-2014 school year, Jowonio applied for and received $41,000 in grants. These included supports from the following foundations:
$13,000 for an Assistive Technology Lending Library
Jim and Juli Boeheim Foundation
$10,000 for Assistive Technology Lending Library
$3500 for Scholarships
Key Bank Foundation
$4500 Communication Technology and Applications
$12,000 through SU Architecture Dept for Play Perch
$1000 Support for ZOO TO YOU science programming
John Ben Snow Foundation
$10,000 for Community Sidewalk Campaign
$2500 for Reading Is Fun, books and literacy support
In addition, unrestricted gifts were given to Jowonio through the Building Bridges Foundation, and John
Hussman, Louise Lantzy and Peter Rhodes families. Monies were contributed In Honor/In Memory of
loved ones; we are grateful to you for keeping Jowonio in your thoughts. Many individuals donated to us
through our Annual Appeal, our Friends, Flowers and All That Jazz event, Gifts from the Heart, the Jowonio
Golf Open, and United Way. Fundraising dollars helped us support scholarships, program enrichment, and
operating costs in the face of frozen state funds.
Message from the President of the School Board
The mission of Jowonio is to provide model inclusive programs for young children, where diversity is celebrated and all
are free to learn and grow. If your children have attended Jowonio , or if you have experienced the school as a volunteer, intern, teacher, staff member, or simply as a visitor, you know that this mission is in action every day. And,
thankfully, when you leave Jowonio, you take a piece of it with you into your own life.
At Jowonio, our children and staff celebrate successes large and small. This inaugural Annual Report aims to do just
that. Our students are learning , growing, and creating in a warm, caring environment where everyone belongs, and
our graduates move forward as confident and joyful thinkers and problem solvers. This report also provides relevant
information regarding the school’s financial condition. The infographic on the opposite page shows that Jowonio’s
revenues from the State Education Department, student tuition, and other grants do not fully support the school’s
operating expenses, rich indoor and outdoor learning environments, assistive technology, or scholarships for families
that can benefit from the Jowonio experience but need assistance.
To bridge this budgetary gap, the school relies on the fund-raising efforts of a host of devoted volunteers and staff
members as well as the contributions of a generous community. Current families, alumni, and other friends of the
school, including local businesses and foundations, have strengthened Jowonio’s programs and facilities through their
contributions. Thanks to this generosity, the school netted approximately $100,000 through fund-raising efforts in the
2013—2014 fiscal year. We are so grateful for both the financial contributions and the commitment of those who
support the school.
Jowonio’s need for such support continues year after year, as state funding stagnates and costs continue to escalate.
Because state funding has been frozen for some time, most of our highly qualified and dedicated staff members have
worked for several years without any salary increase. The school board has determined that if Jowonio is to remain an
attractive place to work, addressing staff compensation must be a primary goal in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Many options for giving are described on our website at www.jowonio.org. If you are able to make a contribution — of
money, of time or in any other manner — that generosity will be felt by the children we serve.
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3049 East Genesee Street
Syracuse, N.Y. 13224
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