Latino Parent Empowerment Group Meeting Report

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Per request of some parents, the meeting was moved 30 minutes earlier. We had a smaller crowd this time. A circle of 16 parents felt intimate, a perfect setting for the night’s main topic, Discipline at Home.

Sylla and John welcomed parents. After dinner children were able to enjoy a fun time playing outside! Meeting started with General Announcements:

  • Spring Break Dates
  • Summer School – New site, Enrollment dates, Enrichment classes for siblings of qualifying students. Parents received enrollment confirmation for qualifying students.

Next, we heard from some of our 10 Latino PEG members who attended the OMGE Parent Input Session last week (Office of Multilingual and Global Education). Researchers from the Center for Applied Linguistics conducted the meeting, and collected parent input for the ELL 3-Year Plan Evaluation. It was a great opportunity for Latino parents to share their experiences and have an impact on the next ELL Plan. Parents were with the researchers without district staff in the room. Some of the comments and recommendations were:

  • All Latino parents gave high marks on Home-School Communication for Franklin and Randall
  • Some parents from other schools were frustrated with the lack of communication, or with schools relying only on electronic communication
  • Latino parents at F/R feel well informed, valued and welcomed
  • Communication at middle and high school levels needs to improve
  • Latino parent meetings/classes should be implemented at middle and high schools
  • Offer computer classes for parents
  • More translator allocation
  • More support with homework
  • More bilingual teachers
  • More bilingual schools
  • More classroom teachers who are ESL certified

Celia Huerta, Bilingual Child & Family Therapist, was our guest speaker. Celia is much respected and well known in the Latino community. Some of the families are already connected with her, and others were eager to meet her. Celia’s presentation kept parents very engaged. Oh My Gosh! Where are the Kleenex boxes when you need them?! Several times during the confidential conversation, the feel became extremely emotional for all! Parents shared some of their childhood experiences and their parent’s form of discipline. We talked about the traumas we experienced as children and as young adults: divorce, growing up in a single parent household, growing up with no parents, child abuse (at home & school), living with an alcoholic parent, domestic violence, community violence, poverty, having to work at very young age, no childhood. We learned the impact all of this has on the way we parent our children. There were many comments and questions about the behavior challenges parents face with their children now. At the end, we learned that the group has much more things in common. Parents found comfort and support in one another. They are eager to learn how to be better parents. They absolutely loved hearing Celia’s opinion and suggestions. She shared helpful handouts and resources, and invited parents to participate in the parent groups she facilitates. An invaluable connection was established!