Latino Parent Group Meetings
Oct. 15, Oct. 21 and Nov. 6th, 2014
This year, things were done a little bit different. In response to previous comments from the Latino PEG on why they do and don’t participate in school events, Franklin school decided to eliminate Open House. With the idea of offering something more meaningful for Latino parents to attend to, Franklin replaced Open House with a Curriculum Night this year. In the hope of increasing Latino parent participation and to better accommodate to parents schedules, it was decided to have a mini kick-off Latino Parent Empowerment Group meeting before each one of the grade level curriculum presentations. Randall and 4K parents were invited to attend the last Latino PEG meeting on Nov. 6th. before Kindergarten Curriculum Night. All in all, there were a total of three meetings/presentations:
- October 15th – 2nd Grade
- October 21st – 1st Grade
- November 6th – Kindergarten
Attendance at our Latino PEG kick-off meetings was superb! …as usual. All new and returning families were present with the exception of 2. These two single moms could not afford to miss work to attend the mtg. – totally understandable! Teachers Brenda Hamel (ELL Randall), Barb Rowe (ELL Franklin), Ellen Boyle (1st Grade) and Beth Atwell (4th) were present at our last meeting.
5:00 Pizza and General Announcements
1. Scholarships/funds for families who qualify for Free Lunch
- Field Trips
- School Pictures
- Book Fair
2. Information and invitation to participate
- PTO Fall Fundraising Campaign
- Community Conversations to Support/Ensure Art Education
- MMSD Facilities Improvement Plan Parent Group
- Movie Night – Astro Boy
- Marvelous Math Morning
- Volunteer at school (field trips & student of the week presentations)
3. Fill out applications
- Empty Stocking
- Thanksgiving Baskets
4. Poems (Nov. 6 only) – Microphone and all, 4th Grade students recited the poems they have been working on in class. Children were extremely nervous, parents were proud 🙂
5:30 Children went down to childcare and mtg. continued with…
5. Introduction of new families
We have twice as many Latino students at Franklin this year, which is wonderful!
6. Preparation for November Parent/Teacher Conferences
At the beginning of the year, all Franklin/Randall Latino parents attended Ready Set Goal parent/teacher conferences, same as in previous years. 100% attendance from the Latino parents is expected at the upcoming November conferences. Parents received written information on how to prepare for conferences and were coached on the following:
- Talk to your child about how he/she is doing in content areas, likes & dislikes, why?
- Make a list of concerns, questions, comments
- Child’s progress
- Is he/she at grade level?
- His/her strengths & challenges
- Is he/she turning in homework?
- Express your thoughts and feelings
- Explain areas you think your child needs more help with
- Address problems at conference, ask what is being done about problem and what seems to help
- Develop an action plan- find out how you could help at home or services available at school or at community centers to support your child.
The group adopted a pre-conference document created by 5th grade teacher, Tina Sugar.
Parents filled out the questions and concerns bottom portion. Later these responses were emailed to corresponding teachers.
7. Franklin’s School Improvement Plan & Randall’s School Improvement Plan
The family friendly documents were handed out and explained to the group. All points were reviewed. The Content and Family Engagement areas were particularly stressed.
COMMENTS FROM THE GROUP:
- If the Administration is SO interested in “Improving Schools”, why is it that the Superintendent has not made the time to meet with us, the Latino Parent Group? We have communicated to her several times we have ideas we want to share
- I think oral lang. focus is excellent, particularly for children who are learning English as a second language, our Latino children
- How does the Franklin SIP focus on oral lang. (speaking in complete sentences), applies to students who have speech and Lang. disabilities? Are they getting extra help to achieve this goal?
- Why aren’t there more dual lang. schools in the district?
- If MMSD is having trouble recruiting bilingual teachers, maybe they should consider paying teachers more!
- Writing is one of the crucial life skills our kids need in order to be successful. I congratulate Randall for having Writing as their focus.
- I particularly like the focus on collaboration at Randall. I think teachers can learn a lot from each other, and can help each other
- Together teachers and parents can help our children improve their oral language & writing. I’m ready to do my share at home!
- Thanks for keeping us informed of the SIP so we can be on the same page.
8. Behavior Education Plan
Information was handed out and discussed. Basic points were mentioned.
New focus on school discipline-
- Explicit teaching of behavior expectations
- Positive Climate where ALL students, parents, staff members, feel safe, welcome, respected and valued
- Explicit social emotional instruction
- Intervention and progressive approach that promotes positive behavior and prevents inappropriate behavior
- Provides students early and continued support
- Involves parents and helps students learn
COMMENTS FROM THE GROUP:
- I’m interested in finding out if the middle and high schools are really going to implement the Dress Code as stated in the Behavior Plan
- It is not the school fault some students dress inappropriately, it is the parents fault
- Some of us parents we leave very early for work and don’t see how our teenagers dress for school
- Moral, values, dress code, decency, all starts at home
- I’m worried that schools will become too lenient in their interpretation of the new Behavior Plan…and that teenage students would sense this
- Managing children’s behavior is a difficult task for parents and school. I welcome the New Behavior Plan and I know that together we can do a better job
- We, Latino parents, have to adopt these same approach at home in order for the plan to be successful
- I like the part about teaching and modeling good behavior
- Kids and teenagers need modeling of good behavior and time to reflect when they have done something wrong. Sometimes they need an adult to help them see why his/her actions were wrong, and what he/she can do the next time he/she is on the same situation
- I just worry about middle school and high school teachers- that maybe they feel like they have to put up with more bad behavior because of the less suspensions plan
- I think the Second Step curriculum is very helpful
- For some older students, a suspension is like a day off, a prize instead of a consequence
- I totally agree with the new plan. Suspensions just make the student fall behind in school
- The SIP and BEP prove how important our children are to the district. Teachers want the best for our children!
Parents proceeded to attend the Curriculum Night presentation.
Comments taken from the meeting and a parent survey.
Parents’ topics suggestions for our next meetings:
- Safety – school, strangers, bus & bus stop
- How to deal with rebellious children
- How to deal with stress
- Drugs – school, teenagers
- Racism between African Americans and Hispanics
- Obamacare, health programs
- Second Step for parents
- How to help kids with school work at home
- Bullying- student on student, teacher on student
- BEP – Discipline at home – adopt the MMSD approach
- Scholarships for sports
- How to motivate kids – academics
- How to keep good communication with our children