Board Recommits to Parent Engagement At Every School in L.A. Unified

LOS ANGELES (June 10, 2014) -  A parent is a child’s first teacher, and strongest advocate at school. To encourage greater participation at all schools, the Board of Education approved today a resolution advocating for universal and high-quality involvement.
 
In the best circumstances, parents, guardians and other family members participate vigorously in campus life. They volunteer and communicate regularly with the teacher, never failing to miss parents’ night or an opportunity to review their child’s academic progress and acquaint themselves with the faculty and administration.
 
They join the Parents-Teachers’ Association, and offer their support, skills and leadership. Unfortunately that is not the case at all schools, where only a handful of parents and guardians may show up—if at all.
 
“We must do more!” said Board Member Mónica García. “Parents want their child to succeed and so do we.  We need to continue to be relentless about empowering parents as our partners in getting to 100% graduation.” She sponsored the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic.
 
"Every school, whether they are in a low-income or high-income community, should have the same trainings and resources for parents and families," stated Vita Valencia, parent at Markham Middle School.
 
"This resolution is an important first step to ensure that parents are partners with their school site and District to ensure their student's success," said Kathy Kanter an LAUSD parent at Lanai Road Elementary School and a parent leader with the Valley Education Action Committee.
 
The state’s new Local Control Funding Formula governs how school districts may spend a large pot of supplemental dollars generated by Proposition 30, voter-approved last year.

The resolution directs schools to “utilize new and existing funds” to implement a parent engagement action plan that:
 
  • Ensures all parents know and understand their rights and responsibilities
  • Provides training and resources to help parents support learning at home and at school
  • Offers capacity-building opportunities for teachers and other school staff to strengthen home/school partnership
  • Promotes effective partnerships between school staff and parents as equal partners
  • Requires each school to identify at least one certificated staff like a teacher to work with Parent Center staff in supporting parent engagement activities
  • Secures each school with a central location for parent communication and distribution of report cards and other parent resources
Parents need to feel welcome on campus, even if they don’t speak standard English, or rarely show up because of long work hours, or feel uncomfortable at school for various reasons. That welcome, starts with a courteous and respectful staff. 
 
To further encourage high-quality parental engagement, the resolution calls for special training, based on research and best practices for the School Site Council. 
 
In addition, the District is expected to measure the effectiveness of the involvement via the annual School Experience Survey. The superintendent will make those results public. He also is directed to evaluate school administrators, in part, on how the parent engagement action plans are implemented.

When parents partner effectively with teachers, children benefit.
 
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Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766


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