When you have a six year who loves playing sports, quite often you befriend other parents who are part of the same team/league while spending countless hours at the park. I have talked to grandparents, parents, teachers, and school administrators who day in and day out are at the park with their kids after school. Keeping our kids active and in extracurricular activities is a common goal for all of us.
Quite often, we talk about education and our children’s school. The park neighbors LAUSD schools, the Alhambra Unified School District, Montebello School District, and Garvey School District. Because of the location of the park, I frequently come across different perspectives from different caregivers, yet they all have similar priority lists when it comes to their child’s education.
The top three things that quite often come up include a well balanced curriculum with STEM focus, dual language immersion for Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese (we live in a predominantly Asian community), and educators who care about student success.
I frequently ask the adults how is their child’s school is living up to their expectations. For the most part, I tend to hear good things about Alhambra Unified School district and the Garvey School district. These districts have both adapted STEM as part of their curriculum at most of their elementary schools. Our kids are learning to code in the first grade, which is something I really like about my son’s school. Garvey is also now adapting the dual language immersion program for students entering kinder in the 2018-2019 school year. The school that my son attends also offers a third language as an after school enrichment program. I know Alhambra also offers dual immersion at a couple of their elementary schools.
I do get mix reviews for Montebello school district due to last year’s budget problems. While there are good teachers and schools, parents seem to be concerned with the district’s future.
Then recently, I had a grandma share that her grandson was attending a school in City Terrace, which is part of LAUSD. While he attended that school, he was a top student and was frequently recognized with achievement awards. The shocking surprise came when the family moved to Alhambra, her grandson who was once a honor roll student, was now in the 6th grade and was behind academically in comparison to most of his peers. She said that his mom seeked tutoring support to get him up to grade level. She said that in the past if someone would have told her school rigor mattered, she would not have understood or believed it. Not until now that she experienced it with her grandkids did she understand not all schools are equal! It’s hard for her to accept that students are cheated from a quality education.
As parents we want to be told the truth. If our kids are struggling, we want to know early, and we want teachers to communicate ways we can help turn things around. I want my son to be in an environment where he is truly being challenged and prepared to compete academically, not only on the field.
I have also learned that teachers want parents to take initiative, become involved and not just drop off and pick up their children. We need to send notes, emails and ask questions all through the year about our students’ performance. This is good parent/teacher communication.
If parents and teachers works together, we can create community we all seem to be longing for.
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