Lack of parental involvement in the student lives of children

Latino Family Nights and PTO might join forces

by Perla Jimenez, La Voz Editor

Latino Family Nights and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) have always worked separately, for different goals.

Recently, Erin DeLuga, associate principal, said they should work together to bring parents closer to the school and make them more involved in the student lives of their children.

“Parents are the best people to touch base on (about students’ emotional needs) and how we can make parents feel more informed,” Ms. Deluga said. “It would be ideal to have more people contributing from the point of view of Latino Family Nights.”

Kate Kraft, associate principal of operations, said that although it would be great to have the Latino Family Nights perspective, the language barrier would be an obstacle to parents from both parties.

Bertha Sanchez, student advocate, says she does not believe that Latino parents are ready to join the PTO. She said that long ago she, worked with Lazaro Lopez, director, and Ms. Deluga to try to have some Latino Family Nights parents to join the PTO.

According to her, only three parents agreed and had time to attend the PTO meeting, but once they arrived at the school and saw that there were no Latinos, they decided to go home instead.

Ms. Sanchez said that despite this, Latino parents have changed a lot since she was involved in her children’s school.

“They (Latino Family Nights members) feel very comfortable: that this is their school. Dr. Lopez and Ms. Kraft made them feel very comfortable,” Ms. Sanchez said.

She says he recognizes that parents still have obstacles to overcome, such as some who are in a poor economic situation.

“Perhaps in the future, we can work to close that gap,” Ms. Sanchez said.