Meeting with Latino Leaders

I had the opportunity to meet with 19 Latino professionals, business people and service providers last week.  I would like to thank everyone who took part in that meeting for taking the time to share their perspectives with me. 

I would like to say a special thank you to Marietta Gonzales and Carmen Ramirez for organizing the meeting and to Carmen for taking notes.

I also would like to thank Marietta and Josie Vigil for speaking to the school board at our most recent meeting.

I have include the notes that we put on flip charts during the meeting.  I have many pages of of my own notes from the meeting.  My intention is to put together a summary of my notes as well.  As readers of my blog may have noticed, I am running a bit behind on posts.  Bear with me.  I will catch up.

I look forward to following up on issues we discussed.

Meeting Notes:

Welcoming and round of introductions.

Latino students, families, community and relationships with school district were the topic of discussion.

Issues are listed (no order/category):

Student Activities- lack of opportunities for student to get involved in sports, music, arts, etc.

                Due to economic barriers, lack of notice or recruitment from the school personal.

Suspension- there is a major concern that there is equity in how they are issues between Latino and Anglo students

                In addition that there is no options to avoid suspension, barrier to resolution

                Suggest: get part involve, offer mediation before it becomes a suspension or expulsion.

                                Skyline has a mediation program.

                District wide effort, policy and process should be clear and the same.

Drop out or Push out- continue to be a problem, more effort needs to be put in to prevention working with the student and the family before the student is discourage or of the age to simply drop out.  Encouragement from staff is low and discouragement is high.

Columbine Elementary – Parent Involvement was sited as a good example of parent involvement and why not duplicate that in other schools.

Immigrant communities face many soci-economic and cultural issues.

What is the district wide support for parent involvement, counselors, and teachers.

Need to have a clear mission and goals that needs to be communicated and have goals that include accountability for parent involvement at the district and school level.

There needs to be a basic understanding of how to build a relationship with Latino parents; because it is relational,

What communication methods work best, how can use community leaders or parent leaders.

Cultural competence for staff at district level.  Dr. Luna has provided training for Skyline, sunset and

Longs Peak

School

. Contact Mike Gradoz for more information.    Drive thru the learning for School board, district, to each school.

Latino students that are talented and gifted are not be identified and not being placed in IB programs.

Concern that they is misplacement of student in ESL classes, English speaking students with English speaking parents who have Latino surnames are placed in ESL classes.

Bilingual education-immersion there is no unified demonstrated and successful program.  District should be work to have one.

Board Retreat which Latino members can attend to bring these issues up to them?

There was discussion on various committees within the school district that needs people to participate; including the Mill Levy.

Suggestion that maybe a Mult-ethnic committee that could look at all of these issues for students of color Latino, African-American, Native-American, etc.

Community support to rally around one issue be it reading or math; create community wide engagement & support.  Mutual support & accountability.

Celebrate the assets of school dist. Teacher, staff, community and students.

Lack of funding down plays lack of educational need

John agreed to follow on 4 items

1. Retreat w/School Board                    2. Regular or more frequent attendance at school board mtg to raise issue @ public invited to be heard.

3. Vacancy on committee- maybe consider a multi-ethnic committee                             4. Mill Levy Committee representation

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