A new Parent Leadership Group wants improved communication to parents from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds in Montgomery County Public Schools.
After examining perceptions and experiences of ethnic and cultural groups within the school system, the group presented its recommendations to the school board April 17.
The group recommended changes from the school system to improve communication with parents. Suggestions include:
ź Creating a process for ethnic, cultural groups and school system leadership to meet to identify issues and solutions;
ź Distributing culturally-sensitive communications regarding school changes and student performance data; and
ź Developing metrics to measure parent involvement so successful strategies to engage parents can be identified.
“Our Hispanic parents desire greatly to see their children succeed in school and go on to college,” Antonio Hernandez-Cardozo, chairman of the Montgomery County Council of PTA’s multicultural awareness committee told the board. “... While language can be the barrier, oftentimes there is a cultural misperception of the extent to which parents can be involved in their children’s education.”
The group, composed of representatives of Hispanic, black and Asian communities, wrote in its statement that studies have shown increased parental involvement and engagement correlates with greater student achievement.
Hernandez-Cardozo said he and others are working to organize Hispanic parents to collaborate, share knowledge, and support each other.
“In essence, we are striving to give the Hispanic parent community a voice,” he said. “But a voice needs a listener.”