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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Collaborative Group Holds Parent, Teacher Forum to Discuss School District Issues

Collab

Collaborate PASadena — the “A” is for “Altadena” — continued its ongoing dialogue with local parents Tuesday evening at McKinley Elementary with its “Parent Voice Workshop.”

Collaborate PASadena is a school-city-community work plan aimed at streamlining and bettering services for children and families in Altadena, Sierra Madre and Pasadena.

The event was the first in a series of free parent engagement forums which are designed to deepen connections between parents and to provide them with ideas, relationships and avenues to help them to better navigate the challenges of parenting.

According to Mercy Santoro, Associate Superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District, the evening was designed to “engage parents to help improve their own skills and abilities to lead parents’ organizations and groups.”

“Tonight,” she continued, “is centered around the district’s understanding of key issues from parents that will help the Pasadena School District better service its students.”

The plan was born as the School/City/Community Work Plan in 2013, and changed its name in 2015 to better reflect its goals, said facilitator Brian Biery.

“The whole idea is to wrap our arms around families,” said Biery, adding, “and one of the most important parts of that equation is parents.”

“Parent involvement is very important to me. I see an improvement in my children when I am involved in what they’re doing, on a school level, as well as in the community,” Natasha Mahone, PUSD parent and parent liaison for Collaborate PASadena, told the gathered parents in the monthly meeting.

She asked the parents to openly discuss their opinions on the school district, “whether things are going great, or they could use some improvement.” She also cited a number of improvements at local schools based directly on discussions held in these parent engagement workshops. According to Mahone, the group has been able to identify contacts in the Mayor’s office, and in City Council, to actually make improvements, as well as better communicate with the district itself.

Workshop and discussion subjects ranged from third grade reading skills, parking and transportation, food and nutrition (parents were served new school menu items for dinner at the meeting), to school bullying.

The monthly discussions are an ongoing aspect of Collaborate PASadena’s work plan.

For more information, please contact info@collpas.org or 626-396-3625. For details about Collaborate PASadena, please visit www.collaboratepasadena.org.

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