It’s no secret that parents play a crucial role in transforming education and empowering student achievement. Reports show that students whose parents are involved are more likely to attend school regularly, earn higher grades, and to attend college. That’s why at Green Dot Public Schools, teachers and staff work closely with parents to ensure students have the tools and supports needed to be be successful in school.
“The growth that Isaiah has made only reinforces his confidence and belief in himself. The teachers at Destiny Middle School hold him to high expectations by never lowering the bar, and they are in constant communication with me,” said Jeni Denison, a Destiny parent. “We all want Isaiah to be successful and as a parent I am grateful for that.”
The Power of Parent & Community Engagement Coordinators
At Green Dot, a special staff person helps power this vital partnership — we call them Parent Coordinators, and they help bridge the gap between students’ home and school lives.
At Ánimo James B. Taylor Charter Middle School, Locke alumnus and Parent Coordinator Landy Gutierrez works closely with families and the community. She graduated from Alain Leroy Locke High School in 2005, when it was still operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). When Gutierrez learned about Green Dot’s involvement in her community, she knew she wanted to join the work.
“I am an advocate for parent voices in our schools, whether that’s answering parents’ questions or addressing their concerns, I’m here for them,” said Gutierrez. “When you create a transparent and hospitable environment, parents always feel welcomed at your school and they feel valued.”
Parent coordinators like Gutierrez serve every Green Dot school to ensure that parents have the resources necessary to be actively involved in their child’s education– even if they are busy, as many are. They host a series of events and workshops to engage parents on nights and weekends, lead volunteering initiatives and address community concerns in events and through direct contact. They work closely with community leaders to build relationships with local organizations so they can address parents’ specific concerns, and provide for students’ needs.
We believe the inclusion of all voices is key to building a transformative, public school experience that has the ability to truly impact and engage the community it serves.