One of the most popular classes at 20th Street Elementary School has 43 dedicated students who come twice a week.
They’re all parents.
The parents of this 600-student school just south of downtown Los Angeles come here to learn English. They do projects for teachers. They discuss school issues. Their children even help them with their English homework. And it’s all taking place at one of the most active rooms on campus: the parent center.
LA Unified officials, board member Monica Garcia and about 50 parents gathered Tuesday to dedicate the new parent center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and student performances. The ceremony also marked a healing of sorts among divided parents who had twice moved to use a “parent trigger,” a California law that allows parents to take over a failing school.
District officials and the school board have come to realize that encouraging more parent centers on school campuses leads to more community engagement, higher attendance and eventually better test scores and higher graduation rates.