Bilingual meeting reaches parents

Schools: Moorpark district helps Spanish- speaking parents get involved in education.

About 40 Spanish-speaking parents and their children attended the English Learner Advisory Committee meeting at Flory Elementary School.

Sponsored by the Moorpark Unified School District, Wednesday’s meeting, held primarily in Spanish, allowed the parents a chance to ask questions concerning the education of their children.

“We do this every year,” said Linda Bowe, principal at Campus Canyon Elementary.

“This is part of an ongoing effort to address any problems or questions parents might have. It also helps us keep in touch with them and makes sure Spanish-speaking parents don’t feel left out.”

All elementary schools in the district participated, gathering in several classrooms and the multipurpose room at the school. Campus Canyon, Flory and Peach Hill Elementary schools all met in the multipurpose room.

The large group was, at first, addressed as a whole. An English speaker went over the agenda and a translator followed, and then there was a time for questions.

“In complying with Proposition 227, each school has its own individual program,” Bowe said. “But the language census and the training opportunities are the same for all, so this is really the only way we can address them all at the same time.”

In addition to the training opportunities for parents, allowing them to get more involved with their children’s education, there was a brief discussion on the state language census. The census, which goes to the parents of every student, asks what primary and secondary languages are spoken at home.

“We stress that the census and these meetings are not solely for Spanish-speaking students,” Bowe said.

“But for the betterment of all students.”

Speakers stressed the importance of regular school attendance.

In the smaller groups, the individual bilingual programs going on in the particular school were discussed and questions taken.

Except for a few questions about the lunch program, there were no questions about the school’s bilingual programs. Parents seemed to be up to date and in agreement with how their children’s education was going.

“I can’t say we expected this,” Marilyn Green, head program coordinator, said. “But we do our best to keep all our parents informed about what’s going on at school.”

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