John started the session by making reference to Day of the Dead, one of his new favorite holidays, a time of celebration of life, wonderful memories, and family. He affirmed to parents they are a valued part of the Franklin/Randall family, and thanked them for sharing their children with us.
Meeting proceeded with general items:
Thank families who volunteered for the PTO to park cars at Randall during Badger game on October, 20.
Families were reminded of early release Friday - teachers prepare conferences
No school Thursday, Nov. 15 - conferences all day
During Randall conferences stop by LMC to see our Day of the Dead mural
Listen to La Movida MMSD Radio Show, Nov. 15 - OMGE Programs: English Learners, Dual Language Immersion, Bilingual, etc.
Comment from parents: It was early, cold, rainy, windy, and snowy!, but it was a pleasure to be able to help park cars at Randall! :)
A brief talk about the history of our PEG groups followed. Parents were reminded of the reason why these meetings were initiated:
- Increase minority parent involvement
- Create meaningful relationships
- Educate parents
- Get feedback
- Establish community resources connections
- Provide tools for advocacy
The above objectives were targeted by creating a safe space for homogeneous minority groups where families could talk in their native language, and address family/school/community topics, with a culturally sensitive approach. While many of the other MMSD schools still struggle to get Latino parent participation, for us, this formula has had excellent results for over 18 years, thanks to the continuous support of our generous PTO.
Comment from parents: There is nothing like this at my other son’s school and I don’t know what’s going on!
Parents were assured their voices are heard. Explanation of the information distribution process that follows every Latino PEG meeting:
- A detailed report that includes topics presented and parents comments and questions is sent to ALL staff and PTO president.
- Ellen Boyle, our Latino PEG rep. on the PTO Board gives an oral report to the PTO each month.
- Yvonne Wullschleger is member of the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Group and brings forth the Latino group perspectives, comments and concerns.
- New last year -Three parents from our Latino PEG (and 2 ex Latino PEG parents) and Yvonne, are part of the OMGE Parent Advisory Group (Office of Multilingual & Global Education) and act as liaisons between the groups.
- Connection is made with community resources OR central office if there’s an issue that needs attention
Comments from parents: Participating on the OMGE Parent Advisory gives me the opportunity to learn more about what the district is doing, hear other parents perspectives, and learn about what other schools are doing.
Afterwards we did a quick overview of an MMSD response letter to parents regarding some bus issues.
Comments from parents: Cars are still speeding on Beld St. The other day a car almost hit one of the kids as he got off the bus. One of this days a terrible accident is going to happen.
Ellen: We will help you contact Madison police to report and ask for law enforcement and some type of speed control.
Then, parents were invited and encouraged to participate at other PTO meetings and events. Translated calendar of meetings and flyers of events distributed:
- Monthly PTO meetings
- Glo-Ball Dance
- Regent Re-Sale
- Randall’s Garden Crew
- Fall Conference Potluck Lunch
- Fall Fundraiser - Several parents gave donations on the spot.
Comments from parents: Is it OK to give coins or a couple dollars to the Fall Fundraiser?
Response: Absolutely! Every dollar counts!
Next on the agenda was, Parent/Teacher Conferences - Parents received a Tips for Parents document. We reviewed a list of ideas and things to do prior, during and after their conference. Everyone was given a written reminder of their conference time and date.
Immigration information presented at the OMGE Parent Advisory meeting, and at Centro Hispano Immigration Fair last month was shared with parents. They were invited to visit a table with Immigration resources and take whatever they found helpful:
- Know your Rights: At Work; At Home; In your Car; On the Street
- Top 10 Recommendations
- Free and affordable legal services
- Recommended Immigration lawyers
- Know and obey driving laws
- Who can get deported?
- Recommendations in case of detention
- What can the Mexican Consulate do for you
- Take Action: Things to prepare in advance (Who would take care of your children? Who has access to your bank acct.? Find a trusted lawyer. Start saving, etc.)
- List of Important Documents
- Emergency Places to Stay
- Key Resources Guide for the Latin Community
- MMSD Immigration Website Resources and Recommendations
Comments from parents: Is it true that ICE officials were at West High and Leopold school this last time they were here in Madison?
Response: No, ICE is not allowed to enter MMSD schools.
Bullying was the main topic of the evening. A translated MMSD Anti-bullying Policy powerpoint presentation followed.
- What is bullying? - establish a clear definition of Conflict, Harassment, Discrimination, and Bullying
- Explain Imbalance of Power
- Review Protected Classes (Race, Religion, Culture, Sex, Gender, etc.) - Mention of Welcoming Schools Initiative that Franklin/Randall have adopted
- Conflict vs. Bullying
- Anti-Bullying Flowchart explained. The most important piece is the follow up.
- Safety Plan reviewed
- Parents were reminded we follow a proactive approach at school. Staff teach students the desired behaviors and reinforce positive behavior. Our Social Emotional curriculum teaches kids to be kind, to have empathy, to respect others, solve conflicts appropriately and more.
Comments from the group:
Parent: Education and good manners start at home. We expect teachers to do too much! And yet they are paid so little!
Ellen: YES! :D
Parent: We have to teach our children by example. We don’t understand why they lie? And yet when someone comes knocking at our door we say to them, “Tell them I’m not here”. We, parents, have to have accountability, be responsible of educating our children according to the values of our Latino culture, which are very good morals based on respect for elders. As we come to this new country some of our values crash with the new ones, but we have to stick to what we know and believe! We have to install those good values and behaviors in our children!
Parent: Children are a reflection of the home!
Parent: Are only the incidents reported by parents investigated?
Answer: We investigate all incidents reported,orally or in writing by students and parents.
Parent: What if my child is shy and doesn’t report a bullying incident?
Response: Talk every day with your children about the school day. You know your children better. Let us know if there is an issue.
Parent: Would we have a chance to talk at school with the parent of the other child?
Answer: Most likely no. For the protection of the children, and in order not to create a bigger problem, we will communicate with families separately.
Parent: Latino parents we tend to act very defensive and ready to fight! :D It’s in our blood! You are right! It is better if we are not called to meet with the family of the other child involved.
Parent: The way WE solve problems also sets an example for our children! My child had a problem with a neighbor Latino kid. The mom came to me very demanding and aggressive. I approached the situation in a calm way, trying to find solutions. My approach changed her attitude. Now, we are best of friends, and our children are best of friends.
Parents were given a copy of the MMSD Safe Schools bulletin, MMSD School Rules and MMSD Behavior Plan. They were informed of the recent newspaper article regarding the results of our current Behavior Plan and were invited and encouraged to participate in the upcoming Behavior Plan Input sessions.
Comments from the parents:
Schools should give in-school suspensions to students, not send them home. Give students extra school work to do in school.
Schools should make students do some community work as a consequence for bad behavior.
At the end, some parents filled out Empty Stocking Applications. Franklin parents received a copy of the Franklin Flier and answered to our Open House and Specials Day Survey in writing.