Marietta City Schools (MCS) approximate student enrollment is 8,132

By Timothy Gray,2014-04-10 18:43
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Marietta City Schools (MCS) approximate student enrollment is 8,132

     Quintella M. Ezekiel

     Engaging Hispanic Students and Families 2/6/08

    Marietta City Schools (MCS) approximate student enrollment is 8,132. Students are served at eight elementary choice schoolsone of which is a Science, Technology, Engineering

    and Math (STEM) Magnetone middle school, one sixth-grade school, one high school and an alternative school. The systems Hispanic population is currently 29.53%. Current

    enrollment at Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (MSGA) as of 1/28/08 is 560. Of the 560 students, 30.5 % are Hispanic.

    Understanding the need to reach the Hispanic population at MSGA, different activities have been developed and implemented. One such activity is the Parents Assuring Student

    Success (PASS) workshops. The PASS manual is easy to follow and outlines many aspects of what parents can do and are expected to do with their children to help them become more successful in school. PASS workshops are held after school and offered in both English and Spanish. The Spanish teacher and the bilingual counselor help translate for the Spanish-speaking parents. Since the workshops are typically held from 6:00-7:30, during that time, we offer free childcare and dinner to the families. The childcare providers are high school students who earn community service hours. The children are taken into another room in the school and either have the opportunity to complete homework, read, play board games, or watch a movie. Once the PASS presentations are completed, the families are reunited and questions are answered. Some of the topics that are discussed: i-Parent, Conferencing and Testing, Memory and Thinking Skills, Preparing for Test, Homework and The Home Environment.

    On staff, there are five and a half (5.5) bilingual staff members: three Spanish teachers, a counselor, a school social worker and an office clerk. These people are very helpful when phone calls need to be made to parents or home visits need to take place. The parents often begin to feel very comfortable speaking with these staff members and that helps when they have questions about something taking place at school.

    The school also tries to make sure that materials are sent home in both English and Spanish. The one issue we do run into is that many of our Spanish speaking parents may not be literate. Along with materials being sent home in both languages, phone calls made through Connect-Ed are in both languages. This helps promote PASS workshops and when other events are taking place at school.

    To build self-esteem and confidence, I inform the bilingual students that they are “Hot

    Commodities.” I also give real life examples of how being able to speak two languages could

    give them the upper-hand when they enter the job market. We then get on the computer and look at Georgia College 411 so that they can view different scholarship opportunities. Simply speaking to the students one-on-one allows for open, honest dialogue. We also search the classified ads of the newspaper. This helps me explain the competitiveness of the job market.

    Lastly, Cobb Education Consortium Leadership Academy 2005-2007 developed

    information about: dropping out of school (Look Into Your Future), technical school as an alternative to college (It’s a Technical World), and the Harrington O’Shea Career Assessment. Many of the materials are in both English and Spanish and can be reproduced. The information can be found at (Cobb Education

    Consortium website under resources; teacher resources). These videos and handouts are student friendly and offer a wealth of information. Many of my students have seen the videos and this leads to grand discussions.

     Quintella M. Ezekiel

     Engaging Hispanic Students and Families 2/6/08

    Helpful Links

    Useful information presented in both English and Spanish. The brochures and bookmarks offer at-a-glance answers to many questions that parents have. These can be displayed in the front office and really come in handy for PASS workshops and parent/teacher conferences.



    Alicia Salinas Sosa

    University of Texas at San Antonio

    Research In Practice


    This article is based on a literature review of school districts' successful practices in involving Hispanic parents, particularly migrant and immigrant parents, in their children's school activities. It presents a brief overview of the tradition of parental involvement, followed by a force field analysis of factors, which facilitate or hinder the involvement in education of this population. Finally, the author presents promising practices which result in higher levels of involvement and,

    most importantly, foster positive relationships.


    According to statistics from the United States Census Bureau, Hispanics comprise 11.2 percent of the U.S. population, it is the largest and fastest growing minority. Students who speak English as a second language represent a growing proportion of the student-age population in the United States. Spanish has become the unofficial second language of this country. Due to the rapid growth rate of this group, it is pertinent that education issues affecting these people be addressed. Hispanic students are less likely than African American and Caucasian students to have had early childhood education, including pre-school or Head Start. They are more likely to be enrolled below grade level and be retained one or more times, be enrolled in remedial classes that do not prepare them for college, and have the highest drop out rate. "Hispanic children enter school already behind"(United-Unidos Mathematics and Science for Hispanics by Estrella M. Triana and Manuel Gomez Rodriquez). A key factor in improving education for Hispanic students is to understand that they are from different groups of people (primarily Mexican American, Central

     Quintella M. Ezekiel

     Engaging Hispanic Students and Families 2/6/08

    and South American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican) with different needs. This section will present methods to help keep teachers from displaying racial or cultural "superiority." Such actions lead to the development of an "us versus them" mentality. If such an attitude exists it can destroy a student's self worth, subsequently displaying itself as student apathy towards education.

    Helping Latino students feel comfortable in your classroom By Sarah Plastino

    Most Latino students have experiences, family backgrounds, and expectations that conflict with the expectations of the American classroom environment. By understanding the expectations of Latino students and their parents, teachers can help them to succeed.

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