In Partnership with The 74

More schools want parent centers than the district can handle, as they prep 91 new centers for next year

Mike Szymanski | May 31, 2017



Upcoming parent centers by district for next year. (Courtesy: LAUSD)

LA Unified continues to try to get a parent center on every campus, and in a report Tuesday, administrators showed that 91 more centers are slated for opening next year.

But 167 schools applied for a parent center, noted Rosalinda Lugo, the district’s Parent and Community Services administrator, and the district can’t approve them all at once, but they’re heading to the goal of one in every school, according to the report presented at the Early Childhood Education Committee meeting.

In addition to creating the new parent centers, the district has renovated 145 parent and family centers across all seven school board districts since 2012. Now nearly half of all school sites have a classroom dedicated as a parent center. The costs for a new parent center can run $65,000 to $100,000 and are paid for by $20 million set aside for them by the school board in 2011.

Parent centers are a key component of Superintendent Michelle King’s strategy toward 100 percent graduation by encouraging more family involvement. The centers have computers where parents can learn about their child’s curriculum, find resources, and get information from teachers and school personnel to help their child’s learning. A new element was added recently by the school board when they voted to have parent centers be a clearinghouse for supportive information for families that may be affected by the Trump administration’s policies regarding undocumented immigrants.

Desks in the parent center at 20th Street Elementary School.

Parent center applications are approved by the Bond Oversight Committee and then the school board. The new set of parent centers is expected to be finished by May 2018.

Some of the parent centers are staffed by an unclassified community representative position limited to 720 hours a year, and some schools hire classified parent resource liaisons who receive full-time benefits. Dual-language schools have resources in Korean, Spanish, and Armenian.

The next round of parent center applications for the schools will begin next week, Lugo said.

 

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