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Parents, Community Collaborate to Change School

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When people are distressed about the quality of their local public school, they have several options. One is to work diligently to change the school's prospects and performance.

That's apparently what parents and members of the local community have done in Seattle's Columbia City neighborhood, where Hawthorne Elementary is one of the state's lowest-performing schools.

Seattle Times Education Reporter Brian M. Rosenthal recently wrote about on the school's renaissance.

He cites several factors that are propelling the school forward:

  • Parents' time, ideas and money—including $40,000 raised recently in a silent auction;

  • A three-year, $1.5 million federal grant for the school;

  • Parents joining teachers to write that grant, which included provisions for more family engagement efforts;

  • On-site employees at the school who make sure families' food and shelter needs are being met;

  • Holding a variety of theme-based events throughout the year, from math and literacy nights to days devoted to African-American parent involvement; and,

  • Gaining more parents as classroom volunteers, especially from parents whose cultures do not traditionally encourage school participation with their children.

With these efforts and others undertaken at the school, test results for Hawthorne students have improved—Rosenthal says they roughly doubled in one year—although they are still among the lowest in the state.

Learn more by reading "Hawthorne Elementary experiencing revitalization with aid of community."

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