Helping McGlone Elementary help Montbello families
By James Archer
|McGlone Elementary School|
“McGlone Elementary, located in the Montebello community, is a proud Denver Public School (DPS) which serves a student population that is 95% low-income, 98% minority, 62% English Language Learners, 9% Special Education students and 100% college bound. School enrollment has grown over time, (and is now at full capacity), due to consistent improvement in school quality and McGlone is now nearing almost 750 students. McGlone is an innovation school, with extended day and extended year. McGlone is a really incredible place– they have shown significant growth in the past four years since turnaround, catapulting them from one of the lowest-performing schools to the 8th in the state for growth. In recently released data, McGlone had the HIGHEST growth in the district in literacy out of all elementary schools, (growing 31 percentiles!).”1
Research shows that there is a strong correlation between parent involvement and student achievement, so one might expect for parental engagement to show up as a central strategy in schools. But, does it? Some examples suggest otherwise. For example, the 2012 DPS Mill Levy? The allocation for parent engagement was just one percent of the $49 million of new annual funding passed by voters.
|ShareLingo Class at Fitzsimons|
One program that has been shown to improve Parental Engagement is The ShareLingo Project’s language exchange classes. In the classes, ShareLingo connects native English and Spanish speakers and helps them teach each other about both Language and Culture. How does this help Parental Engagement? We’re glad you asked! The program brings 5 to 7 Spanish speaking parents together with 5 to 7 English speaking school staff and parents for a 10 session English/Spanish class. While the participants work together to teach each other English and Spanish, they also find out about each other’s cultures, and what is happening at the school. This builds trust, confidence, and friendship between the participants. Parents who experience this friendship are much more likely to engage with the school!
McGlone has already tested the ShareLingo model, with great results. However, even though ShareLingo discounts the classes heavily for non-profits – especially schools – the school budget has not allowed for McGlone to continue the program.
So, with a mandate to improve student performance, offset by funding realities in which countless important programs compete for ever-dwindling budget dollars, schools are facing an uphill battle. So, what is a school to do?
Enter Private Sponsors
Fitzsimons Credit Union has been helping the local community for over 60 years. Their programs and services help individuals and families with their life-long financial needs.
Fitzsimons Credit Union is a not-for-profit-full-service financial institution serving the Colorado communities of Aurora, Watkins, Bennet, Strasburg, and Eastern Centennial, as well as active and retired military and select employers.
As part of their commitment to the community, Fitzsimons Credit Union has agreed to sponsor a ShareLingo group at McGlone.
“We are happy to help our fellow neighbors and community partners. ShareLingo is a great way to help people learn from each other and we are glad to offer this experience to others that benefit from it”
VicePresident of Marketing and Business Development
The ShareLingo concept is really simple. Instead of learning from a white board or a computer, we help English learners meet Spanish learners for face-to-face practice together. A bilingual facilitator uses our method and materials to keep things moving so you are never bored. We have language learning solutions for individuals, businesses, non-profits, and schools. Learn more at www.sharelingo.org.