Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Schools Reach Out to Hispanic Parents With ESL Classes

School districts with large Latino student enrollments are bridging the gap between school and home by offering English classes to Spanish-speaking parents.

The Record reports that the Hackensack, New Jersey, school system added a program that teaches parents English at the end of November 2012. About 60 percent of the district’s students are Latino.

According to the article, the classes were added after parents said in a survey that language barriers were blocking them from being involved in the schools. The 10-week program is taught totally by volunteers and serves about 200 parents, with more on a waiting list.

The parents also take part in workshops that go over issues such as applying to college and discipline.

“It’s more than just English classes,” Hackensack High School Principal James Montesano told the newspaper. “It’s so they understand their resources and understand we have a high level of expectation for their child, as we do everyone else.”