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ERIC Number: EJ851790
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Giano Intermediate School: The Parent Factor
Rourke, James; Hartzman, Marlene
Principal Leadership, v9 n10 p24-27 Jun 2009
On a Wednesday morning at Giano Intermediate School in West Covina, California, 25 mothers and fathers sit in rapt attention, many taking notes, as a school counselor outlines the morning's Parent Chat. The session is devoted to exploring how well the parents know their children. Parents complete a questionnaire that asks them to answer such questions as, What is your child's favorite store? What are his or her friends' names? What is the worst time of the day for your child? Which teacher, adult, or peer does your child admire and why? Once the questionnaires are completed, a lively discussion in Spanish and English about parenting teens follows. In addition to the chats, Giano offers classes for parents in English and computer skills twice a week, and they are full. Parents even have their own patio in the school courtyard where they can gather to talk with one another and with the teachers. Parents are quickly becoming a fixture on campus. And that's just what the principal wants. The school is quite proud of the fact that they have such active participation from parents in this majority Hispanic community. Principal Patricia Cuesta was hired in 2007; her goals were to open the school to the community, build leadership capacity in staff members, and motivate staff members to do a thorough analysis of student performance to better meet rising standards. Cuesta approached the challenges of staff turnover and lack of parent participation as opportunities that demanded collaboration. She knew from her previous experiences that everyone must have a voice and that even greater success would come when staff members, parents, and students worked together to provide meaningful input. Because she shares leadership, everyone gains a greater stake in the school: new staff members bring energy and fresh ideas, veteran staff members easily become mentors, and parents become partners. And students are the winners.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 7; Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California