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Hawthorne Elementary School

Hawthorne Elementary School

Seattle, Washington

Row 1 (l to r): Marcella Lock-Levi, Gina Hamilton

Row 2 (l to r): Elissa Flanzer, Kelly Gillean, Suzy Large, Oveta Hunter, Kelsey Jackson, Jen Ayers

Row 3 (l to r): Len Hill, Tami Gianacos, Kirby Green, Ramona Peace, Melissa Mak (ATP Chair), Sandra Scott (Principal), Liliana Calimlim

Meet a challenge to involve more families:

Hawthorne Culturally Diverse Partnerships University Part II

In 2012, the partnership team (FEAT) at Hawthorne Elementary School launched a series of cultural and language-based family coffee chats/focus groups to better understand the needs of diverse students and their families. The team discovered that the Chinese-speaking families did not participate in the meetings. This year, the head of the ELL department partnered with the local Chinese Information Service Center (CISC) to host community engagement meetings where families were more comfortable.

Graduate students in counseling and a professor from Seattle Pacific University also participated with groups of parents and students. They and the school staff helped families gain information on ways to support student learning, how to become involved at school and at home, and how to advocate for resources and support as their children moved from middle school to high school.

In addition, two high school students who immigrated to the US were invited for Q&A sessions with parents and students. Their experiences explained a lot about navigating middle and high school and about the resources (e.g., counselors, special programs and services) that are available om schools to assist all students.

Reach results for student success in school:

Hawthorne Technology University

Hawthorne Elementary School is located in one of the nation’s most diverse zip codes. Over 15 languages are spoken in students’ homes and more than one third of the students are English Language Learners. As teachers began to use digital tools in class and students used various technologies to complete their homework, many parents asked for computer training for themselves. Parents requested workshops on how to help and monitor their children on simple tasks such as using the internet and on complex tasks such as using Microsoft Office.

Hawthorne’s partnership leaders reached out to the Seattle Public Library to see if there were basic computer classes for adults. After a small pilot program, a full course was offered in the fall and spring of the 2015-16 school year. The local YMCA collaborated by providing free child care for parents taking the computer course.

Classes at Hawthorne Technology University were held at the elementary school for two hours once a week for six weeks. The fall course covered computer basics, internet, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and how to use the websites of the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Public Schools. The spring course covered more computer and search engine basics, homework help websites, word processing and keyboarding, Power Point presentations, and understanding the Seattle Public Library’s catalogue. Parents also became comfortable being in the building. Teachers reported that more parents initiated conversations with them and with other parents, and stayed to participate in other school activities.

Involve More Families: Hawthorne Technology University is featured in Promising Partnership Practices 2016.