Friday, January 05, 2007

SF School Parents Add Voices for New SFUSD Planning for 2007

Photo - Parent and social justice activist Francisco Hererra at the Parent Leadership Action Network gathering in Oakland.
Parent leader Lisa Schiff has a great new commentary in Beyond Chron's School Beat: Parent Voices are Part of the New SFUSD Plan. Schiff outlines how progressive school board members worked with parent groups like hers [PPS] and others like Coleman Advocates, Chinese for Affirmative Action, ACORN, SFOP and others to demand stronger, more meaningful parent voice in our district.
San Francisco public school parents are typical San Franciscans. We want to be involved, consulted and listened to when it comes to issues affecting our communities and one of those issues is most certainly our public schools. Last year, in a unified voice, the community told the Board of Education (BOE) and the district administration that the difficult path through declining enrollment and insufficient budgets could only be successfully traversed if two major projects were undertaken.The first was to develop a new long-term comprehensive education plan for the district. The second was to meaningfully include the voices of parents and guardians regarding issues such as educational programs, the achievement gap, school closures, the needs of different communities and neighborhoods and more.
With capacity building support from Coleman, the SF Education Fund and others we are also working towards a stronger mechanism for parental and community involvement in our upcoming Superintendent Search Process as well.
Please join us for SFUSD's final set of parent/community conversations organized with help from our Parent Advisory Council, Hugh Vasquez and the SF Ed Fund, PPS and others.
  • Saturday January 6 from 10-11:30am (in Spanish) PPS-SF Office -- 9 Silliman St, Ste 6 (@ San Bruno)
  • Thursday January 11 from 7-8:30 pm (in English) San Francisco Education Fund -- 47 Kearny St (between Post and Market)
  • Wednesday January 17 from 10-11:30 am (Chinese and English) PPS-SF Office -- 9 Silliman St, Ste 6 (@ San Bruno)
  • Tuesday January 30 from 10-11:30 am (in English) PPS-SF Office -- 9 Silliman St, Ste 6 (@ San Bruno) .
SF Parent Voices leader Maria Luz Torre and 2 of my former colleagues from the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights now are on the advisory board of the PLAN [Parent Leadership Action Network] - Jenny Ocon of the Parent Services Project and Christina Wong of Chinese for Affirmative Action.
Debra Anderson has children at AP Giannini Middle School and Burton High School, and a son in college. She is a native of San Francisco and lives in Oceanview. She has been active with parent groups and the SSC at her children’s schools, and as a volunteer with the Young Scholars program.
Charles Armstrong has children at Cesar Chavez Elementary School and the Willie Brown Academy. He lives in the Western Addition. He has been active at his children’s schools and is a member of the SSC at Willie Brown Academy.
Ana Castillo has two children at Monroe Elementary School, where she has been active with the parents’ group, and lives in the Excelsior. She is a native of San Francisco but new to the SFUSD, as her older child attended private school. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Cindy Choy has a child at El Dorado Elementary School and lives in Visitacion Valley. She is a member of the SSC at El Dorado, serves on the DELAC, is a leader of the Visitacion Valley Parents Association, and works with Parents for Public Schools. Her primary language is Cantonese.
Stephanie Choy is the PAC’s Vice Chair. She has a child at RL Stevenson Elementary, one at Lincoln High, and another in college. She lives in the Forest Hills neighborhood. She has been involved in her children’s schools for years, as a parent leader and member of SSCs.
She speaks some Cantonese and Mandarin.
Nick Driver has two children at Alvarado Elementary and lives in the Dolores Park neighborhood. He has been involved in the school’s parent group and SSC, as well as the SFUSD Bond Oversight committee. He also speaks Mandarin.
Derrick Eva has a child at Charles Drew and lives in Hunters Point. He has been involved in the school’s parent group and on the SSC, and is active in the Bayview/Hunters Point communities as well as working on school and district initiatives.
Kelly Huang has a child at RL Stevenson Elementary School. She lives in Visitacion Valley and is involved with the Vis Valley Parents Association. Her primary language is Cantonese.
Milena Levitin has a child entering Kindergarten at the new Dianne Feinstein Elementary School. She lives in the outer Sunset, and is active with the Russian immigrant community. She is bilingual in English and Russian.
Jenny Mai has children at Lincoln and Lowell high schools. She lives in Visitacion Valley and is involved with the Vis Valley Parents Association. Her primary language is Cantonese.
Emily Murase is the PAC’s Secretary. She has a child in the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP) at Rosa Parks Elementary School. She is a product of San Francisco public schools and has been active with the JBBP for many years. She is bilingual in English and Japanese.
Cecilia Roman has a daughter at Leadership High School and two in college. She lives in the Excelsior and is bilingual English/Spanish. She has been a leader at her children’s schools for years, and has been on SSC and ELAC committees at several schools.
Donna Smith has a grandson at Aptos Middle School, and lives in the Excelsior. She has been involved in developing leadership among public school families for many years. She has been on the district’s Title I advisory committee and is a Parent Liaison at Balboa High School.
Kate Steinheimer is the PAC’s Chairperson. She has a child at Grattan Elementary, and lives in the Haight. She has been involved with Grattan’s parent group as well as the SSC, and has worked with the SFUSD’s committee on food and nutrition.
Luis Vasquez-Gomez has a son in middle school at San Francisco Community, where he is been involved as a volunteer. He lives in the Mission District and is bilingual English/Spanish.
Joanna Warrens is the PAC’s Parliamentarian. She has a son at Sunset Elementary, where she is an active volunteer. She lives in West Portal, and has served on the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury.
(There are currently two open seats for Alternates on the PAC.)

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