Connecting With Parents Individually Can Initiate a Winning Collaboration That Leads to School Success for the Student.
Juan (not his real name) was struggling with his studies, frustrated with school, and lashing out with inappropriate behavior. After his being disciplined, Communities In Schools site coordinator Ivan Cornejo was asked to work with him on his return to classes. Ivan began a mentorship and introduced academic supports for Juan, but again his disgruntlement let to another outburst. He was again suspended. But Ivan wasn’t about to give up on this young man. Gathering up his homework Ivan visited his home to the amazement of both Juan and his mother, who was delighted that his CIS mentor spoke Spanish and cared about her son enough to come. She invited him to stay for dinner but when time didn’t permit packed a dinner to go. Juan’s father had been deported several years previously and had lost contact with the family. Juan’s mom now holds two jobs and has little time to be home. She talked about her dreams for her boy and Juan promised he would try harder. After that visit Juan’s school life began to turn around. His attendance at school has increased. He still struggles but has not been suspended again. When he feels dispirited and angry he often visits Ivan. “Changing his complete academic picture is my target.” say Ivan but he knows it will be a continuing path.