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New Palo Alto, California, school liaisons break language, cultural barriers

from Palo Alto Online

When Patricia Estrada's first-grade son got into a conflict with another Duveneck Elementary School student during a game of four square, the school asked her to come in for a meeting with their teacher and the other student's parents. Estrada doesn't speak any English, so her 7-year-old son had to translate for her during the meeting. This is not an uncommon situation for Spanish-speaking parents whose children attend Palo Alto schools, but the district is hoping it, and other situations that arise for minority students in Palo Alto, will become much rarer with the creation of a new parent-liaison program. A pilot program launched during the last school year with one parent liaison has grown to a full staff of seven who serves as bridges between schools and parents of all students of color. more

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