Thursday, November 9, 2006

Metro Schools' Hispanic parent group elects officers

11% of students in Metro are Hispanic

This story on News 2-WKRN and this story in the Tennessean report that COPLA, the Hispanic parents' group created by Metro School Board director Pedro Garcia, has elected officers. Cesar Muedas is the new chairman of the group, Adelina Winston is vice chair, and Sandra Mendoz is secretary. COPLA stands for Comite de Padres Latinos, or Committee of Latino Parents.

"Director of Schools Pedro Garcia organized COPLA earlier this year to help build relationships with the parents of Latino students, who constitute more than 11 percent of the district's student population."

"Ruben De Pena, Metro's language translation specialist, was asked to help organize COPLA."

"'We are mirroring the Parents Advisory Council, but our purpose is for our parents to be informed and involved with the children,' De Pena said. 'We want to help make parents aware of the tools that exist. There is a lot of excitement. This is a good venue for them to interact with the system.'"

"There are three concerns Muedas sees as significant for Latinos in the school district —- the issue of gangs, the number of schools that don't have parent-teacher organizations and graduation rates. But, while working on concerns, Muedas said the group also wants to work on the positives."

"'I am not speaking for all Hispanics who have children in the system, though,' Muedas said. 'I am just starting to learn the concerns.'"

Photo: Cesar Muedas

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