West

WATERTOWN

BC to aid Watertown schools on parental involvement

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In an attempt to bring a more diverse group of parents to actively participate in school programs and events, Watertown’s public schools this month announced a collaboration with Boston College’s Lynch School of Education “This is a common problem — school districts trying to find innovative ways to engage families, particularly immigrant families who are not used to working with a school system,” said Rebecca Lowenhaupt, a Lynch School professor serving as the project’s lead researcher. Watertown’s schools currently educate about 2,600 students a year, one-third of whom are from families who do not speak English as their primary language. “The first stage of the work is to talk to different community groups and community members about their experiences with public schools,’’ Lowenhaupt said, “and if they’re not participating, why? What could the school do differently to welcome them more?” The college said it hopes to present solutions by next summer. Jean Fitzgerald, Watertown’s superintendent, said the partnership will “shine a light on the strengths and opportunities” in getting families involved.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com.