At El Sereno Middle School in Los Angeles, they have discovered an unintended consequence of their Positive Action program: Parking problems. Ricky Lopez, a district coordinator with the Los Angeles Unified School District, was visiting the school to present awards at the school assembly in November when he couldn't find a parking place.
"We have these awards assemblies at the end of each school unit/block throughout the year. We usually have only a few of the parents come to the assemblies," said Mr. Lopez. "But that day a huge number of parents came. That has never happened before. We didn't have enough parking."
Mr. Lopez credited most of the change to Positive Action. He said the parents are interested in what their children are doing and are more engaged than he has ever seen. Previous studies of Positive Action have shown that it can increase parental involvement with students by up to 85%.
Mr. Lopez said that Positive Action has now been introduced in other schools around Los Angeles, and so far, the results are exciting. Positive Action was introduced in El Sereno Middle School two years ago, but just began its full implementation for all grades last August. If the initial success continues, other schools will likely follow soon.
"I am very happy with the Positive Action program," said Mr. Lopez, "but I still need a place to park."