‘PALS’ gives parents insight on Common Core standards

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Common Core gives some parents nerves, which is why a Calcasieu Parish school created a program to help parents better assist children at home.

It was quite the flashback for John F. Kennedy Elementary parents.

School is back is session for moms and dads, but it's done a little bit differently than they might remember.

"Everything changes," said Dinah Robinson, principal of John F. Kennedy Elementary. "The job market changes and the things that kids need to know to have careers changes."

Common Core comes with mixed feelings, which is why Robinson came up with "PALS," meaning "Parents As Learners."

The program offers two sessions a month for parents.

It allows them to see firsthand how the new standards work.

"It's a good idea that they decided to host something like this," said parent Chasity Bonilla. "It will give the parents a chance to know what's going on."

Parents were also held to the same standards their children are every day.

"They had an exciting time," said Robinson. "We had parents trying to work problems and a time test they couldn't even keep up, but they laughed at themselves and that was great."

And with parents now on the same page with what students are learning, it took away some confusion.

"They use their brain or mental math instead of counting on their fingers so I think it would definitely get them ready to move on to the next level," said Bonilla.

And with a better understanding, John F. Kennedy Elementary parents can accept this change more easily.

"We're doing what's best for their kids in this moment," said Robinson. "If they change anything else, we'll just have to get ready for that change, but right now it's Common Core."

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