Community Interview: Parents from Roosevelt High School Reflect on Parent Involvement and Class Size

Juana Gutierrez and Consuelo Vazquez sit for an interview

WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by The California Endowment.Youth are exploring and investigating how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can empower and improve their local school communities.


Our community cause is to reduce classroom sizes at our high school, Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, in order for students to have a better quality of learning. We wanted to know what parents think about classroom size and the importance that it has in their children's education.

Consuelo Vazquez and Juana Gutierrez are parents of past and current students that attend Roosevelt High School. We asked to interview them because they are both well involved at Roosevelt and really care about their children's education. They know how important it is for them to do well in school and obtain an education. Consuelo Vazquez is actually the mother of one of the Foxotography members, and Juana Gutierrez is her good friend.

We asked them about the differences that exist in parent involvement in public, charter and private schools. There is usually a difference in the amount of time parents volunteer and whether it is required. We also asked what they think is an ideal classroom size for their children to excel academically and be able to get the education they need for a better future. Juana and Consuelo are very involved in their children's education, and find that obtaining an education is something very crucial.


Juana Gutierrez (JG): Mi nombre es Juana Gutierrez.

Claudia: What does getting an education for your child mean to you?

Juana Gutierrez: It's important that they are aware of what they're doing in order to prepare themselves for the future. I think it's important that they know the reason why they're coming to school and the education they are receiving. Having an education means that they are learning how to develop their own goals.

Claudia: How many children have you had attend Roosevelt High School?

JG: I only have one and he's in the 10th grade.

Claudia: Do you know about the different after school things your son can be involved in?

JG: I know that there are after school tutoring and many sports activities that students can be involved in.

Claudia: What do you think would be an ideal class size?

JG: Smaller is better, and if I had to pick a number it would be definitely less than 20 because in the end the quality of the teaching is what matters, and not how many students you can try to teach at once. In the classroom there can be much more order and respect in smaller classrooms.

Claudia: Do you know the difference between a public school and a private school?

JG: Private [school] parents have to be more involved in volunteering and helping out the child with fundraisers and varies activities. In public schools it's usually just voluntary.


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Consuelo Vazquez (CV): Mi nombre es Consuelo Vazquez.

Claudia: What does getting an education for your child mean to you?

CV: It's something very important because without an education one can't really be somebody who has a secure career. Having an education is the pathway to success.

Claudia: How many children have you had attend Roosevelt High School?

CV: In total I have three sons. I have had 1 son that graduated, my older son finished his senior year at Roosevelt -- he had transferred from another school -- and at the moment I have one son who is currently a junior.

Claudia: Do you know about the different after school things your son can be involved in?

CV: I know there is a lot that can give you great opportunities that everyone should take advantage of.

Claudia: Do you know the difference between a public school and a private school?

CV: Private school parents need to be much more involved and it was very crucial, public school it's not really required.

Claudia: What do you think would be an ideal class size?

CV: Having small classes is definitely better because teacher can give the students more attention and they have the time to explain things better. Smaller classes are much better.

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