FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Dozens of parents gathered for a workshop on student success, academic achievement, and parent involvement with the Fresno Unified School District Monday. 

“Some parents didn’t go to college so they don’t really know the ins and outs of when the deadlines are to go to college or financial aid or any other types of assistance,” parent Kijuana Harteshorn said. 

On top of information on student engagement, academic excellence, and college preparedness, motivational speakers also spoke to parents. spreading the message of achievement, and how to show up for students. 

Lisa Mitchell with the African American acceleration department at Fresno unified says she knows the district has progress to make. 

This past spring, a photo circulating from Bullard High School, shows what looks like a student in a “KKK hood” prompting frustrations from parents and students that the district wasn’t doing enough to be inclusive of and support black families. 

“We know as a system we haven’t always done a great job of engaging our African American black families, and we want them to be involved at the table. We want to see them as parent partners and that starts with building trust with our parents,” Lisa Mitchell said. 

Mitchell said the focus is to let parents know the district is working on making strides…. to not just be inclusive- but to give them the resources their families need. 

“We know that parents are the first teachers a student has in their lives so it’s important that they are again at the table partnering with us so that their child can be successful,” Mitchell said.