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‘Kids First’ Help Desk launches at first LAUSD school board meeting of new school year

Mike Szymanski | August 21, 2017

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LAUSD board President Ref Rodriguez.

When parents show up at Tuesday’s school board meeting to complain or gripe or advocate for their child, they will be greeted by something new: a “Kids First” Help Desk.

As part of his newly passed resolution to put kids first at LA Unified, school board President Ref Rodriguez said that people who used to have to wait in the board conference room for hours to make a public comment will now be able to get help almost immediately.

“We are doing something tomorrow that is different,” Rodriguez said in an interview Monday before the first full school board meeting that he will be overseeing. “When you walk in, they will be asking what you need, and you can go into a room where all the staff are sitting and they will pull out the right person.”

It won’t be a situation where your name and phone number will be taken and someone will get back to you, Rodriguez said. “We want to iron it out right then and there.”

The public part of the school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., and the “Kids First” Help Desk will be staffed starting at noon, Rodriguez said. It will be run by the district’s Parent and Community Services staff.

“It won’t prevent someone from speaking to us,” Rodriguez said.

State law governing public meetings prevents school board members from addressing specific issues that are not already listed on the agenda. So Rodriguez said he hopes that if people have specific problems, this new desk will direct parents to the help they need.  

This is one of the first ways that Rodriguez plans to implement his Kids First resolution that was passed shortly after he was elected to the position last month.

The first meeting of the school year will be at the Beaudry Headquarters Auditorium, at 333 S. Beaudry Ave., and begins at 1 p.m. The agenda is posted, and the meeting will be broadcast live.

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