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Lathrop High parents go back to school

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Lathrop High parents go back to school

Lathrop High School rally commissioner Ashley Ramos sells leadership t-shirts Tuesday night at the school’s back-to-school night festivities – welcoming parents back to interact with teachers and l...


POSTED September 17, 2013 11:20 p.m.

LATHROP – Matthew Hernandez jotted his name and his telephone number down as quickly as possible.

No, he wasn’t giving them to a girl. That would have been somewhat embarrassing with his rather large father, Jaime, standing right over shoulder as he scrawled his name in block letters evenly across the three raffle tickets that he purchased.

For the Lathrop High School junior, it was all about getting a chance to win a brand new netbook at back-to-school night courtesy of the Lathrop Sunrise Rotarians. It would add a new dimension to an evening that he already looks forward to as a student – sharing his high school experience with his parents and looking ahead at the future.

“They enjoy it because they get to meet my parents and see what it is that I’m doing in the classroom,” Hernandez said. “Plus this year there’s a little bit of a focus on college, and that’s something that we’re talking about with my teachers. I enjoy it.”

Manteca Unified’s newest high school, Lathrop opened its doors in 2008 after years of sending students to both Sierra and East Union High Schools in Manteca. The school immediately became a source of local pride for community residents that had been lobbying for the campus for years. New school traditions are starting to emerge among the student body.

Take, for example, the popularity of the booth that Ashley Ramos manned Tuesday night.

Essentially nothing more than a series of cubicle walls with a cash register inside, the Lathrop High leadership table – where students can buy spirit gear – didn’t seem like much. But students care that they’re a part of the Lathrop High School community now, Ramos said (she’s the rally commissioner) and are willing to represent their school in the community.

“We have diversity here and you find students from all different walks of life,” she said. “That adds to the culture of the school, and that’s something that makes a difference. You can see it with the parents that are here tonight and are excited to see the classrooms – people care about Lathrop High School.”

Roughly a dozen booths dotted the edge of the school’s outdoor quad advertising everything from caps and gowns and class rings to the school’s wrestling program.  It gave parents who visited a chance to learn a little bit more about the extracurricular activities that are offered on campus.

It’s those parents, said Spanish I teacher Ryan Vargas, that tend to get involved in the day-to-day lives of their students and an event like Tuesday’s gathering gives teachers the chance to learn what life is like for their kids outside of the classroom.

“It’s a chance to see the experience that these students face when they leave school for the day, and to interact with the parents who are active in their children’s lives,” he said. “They care enough to come back down here on their night off to learn about what their student is doing. That’s a good sign and as a teacher that’s one of the things that you hope for.”

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