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Federal Way's Latino Night School is thriving
The Latino Night School is off to its best year yet.
The school is in its sixth year of serving Federal Way's Spanish-speaking community with English classes, GED classes, credit retrieval and classes for preschoolers and elementary students — along with a mom and babies class.
"This is the biggest year I have had," said Clarissa Parnell, who has been the principal there for three years.
There are about 80 to 110 students coming in for one of the three English classes the school offers; 10 to 15 moms coming in with their babies for the moms and babies class; 20 to 25 preschoolers who attend class for English skills; and 35 to 45 elementary students and 80 high school students who get help with English and their schoolwork.
There are also 10 to 12 students who are getting their GED through the school.
"It's increasing in popularity with high school students particularly," Parnell said. "They are looking for ways to graduate or need tutorial support. Either they don't have English skills or they don't have academic English. Maybe they have been in the system, but haven't obtained all the English needed to pass rigorous courses."
The school follows the rest of the Federal Way School District, for the most part, although it starts a few weeks later and ends a few weeks early.
Classes are held from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Thomas Jefferson High School, 4248 S. 288th St. in Auburn.
Parnell said she would love to expand the program, but it would have to be earlier in the night to accommodate children.
There is no charge for the classes or for tutoring. The program is run by the school district, Highline Community College and the Multi-Service Center.
For more information regarding Latino Night School, call (253) 945-2094.