I visited Hawthorne earlier this year when they opened their Family Support room. The Times has a story about the energy surging through this school from both parents and staff. This is how a community retakes and rebuilds its neighborhood school.
The story I was told was that a couple of neighborhood parents, when their kids were preschools, thought, "why wouldn't I go to my neighborhood school?" when neighbors tried to warn them off. Undeterred, they enrolled their children and had potlucks and neighborhood gatherings to talk about how to support the school and what incredible diversity they would be giving their own children (not to mention being able to walk to school).
These are real parents making a real difference. Their principal is totally supportive and works with all groups.
This is how you do it.
I am also aware of efforts at Northgate Elementary for parents in that neighborhood who want to have a neighborhood school and will make the effort to do that for that school.
Hawthorne has a ways to go but it is the fellowship of parents, working together with staff, that creates great schools.