Family Engagement is Key: De Anza Elementary Parent/Teacher Home Visits


(Family Engagement is Key)

San Jacinto, CA – To start the 2019-2020 school year at San Jacinto Unified School District in a slightly different way, a team of teachers at De Anza Elementary were inspired to personally deliver, and not just make phone calls, a special welcome to the 72 families of kindergarteners about to experience their first day of school.

“We understand how many parents and kindergarten children feel on the first day of school,” said Tamra Simpson, TOSA Administrator for De Anza Elementary. “Most families are experiencing a mixture of excitement, nostalgia and anxiety—and the first day is filled with joy and tears from both parents and little ones,” Mrs. Simpson noted.

Teachers Elaine Johnson, Ruth Phillips, Jessica Long, and Kim Boessneck know this experience all too well as they have been teaching kindergarten for many years. However, this year their team decided they would exemplify a catch phase at SJUSD called The San Jacinto Difference. Instead of phone calls from an auto-dialer or parent notifications by mail, they would personally invite families to kindergarten orientation. They visited 72 homes to greet their students and delivered a gift bag that contained the book The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn.

“The book we shared with families beautifully illustrates the narrative of children starting school or facing separation from their loved ones,” explained Mrs. Phillips. The books were purchased with Scholastic Book Club points and the teachers’ personal contributions.

“We wanted to help our families feel welcomed and comfortable on the first day of school,” shared Mrs. Long. “And we know this really worked because of the great increase in attendance at our kindergarten orientation session,” said Mrs. Boessneck. Orientation was held on August 7, and included a tour of the school campus areas that students would be frequenting.

“I think our visit helped students not feel like they were being left with a stranger on that first day of school,” said Mrs. Johnson. By the time students arrived to school on August 8, most of them had already met with their teacher twice.

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle

Search: Family Engagement is Key

Previous article
Next article


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to The Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


More like this

Mister Cee, Pioneering Brooklyn D.J., Dies at 57

Mister Cee, a disc jockey who was an integral figure in New York City’s booming 1990s hip-hop scene and was an early champion of the Notorious B.I.G., has died. He was 57.

There’s more to the economy than unemployment rates

It took the Golden State a few months to take the lead, but we finally did it: as of February 2024, California finally caught up with Nevada and we are now the U.S. state with the highest unemployment rate at 5.3%.

16 arrested in Southern California prostitution sting operation

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department conducted a “John” prostitution sting operation in the city of Perris and arrested 16 individuals.

Two Imperfect Messengers Take On Abortion

In the summer of 2019, as a crowded Democratic primary was picking up speed, Joe Biden was on the defensive, pummeled by abortion-rights groups...