Elementary students receive home visits

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Shelby Elementary School students and their parents received a welcome treat from the school faculty Monday.

Shelby Elementary teachers, along with Principal Karen Mitchell and assistant Principal Ji Ji Lawley, took to the road for the first time in the history of the school system to make home visits to deliver back to school backpacks to some 250 youngsters and homework packs to help parents work with their youngsters.

Shelby County School students other than those attending Vincent Schools are slated to begin the first day of school this Thursday. Visit Schools opened their doors to students on Monday.

The homework packs included pencils, paper, crayons, scissors and glue sticks.

The caravan of teachers making home visits in the &uot;Success For All Program&uot; came about as the result of a $100,000 Comprehensive School Reform Grant awarded to the school last spring,

according to Public Relations/Community Education Supervisor Cindy Warner.

According to Mitchell, the teachers followed seven bus routes on Monday to visit

student homes.

But first teachers gathered at the school to decorated their caravan of &uot;welcome wagons&uot; with balloons, paw prints and &uot;SES&uot; signs.

Mitchell said normally such a home visit program would

have been planned for first graders only, but as Shelby Elementary is so small, it was decided to make the visits to all student homes.

Mitchell said letters were sent out to parents telling them of the homework packs and backpacks delivery visits. And she said those who did not want a home visit were allowed to decline or let the teachers know they would not be home.

Mitchell said, however, there was &uot;no negative&uot; comments received about the program. She

said children whose parents were not available for the visits would still get their backpacks and homework packs.

&uot;The parents seemed to be really excited that the school faculty is coming out to visit with them,&uot; said Mitchell. And she said one parent told her that their kindergartner actually slept with his letter about the visits.

&uot;I have had one parent who called wanting to know how many people would be coming to her home because she wanted to have treats ready for us,&uot; Mitchell said. She also said PTO members also expressed an interest in helping with the visits.

Parent Susan Horton greeted the teachers with her daughters, third grader Kelsey and sixth grader Brooke. She said she could not believe teachers would take the time out to visit every student home.

Mitchell said, &uot;We’re trying to build a relationship with the faculty and students.&uot; And she said the teachers &uot;love&uot; the idea. She said it was their idea to decorate all the cars. And she said they participated in a training session last Friday to learn what to do and not to do on home visits.

And Warner said the home visits were the first ever in the school system.

Fifth grader Morgan Edwards said she was just looking forward to getting into the school and getting started. Her mother, Kim, said of Shelby Elementary teachers, &uot;It’s just great they are reaching out to the community.&uot;

And Morgan added of her new back pack, &uot;It’s neat.