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News Item: Homepage

Temple Heights Forges Community Connections

by Michelle Sybert


Situated along Oceanside Boulevard, Temple Heights Elementary School is a neighborhood school serving the surrounding community with about 680 students and over 40 teachers and staff members. Temple Heights believes in a learning environment that meets the needs of every child.


The bedrock of meeting the needs of every child’s education begins with community involvement. The school reaches out to the families in the community through events and partnerships with local community organizations. Temple Heights wants to reach each child in the community before they even set foot in the school. That can mean everything from ensuring the care for the prenatal needs of expectant mothers to preschool and kindergarten readiness.


This foundation of community involvement sets the stage for not only early interventions if necessary, but also for parent and family engagement as children in the community become students. Trust is built with families early on, reinforcing the commitment of the school to every child.


An area outside a classroom sets a friendly atmosphere at Temple Hts. Elementary


Temple Heights is engaging parents and families in a variety of ways. The school employs Community Liaison Patricia Landeros (Patty as she’s known to most) to build a stronger partnership with parents. Individual school liaisons are part of a larger district-wide Family and Community Engagement Network. Community Liaisons work to facilitate effective communication between parents, parent committee groups and school leadership. They encourage parents daily to be partners in the educational journey of each child.


One of the many ways families stay connected to the school is through a weekly email. Landeros sends a weekly email to parents every Sunday with information about everything they need to know for the week, upcoming school events and special school specific information.


Landeros notes, “Parents appreciate the weekly communication, it's consistent and they can go back to their email throughout the week.”


Parents also receive monthly emails with relevant community information such as free family-friendly events, Kids free local dine-out coupons and more. Temple Heights wants to give families affordable and accessible ways to bond together.


Landeros is a vital part of the family and parent engagement at Temple Heights.


“Temple Heights is a diverse school with a huge appreciation of our cultures,” says Landeros.


“The cultural/language barrier has decreased through our efforts in making the school a welcoming campus. I stand in front of the school every morning before school. I welcome our families and make sure I'm available to answer any questions. This is also a great opportunity for me to translate a document or a teacher's newsletter for a parent, almost like a roaming information booth."


That diversity is celebrated every year with an annual International Festival. On festival day, families come together and learn about each other’s cultures through crafts, foods and performances.


Temple Heights also reaches parents through a monthly coffee talk. The coffee talk is hosted once a month so that parents can connect with the principal, assistant principal, school counselor and community liaison.


Among it’s many events geared towards parents and families throughout the year, Temple Heights is hosting several “7 Habits Family Nights”. 7 Habits Family Nights are evenings where parents will learn about the 7 habits (taken from author Steven R. Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and how the concepts are integrated into the school.


“The idea behind these nights is to have the parents understand the habits their kids are learning at school,” says Ms. Landeros. “This will bridge the same vocabulary from school to home and get us all on the same page!”


The school engages families in meaningful connection through parent-staff partnerships, events, and effective communication. It’s this enthusiasm and relentless pursuit of parent involvement that helps Temple Heights achieve their goal of meeting every child’s needs.



Posted by: Lisa Contreras, District Admin, Vista Unified School District Published:10/30/17
Audience: Homepage and Homepage