A sea of bright orange t-shirts filled the neighborhoods near Sul Ross Middle School and Esparza, Linton, Martin and Villarreal elementary schools Monday morning as 400 teachers took to the streets for a Community Block Walk.
Their message was as clear as their shirts were bright- One Team, One Goal. The schools have dubbed themselves “The Fabulous Five” and made it their mission to reach out to their students and families by traveling outside school walls.
“It is so important to build relationships with our communities, and there’s no better way to say we care than by knocking on doors and welcoming students and families back to another school year,” says Ross Middle School Principal Lisa McConoghy.
Monday morning was the first day back to work for Northside teachers, and the “Fabulous Five” schools all met in the Ross gym. They were welcomed by the Holmes High School cheerleaders and mariachis as well as elected officials from Northside, the city, state and national levels.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what you are doing today,” Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods told the teachers. “Our theme this year is Northside Connected and through this Block Walk, you are the epitome of what it means to connect with your students and each other.”
Teams of three or four teachers drove or walked to houses and apartment complexes in their school attendance zones. They greeted families and passed out bags filled with back-school-info so that students will be ready for the first day of school Aug. 26.
The principals at the schools (the elementary schools all feed into Ross MS) hope the Block Walk will increase student attendance and parental involvement and help strengthen the relationship between school staff and families.
Last year was the first Block Walk with just Esparza, Martin and Ross participating. This year, it was expanded to include two more schools in their feeder pattern.
Visit Northside’s Facebook page for an album of Block Walk 2013 pictures.