Desert Sands USD Welcomes Students Back to School

Desert Sands USD Welcomes Students Back to School

Martín Di Felice

La Quinta, CA

The back-to-school routine is officially underway. Nearly 29,000 students made their way into classrooms Thursday morning. From bicycles to skateboards, cars and buses, streets were crowded with eager minds.

"Traffic is always a little bit of a mess at pickup and drop-offs," said Tiffany Norton, Principal at Dr Carreon Academy. It’s her first year as principal and she’s already building stronger relationships.

"So we spend a lot of time as staff together, working on community relationships, talking about how we’re going to build our parent and student relationships," she said.

Communication is key according to Norton, especially when it comes to keeping parents informed while their child is at school. She has access to send instant messages to parents via text message right from her own phone.

"I can send it out just as quick as "reminder today is a minimum day", and it goes out to our parents that are registered in our classroom," said Norton.

Weekly meetings with teachers like Alma Ochoa, keep communication open between teachers and staff. Ochoa is in her thirteenth year as a teacher and the first day of school Thursday is still just as exciting as years past.

"I’m excited the kids are excited, just seeing those bright eyes, see all those smiling faces," she said.

Ochoa has incorporated technology into her classroom, a new form of digital communication. It’s been a major goal in each classroom at Dr. Carreon Elementary to keep students engaged with the newest forms of learning.

"Really looking to integrate more technology into our lessons, we’re one to one Chrome-books and tablets TK5," said Principal Norton.

Superintendent Scott Bailey is also focused on opening new lines of communication, with monthly videos highlighting events across the district. They’re called SuperSeconds and the short videos provide updates for parents, teachers, staff and students on announcements from different schools. Bailey also uses the YouTube Channel as a way to encourage everyone to work together for a more harmonious community.