How My Daughter’s High School Principal is Engaging Parents During School Closures

First of all, I want to thank my daughter Esperanza’s high school principal, Ms. Verrochi, for hosting coffee with the principal during the school year at Kipp Navigate College Prep. I also want to share extra gratitude to her, and her staff, for continuing to host Coffee with the Principal DURING school closures! 

I know first-hand that many parents may not feel like they are as involved with their child’s school by the time they reach high school level. At this age, our children are a lot more independent, hopefully responsible, and to be quite honest, many of them would prefer that their parents didn’t come on campus to volunteer as they did in elementary school! 

Because of this, opportunities like Coffee with the Principal can be very helpful. As parents, it’s important that we create a relationship with the principals, teachers, and staff at our school. It’s an opportunity to ask important questions about our children, and get answers.

Our high school is new and in its second year since being established. Our first Coffee with the Principal began in January. We talked about how the first semester had gone, and reviewed our student’s academic results. Ms. Verocchi and her team created a safe space, provided updates, and filled us in on upcoming events. We also had a chance to share our concerns, and many parents provided some suggestions. Since then, we have put them into practice together with the staff.

There is no age limit for parents to get involved in their child’s education! 

Our school has been closed since March 16th because of COVID-19. Ms. Verochi still went ahead and hosted a coffee with the principal virtually that same exact week. When I first learned that we would have an opportunity to connect directly with our school leader, I was excited and grateful. Now more than ever, I appreciate the opportunity that our principal created for us as parents, because we have so many questions and concerns when it comes to our children’s education during these uncertain times. I am beyond grateful for the teachers and staff and how they have set-up my daughter to continue learning at home. 

My daughter, Esperanza, has shared with me that she misses school and she is getting a bit anxious while doing her schoolwork at home. The other day she said, “Mom, I would rather do this work at school.” It is a big shift. As a parent at KIPP Navigate College Prep, I feel heard, supported and grateful. Thank you, Ms. Verrochi, for your leadership. I hope other school leaders follow her example and support parents during these difficult times. 

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Eva Heredia

Eva Heredia

Eva is a parent leader at Rocketship Discovery Prep and at KIPP Heritage Academy in East Side San Jose. She currently lives in San Jose California with her two beautiful daughters and her husband. She was born in Mexico City in 1976 but also considers Oaxaca as her home because of her mother. She began her leadership at Rocketship Discovery Prep over four years ago. She learned that there was so much more that she could do as a parent beyond volunteering in her children’s classroom. Eva became fully aware of the political involvement a parent must act on. She has the experience and extensive knowledge about public officials, school board members, and school administrators who play an important role in public education in East Side San Jose. She supported the opening of Kipp Navigate at a State level, by advocating for quality schools alongside other parents in 2018. She then became a founding parent at Kipp Navigate. Besides being a champion for high-quality education and choice, she also helped build the Wooster Neighborhood Association in her community. She is the voice for her children, students, and her community. She is a huge supporter of parent engagement, choice, and access to higher education. In addition, Eva also attended an Adult High School and graduated from Independence High School in 2019.

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