July 20, 2005
During the summer, most school administrators take a break before getting ready for the upcoming school year. One principal in town is skipping that break while knocking down doors to improve bridges between parents and the school administration.
Clark Elementary School principal is knocking down doors to build lasting relationship with neighborhood students and parents.
James Pierce, a 31-year-old from the Washington area, has lived in Charlottesville for 10 years, but he's only been principal of the school for 19 days. In that short time he has already visited more than 50 percent of his students' homes.
"The one thing about this effort is that it's all about the home-school connection, said Pierce. "I feel and the staff feels, at this school, that students lives and educations will be enhanced if they know who the principal is and if they know who they're sending their babies to everyday."
Principal Pierce hopes his door to door visits will jump start students and parents' motivation about the upcoming school year.
"This is all an effort to provide a broad base so when we do start school, the kid will be first, and we can focus on children," he explained.
"It makes me feel good because he's showing us that he really cares for the kids and he really want to have a good year for school,” said parent Betty Lowry. "I know when my son goes to school that he will be looked after."
The reception from parents has been well received and while out he even gives a little advice to future Clark students.
Pierce said, "make sure do a lot of reading this summer, okay?" The young boy replied is a soft spoken, "Okay."
It was an okay that will build a future bridge.
Principal Pierce says he has several plans for the upcoming year, but doesn't want to say too much until he meets with his full staff later in the summer.