Natomas Teachers Parade to Cheer Up Students

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Regency Park Elementary School teachers and staff today paraded through Natomas to visit with their students from afar.

“I thought it would be a really cool way to connect with our kids and show them that we’re still here and thinking about them,” said Rochelle Harvey, the second grade teacher who organized the event after being inspired by seeing posts about the #TeacherParadeChallenge online. “We miss their smiling faces everyday.”

The Twin River Unified School district campus closed effective March 16 and will remain closed through the end of the academic year. The district has been distributing Chromebooks and plans to pilot distance learning on April 20.

Teachers and staff said they were eager to see students, even if it was from a distance. Those who participated in the parade first met in the school parking lot to decorate vehicles — from sedans to motorcycles.

“Now we’re all so isolated, it’s important to know we’re still connected and we do care about them,” added Harvey, who led the caravan of vehicles through the neighborhood. “We want to see them and them to see us, to know we’re still here for them.”

The caravan left the school and headed north on Sageview Drive then took Halo Avenue to Daggett Way. The group followed Daggett Way to Meeks Way back to Bridgecross Drive turned off on Bombay Circle and circled back to Bridgecross Drive. From there, the parade went on to Regency Park Drive, then along Honor Parkway and back to the campus via Bridgecross Drive.

Families, many holding signs, waved and cheered as the teachers and staff drove by, honking their horns. Carol Waggoner and her fifth grader were waiting at Bridgecross Drive and Salizar Way with balloons.

“Regency Park Elementary has been part of each of our families’ lives and there’s now a big void of that ‘shared community’ with this health crisis,” said Waggoner, who volunteers as marketing and communications chair for the Regency Park PTA. “The PTA hears how much that the students miss the kids and vice versa, so this teacher parade was so important to bring some cheer to the whole community. It was really fun to see.”

Prior to closing the campus, the Natomas school had just under 800 kindergarten through fifth graders enrolled.

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