Former Campbell Park Principal Christine Hoffman has been replaced by Kathleen S. Young-Parker, principal of Cypress Woods Elementary in Palm Harbor pending School Board approval.
BY LAURA MULROONEY, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Campbell Park Elementary has been dodging furtive glances from the community for the last two years; it’s now time for great things to happen according to Christine Hoffman, new principal and former vice principal.
This is the year for family engagement at Campbell Park Elementary, and Hoffman is encouraging all parents and family members of students to get involved.
“We are a school on the rise, we’ve changed in the last two years, we’ve changed the culture and now it’s time to focus on the academics,” she said.
Last year, the school implemented new math curriculum, Eureka Math, from Great Minds, which strives to connect math to the real world through logical progression and in ways that take the fear out of math and build student confidence.
Hoffman saw such great success and gains with Eureka that she is implementing its partner-reading curriculum Wit and Wisdom.
Teachers have been attending training for the new program over the past week and will continue to perfect their understanding until the start of the new school year, which is next week.
Hoffman has scheduled monthly school wide events, to be attended by the school as a whole, every third Tuesday of the month. The first meeting will be held Aug. 23 at 6 p.m., so that parents and guardians can learn and experience the new math and reading curriculum.
For ease of scheduling and to help create a sense of consistency, Hoffman has scheduled all afterschool programs to occur on a Tuesday evening throughout the year.
To improve family engagement, academic parent teacher team meetings have been scheduled three times a year for each grade level. This will be an opportunity for parents to come in and find out where their child is in relation to the curriculum expectations, and for staff to suggest specific fixes for each child. The team meetings are in addition to a twice a year individual parent teacher conferences.
Hoffman has also made changes in the disciplinary process of the school. She believes that in the past the culture was a little chaotic, but the new process has transformed the campus into a more inviting and calm atmosphere.
The additional processes have been implemented to keep students at school and in the classroom for as long as possible, steering away from at-home suspensions.
Alternate disciplinary actions begin in classroom with timeouts and escalate to in-school suspension and afterschool detention, where the student will have an opportunity to complete their work and reflect on their actions. This system has shown a 75 percent decrease in office referrals.
As the new year quickly approaches, Hoffman has high hopes. She is excited about having a stable teaching staff with 17 new teachers, 13 of which have extensive teaching experience.
Hoffman is encouraging parents to get involved by being excited about their children’s school life. She has created a school presence on Facebook at Campbell Park Elementary, and encourages all parents to follow them.
She is also asking for parent support by focusing on the timely arrival of each student, and encourages each child to stay throughout the day by limiting early release.
“Attendance is key,” said Hoffman. “School starts precisely at 8:05 a.m. and goes until 3:35 p.m.”
She believes in the school and in the community. She has been very passionate about the school and its students for the past five years and truly believes that great things are going to happen this year.
Campbell Park Elementary is hosting their Back-to-School Night on campus August 8 at 6 p.m. at 1051 7th Ave S, St. Petersburg.