Home Visits: The Extra Step For Student Success


Assistant Principal Jon Waggle (middle) getting into the Christmas spirit

Alina Garcia, Contributor

COVID-19 has caused countless obstacles in many different categories, one of the biggest obstacles being a shift in the teaching style that students have been accustomed to throughout their whole academic careers. However, Tracy High School administrators have not stopped trying to find solutions to old and new arising issues and concerns, the importance of student success as well as the student’s mental wellbeing is ranked as the number one priority to all staff at Tracy High.

With that being said, administrators felt the strong urge to do more to help the students struggling with this distance learning curriculum. Assistant Principal of Tracy High Jon Waggle, Assistant Principal of West High School Annabelle Lee, and Assistant Principal of Kimball High School David Doyle, have been conducting home visits to students in need since the beginning of the school year.

Waggle stated, “We are focusing on students that have poor attendance and/or low grades. Also the students that have been contacted previously…by phone, text or email but have continued to demonstrate the need for support.” Their main aim is to help relieve some of the stress and worries in any way possible whether pertaining to technical issues, grade assistance, meal programs, and even mental health counseling.

The intent for home visits has nothing to do with negative associations, Waggle assured, “We try to be understanding and supportive. It is not about punishment or failure. The normal paths of communication are not present so the district felt that we needed to go the extra mile to reach these students.”

In regards to the home visit success rates, not only have the students receiving help have been satisfied, but parents have been as well: “…the vast majority of contacts we have made with parents have been successful. They are genuinely happy to see us. They appreciate the effort and support,” Waggle claimed.

However, with ups, always comes downs. Waggle said, “…too many students are still struggling. The most obvious patterns I see is that students’ attendance improves but their grade does not. Usually because they log in but do not submit assignments.” Although there are small downfalls, the most important thing to remember is that the constant genuine efforts made by Waggle, as well as Lee and Doyle, are working and benefiting so many students and parents who have been overcome with stress and confusion during these tough times for all.

The work is not done, there are still problems to be solved and questions to be answered. Waggle emphasized, “We have to keep trying.”