BRENTWOOD -- Loma Vista Elementary School parents may be surprised next time they open the door to see their child's principal on the other side.
Using a program he implemented at his previous position as principal for a Livermore school, Loma Vista's new principal, Chris Calabrese, intends to visit parents of the students from his school instead of them having to take off work to come see him.
"A lot of working parents don't have time to come to school and meet the principal," he said. "Usually you only see the principal because you child is in trouble or he is winning an award."
Calabrese's hopes to meet all of the parents this year, by going to them instead of the other way around, which is usually the way it is done. There are 700 students at Loma Vista, so he knows that these visits will take awhile to complete, but he knows it can be done. He did this same program in Livermore when he was principal there and he saw how it made a difference to the families.
His intention is to get to know the families and students and hopes to get more parents involved in their student's education.
Calabrese, a Brentwood native since he himself was in first grade, is excited about his return to working within the Brentwood School District and is already getting to know the students and families at his school. After more than a decade since he worked at Loma Vista, Calabrese is now back and has taken over as principal at the Brentwood elementary school.
"A lot of the same families are here from 12 years ago. It is wonderful to be working in our great community again and being closer to home," Calabrese said. "It has been a great homecoming."
The Liberty High School grad began his teaching career at Liberty High School as a social studies teacher. For seven years he held on to that position, but soon changed gears with an interest in making a larger impact on students and deciding on a career in school administration.
His first administration position was as a vice principal at Loma Vista Elementary School, a position he kept for two year. He then moved on to Brentwood's Edna Hill School for three years as vice principal and two years as vice principal at Garin School.
After that he had an opportunity to work as principal, so he moved to Rancho Las Positas Elementary School in Livermore where he spent the past five years.
"We had a great program going at Rancho Las Positas," Calabrese said explaining how the elementary school built a $30,000 track and won a state fitness award while he was there. He also implemented several other programs in Livermore that he is hoping to work into his curriculum at Loma Vista.
Both of Calabrese's sons attended Loma Vista several years back. Combined with that of his own short history at the school, along with his familiarity as a native of the community has made his return there feel like old home week.
Calabrese said he is also working with a lot of the same teachers he worked with many years ago.
There are several programs that Calabrese would like to start right away, including giving out awards to child who follow the school code of "Respect, Resilience, Responsibility and Kindness." He also hopes to reward parents who also show these qualities, so that the students see good role models.
One of the biggest changes all schools will see this year is the change over from statewide practices of education Standards and Benchmarks to the new Common CORE requirements.
"There will be a lot more nonfiction writing and other different programs," he said. "We're excited about that."
When he isn't working, Calabrese and his family own an organic farm and pumpkin patch that he purchased from his mom in 1999. He is also volunteers to work with middle-schoolers at his church and is an avid fly fisherman in his spare time.