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Hemet Elementary is Opening Its Doors

The historic Hemet Elementary School, also referred to as Hemet El, will be opening on August 7th for the 2017-18 school year. At this time, nearly all of the staff members have been hired including Principal Kristi Watson, Assistant Principal Melina Serna, and Office Manager Barbara Caudle.

The Hemet Elementary campus located on Kimball Avenue was built in 1927 and served students for over 80 years. Hemet Unified School District staff closed the school in 2008 due to structural issues. Students were relocated to a temporary site at Dartmouth Middle School and eventually transferred to Little Lake, Ramona, Jacob Wiens, and Whittier once the school was closed.

The Hemet Elementary site has special construction features that were added to help students, families, and staff. The district is estimating that 650-750 students will attend Hemet Elementary when it opens. A playfield was built on Santa Fe St. in an effort to ease traffic, two additional parking lots were created for staff members, and an underground storm drain was built to help with the occasional flooding that occurs.

Staff is happy to re-introduce the school to the Hemet community and re-create the family feel the school has always offered. Watson and Serna know what a treasure this school is to the community at large and understand the care that goes into re-opening it. The Hemet El team will be focusing on a growth mindset for students as well as fostering a spirit of perseverance. 

Students will be introduced to new programs that will help nurture an innovative mindset. Like the other schools within the district, staff will be introducing AVID strategies to ensure students are organized and well-prepared for their lessons. In addition, students will be taught through a project-based curriculum, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), which helps adopt a design-thinking mindset.  

Staff is also introducing the District’s first Spanish-English Dual Language Immersion program. This is an educational model that blends English and Spanish speakers in the same class and teaches students in both languages. The program begins in kindergarten for the upcoming school year and will build up through fifth grade one year at a time over the next several years. Research has shown that students who complete this program will leave with strong reading, writing, and speaking skills in both languages. The class will be made up of 50% native English speakers and 50% native Spanish speakers.

Above all else, Dr. Watson and Ms. Serna want students to feel like they are a part of the Hemet Elementary family. They are excited to encourage each of the students to believe in themselves and help them develop a new growth mindset. “We want to be a school students choose to come to every day,” said Dr. Watson. 

We look forward to re-opening Hemet Elementary to the community and inspiring a new generation of students. If you are interested in enrolling your students at Hemet Elementary, please call 951-765-5100 ext. 5440 or visit the school’s website for more information hemetel.hemetusd.org.