Manzano Mesa Elementary School  Logo
Map to Manzano Mesa Our School Activities
Community Schools Children's Choice Family Strand Preschool Co-op Walking School Bus (WSB) Common Core & PARCC
After School Clubs Daytime Activities Homework Diner
Welcome to the Library
Technology and the Future Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd grade 3rd Grade 4th grade 5th grade Games

Family Strand

What is Family Strand?

What it is:
Simply defined---it’s the movement of a set class from the present grade level  to  next years grade level. This is a new concept or practice that would keep students together as a class  while they move up each  grade. This  was developed secondary to our shift in becoming a community school and piggy-backs everything that defines a community school. This program is currently in its second year of implementation. Our objective  is to plan activities that promote family involvement and accountability; regardless of diversity, ethnicity, social /economic class, education, or experiences.
Benefits of Family Strand:
Teachers gain extra teaching time “Getting to Know You” time becomes virtually unnecessary.
Teacher's knowledge about a student's behavior and intellectual strengths and weaknesses increases as the teacher gets to know the students.
Developing a school and family relationship forges a strong, mutual trust and purpose.



Students have less apprehension about the new school year and the new teacher.
Students may reap benefits from time spent on developing social skills and cooperative group strategies in subsequent years.
Students develop more confidence both socially and academically.
Family Strand encourages a greater sense of community and family among parents, students, and teachers.

Original Teachers

Original Teachers

The Original Teachers

See picture above, teachers listed in order from left to right.

Gayle Wise (Kindergarten), Lisa Maynes (1st grade), Sarah Bitner (2nd grade),  Jayne Deissinger (3rd grade), Nicole Miner (4th grade), and Jason Buchen (5th grade).  The little sprite in the front is Mrs. Bitner's daughter who is currently a member of our family strand classes!



New Additions

New Additions

The New Strand Begins

See picture above, teachers listed in order from left to right.

Kathy Williams (Kindergarten), Claire Saadia (1st grade), Erin Schissel (2nd grade), and Julia Martinez (3rd grade, who will be joining the group next year!)

These teachers were added as a new cohort of Family Strand last year. We added Ms. Schissel this year and have selected our third grade teacher,  to be added next year, Mrs. Martinez. We will continue by adding a fourth and fifth grade teacher in the next couple of years until we have another complete cohort kindergarten through fifth grade.


"My original fears  about my class all moving  together to the next grade have diminished as I realize this  program  will help facilitate academic expectations."----Jayne Deissinger  3rd grade family strand teacher
"I think a strength of the family strand is that you have developed a community as a whole and the kids get to see over  time the social development that occurs. " Libby Dolan----school counselor

"As a parent, I appreciate the fact that my child will know who his teachers and classmates are going to be. For a child that is anxious about school starting, it was nice for him to quickly ease back into school that first day.  The community that has grown with the parents in his classroom has been great. We have gone to many birthday parties and have made great friendships with several family members."             }anonymous parent}

"Family strand is just that---families learning and working together."   Jayne Deissinger----- 3rd grade family strand teacher