Mountainview Elementary School surprises students with parade in their neighborhoods amid COVID-19 quarantine

A caravan of cars driven by teachers parades through the Saugus neighborhood near Mountainview Elementary School on Friday, March 27, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

It’s been two weeks of quarantining at home for the students at Mountainview Elementary School, but their teachers let them know Friday just how much they’re missed. 

In the form of a parade, teachers and staff drove throughout the Mountainview community in their vehicles decked out with balloons and painted windows with messages of encouragement as their students and parents waved from their lawns. 

“It just filled us with so much joy,” said teacher Michelle Green, who helped organize the event. “The streets were lined with kids and they had signs that said, ‘We miss you.’ I was crying. I had tears in my eyes.” 

Parents wave as Mountainview Elementary teachers and staff pass by to say hello and ‘we miss you’ on Friday, March 27, 2020. Video courtesy of Camryn Arnold.

On Friday at around 4 p.m., 38 cars lined up to drive around the community using a map created by Principal Katie Demsher. Cars honked and teachers waved at their students from a distance to practice the safety guidelines amid the recent coronavirus outbreak. Parents were notified just 24 hours before the launch of the parade and they delivered, said Green. 

Among the families outside greeting teachers and staff was Anthony Frattali and his two young daughters. 

“When we got the notification, the girls got really excited and they made signs and they did chalk on the driveways that said, ‘We miss you teachers and staff,’” said Frattali. “It was just so cool to see their smiles just in the weeks that we’ve been quarantined. My wife was crying.” 

Other parents also joined in the sign-making, with at least one sign that read, “Please take our kids back soon.”

Courtesy of Camyrn Arnold

The parade also received support from local firefighters at the Los Angeles County Fire Station 108, who turned on their fire trucks’ lights and sirens as the vehicles passed by the neighborhood. 

“You just felt like the whole year just came to an abrupt end and closure so it was nice to see that teachers are happy and that we’re thinking about students,” said teacher Camryn Arnold. “Only 24 hours ago we sent out a blast email to parents and it was so fun to see everyone, while still maintaining social distancing. I like that the community came together during a time like this.”

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