Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the “Land of the Dragons!”
We have been “firing” on all cylinders this school year as our students and staff get prepared in anticipation of our Winter Break. We have accomplished so much already in our school year and we are looking forward to all that is still to come in the second half of the 2015-16 school year.
Our teachers have been hard at work collaborating not only on-site but with their fellow teachers within our school district. Being able to have the opportunity to meet and learn from one another is something our district has invested in and our students are the primary beneficiaries because of it. Personally, just being able to sit in and listen to the collaborations that are taking place amongst our teachers has been amazing; they truly are professionals of their craft! It is exciting to think that these professional minds are the ones we entrust to empowering and educating our youth.
On a similar note, our school has been very busy adapting and exploring ways to further teach to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Teachers have been participating in technology trainings, demonstrating lessons with their colleagues, and furthering their own depth of knowledge by attending CCSS trainings provided by the district and the San Joaquin County Office of Education. All of their hard work, time, and effort are to ensure our students are being offered the very best in learning strategies and a quality rigorous education that will prepare them for their future in education and in life.
This year we continue to welcome our Escalon High School students who volunteer their time as a Peer Interaction Team (PIT) buddy to our students. This partnership serves as a mentoring resource that we are glad to have on campus. These students go through an extensive training process and are provided the skills they need to get the most out of their time with our students. Needless to say, these high school students are revered as positive role-models for our kids to look up to and model how to communicate and have a positive outlook on school and life.
The partnership with EHS does not end there. Dent Elementary School is also appreciative to EHS’s woodshop students for constructing “Buddy Benches.” These benches will be for our students to use if they need a place to find a buddy or if they just need someone to talk to. Our trained fifth grade Conflict Managers will see these students and befriend them. Whether it is a friendly conversation, someone to play with, or just a quiet place to sit and read, these benches will be a welcome addition to our school. We look forward to their arrival in 2016 and look forward to having them on campus for years to come.
Another Dent partnership visited our campus this past November when our second grade classes welcomed our local American Legion Post #263 to Dent Elementary School. We were honored to have these proud Veterans come onto campus to not only answer several questions that the students had prepared, but demonstrate and educate us in the proper way to fold the American flag. I was extremely proud of our students in the way they respected and listened to the explanation of the 13 folds of our beloved flag. For the past couple of years the second grade classes have prepared care packages to be sent overseas to our brave men and women that are serving our great country this holiday season. Several other classes also write letters of appreciation that are sent to the members of our military. Having Post #263 come by and spend time with our kids, helps connect the students with the reality that our service men and women do appreciate our thoughts, but obviously not as much as we appreciate their service and family’s sacrifice for serving our country.
Next, I’d like to thank the community and our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for another wonderful Edible Expo fundraising event. Without the participation of our community, whether it involves attending the Expo, providing donations, or volunteering, this event is not possible. Extreme gratitude is extended to our PTO members who volunteered countless hours in the planning and execution of the wonderful fundraiser. Thanks also to the vendors who took part in the event and provided the delicious and plentiful foods. Lastly, a big thanks to all those in attendance and the generosity they displayed in the silent and live auctions.
We are fortunate to be able to celebrate this time of year in such a wonderful community and blessed to be able to enjoy our freedoms of our country. On behalf of the Dent Elementary School Family, assistant principal Matthew Loretelli, and myself, I wish that every family enjoy the holiday season and cherish the New Year.
Principally Speaking is a monthly article, contributed by principals from Escalon Unified School District sites, throughout the school year. It is designed to update the community on school events and activities.