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New School Year Arrives For District Students, Staff
Line up pix
Students line up and get ready to head into the classroom after the final bell rings at Dent Elementary; kindergarten students here had a chance for a final wave at family members before starting their first day of school on Aug. 9. Marg Jackson/The Times

Fresh new backpacks, colorful lunchboxes, name tags … all were prominent on several Escalon Unified School District campuses this past week, as classes resumed for students across the district.

At Escalon High School, the incoming senior class is looking forward to their final year of high school, while the kindergarten students at Dent, Van Allen, Collegeville and Farmington are just getting started on their educational journey.

“I’m so ready, I’ve been working on my room all summer,” said Alissa Vickers, a new kindergarten teacher at Dent.

With 23 kids in her class, she was as eager as the students to get the school year underway.

“I’m so excited. A little nervous but more excited,” she explained. “I’m happy I found a career that I’m in love with.”

Some kindergarten students come in after having attended preschool, others have had a year in transitional kindergarten. Five-year-old Cole Morrill attended TK and mom Brandi said he was eagerly anticipating the new adventures awaiting him in kindergarten.

Dad Jorge Michicoj was watching as his daughter Melina lined up to head into the classroom for her first day of school.

Michicoj, himself an EHS alum, said Melina will turn 5 this month and he’s excited to have a child starting in the same school system he attended.

“She’s excited, I’m excited, ready to start a new beginning with her,” he said.

Though the campus at Escalon High School remains the site of multiple construction projects and work is also being done at a couple of other school sites, all campuses were nonetheless fresh and ready for the first day. Carpets had been cleaned, new staff members were settled in, hallways were pristine and ready for the onslaught of hundreds of feet.

“Opening day went very smoothly in spite of the construction that is happening across the district – our students and staffs were able take the construction inconveniences in stride and focus on successfully starting the school year,” said Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa. “Our total enrollment, district and charter, is up 21 students from the same time one year ago. We are fully staffed with teachers and counselors and our excellent staff is focused on student learning.”

The majority of Back to School Nights were hosted over the first few days of the new school year last week, with just Escalon High School, El Portal Middle School and Gateway Academy yet to host their events.

Escalon High School Back to School Night is set for Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.; El Portal and Gateway events are set for Thursday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

The district’s first minimum day for staff development is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23.