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New School Year Looms

The first day of classes for the 2016-17 school year in the Escalon Unified School District is set for Wednesday, Aug. 10.

New teachers are gearing up for their orientation days later this week, with the district welcoming 19 new teachers to the various campuses.

Also new this year will be Eric Simoni taking on the role of Escalon High School Principal and Julio Zambrano coming on board as the new Van Allen Elementary Principal. Simoni comes from the Manteca Unified School District while Zambrano was last at Empire Elementary School.

“Everything’s coming together,” Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa said of preparing the district campuses for the new year.

Major projects undertaken this summer have included repainting both the Dent and Farmington Elementary school buildings, putting in a new gas line at Farmington and a new water system at Collegeville Elementary. The domestic system, said Costa, will be ready when school starts but the irrigation system at Collegeville will likely be completed after classes resume.

Also, a new marquee was installed at El Portal Middle School and cafeteria floors in the district that were tile have been replaced with polished cement.

New fencing has been installed at the high school, around the various playing fields and at the softball diamond.

“Those were some of the big projects,” Costa said, noting that other work over the summer included routine maintenance and deep cleaning so all sites are fresh and ready to go next week.

Cougar Kick-Off continues at Escalon High School today, Aug. 3 and the Dent Dragon kickoff is also slated today starting at 2 p.m.

Various ‘Back to School’ nights are coming up as well, with Van Allen Elementary back to school night set for Monday, Aug. 8; Farmington on Tuesday, Aug. 9; Dent on Thursday, Aug. 11; Collegeville on Tuesday, Aug. 16, Escalon High School on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and El Portal on Thursday, Aug. 18.

First day of school will be Wednesday, Aug. 10 and Wednesday, Aug. 24 will be the first minimum day of the school year, a staff development day, when all students will be released 90 minutes early.

Costa said he is looking for a smooth start to the school year on Aug. 10 and is excited that students will soon be returning to campuses.

“We’re looking at having everything completed by the time school starts,” he said of finishing up maintenance and cleaning projects.