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Principally Speaking
Proud To Serve Students

Gateway Academy, which is currently housed on the Dent Elementary campus, opened in August of 2013 with 22 students and one teacher. Enrollment has grown exponentially and currently has an enrollment of 160 students with five teachers. Gateway Academy is a TK-12 home school charter and in June of 2016, received Accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

As Gateway Academy has grown, students have been provided with more and more enrichment opportunities both on and off our campus. Members of the community have stepped forward to share their knowledge and expertise with our students. During the first year, students were able to take a Music Appreciation Class and had a visit from Great Valley Museum. Today, Gateway Academy students have many opportunities to attend enrichment classes both on and off of our campus.

On site classes include history classes that are taught by April Adams. She brings a great love and passion for history that she shares creatively with the students in her class. April is currently teaching a World War II class on Monday afternoons to our upper elementary students, and on Tuesday is teaching a Number the Stars book study and spending time teaching about the various “characters” who had effects on that era in World History. Lisa McCune teaches Spanish classes to students in grades one through eight.

We are thrilled to have Gary Ball and Ellen Nelson, both prior educators in the Escalon Unified School District, teaching enrichment classes for Gateway Academy students. Gary has started teaching science classes on Wednesdays with our second through fifth graders. This series of science classes are designed to be hands-on and interactive. Students will work to make sense of problems, persevere in solving them, reason abstractly and quantitatively, use appropriate tools strategically, and attend to precision. During the four sessions, students will complete the following challenges: High Tower Challenge, Tower of Power, Zip Line, and Soap Box Derby.

Ellen Nelson has started a series of math classes, as well. Hands-On Equations is a supplementary program that can be used with any math curriculum to provide students with a concrete foundation for algebra. It uses the visual and kinesthetic instructional approach. This hands-on, intuitive approach enhances student self-esteem and interest in mathematics. Students will learn, the concept of an unknown, how to evaluate an expression, how to combine like terms, the relational meaning of the equal sign, the meaning of an algebra equation, how to check them, solving equations with unknown, and how to solve one and two-step equations.

Students are also able to take advantage of many enrichment opportunities within the community of Escalon. Soccer and baseball through the City of Escalon Recreation Department are popular options for our students. They attend dance classes at Power House Dance and take art classes at the Happy Artists Creative Art Studio. Students also are involved in sewing, piano, guitar, and horseback riding lessons.

As Gateway Academy’s enrollment has grown, our partnership with the local community has grown as well. We are so grateful for all of the opportunities that our provided to our students by the community of Escalon.


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.