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Schools Prepare For New Year
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Schools will be back in session next week in the Escalon Unified School District, with classes resuming on Wednesday, Aug. 12 for all students.

Teachers get back a little sooner – including a New Teacher Orientation Day set for Friday, Aug. 7 for the 19 new teachers joining the district staff this year.

“The high school has nine by themselves,” District Superintendent Ron Costa said of new teachers. “The middle school and elementary schools have 10.”

The new teachers will have a full day of orientation on Friday, while all staff returns for a district meeting on Monday, Aug. 10. Teachers will set up classrooms on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and enjoy a district-hosted barbecue lunch, then students return in “full force” on Wednesday, said Costa.

Hours vary from campus to campus, with Collegeville and Farmington Elementary schools both starting at 8 a.m.; Van Allen Elementary at 8:10 a.m.

Dent Elementary has three separate starting times based on grade level, with fourth and fifth graders starting at 8:15 a.m., second and third graders at 8:20 a.m. and transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first graders reporting at 8:30 a.m.

El Portal Middle School lists an 8:44 a.m. start time for the first class of the day.

Escalon High School has a pre-period at 7:07 a.m.; the traditional school day starts with first period at 8:10 a.m.

Costa said summer projects have brought some freshness to the various campuses, and all school sites are ready to welcome students back. The administrative team – from superintendent to principals – has remained the same with the exception of Kendra Helsley, who left her post as director of special education. All other administrators from last year return to the same posts.

The toughest part of the new year, Costa noted, is the ongoing construction work that has a portion of First Street closed to traffic and detoured along several side streets.

The work originally was scheduled to be completed mid-August but that date has been pushed back to mid-September. Getting students on buses to and from El Portal Middle School on First Street could be problematic.

“We’ll be working with the city to determine how best to make it work, it is an absolute necessity for us to use that road,” Costa said.

Back-To-School nights on the schedule include Van Allen on Aug. 10; Dent on Aug. 13; Collegeville on Aug. 18; Escalon High School on Aug. 19 and El Portal on Aug. 20.