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Principally Speaking - standing head Spring Has Sprung
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As comedian Robin Williams has said, "Spring is Nature's way of saying 'Let's Party'!" The staff and students at Dent Elementary have been very busy working, creating, and learning together as winter has transitioned to spring. We celebrated the work of Dr. Seuss and his contribution to building children's imaginations and love for reading on March 6 during "Read Across America Day." Guest readers including family members, high school "buddies" and community members came to share their favorite stories and passion for reading with our students. It was a tremendous event, made all the more fun because we could enjoy good books while wearing our snuggly pajamas. During the week of March 9, we invited parents to come for Parent Conferences, making sure we are working together to ensure the success of all students. We also traveled to Escalon High School for our annual Art Fair. This year's theme was Folk Art from Around the World, and all Escalon Unified classrooms contributed a wide array of various media reflecting cultures and artistry from around the world. In addition to viewing the art projects, students were able to engage in hands-on activities led by art students from El Portal and Escalon High schools. On March 12 we held our Open House, inviting families and friends to come and admire the work our students were displaying. Students shared many writing projects, art, and math activities. There were student projects from our recent Science Fair, and Power Point research projects about the solar system, photo essays, and computer-generated art and writing media presentations. Families visited our Book Fair and joined together in the cafeteria for a pizza dinner. It was truly a special evening. Our very busy month of March culminated with the Dent Carnival, which was once again a time for families and friends to come together to support our school and enjoy the beautiful weather. It was exciting to see so many of you there!

During the week of April 6-10, schools will be closed as we celebrate Spring Break. When we return, it will be time to prepare for the annual State testing, the California Standards Test (CST), administered at grades 2-11. Testing begins with a rally on Monday, April 20 to remind students of the importance of doing their best on the test. The tests are under the State Testing Accountability and Reporting (STAR) program, which leads to our theme this year "Rock the STAR." Teachers have been diligently teaching grade level standards all year, and reviewing those key standards to prepare our students for the tests, being administered on Tuesday through Thursday, April 21-23. We are asking parents to help us by making sure students are in school, arriving on time, and making sure students are fed and well-rested during the testing days. Our staff has been collaborating all year long, focusing on those skills that are challenging for our students, and working as a team to help our students be successful. More information will be available at this month's Meeting with the Principal on Friday, April 3 at 7:45. We'll look at examples of test questions, and answer any questions parents may have about testing. Parents and community members are welcome to join us for this meeting in the Primary Cafeteria at the back campus.

Once we have completed all testing, we will soon be wrapping up end of the term tests and preparing for the end of the year festivities. As we plan for the 2009-2010 school year, you can help us by making sure all incoming Kindergarteners are registered. Registration packets are available in our office. Reserve space now for your child! Our staff and students work very hard during the year; we want to make learning fun and meaningful for our students. We appreciate all the support our community gives Dent School and students.

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.