Denair Charter Academy’s new office opens up
space for first-ever student center
Denair Charter Academy has a new office for Principal Brian LaFountain and his staff. And within the next month, the old office space will be renovated and remodeled into a much-needed student center for the independent study campus.
The shift is the latest domino to fall in a series of moves that began in the summer of 2015 with the relocation of the Denair Unified School District administrative office from a modular building on the east side of Lester Road to a refurbished former classroom just a few short steps across the parking lot. That project included an upgraded meeting space for the district’s Board of Trustees.
For many years, the board held its meetings in the building that now is home to the DCA office. Before it was the board room, it was a band practice area. Last year, it was used once again for music instruction. Given its proximity to the DCA classrooms, it made sense to give it a new purpose.
Walls were added to create offices, cubicles for staff, a reception area, meeting spaces and closets. A bathroom is waiting to be plumbed. Though there still are boxes to be unpacked and photos to be hung, everything is humming in the new building.
La Fountain took over as principal in July, so he spent only a few months in the old DCA office. And as much as he enjoys his new accommodations, what really excites him is what’s yet to come.
DCA prides itself on providing “personalized education opportunities” for its more than 300 students, but most of them spend only a day or two a week on campus working one-on-one with their teachers. The rest of their education takes place elsewhere. Parents use lesson plans created in tandem with DCA instructors to home school K-8 students; independent study plans are developed for high school students away from campus.
“In independent study, one of the biggest challenges is getting students to come in when they’re not required to,” LaFountain said.
Part of the solution, he decided, is to give those students a place to call home. Older students, in particular, will be able to meet privately with teachers, complete assignments, access some of the family and social services that DCA offers or simply have an indoor place to wait for transportation.
“It gives them a central space where they can run into each other, see their friends and hang out between classes,” LaFountain said.
The remodeled office also will have desks with computers for testing and tutoring as well as an office for DCA’s campus supervisor and desks for some of the part-time teachers. Given their schedules, LaFountain said it is unlikely most of those employees will overlap.
“It will be a quiet space for our teachers or a place where they can meet privately with families when necessary,” he said. “We’re excited about all the ways we’ll be able to use it. It’s a great addition to our campus.”
A Denair resident with a diverse and successful education background, an innovative elementary school teacher already in the district and an experienced bilingual instructor from Patterson were announced this week as the three new principals in the Denair Unified School District.
Kara Backman will take over at Denair High School, Kelly Beard will become the new leader at Denair Middle School and Lucy Zamora will take the reins at Denair Elementary Charter Academy.
The selections were revealed to teachers and other staff by Superintendent Aaron Rosander, who led a team that interviewed what he called six “outstanding” candidates last week.
Backman emerged as the choice to become the third principal in three years at the high school. She previously has served as principal at University Charter School in Modesto, Summit Charter Academy campuses in Porterville and Ceres, and Vanguard College Preparatory Academy in Empire.
Continue reading “New Principals Announced for Denair High School, Middle School and Elementary Campus” »
Nearly $26,000 in scholarships were awarded as Denair High School celebrated the academic achievement of its students Thursday night.
Abigail Dirkse received the Jim Booth Memorial Scholarship worth $2,500, the top individual award. She also earned the $1,500 Turlock Chamber of Commerce Ag Scholarship and was awarded $250 from the Stanislaus County Women in Agriculture.
Logen Arndt was recognized as the Class of 2016 valedictorian for his grade-point average of 4.33, best among seniors. David Sweeten and Dirkse (both 4.25 GPA) will be salutatorians at the May 27 graduation ceremony.
About 300 people attended the one-hour ceremony in the Coyote Center at Denair Middle School.
Other scholarships, listed by student:
Continue reading “Top Denair High School Students Awarded $26,000 in Combined Scholarships” »
Students who completed grade twelve from the 2003-2004 to 2014-2015 school years at Denair Unified School District, and have met all graduation requirements other than passing the CAHSEE, are eligible to receive a diploma. Students are asked to visit their former high school office to request their diploma. Should a former student be unable to pick up the diploma, someone else may do so on the student’s behalf with written authorization. Diplomas will be released only after valid photo identification has been provided.
For further questions please call the high school offices
Denair High School - 209–632-9911
Denair Charter Academy - 209–634-0917