| Print |

Transfer of Territory - Public Hearing

Date: February 17th, 2016

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Place: Denair Middle School (Coyote Center)

Decision Expected February 17 on DUSD Boundary Proposal

Denair school officials encourage students, staff and community members to unite again to convince county officials to leave boundary lines in place and reject a Turlock housing developer’s attempt change them.

The Stanislaus County Committee on School District Reorganization is expected to announce its decision on Wed., Feb. 17 during a meeting in Denair. The gathering will be held at 6 p.m. at the Coyote Center of the campus of Denair Middle School.

At stake is more than $1 million in onetime development fees, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in state funding based on student attendance.

Last fall, developer Ron Katakis asked that 91 acres at the northwest corner of Tuolumne and Waring roads be moved from the Denair Unified School District into the Turlock Unified School District. The property is about a half-mile from the Denair schools complex on Lester Road, but more than two miles away from the nearest Turlock schools.

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

Robots Add Fun and Technical Edge to Unique Lesson for DECA Students

Kelly Beard’s first-graders learned how to code a computer Tuesday afternoon. So did elementary students from four other grade levels at Denair Elementary Charter Academy. The children loved every minute of it.

The high-tech program involved iPad Mini’s – and small, three-wheeled, one-eyed robots known as “Dash,” which are specifically designed to cater to younger students. The children, working in teams of two, used their iPads to move their robots through five different courses taped on the carpet. The calculations required them to work together to or program their Dash to go forward, turn left or right, and even push small plastic golf balls toward a pretend soccer or basketball goals.

Based on the volume of the squeals and laughter, the hour-long lesson was a huge hit.

“The kids are having so much fun,” said Beard. “This is a great way to introduce them to coding. There are so many jobs out there today in the tech world that require these skills. They need to understand how this works.”

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

Sara Michelena Announces Resignation at End of School Year to Focus on Family

In the end, the choice was sad but not difficult for Sara Michelena. She cares greatly for her staff and students at Denair Elementary Charter Academy. But she loves her husband and two young daughters, and her family needs her most right now.

So Friday, Michelena told her staff that she will resign at the end of the current school year to become a full-time mother to adopted daughters Emily, 3, and Elizabeth, 2. Emily has a mild form of 22q, a genetic condition that predisposes her medical and emotional issues.

“The biggest motivation is my children. They’re getting to be critical ages,” Michelena said. “I have a child with special needs and I want to encourage her development. I’m a former kindergarten teacher and they’re getting to the age I dealt with.”

Michelena has led the elementary campus for two years. Last year, she spent months spearheading the effort to write the charter that blended two independent campuses into DECA.

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

Olivas to Coordinate English Language Learning; Perez Takes Over Spanish DMS and DHS

Learning a second language is hard. It also can be an important asset for students as they make their way through high school to college and beyond. And whether that second language is Spanish or English, the Denair Unified School District believes a mid-year adjustment will benefit all its students.

When classes resumed Jan. 4, longtime Spanish teacher Maria Olivas took on a newly created role as coordinator of English language development services. She will work with students at all grade levels for whom English is a second language while still teaching two periods at the high school.

Moving to the high school and middle school campuses is Jasmin Perez, who spent the first semester working with younger students across the street at Denair Elementary Charter Academy.

Olivas has worked in the district since 2004. Perez came to Denair this school year after previously teaching at Kimball High in Tracy and in Turlock.

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

DUSD Trustees OK Elementary Math Curriculum, Incentives for Teachers, Shorter Thanksgiving Break

The Denair Unified School board approved a new math curriculum for elementary students, offered an early notification incentive to teachers and discussed the potential impact of a new state law affecting concealed weapons brought on campus at a busy meeting Thursday night.

Trustees also shortened the Thanksgiving holiday break, meaning staff and students will be in class for two days next November rather than having the entire week off.

The new curriculum at Denair Elementary Charter Academy already is being implemented for about 500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students, said Principal Sara Michelena. Called My Math, it was the clear choice of her staff and recommended by the math consultant at the Stanislaus County Office of Education. It includes an online component in addition to other classroom materials. “We look forward to seeing where this goes,” she said.

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

Denair Superintendent, District Will Fight Developer’s Request to Change Boundary Line

The Denair Unified School District will strongly oppose a proposal by a housing developer to redraw the district’s boundary to send future students to Turlock schools.

The proposal could cost the Denair district an estimated $1 million in developer fees and about $750,000 in annual state funding based on how many students would live in the new homes, Superintendent Aaron Rosander told the Board of Trustees at Thursday night’s meeting.

The boundary initiative is being pushed by Turlock housing developer Ronald Katakis. He wants 90 acres at the northwest corner of Tuolumne and Waring roads to be transferred from the Denair school district to the Turlock Unified School District.

Katakis sent a letter in September to Stanislaus County Superintendent Tom Changnon petitioning for the change. Under the State Education Code, Changnon was required to form a committee to review the plan and recommend for or against it. The 10-person panel of current and former school board members in Stanislaus County will hold hearings Oct. 28 in Denair and Turlock to take public comment.

[Continue reading at DenairPulse.com]

Supporting Documents

Notice and Agenda of meetings in Turlock and Denair
Boundary map showing affect area
Town Hall slides
Transfer of Territory Petition

Diplomas Available

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



The California Department of Education (CDE) is currently engaged in litigation with two non-profit associations comprised of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. The plaintiffs in that litigation have requested numerous documents, as well as student data collected and stored by CDE, which may include personally identifiable student information.

To comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), CDE has been ordered, among other things, to inform parents and students of the disclosure of such information. CDE has requested that school districts and SELPAs post the following link to CDE’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase. The link provides a Notice and Objection Form to allow parents to object, by April 1, 2016, to the disclosure of personally identifiable information related to their children.


Please understand that the district is not a party to the litigation and is not required to disclose any student information, nor does it intend to do so. For more information, please contact CDE directly at (916) 319-0800.

Nondiscrimination Statement -  Click here for more information