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Dublin High School Hosts Bay East Association of Realtors for Campus Tour

November 30, 2011

Dublin High School Library - Realtors Tour

by Michael Utsumi (Parent)

The quality of public schools plays an important role when families are deciding where to live. On Wednesday November 30, Dublin High School opened its doors to local realtors to provide an update on Dublin High’s multi-year renewal project. As part of its effort to raise awareness of the renewal project, the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) invited members of the Bay East Association of Realtors for a morning tour of the campus.  Bay East is a professional trade organization that supports realtors – largely in the Tri-Valley. The event focused on arming realtors with the information they need to effectively communicate to their clients and colleagues about the rapid and positive changes that are occurring in Dublin public education.  Approximately 20 agents and guests attended the event.

Dublin High School has undergone a dramatic renewal over the past few years.  DHS was established in 1968 and was originally part of the Amador Valley High School District (Pleasanton).  After the City of Dublin was incorporated in 1982, Dublin High School was annexed and the Dublin Unified School District was formed in 1989.  As with any high-use facility that is over 50 years old, the site was in need of a refurbishment.

Thanks to the foresight of voters in 2004, Bond Measure C was overwhelmingly passed by Dublin voters to help modernize many of the school sites in Dublin, and Dublin High in particular.  A $120M complete site plan was approved to touch every corner of the campus at Dublin High School and the results have been stunning.  Shovels hit the ground in 2006 with all academic classroom renewal projects completed last year. Construction work continues today with a new student cafeteria taking shape and a 500-seat performing arts center to break ground next year.  These improvements will benefit generations of students in the ensuing decades.  Today, roughly 1,600 students attend Dublin High with a capacity for 2,500 students.

For the District, the re-build at Dublin High represents many of the facets of what a 21st century learning environment should look like.  The classroom technologies include: document cameras, tablet technology, collaborative meeting spaces, video production equipment and laptop stations.  The new football field turf hosts multiple NCS sporting events, a Culinary Arts center and new Student Café are on their way.  Further, there is an internal campus-wide wireless networking system in place for when physical textbooks are ultimately rendered obsolete. had the opportunity to sit down with two key individuals responsible for making the Realtor Tour possible.  Carol Shimizu is the Principal at Dublin High and she shared some of her thoughts.

Principal Carol Shimizu and PFSO President Michelle McDonald  What was the inspiration for hosting this tour of Dublin High School– specifically for local Realtors?

Shimizu:  “We are always looking for avenues to highlight our great achievements at DHS and to inform people new to Dublin about our programs and successes. [DUSD Superintendent] Dr. Hanke and I, among others, have addressed the Friday Realtors’ meetings on different occasions, and he thought the group would benefit from seeing the school for themselves. It was a great idea. I would imagine Realtors are bombarded by a wide variety of questions and ideas from their clients, as well as meeting with parents who may have limited information about Dublin if they are new to the Tri-Valley.  Having the opportunity to hear presentations, ask questions and walk the campus provided first-hand knowledge that Realtors can share with their prospective clients and others.” Following the successful passage of Measure C in 2004, you have been able to witness the utter transformation of Dublin High.  Since construction started five years ago, how is the campus/site shaping up?

Shimizu:  “The transformation of our campus has been nothing short of amazing.  The Dublin High School Master Plan not only provides new, state-of-the-art facilities that support 21st century learning, it also provides a beautiful, comfortable high-tech environment that brings pride to our staff, students and community.  To think that all of the construction has taken place without a hitch while academic instruction and co-curricular activities are taking place is an incredible feat!”  What other major capital projects remain to be completed in the near term?

Shimizu:  “Construction of the new The Performing Arts Complex, including a 500-seat theater, will begin in summer 2012.  It is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2014 and will house classrooms for drama, band, choir, and television production.  Following the Performing Arts Complex, the original gym and the former auto shop will be renovated for new occupants.  The final project, which is not included in Measure C funding, is to modernize the swimming pool into an Aquatics Center.” Are you planning similar touring events for other community groups?

Shimizu:  “Dr. Hanke and I were discussing the idea of having monthly tours of our campus so that the members of our community can see what the high school is all about. We’ll work on this after the first of the year when elementary school parents and families new to Dublin might like to learn first-hand about DHS as they plan their children’s educational path.”

As is notable for any successful school site, parental participation is a critical element.  Dublin High School is fortunate to have scores of volunteers that donate their talents and time to enhance the overall experience at DHS.  Drama, sports, clubs and academic achievement would not be possible without these generous parents/guardians.  To round out the story, sat down with Dublin High PFSO President Michelle McDonald to gain her perspective on the “new” Dublin High.  As the parent of two current DHS students, what material benefits have your children received from the re-building of the school?

McDonald:  “The facilities are more than beautiful and new, they are state-of-the-art. The science laboratories rival facilities I’ve seen on college campuses, the collaborative spaces are well-used by the teachers and the technology being employed in these new spaces has quite simply given my kids a better, more complete educational experience. These classrooms are also roomy and airy and conducive to learning. I know both of my students feel a true sense of pride about the quality of the classrooms they are now learning in.” The concept of a Realtor Tour was inventive – what sparked your interest in participating in this event?

McDonald:  “I am a passionate advocate for Dublin High and I wanted to make sure that the local agents in the area, who are talking with clients and potential home-buyers, are motivated to tout this high school and everything that it offers. I also wanted to be a part of making sure that the agents have the right information about our school, that they’ve seen the buildings, experienced the campus culture and that they understood what DHS is all about. We want people to want to live in Dublin and we want those same people to look forward to sending their kids to Dublin High School because they’ve heard what a great place it is. The best way to do that is to get the word out.” As President of the Dublin High School PFSO, what might you say to those students and families in the lower grades that have never had the opportunity to step foot on campus?

McDonald: “Come. Visit. Bring your younger kids to a game. Or a drama production. The idea of your young children going into high school is scary for parents. I have been there. It seems big and intimidating and overwhelming. As a parent you worry. I know I did. But from the moment that my eldest daughter set foot here four years ago, it’s been abundantly clear that she is safe and happy and challenged. Not every day is a perfect day, these are teenagers after all, but Dublin High somehow manages to capture a small-school atmosphere in a growing student body and an indelible sense of community. I wouldn’t wish my kids were anywhere else.”

A Dublin High School Primer  is available for download here.

One Comment
  1. Billie Hedt permalink
    December 1, 2011 7:39 am

    Dublin Unified School District is the reason we chose to move here in 2008 when our jobs took us north. We did our homework, reading article after article, reading parental comments from several public school websites, as well as talking to realtors. We, too, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We have first-hand knowledge of what happens to children in large public school districts, and let me tell you, I’m looking forward to Dublin High for our youngest child.

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