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Dublin Elementary School Families Celebrate “Back to School” Night

September 4, 2015

DSC_1501DUBLIN, Ca. – In some ways, it is a rite of passage. Late August brings the beginning of the school year in the Dublin Unified School District and shortly thereafter, Back to School Nights events are conducted throughout the district. For this Thursday evening, it occurred across the Dublin city boundaries at each and every elementary school site. For many parents and guardians, it was the first opportunity to meet their child’s teacher, to understand the mechanisms of the classroom and to tour the school site.

It should be stated that these assemblies look and feel very different – even versus just five years ago. With the rapid housing and enrollment growth throughout the entire City of Dublin, the school sites have been required to adjust their programs. Portable classrooms populate each and every site to accommodate annually added enrollment. Now, it is typical for the elementary sites to split their “BTS” nights into two segments during the evening simply to accommodate their rapidly growing student populations. This movement is logical as it helps to facilitate the flow of families throughout the site that possess students in multiple grades.

To take one example, OneDublin.org elected to peek into the Back to School event at Frederiksen Elementary School. Fred is one of the most established elementary sites in the district. However, in a mere six years, the student population has expanded to over 800 students – a 300 student increase over this period of time. This is in contrast to some of the rapid high growth sites in Eastern Dublin where a student population at build-out approaches 1,000. Clearly, Dublin continues to remain an attractive destination for many families with school-aged children. And the City-approved development trends will continue to add pressure to the existing infrastructure. Currently, the School District is exploring ways to alleviate “pressure” on their system by reconfiguring the proposed E-5 site into a hybrid K-8 site – much in the way that Fallon Middle School was configured at its inception. Subsequently, there will be numerous opportunities for the community at-large to both comment and to participate in further discussion/action upon these items.

As it relates to the Back to School Night at Frederiksen, it was fascinating to witness the presentations that occurred in each classroom that spanned grades 1-3. In the lower grades, Ms. Catherine Brown emphasized the importance of parents reading to their children every day. She mentioned a strategy that she employed in her own household to “read to your child daily up until you hand them car keys.” Next door, Ms. Anne Wiser explained the mechanics of how the homework folder would come home each Friday and why the student work should be delivered back the following Thursday for review. Down the hall, 3rd grade teacher Mr. Candido Gomez expressed to his class parents the importance of math strategies that would now fit within the newly adopted SBAC confines. In state-wide testing, it will no longer be acceptable to choose from one of four multiple choice options. Instead, the students must be credible in their ability to articulate their work as to how they came upon their results.

DSC_1516For all in attendance, it was probably a revelation. It is again a new day. Yet, for many, it’s all the same. It is a night to reconnect with one’s school, the classroom and the staff. The vibe at Fred was completely positive and the Certificated Staff was greeted with great enthusiasm in the MP – along with the global message from Principal Claire Mognaga. OneDublin.org was pleased to witness this event and we are confident that this will become another year of achievement and positive movement for the Dublin Unified School District. We wish all of our students and staff a very fortuitous year.

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