Enrollment Opens Soon for Kindergarten, TK at DECA

Kindergarten and transitional kindergarten registration begin Wednesday, Jan. 22 at Denair Elementary Charter Academy

Packets with complete registration information are available beginning Monday, Jan. 13 at the DECA office at 3773 Madera Ave., Denair. Registration packets also may be downloaded from the school’s website. Anyone with questions should call (209) 632-8887.

Completed applications must include a copy of the child’s birth certificate, updated immunization records and proof of residency (such as a utility bill).

Incoming kindergartners must turn 5 by Sept. 1. Children who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 are eligible for transitional kindergarten.

DECA features traditional as well as dual language immersion instructional tracks for kindergarten through fifth-graders, plus a transitional kindergarten program.

All parents also are required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting if they are enrolling their children in the dual language immersion program. Meeting dates are listed in the registration packet.

At DECA, students are exposed early on to the importance of attending college, there is a wide range of fun and important electives and afterschool activities, and emphasis is placed on being safe, responsible, respectful and kind.

All this occurs on a pretty and well-maintained campus under the direction of an experienced staff passionate about educating students.

The immersion program will be heading into its sixth year next fall. The first group of students is now in fourth grade; a new class will be added next year as they move up to fifth grade.

Immersion means just that. In kindergarten, 90% of the instruction is in Spanish, in first grade it drops to 80%, then 70% in second grade, 60% in third grade and 50% in fourth grade.

Teachers in kindergarten through second grade only speak Spanish in front of their students. English instruction takes place with other teachers.

“We want to provide them with a true immersive experience,” said Principal Kelly Beard. “Immersing them in Spanish provides opportunities for our non-native students to become fluent Spanish speakers.”

The goal, she explained, is to allow youngsters to grow into truly multicultural students who can read, write and speak well using both languages.

It’s not just dual language immersion students who learn a second language. Students on the traditional track also receive Spanish instruction two to three times a week in the language lab.

In addition, DECA provides a variety of fun and challenging Academic Adventure electives:

  • Drama
  • Technology
  • Engineering design
  • Health and nutrition
  • Art
  • Horticulture
  • Music

In addition, there are afterschool activities such as student council, safety patrol, the Coyote Reading Circle and the Baile Academy dance multicultural program in which students can participate.

It may be an elementary campus, but DECA is loaded with college awareness. There are pennants from various schools on the walls in the main office and displays in every classroom. Each class adopts a university and once a week, students and staff wear shirts representing that school.

The goal, Beard explained, is to begin planting the seeds at an early age that all students should aspire to attend college. That’s an important goal in places like Stanislaus County, where only 17% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

DECA also participates in the Positive Behaviors Intervention and Supports (PBIS) initiative, which sets expectations for how students conduct themselves. Posters hang in every setting laying out fundamentals of respect, safety, responsibility and kindness, and teachers consistently acknowledge students who model the best DECA Coyote behavior.

“It contributes to a positive culture on campus,” Beard said. Parents are invited to come to the DECA campus and witness all the great things that are happening. To arrange a tour, please call the office (209) 632-8887. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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