First Annual Drone Camp is Here!

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Denair Unified School District is excited to announce that its first annual Drone Camp is here! 50 students between the ages 9 and 15 will be on the Denair High School football field between July 23-27 from 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. The camp is about hands-on learning, innovation and adventure.

By the end of the week, students will take to the skies and become an honorary junior drone pilot. Students will practice in flight simulators to learn the controls before flying a drone outside. One of the exercises involves a situation in which students must deliver items to hurricane survivors but the drone only has 30 minutes of battery life left.

What to do? Students also will learn how to take a drone apart and reassemble it while learning drone terminology. This exciting and intensive camp conforms to all FAA rules. This is the only camp of its kind between Sacramento and Fresno (there is a 100-mile limit between camps).

Come on out and watch our students explore the skies!

Drone Camp

  • Dates:July 23-27
  • Time:8 a.m. to noon or 1-5 p.m.
  • Cost:Free (space is limited however)
  • Ages:9-15
  • Coach:Darrin Allen or
  • Details:This is about hands-on learning, innovation and adventure. Students will take to the skies and become an honorary junior drone pilot. Three free meals will be available for all students.

Gaslight Community Conservatory Hosts Kids Summer Dance Camp

Submitted by Denair Gaslight Community Conservatory

Kids Summer Dance Camp

A week-long, half-day camp learning a variety of dance styles with a dance recital on Friday free for family and friends.

July 23-27, 2018, Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, K-6 Grade, $100 per camper

Dance Styles Taught: ballet, tap and jazz.

For registration or more information contact or (209) 664-9514

Dance Instructor Amy Gallegos from BellaLise School of Dance

Denair Trustees OK $14.7 Million Budget for 2018-19

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

With little comment, the Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously passed a 2018-19 budget Thursday night that projects continued enrollment growth at the lower grades but increasingly expensive state-mandated contributions to employee retirement funds.

The district expects to spend $14,782,733 in the next school year – about $1.5 million less than the current fiscal year that ends June 30. The difference, explained Chief Business Officer Linda Covello, is one-time investments made this year in salary payouts to staff, technology upgrades, textbooks, and teacher training and other professional development.

The 2018-19 budget projects district enrollment at 1,225, broken down this way:

Enrollment is critical for school districts because state funding – their largest revenue source – is based upon how many youngsters there are on each campus.

Continue reading “Denair Trustees OK $14.7 Million Budget for 2018-19” »

Denair School Trustees Honor Outgoing Superintendent, Reward Teachers and Refinance Long-Term Debt

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

The Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees said goodbye to its popular superintendent, approved a one-time salary increase for teachers and agreed to refinance its debt to save money at a busy meeting Thursday night.

Superintendent Aaron Rosander – who inherited a district threatened with state takeover in 2014 – leaves it in much better financial shape than we he arrived. Enrollment has stabilized, new programs and an energetic leadership team are in place, and employee morale is definitely on the rise.

“Mr. Rosander, you changed the face and name of Denair. We were down and out and almost taken over. Thank you,” said Trustee Kathi Dunham-Filson.

Echoed Board President Ray Prock Jr.: “We wouldn’t be here today without you. … We are forever grateful.”

Rosander, whose daughter recently graduated from Denair High School, intends to move to the Bay Area to be closer to his elderly parents. He called educators “dream builders” who provide inspiration and guidance to students.

“It’s been a nice ride the last 4½ years,” he said. “Denair has been very good to my daughter and I. … It has been my honor and pleasure to work with you.”

Before the tributes to Rosander, trustees unanimously approved a one-time 4.31% payout to teachers based on their 2017-18 salaries. It is not a raise in their base pay, but “continues to show the board’s commitment to and respect for our teachers,” Rosander said.

Prock, Dunham-Filson and John Plett supported the proposal. Trustees Crystal Sousa and Regina Gomes were not at Thursday’s meeting.

Teachers took an 8% salary cut in 2013 when the district was in financial crisis. Some of that money since has been restored, with permanent increases tied to specific gains in enrollment. Thursday’s action will cost the district $207,500.

Earlier this year, trustees agreed to a similar one-time payout to non-teaching staff. Continue reading “Denair School Trustees Honor Outgoing Superintendent, Reward Teachers and Refinance Long-Term Debt” »

Defending World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Denair for Weeklong Camp

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

It has become a rite of summer for the  Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Santa Clara. If it’s June, it must be time to pack up the brass instruments and the colorful flags and the gear and head for sunny Denair.

Any why not? The formula keeps working. In 2017, the Bay Area group captured Drum Corps International Open Class Championship for the fifth time (and third since they’ve been training in the valley heat).

In the mind of Steve Barnhill, the corps’ longtime director, there is no reason to mess with success.

“Our time in Denair is always one of our favorite things to do,” he said.  “We always enjoy our time there. We’re excited. Last year’s heat was brutal, but I hear this year’s forecast is much better.”

Indeed. Temperatures in the low to mid-90s are expected to greet Barnhill’s 150-member corps and their 30 adult coaches and chaperones when they arrive early Thursday evening. Last year, Vanguard endured a heat wave, with daily highs well above 100 degrees.

This is the ninth year in a row that the Santa Clara contingent has kicked off its competition season in Denair. Essentially, the week in the valley is the equivalent of spring training in baseball or summer camp in football.

Though they’ve been practicing at their headquarters, this is where serious details are perfected.

“It’s a really focused chance to work,” Barnhill explained from his Santa Clara office. “Over here, the kids are either still in school during the year or have other things going on. … The beauty of camp is we all show up at the same time and work. Being in one place for eight days in a row really helps. Everything’s there for them.”

Denair opens up its middle school campus for the week. The cadets – ages 14 to 21 – sleep in the Coyote Center while the adults use air mattresses and sleeping bags in various classrooms. Meals are prepared in the high school cafeteria.

“They really take care of us,” Barnhill praised. “It’s a great set-up.” Continue reading “Defending World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Denair for Weeklong Camp” »