Denair Trustees OK $14.7 Million Budget for 2018-19

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” »

Denair’s Blake Davis Named to Two Football All-Star Teams

Submitted by Denair High School

Denair wide receiver Blake Davis has been selected to play in two upcoming football all-star games – the 45thannual Lions Club contest on June 16 in Tracy and the 33rdannual North-South Rotary game on June 23 in Merced.

Davis is believed to be the first Denair player since lineman Joel Huber in 2003 to be chosen for either game.

“I was pretty surprised,” said Davis, who just returned from a graduation trip to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. “I knew that coach (Anthony) Armas nominated me, but I was waiting quite a while. Then I got the text and said, ‘Sweet.’

“It’s kind of crazy to think I’m the first one from Denair in so long.”

Like most Denair players, Davis played offense and defense the past few seasons with the Coyotes. But when Lions training camp begins June 11 at CSU Stanislaus, his focus will be strictly on offense. Last year, Davis caught 20 passes for 508 yards with eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder averaged 25.4 yards per catch, which reflected his speed and toughness, his coaches say.

“He’s got good size,” Armas praised. “He’s strong. Very physical. He’s the kind of kid who makes the difficult catches.”

Added wide receivers coach Tim Fanning: “Blake has good hands. His yards gained after the catch was also very impressive.”

Though Davis hasn’t played football since November, he’s been hitting the gym to stay in shape.

“Mainly weights, squats, bench and conditioning stuff,” he said, adding the long layoff doesn’t bother him. “If I get hit one time, that’s the easy part.”

He’s looking forward to working with quarterbacks he’s never played with before.

“We’ve really got to get our timing down,” he said. “Let them known your speed and you their arms.”

And playing on back-to-back weeks even in the summer heat? “Hey, that looks like a lot of fun.”

Davis is undecided if the two all-star games will be his final times to put on pads. He’s been invited to go out for the Modesto Junior College team this fall and has also considered played at Merced College. “Maybe I’ll make up my mind during practice the next couple of weeks.”

Free Summer Meals for Kids in Denair

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Free Summer Meal Service Program Featuring Breakfast and Lunch at Denair Elementary Charter Academy Cafeteria and Supper at Denair High School Cafeteria! (Please see flyer for details, also available in Spanish)

Children do not have to attend Denair schools but must be 18 or younger to participate and there are no income or other eligibility restrictions.

Just show up and we’ll feed you a delicious, nutritional meal! The menu will change daily.

The program is a collaboration of the Denair Unified School District and the California Department of Education, using federal grant money.

DUSD helping to ensure that NO child goes hungry this summer!

For more information about our Food Service Department, please visit