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

It’s about to get loud again at the Denair High School stadium and middle school facilities.

The Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Santa Clara are back for the eighth year in a row. The 150-member organization of musicians and color guard participants traditionally begins each summer competition season with a weeklong camp in Denair.

“The relationship between Denair and Vanguard has been positive and has generated interest to the degree that folks will stop by to watch,” said Aaron Rosander, superintendent of the Denair Unified School District.

Twice in the past four years, the camp provided a springboard to the Drum Corps International Open Class Championship, which the Bay Area group has won four times (2000, 2008, 2013 and 2015). Santa Clara finished second last summer.

“We make a lot of noise, so it’s easy to become a distraction. The people here are really nice; very welcoming,” said Steve Barnhill, the corps’ director. “The facilities are great. We’re right next to the cafeteria. We’re right next to the quad. We have access to football field. And it’s quiet and safe at night.”

Vanguard’s group includes about 70 musicians in the brass section playing trumpets, mellophones, trombones and tubas; about 40 in the color guard waving flags, twirling rifles and dancing; about 35 in percussion playing snares, quads, xylophones and marimbas; three drum majors; and about 20 adult instructors. The caravan of three buses, a semi-trailer full of instruments, flags, uniforms and equipment, and a mobile kitchen will arrive on Thursday.

The cadets bunk in the middle school gym while the adults use various classrooms. “We all have air mattresses,” Barnhill said. “This gets our kids and our parental volunteers used to the idea of living out of a suitcase and sleeping on air mattresses. We couldn’t afford it otherwise. It’s not practical. Plus, we need the space a school provides to rehearse. We’re very self-sufficient.” Continue reading “World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Denair for Weeklong Camp” »

DUSD’s Proposed 2017-18 Budget Includes $1 Million to DECA Expansion, New Textbooks

Fast-growing Denair Elementary Charter Academy will add classrooms for its expanding dual-immersion program and students across the district will benefit from new textbooks under a proposed 2017-18 budget discussed Thursday night by school officials.

The $15.7 million spending plan projects the use of more than $1 million in so-called “one-time funds” received from the state over the past few years.

Linda Covello, chief business officer for the Denair Unified School District, said about $415,000 will go toward purchase and installation of up to 10 portable classrooms at DECA in time for the 2018-19 school year.

The elementary campus must add two classes each year for students in the dual-immersion program, which teaches children in Spanish and English. It started at the kindergarten level in 2015-16 and expands to each grade level as the first students advance.

Another $430,000 in the proposed budget will be directed toward the purchase of new textbooks in Spanish, English language arts and math across the district, Covello said. About $120,000 will be used to replace two computer labs at DECA and $100,000 will buy eight to 10 Chromebook carts (portable computers used across the district).

“We really want to expand our programs to entice students to come to the district,” Covello said.

The one-time funds have accumulated the past three years, she said. By law, they cannot be spent on ongoing expenses such as employee salaries.

Superintendent Aaron Rosander said rather than increasing overall funding for education, Gov. Jerry Brown has preferred to give districts one-time funds if the state has “extra” money at the end of its fiscal year.

Denair’s proposed 2017-18 budget anticipates an Average Daily Attendance of 1,279 students, an increase of 16 students from this year. ADA is the basis for state funding. Projections are for 2% attendance growth in 2018-19 and 3% in 2019-20. Continue reading “DUSD’s Proposed 2017-18 Budget Includes $1 Million to DECA Expansion, New Textbooks” »

Class of 2017 Honored at graduation Ceremony

Submitted by Denair High School

The 70 graduates of the Denair High School Class of 2017 received their diplomas Friday night in front of friends, family and community members at Jack Lytton Stadium. The ceremony featured remarks by Superintendent Aaron Rosander, Principal Kara Backman, valedictorian Hector Obando and salutatorian Libby Martinez. School board members were on hand to present diplomas to the students.

Here are what the student speakers had to say:

 

Hector Obando, valedictorian (4.17 grade-point average)

Thank you for joining us at Jack W. Lytton stadium for Denair High’s very own graduating class of 2017.

It comes with great respect and privilege to be here today. Watching all of the people I have grown up with become young adults has gone by too fast. We are on the verge of adulthood! But first, to become an adult we have to strive towards goals our role models have set for us. Therefore we should congratulate not only ourselves, but our role models which includes parents, teachers, coaches, guardians, extended family, friends and anyone else who has imprinted on our lives.

As we become adults, we too are going to be role models. Now, I am not saying to act perfect because nobody can ask that. Just remember, as you continue your trail of life, do not go unnoticed. There’s always someone watching whether they are older or younger than you are, and it is never wrong to make a difference in their life.

I know that I have not been here as long as some of my fellow graduates. I started my freshman year, but this moment today will bring joyous cheer and also a teary-eyed sunshine. I will miss my family that I call the graduating class of 2017. Continue reading “Class of 2017 Honored at graduation Ceremony” »

Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA

The Denair High School Class of 2017 provided real-life inspiration to their much younger peers Thursday morning, donning their purple and white caps and gowns and marching through the Denair Elementary Charter Academy campus.

It was the first step in a daylong series of events, including a mid-morning graduation practice walkthrough, leading up to Friday night’s commencement ceremony. Graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Thursday’s first-ever Grad Walk was the brainchild of high school Principal Kara Backman and Amanda Silva, the district’s assistant director of special education. It was patterned after similar events discussed at a No Excuses University conference in January, Silva said.

NEU is an educational model built around the belief that every child has a right to be prepared for college, starting at the elementary level. Denair schools have embraced that philosophy and are working toward NEU certification.

Beneath their robes Thursday morning, Class of 2017 students wore T-shirts from their colleges of choice. Backman said 47 of the 70 graduates plan to attend a college or trade school of some kind.

The march to DECA campus was intended to be a vivid reminder of the educational journey the elementary students have just begun. Continue reading “Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA” »