Anti-Vaping, E-Cig, and JUUL Presentation Engages Students

Submitted by Denair High School:

If they didn’t know it already, Denair High students are being reminded this week of the evils of e-cigarettes, vaping, JUUL pins, and other tobacco-related products.

It’s a coordinated effort involving the school’s PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Club and the Stanislaus County Office of Education.

The series of information-related activities and events was highlighted Wednesday with a powerful presentation in the Denair gym by the father-daughter team of Ray and Brooke Lozano, who crisscross the country warning students about the dangers of tobacco and alcohol use.

“Ray asked for a show of hands who’s tried smoking in any form, and maybe 75 to 100 of our 275 students raised their hands,” said Melissa Treadwell, the PHAST Club adviser. “The kids think vaping is an alternative to smoking and that there’s no nicotine. They’re wrong.”

Denair High has a strict anti-tobacco policy. Any student caught with cigarettes, e-cigs, vaping devices or a JUUL pin (which looks like a flash drive) face suspensions of one to three days. Treadwell estimated there already have been eight instances involving boys and girls this school year – up from only two last year.

“It’s not just Denair High,” Treadwell said. “Everyone is struggling with it now.”

With that in mind, SCOE helped bring the Lozanos to Stanislaus County, where they put on presentations all week at various schools.

“Ray’s a really fun guy. The kids really pay attention to him,” Treadwell said.

Among the sobering bits of information shared Wednesday with Denair’s students and staff: Continue reading “Anti-Vaping, E-Cig, and JUUL Presentation Engages Students” »

Career Fair Exposes Students to Many Opportunities

Submitted by Denair High School

Working professionals from all walks of life – firefighter/paramedic, horse breeder, Realtor, nonprofit executive, dental hygienist, law enforcement, nursing, accounting a more than a dozen occupations – came Friday to share an important message with nearly 300 high school students: You can be whatever you want to be.

The skills may vary, but students from Denair High School and Denair Charter Academy heard some consistent themes in a variety of career-based presentations Friday morning – work hard, get the best education you can, treat people with respect and follow your passion.

Do that, they were told, and a satisfying and successful professional career can be had.

It was all part of an informative and wide-ranging College and Career Fair at the high school.

The point, explained Principal Kara Backman, wasn’t to direct teens down any particular path, but to open their eyes to many different possibilities.

“We really want kids to figure out what their inner passion is and learn about the kinds of skills they need to develop to attain it,” she said.

Students were able to sign up for three 20-minute sessions to listen, watch videos in some cases and ask questions. After lunch, more than two dozen representatives from local colleges and businesses set up booths in the gym, allowing students to browse and gather more information.

One of the sessions featured firefighter and paramedic Kevin Gresham, whose wife, Cherie, is Denair High’s guidance counselor.  Continue reading “Career Fair Exposes Students to Many Opportunities” »

Mural Commemorates State Football Championship

Submitted by Denair High School

Not that anyone living in Denair is ever likely to forget, but there now is a vivid reminder on a busy downtown corner of the community’s state championship football team.

Last week, four players from that team worked with Denair High art teacher John Stavrianoudakis and Denair alum Hector Obando to design and paint a mural on the side of a former gas station at the corner of Main Street and Sante Fe Avenue.

A purple Coyote mascot’s head is bracketed by the words “2018 State Champions.” It is visible to anyone driving near the busy intersection.

It is just the latest way to commemorate Denair’s amazing rise in football last fall. The Coyotes (12-1) – whose only loss to Ripon Christian cost them the Southern League title – crushed everyone in their way once the Division VII playoffs began.

Their historic streak culminated with a 42-14 victory over Santee of Los Angeles for the state title.

It was at that game – played before a partisan, purple-clad crowd at Jack Lytton Stadium – that the idea of memorializing the spectacular feat came to Denair businessman and Coyote booster Bob Holloway.

“We were still in the stands when I started talking to the superintendent,” Holloway said. “They had to jump through some hoops to make it happen, but they did and here we are. It was a helluva accomplishment. Little old Denair won a state championship.”  Continue reading “Mural Commemorates State Football Championship” »

Denair Elementary Charter Academy Continues to Shine; Kindergarten Applications Can Be Picked Up Jan. 22

Submitted by Denair Elementary Charter Academy:

Denair Elementary Charter Academy is a great place for students to start or continue their education.

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

Youngsters 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.

Word of DECA’s success continues to spread, with more than a third of its 558 students coming from outside the Denair Unified School District boundaries.

With kindergarten registration just four weeks away, a new crop of parents and students are poised to discover what so many others already know – DECA is the place to be for a quality elementary education in Stanislaus County.

Parents of children who will turn 5 by Sept. 1 of this year may begin picking up kindergarten application packets Jan. 22 at the DECA office. For the first time this year, they may also download forms off the DECA website

Feb. 12 is the first day applications can be returned. Parents should be sure to include up-to-date immunization records, a birth certificate from the county the child was born in and proof of residency (a utility bill, for instance).

Parents intending to enroll their child in the popular dual language immersion program also must attend an orientation session. Dates will be announced soon. Continue reading “Denair Elementary Charter Academy Continues to Shine; Kindergarten Applications Can Be Picked Up Jan. 22” »

New Middle School Math Program Engaging Students, Denair Trustees are Told

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

A new middle school math curriculum that has shown promising results during a pilot period this year moved one step closer to formal adoption at Thursday night’s meeting of the Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Known as enVisionmath 2.0 Common Core, the program is a comprehensive mathematics curriculum for grades 6–8. It uses problem-solving, interactive experiences and visual learning to engage students. Personalized math practice, built-in interventions, and customizable content deepen understanding and improve achievement.

Denair Middle School math teachers David Rodriguez and Anthony Narsi have been using the program since last fall. They told trustees they believe it will help to improve students’ math skills and, ultimately, their performance on state tests, which has been a concern in the district.

Superintendent Terry Metzger said the middle school program is consistent with what was introduced last year at Denair High School. She said it is a hybrid of written materials as well as online programs and videos students access via Chromebooks at school or their own computers at home.

“It asks kids to apply math skills they’re learning to real-life situations,” she said. “It’s very engaging. The teachers say students are asking for more math.”

The cost of the program is $26,000 for a six-year license, plus hard-copy materials that must be purchased each year. Before trustees take a final vote in February, parents and community members can stop by the middle school campus and view the program, Metzger said.

It also will be discussed at Monday night’s DMS Site Council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

In middle school, sixth-graders are focused on expressions and equations, seventh-graders on ratios and proportions, and eighth-graders on pre-algebra, Metzger said.

“The math these students are learning is pretty complex,” she said. “Many middle school parents cannot help their children with middle school math.”

In other action Thursday night, trustees:

  • Approved two changes to the 2019-20 school calendar. Schools will be out of session the entire Thanksgiving week, recognizing that attendance has been consistently low on the two days of class that week. Students will make up those days before Christmas and after Easter. A staff development day previously held in February was moved to the first day after the winter holiday break, one day before students return to class.
  • Approved overnight field trips for up to 12 Denair High School FFA students to a regional competition at UC Davis on March 1-2 and the state finals at Cal Poly San Luis, Obispo on May 2-4.
  • Scheduled the Local Control Accountability Plan meetings for Jan. 17 at the district office. These meetings are a chance for parents and community members to weigh in on school priorities and offer feedback to district officials before next year’s budget is created. A meeting for Spanish speakers will begin at 4:45 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30, and an English and Spanish meeting at 5:45 p.m.

Accepted an independent audit report 2017-18 that showed the district to be in compliance in all areas.