Welcome to De Anza Elementary School,
The 2019-20 school year ended in a way we could never predict, and now we are excited to start the 2020-21 school year! The De Anza staff is ready to support all of our students in new, innovative ways with the first focus being on the safety and well-being of our students, families and staff. We want to welcome all of our returning students and new families joining our school.
We will begin the 2020-21 school year in a distance learning format with the focus on ensuring our students receive an educational experience equivalent to what they would receive here on site. All students can check out a Chromebook from our library in order to connect virtually to their teachers. Throughout the day, the students will be engaged in synchronous (live) learning opportunities and asynchronous learning (where the students complete work and the teacher provides them feedback on it). Your children will still receive music and PE just as if they were in school. We hope to welcome our students back in person as soon as it is deemed safe for all, but in the meantime, we will be working closely with all of you to ensure the success of our students!
De Anza Elementary is committed to preparing all of our students for College and Career! Although college seems far away while the children are in elementary school, time will pass by and we want every student to be prepared to make whatever choice they want to achieve their future goals. During the 2020-21 school year, we will focus on literacy, critical thinking, building a deep understanding of mathematical concepts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). Each classroom also uses organizational tools to help students be prepared for their future educational opportunities. The students also have access to a Makerspace in our library where they can be creative with technology, Lego’s, art, and more! Our classrooms each have sets of Chromebooks for students to be able to access digital learning opportunities throughout the day. Each student will also have a Chromebook to keep at home during the school year and use to access learning apps through the Clever portal.
One of the most important aspects of De Anza is our positive culture. We developed a house system modeled after the Ron Clark Academy during the 2019-20 school year and are looking to expand on it this school year. The house system is designed to promote unity, provide students opportunities to connect across grade, promote core character traits, and create a sense of pride. De Anza will have Four Houses, yet we are One Family. Our Houses are:
Kuamua--Swahili for Determined
Honestidad--Spanish for Honest
Qwicha"aantum--Luiseno for Compassionate
Quantum--Latin for Respect
All students and staff will be divided into the four houses, and students will remain in their house their entire time at De Anza. Students will have the opportunity to participate in House Fridays which is where they promote the pride of their house, learn unique skills, and celebrate the house point leaders for each week.
In order for our school culture to thrive, we also believe in holding students accountable for high expectations academically and behaviorally. We focus on teaching and modeling the rules and expectations of the school. De Anza has implemented PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) which focuses on instructing behavior skills, focusing on the positive behaviors, and providing interventions to increase student success behaviorally and academically. All of the expectations fit within three categories: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. Please review these with your children throughout the year. We ask the students to assess their own behaviors by asking themselves if their decisions are safe, responsible, and respectful for themselves and others. We are combining our current PBIS system with a strong responsive behavior system that is very focused on certain behaviors: intentionally off-task, disrespect towards anyone on campus, not keeping hands/feet/objects to themselves, and inappropriate language/gesture/picture. Our goal is to teach students how important the behaviors are to follow while also giving them the opportunity to learn from mistakes and make rights for their wrongs.
Finally, we believe a strong partnership between school and the home is crucial to student success. We hope you will become involved in the school by volunteering, joining PTA or other parents groups, and attending family events. We also have a quarterly Coffee with the Principal, School Site Council, and English Learner Advisory Council which we invite you to come to hear updates and share ideas with us. We ask that you maintain communication with your child’s teacher throughout the year and ask your child daily what he/she learned about in school. Working together as a team, I know your child will have the best year yet at De Anza Elementary!
I am looking forward to an amazing school year filled with learning, growth, and fun!