For the first Dalat News article each year, I like to focus on “What’s New.” The first week of school is always an exciting one as the campus finally comes alive with students and school activity. All the work that has been done in preparation for the new year starts to pay off as classes begin meeting and students get back to their studies. It’s fun to see our new students learning all about what makes Dalat a special and unique school, and our new staff beginning to understand why we are so proud of our students.
In North America, an expression that is used to say “hello,” or greet someone you know, is to ask the question, “What’s New?” So, at the beginning of each school year, this is a good question to answer in the first director’s message of the Dalat News.
So what is new at Dalat this year? Quite a bit actually, as you will see in the list below.
New Students: Our enrolment for this year currently stands at 597 students from 22 different countries with 123 students being new to Dalat.
New Staff: This year we have 13 new full-time staff and 2 part-time staff joining Dalat;Chris Ramos – MS/HS Music Teacher, Heather Ramos – ES Science and ESL Teacher,Nicole Corman – ES PE and ESL Teacher, Paul Dobson – HS Counselor, Scott Poole – MS Social Studies, Christine Poole – 6th Grade Teacher, Corrine Rogers – HS Science Teacher, Patrick Rogers – Industrial Arts & Chapel Coordinator, Josh Murrell – Learning Lab Aide, Sarah Murrell – 3rd Grade Teacher, Doug Yost – Tech Integration & Psychology,Marsha Yost –ES Computers and Technology, Scott Poulter – Residence Life Assistant,Craig and Betsy Rybarczyk – Dorm Parents.
The CASTLE: The Center for Arts, Science, Technology, Library, and Educational services is now officially open for business. The first of three new buildings to be built has provided for us 4 new science labs, 2 new art classrooms, a new integrated library, new ES computer lab, new bathrooms, new counseling and learning lab offices as well as newly renovated computer labs and tech offices. Do not hesitate to come by and walk around. We will have it open for all parents at the upcoming Open House on 26 August.
New Facilities: In addition to the CASTLE, the school has quite a few “new” facilities created over the summer. The old MS/HS library has been turned into two new classrooms and a new admissions office. The ES library is now a nice large classroom for use by the high school. The old science labs are now new classrooms and storage facilities. The junior class store has expanded and is now selling Dalat merchandise as well.
New Theme: Our theme for this year as a school is “Spark: Power to Ignite,” and as the year goes on, this theme will be fleshed out in many different ways. Our “Focus ESLR” (Expected School Wide Learning Result) is Passionate Learner.
New Resources: Dalat has invested this year in a number of new resources for the campus. This includes lots of new textbooks, science equipment, science curriculum, HS Bible curriculum, a dedicated ES science teacher, a full-time aide for the learning lab, and much more.
Technology: In the MS we have launched a new 1:1 program for the 8th graders. The ES has a new computer lab, the tech office and computer labs have been renovated and we have created a new staff position with Doug Yost being involved in helping teachers integrate technology into their classes.
Other New Things: We have lots of other new things happening like the butterfly garden being replaced by an ES garden, new report cards in the ES and MS, quarter system removed from the HS, and so on.
The list could go on with a number of other small changes, but I will stop there. Quite a few things are new around Dalat right now, but my hope for our new families is that very soon it will no longer feel like a “new” school but instead will feel like “home.”
Have a great weekend and please make sure to join us on Friday, 26 August, for the Open House.