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Principal's Message

Dear Deterding Families,

I am ecstatic to be starting my tenth year as part of such an amazing, artistic, and educational community! I hope you will find your child’s experience at our school to be successful as well as challenging, while enriched by art, music, and dance. 

Deterding is one of three schools in San Juan that is privileged to be home to the Rapid Learner program. Though the Rapid Learner classes are often working at a different pace than the other classes, it is important for all students at Deterding to understand that we are all part of the same community while we meet the individual needs of each student in the classroom. We have worked hard to create a community where everyone is welcome.

Our staff is working diligently to continue with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (or CCSS). We are currently using Benchmark for ELA, Critical Literacy, Guided Reading, and Writer’s Workshop as part of our Balanced Literacy Language Arts program.  We are using iReady online as a support for math and ELA and the program allows both parents and teachers to monitor student progress at their individual level. One of the major shifts with Common Core is writing across all subject areas and the integration of technology. We are continuing our use of a typing program to support students as they prepare for CAASPP (standardized Common Core test created by SBAC) and also the use of Interim Assessments provided by CAASPP.  Our fabulous team of teachers is working hard to collaborate and ensure that we have a continuum K-6. 

Deterding has an amazing parent organization, DREAM! DREAM welcomes help and input from all members of the community. They work really hard to bring wonderful events to the school including the International Celebration, Jog-a-thon (DREAM Run), Harvest Festival, Book Fairs, Talent Show, and much more! The funds raised help pay for a portion of the band teacher’s salary as well as many other needs our school has each year. We hope to be back on campus and holding events soon!

Our school goal for attendance this year is 96%. Please help us by making sure your child is on time and ready to learn. We have a weekly attendance competition within our grade levels with the winners housing a Deterding Dolphin for the week.

At Deterding, we strive to make sure that our students treat others with respect and be active participants in the Deterding community.  We launched a campaign a few years ago called “Kindness is Contagious”.  We are furthering that this year with challenging students to show kindness to each other as a way to pay it forward.   Students who demonstrate good character can earn Caught-a-Dolphin cards which are put into a drawing and prizes are given out each week with bigger prizes given each month.  Each month we have a character trait aligned to our Successful Habits on the report card.  One student from each class who has best demonstrated the trait is chosen to be recognized by receiving a t-shirt, a picture on the wall in the MP room all month, and their name read over the loudspeaker and in the school newsletter. We will continue this tradition in Distance Learning! 

There has long been a need for change in our education system to be equitable for all students.  We are committed as a district and a school site to examine our practices and make changes to make learning accessible for ALL students- particularly students of color.  This is not a quick process.  We need to start with our own biases for lasting change.  We know the work will be hard, but we look forward to partnering with our school community and doing the work together.  Stay tuned for how you can be involved!

We look forward to a great school year and welcome your participation and support as we enrich and challenge our students every single day!


Ms. Melanie Allen


Deterding Elementary School

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