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By Kristina Pritchett

School is just around the corner for students in the Capistrano Unified School District, including those enrolled in the Dana Point schools.

Whether your student is off to high school or elementary school, starting times and teachers may be different. The Dana Point Times talked to each school to see what information parents should know for the first day.

Palisades Elementary School

Principal Curt Visca said the school will be focusing on “Creativity across the Curriculum” during this upcoming school year.

“Teachers will help bring out students’ creativity in all subject areas,” Visca said.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the school watched science “come to life,” and plan on utilizing the program again with the aquaponics program.

Aquaponics is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by fish, or other aquatic animals, supplies nutrients for plants that are grown hydroponically.

Traffic Reminders for Parents

Visca said Via Sacramento, on the side of the school, is for loading and unloading the car from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and again from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Individuals must remain in the car while in the drop-off and pick-up areas.

Students can also be dropped off and picked up along Camino Capistrano and Avenida Las Palmas.

School Start and Finish Times

Palisades will have a minimum school day for the first day.

R.H. Dana Elementary School

Principal Christina Portillo said teachers will continue to focus on science and technology with the curriculum that was integrated in the classrooms last school year.

New Teachers in the School

Portillo says there are two new teachers on staff this year. One is Megan Parker, who will be heading the school’s learning lab. The other new teacher is Robynne Brown, who will be teaching a fourth/fifth-grade combination class.

Brown said she’s new to the school but not Capistrano Unified School District, having taught in the district for 25 years.

She said she’s taught at mostly elementary schools, but has also taught students at secondary schools. Brown said she’s really excited about the science and technology curriculum at the school.

“I love science, so this is a perfect match,” Brown said. “It’s nice to have the freedom to embrace the standards and really move forward with the science and technology.”

She said she’s ready to begin the new journey with a new group of students.

Parker has also worked for in the CUSD district, but is excited to meet her new students at R.H. Dana. She especially likes that the school focuses on science and technology.

“I love that those subjects are incorporated into the students’ whole school day,” Parker said.

She said she will bring her background of behaviors into the classroom, and believes that will help with the students.

“I have the strategies to help students to work hard and meet their goals,” Parker said. “I have the strategies to help them go above and beyond those goals.”

School Start and Finish Times

School will start at 7:45 a.m. for kindergarten through fifth grade.

It will be a minimum day schedule, and students will be dismissed at 11:50 a.m.

The normal schedule will resume on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 7:45 a.m.

Traffic Reminders for Parents

“We would like to remind parents that as a safety reminder, the red curb in front of the school is for a quick drop off/pick up of students,” Portillo said.

Parking is permitted for parents on Chula Vista.

R.H. Dana Elementary ENF

School Start and Finish Times

School begins at 8:25 a.m. for STEPS classes and 8:30 a.m. for SAC preschool.

School will end at 12:25 p.m. with a 12:30 dismissal.

Dana Hills High School

Principal Jason Allemann said there are a handful of new teachers this year.

New Teachers in the School

Lauren Frazier and Nick Smith are new math teachers.

Emily Wu is will be an English teacher.

Jeanette Boyle will be a gym teacher.

Erika Scharma and Lindsey Haapala are new science teachers.

Susan Krogsdale will be a special education teacher.

Traffic Reminders for Parents

Parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up their students away from the main parking lot.

“Parents can go off of Stonehill, the back gates will be opened for students,” said Dana Hills Principal Jason Allemann.

School Start and Finish Times

The first day will be a late-start day. The first bell will ring at 8:31 a.m.

Allemann said students are able to come into school earlier.

School will conclude at 2:44 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10. The schedule will be back to block scheduling on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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