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Principal's Message

About Del Rey

Del Rey School rests nestled in a neighborhood just east of the Caldecott tunnel, in Orinda, CA.  We are one of four elementary schools in Orinda. We serve transitional kindergarten through 5th grade students, with a population of 428 this current school year. 

Our school site has an incredible setting, with two creeks bordering the campus, beautiful mature oak trees, a natural habitats garden, and views of the hills. Built in 1953 and maintaining the original footprint plus a few portables, our campus includes 20 full sized classrooms. In addition Del Rey has a multipurpose room, library, music room, science room, and computer laboratory. Though we take great pride in our school, it is not the physical environment that makes Del Rey shine. We have a dynamic community, and it is the people, including teachers, parents, support staff, students, and the greater community, working together to do what is best for all students that shines here.

A California Distinguished School in 2014 and a National Blue Ribbon School in 2015, and a California Gold Ribbon School in 2016, we are very proud of our educational program. From an educational perspective, we are a team that uses both formative and summative data across all subject areas to drive instruction and to make the curriculum accessible to all of our students. We accomplish this with the support of the school district and the greater community. We have weekly collaboration time of one hour for teachers to work and plan together. Additionally we have three days set aside where we analyze data and use it to plan grouping strategies, adjust curriculum pacing, and develop enrichment and intervention experiences. We have a Literacy and Technology Coach who drive the planning, work with educators in a modeling and coaching role, and facilitate cohesion across the school and district. We believe in professional development, and provide ongoing training for our teachers that aligns with district and site goals. Research supports the idea that the one most significant factor in raising academic achievement is the expertise of the teacher. We live by this, and work to build teacher expertise on an ongoing basis.

Del Rey School has carefully implemented a technology plan that supports student learning, and increases community communication. We have over 160 computers on campus and have implemented a one-to-one model in our 4th and 5th grades this current year. Our plan has a replacement guideline so that we cycle out the older units for more current ones. We have a fully equipped laboratory. Our classroom technology includes document cameras, projectors and laptops and a SMART Board in every class. We also have two mobile iPad carts equipped for student use. This has created a new world of educational opportunities for our students! Our technology has also enabled us to administer the state-mandated testing in a timely and smooth manner. Additionally, our educators have access to pertinent data that we use to inform instruction. 

If you were to visit our school you would see quality instructional practices in classrooms. And then you would see the ways in which we go beyond. Our parents are an important component of our success. We work toward bringing them into the fold, valuing their input and talents, and utilizing their skills. For example, it is with parent expertise that we run our annual fund, our school kitchen and our before and after school care. Del Rey has a quality enrichment program, including Spanish, Mandarin, music, dance, drama, chess, art, yoga, poetry, amongst others completely organized by parent volunteers. Our website provides weekly communications supported by parent volunteers. Our parents donate their time and energy to both volunteer at school and outside school to maximize our potential. They raise a significant amount of money that is then channeled through our Parents' Club and School Site Council to support the important curriculum and professional development goals. Our community values smaller class sizes, and has rallied to maintain the 20 to 1 ratio in the lower grades. Additionally the entire Orinda community is invited to participate in the Education Foundation of Orinda ensuring that all students have access to art and music programs. Through working together and maintaining high expectations we continue to thrive. We search out partnerships in the greater community. We have naturalists from Friends of Orinda Creeks working with students to restore the creeks. The Rotary Club funds grants and sponsors district events like the annual Rotary Field Day. Our local businesses contribute to education by hosting city festivals, restaurant events, and so much more. 

Our students take pride in their school and we help them learn to connect to their community. We have a school wide thematic book program we call "School Wide Read-Aloud".  Through this program we highlight character education, tying to our Second Step curriculum. We have a community outreach program, where students take part in being active community members. We invite our neighbors to our Pumpkin Patch and to long-standing traditional performances, and we fill the house!

In conclusion, we are an inclusive community that listens to each other respectfully, communicates effectively, and values the bonds we work hard to create. Everyone has a face. Everyone is encouraged to be involved, and there are so many different ways to play a part. We work toward bringing people into the fold. While we are competitive in terms of our performance, we are collaborative, hardworking, and modest in our day-to-day operations. We are about people and what is best for all students.

The Del Rey Plaza
The Del Rey Plaza