Junction School warms up for opening day

Newest Roseville City elementary campus welcomes incoming students
By: Megan Wood Special to The Press-Tribune
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Hoards of eager students and happy parents crowded the campus of Junction Elementary School Thursday for a “school warming” to celebrate the long anticipated opening of the school. “We were waiting for it to open last year but we had to go to a different school,” said Nicole Dedinas, the mother of a first-grader and parent volunteer for the evening. “So now that it’s finally opening we couldn’t be happier.” As new students filtered through the gates of their new school they were greeted by staff members and parent volunteers anxious to get them acquainted with their new turf. The children were given reusable tote bags and maps of the campus, which upon visiting each of the booths and receiving a stamp, would later be used in a raffle for River Cats tickets. Dave Phillips, Junction’s principal, felt that the school warming event would be a great opportunity for the parents to meet the faculty and other parents as well as ease first day jitters. “It’s an opportunity for kids to say, ‘OK I know where my classroom is. I’m not going to be worried on the first day of school. I know that school, that’s my school,’” Phillips said. Lilly and Trinity Krause, who will be attending second grade and kindergarten, respectively, are thrilled with their new school and are not at all nervous for their first day. “I’m most excited for when my mom’s going to drop me off,” Trinity said. When asked if she would cry, she said confidently, “No, I’m a big girl now.” Some of the booths at Thursday’s festivities included a Dr. Pepper float table for a much needed escape from the balmy evening, a peek at a fire truck from the Roseville Fire Department, mosaic tiles for sale that would be designed by students and used as plaques throughout the school and a mascot and school color suggestion box. “It’s not for us to come up with the idea (of the mascot and colors)…let the kids be intimately involved in making those choices,” Phillips said. Among the suggestions were Dora the Explorer, Spiderman, kindergarten teachers, jaguars, jackrabbits and engineers. Roseville City School District Board of Education members Brett McFadden and Stanford Hirata were present to welcome the 17th school into the district and reported that enrollment was higher than anticipated, reaching almost 300 students. They were most pleased to see the support from the community in the number of parents and students celebrating the school and enjoying the evening. “In a community like Rose-ville, schools are the central focus point of neighborhoods,” McFadden said. “So to have this sort of turnout and energy shows that people are really involved and the more parental involvement you have, the more success you have by all parties concerned.” The sense of community and belonging was quickly felt among parents who chatted easily in groups offering to walk each other’s young children to school and making plans for after-school care. “I think that because the school is in such a central location, it will bring everybody closer,” said Jennifer Roberts, parent volunteer and mother of a first-grader. “People will come together to volunteer for school functions.” Carrie Vincent, kindergarten teacher and Phillips’ administrative intern, believes that the school will provide a common ground for families in the surrounding neighborhood. “It’s really tight knit out here. Everybody’s new to their home and new to the area. There’s a lot of bonding. We hope to continue that family relationship within the school environment,” Vincent said. Phillips shared his goal for the school year. “I hope to build a positive learning environment for these students…something that will be lasting by starting traditions for the school and by being a supportive, nurturing environment where kids can learn to the best of their ability,” he said.