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Roseville students heading back to classes

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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Summer vacation is over. Many Roseville students had to shift their attention from bicycles and baseball gloves to school books and backpacks this week. Students flooded high school campuses in droves Thursday morning as all six Roseville area high schools kicked off the 2011-12 school year. On Wednesday, classes began for all 10 schools of the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District. Priscilla Rasanen, principal at Silverado Middle School, said the transition from summer into the school year could not have gone any better. “It was a really smooth day,” she said. “With everyone acting as a team, it all came off without a glitch.” Many students at Silverado Middle School said they were happy to be back visiting with friends they hadn’t seen since June, while others, like sixth grader Lynae Purvis, said summer vacation was simply not long enough. “I’d rather have a break and sleep in,” she said. Her parents, Jake and Melissa Purvis, had a different perspective. “Summer is too long I think,” Jake Purvis said. “We were ready to get the kids back in school.” The Purvis family stood outside of Quail Glen Elementary School Wednesday afternoon waiting to pick up their second grader when the 2:50 p.m. bell rang. Jim Ferguson, principal at Quail Glen Elementary School, said the first day of school always brings a bit of excitement blended with anticipation. “It’s always exciting to see the kids as they are walking in with their new clothes and backpacks,” Ferguson said. “Sometimes the parents are a little more nervous than the kids, which is kind of fun.” Quail Glen Elementary is one of three schools in the Dry Creek District to have received a complete retrofit of new technology in every classroom over the summer. Each classroom from kindergarten to fifth grade now contains a 70-inch flat panel TV, digital document cameras, streaming online video capabilities and a new sound system. “This is a whole new jump in terms of technology,” said Mark Geyer, superintendant of Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District. “As aging adults, technology is like a second language to us. Whereas these students are like digital natives now, it’s perfectly suited for how they learn.” For Ferguson, it’s all about presenting the subject matter in such a way so students can relate, which could help to connect them to the lesson that much more. “Technology itself doesn’t raise student achievement,” Ferguson said. “It’s about engaging the kids into the lesson.” Antelope Crossing Middle School and Coyote Ridge Elementary were the other two schools retrofitted over the summer, and Geyer said each school in the district will be updated by the next school year. Geyer said the Dry Creek District begins the school year a little earlier than many other area districts because it used to be on a year-round multi-track system, and the schedule allows for more flexibility around holidays throughout the school year. The Eureka Union School District will begin its classes Tuesday while the Roseville City School District will begin the 2011-12 school year on Aug. 24. Toby Lewis can be reached at tobyl@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TobyLewis_RsvPT.