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Del Rey Elementary School

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    Del Rey Dolphin Tweets

    Del Rey Elementary 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 409 Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grade students this 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. Del Rey has a multipurpose room, library, science, and computer laboratory. 

    Though we take great pride in our school, it is not the physical environment that makes Del Rey proud. We have an incredible 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. We are a team of educators that use both formative and summative assessment 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 per year set aside to analyze data and use it to plan grouping strategies, adjust curriculum pacing, and develop enrichment and intervention experiences. We have Literacy and Technology Coaches who support 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 match district and site goals. Research supports our belief 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 has carefully implemented a technology plan that supports student learning, includes teaching tools, and increases community communication. We have more than 200 computers on campus. Our technology plan has a replacement guideline so that we cycle out the older units for more current ones. We have a fully equipped computer laboratory and our classroom technology includes document cameras, projectors, laptops and SMARTBoards, iPads, and a one to one laptop program in 4th and 5th grades and two to one iPad program in 3rd grade. A district technology coach also assists in developing teacher expertise.

    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. Our parents donate their time and energy to volunteer both at school and outside school to maximize our potential. Del Rey has a quality enrichment program, including Spanish, music, dance, drama, chess, art, yoga, poetry, amongst others, organized by parent volunteers. Our website provides weekly communications supported by parent volunteers. Parents provide a significant amount of support that is channeled through our School Site Council to implement our curriculum and professional development goals. Our community values smaller class sizes, and during difficult budget times, rallied to maintain the 20 to 1 ratio in the lower grades. 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 waste management company supports our composting of food waste from our lunch program. Our local businesses contribute to education by hosting city festivals, restaurant events, and so much more. 

    Our students take pride in their school as we help them learn to connect to their community. We have a school wide thematic book program we call "School Wide Read-Aloud.”  Tying to our Second Steps curriculum we highlight character education through the Read-Aloud program. We have a weekly broadcast called “Good Day Del Rey” produced and edited by our own students with guidance from a journalist mentor and staff from Del Rey. Last year, we set a World Record for the Largest Hula Hoop Workout. We have created several school-wide media performances, reinforcing our community feel. The community is also invited to our annual Science Fair and Spring Musical. Our Student Council organizes events to support our local and international community. In summary, we are an inclusive community that listens to each other respectfully, communicates effectively, and values the bonds we work hard to create. Everyone is encouraged to be involved. 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.