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Dunbar School preps scholars for excellence

Dunbar School preps scholars for excellence
Jillian Beall


Educators AVID to get underway and back to normal

By Tracy Salcedo

At Dunbar Elementary, the week before school felt both foreign and familiar. After long months of distance and hybrid learning, students would be back in classrooms in person, so desks had to be moved, supplies organized, plans prepped. Getting ready to teach felt “old school” again. But it’s not exactly business as usual. While some restrictions have been lifted, Dunbar and its sister campuses within the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) will still be observing protocols to keep students and staff safe as COVID- 19 persists. Masks are required indoors, and both students and staff must certify through CrisisGo that they are symptom-free before they can come on campus.

“While the pandemic is still very much with us, we do look forward to welcoming all of our scholars back to campus for the full day,” principal Jillian Beall wrote in a letter sent to Dunbar families last week.

Dunbar is moving into the new school year with a new vision: Opening Doors for Every Scholar. “Through this vision,” Beall explained, “we aim to support our scholars academically, socially, and emotionally by providing them with opportunities each day to learn, grow, and achieve.”

Dunbar is also an AVID Elementary Showcase school, aspiring to prepare students for “success in college and career.” Through the AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) program, educators strive to create a “college-going and career-readiness culture, fostering the self-advocacy, relationship building, growth mindset, and academic skills that lead to success in elementary, middle, high school, and beyond,” Beall said.

Back to school activities at Dunbar began with a special kindergarten welcome event on Aug. 13. The entire school body returns on Aug. 16, with school in shortened sessions for the first three days before moving into a regular, full-day schedule. Beall, now in her fifth year as Dunbar’s principal, intends to be in contact with families throughout the year given the inevitable changes in pandemic guidance that will come through official channels such as the California Department of Public Health. Dunbar will use school and teacher newsletters, the parent-teacher organization (PTO), automated phone calls and texts, the school’s website (, and social media to keep the Dunbar community up to date. The school is on Facebook at Friends of Dunbar School-PTO and on Twitter @DunbarDolphin. Local families with students attending Altimira Middle School or Sonoma Valley High School can find more information on the SVUSD website (