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Principal's Page

Welcome Back Message

It is with great pleasure that I welcome students and community members back to school.  I look forward to another year of academic growth and community collaboration.

As always, I invite stakeholders to become involved in their child's education and school operations, taking advantage of opportunities that include regular teacher communication and conferencing, volunteering, becoming active in the PTO, attending Coffee with the Principal sessions, and other engagement activities.

This year is the first formal year of the STEAM Magnet school, a program that emphasizes Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) instruction, presented through increased interdisciplinary collaboration. Those teachers supporting the STEAM program have been collaborating during the summer and beyond to develop opportunities, activities, and community partnerships that will offer students educational experiences that are both relevant and inspiring.

Instructionally, among other things Dana MS teachers are using a variety of techniques to focus on the explicit teaching of writing across content areas and throughout the day, with an emphasis on students' ability to effectively analyze information and develop independent ideas and compositions.

Operationally, one change is that Dana MS has transitioned from a set uniform policy to a school Dress Code that both gives students increased options and individuality in attire, while still meeting student safety concerns raised by stakeholders (through the ability to identify students by clothing color).

From a student support perspective, Dana MS is beginning to phase in a "whole-student" discipline approach. A major element of this philosophy is to not only mete out punishment and consequences for student misbehavior and actions, but also aim to address root causes of issues to provide students the resources, habits, and choices that encourage them to not engage in negative behaviors in the first place.  Though this is, admittedly, a longer and culture-shifting approach, it is vital to creating a school environment based on trust, respect, and a feeling of belonging for all stakeholders.

Overall, this is an exciting time to be a Dana Middle School Mariner, and I look forward to a successful year.

**Last Coffee with the Principal**

Please join me in the Dana Middle School library at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 1, for the final Coffee with the Principal session of the 2014-2105 school year.

These sessions are a great opportunity to get updates and information on programs and events taking place at Dana Middle School, as well as provide direct community feedback and questions.

The topics for this month's Coffee session include a status of Dana Middle School's standardized testing, 8th grade culmination information, and budget updates for next year, among other updates.

Please help to pass the word to all community members with an interest in Dana Middle School.

I look forward to the opportunity to personally connect with you all.

Best,

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

Coffee with the Principal

Please join me in the Dana Middle School library at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 6, for another Coffee with the Principal session.

These sessions are a great opportunity to get updates and information on programs and events taking place at Dana Middle School, as well as provide direct community feedback and questions.

The topics for this month's Coffee session include an overview of Dana Middle School's upcoming standardized testing program and schedule, among other updates.

Please help to pass the word to all community members with an interest in Dana Middle School.

I look forward to the opportunity to personally connect with you all.

 

Best,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

Coffee with the Principal

Please join me in the Dana Middle School library at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, February 6, for another Coffee with the Principal session.

These sessions are a great opportunity to get updates and information on programs and events taking place at Dana Middle School, as well as provide direct community feedback and questions.

The topics for this month's Coffee session include a review of Dana Middle School's recently published LAUSD School Report Card, among other updates.

Please help to pass the word to all community members with an interest in Dana Middle School.

I look forward to the opportunity to personally connect with you all.

 

Best,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

Coffee with the Principal

Please join me in the Parent Center at 8:30 a.m., on Friday, December 5, for the first Coffee with the Principal of the school year.  I invite all stakeholders to come and get information on programs, events, and highlights of Dana Middle School.

These sessions will be held the first Friday of every month, and are a great opportunity for me to connect with the community in an informal setting, while communicating news of the school and responding to questions.

One of the keys to a successful school is open communication between the school and the community.

I look forward to seeing you all this Friday, and the first Friday of every month, to continue this communication cycle and collaborate to make Dana Middle School a positive educational environment.

Thank you for your continued involvement and support of student success and community engagement.

Best,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

Giving Thanks

Please be advised that school will be closed the week of November 24-28 to recognize and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

I would like to wish all students and stakeholders a restful and peaceful holiday, and invite them to take time to reflect on the things in their lives for which they are most thankful.

Frequently the responsibilities and commitments of daily life create a pace where we don't always have the time and space to slow down and recognize all that positively impacts us.  It is my wish that all who are part of the Dana family have an opportunity to appreciate the people and things around them that make them happy.

In addition being thankful for my family and other loved ones, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to the entire Dana Middle School community for the positive and welcoming way I have been received.  As a San Pedro resident, I am thankful for this wonderful community that I call home, and lucky to be part of a school that has a direct impact on my community.

Enjoy the week off, and I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on December 1st.

 

Best,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

Dana MS Welcomes International Partners

On Monday, September 29, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino, Chinese Enterprise Council (CEC) President Zhang Xuming, and various officials from companies represented by the CEC collaborated with Dana Middle School officials to offer students various workshops and to present Dana MS with a $10,000 donation to further support the school.

The workshops, moderated by Dana Middle School teachers and delivered by representatives from the CEC, built bridges between business and student community members, focsued on the areas of finance, college preparation, environmental awareness and career planning, and included a "friendship-building" Chinese-language component.

The event was a huge success, as students and adults had an opportunity to interact with, and learn from, each other through both academic and real-world activities.

At the conclusion of the workshops, all who participated gathered in the auditorium for an appreciation ceremony that included speeches by Councilman Buscaino, CEC President Xuming, and the presentation of the donation check.

In addition to the event being celebrated locally at Dana Middle School, members of the Chinese media were there to recognize the collaboration.  Copy and paste the following link in your browser for the story that was published September 30, 2014, on the Ecns.cn China News webpage:

http://www.ecns.cn/2014/09-30/136943.shtml

For more pictures from this exciting day, be sure to check out the "Richard Henry Dana Middle School" Facebook page.

 


 

Parent Conferences

The first grade reporting period closed on Friday, September 12, and the first school-wide parent conference opportunity is Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

 

Parent Conferences are a great opportunity to get specific information about your student's progress, successes, and areas of development.  It is also an opportunity to begin to build a partnership with your student's teacher that will last all year in supporting your student succeed.

 

I hope everyone takes advantage of this opportunity to begin to personally collaborate with your student's teachers in building toward a successful school year.

 

I'll see you on campus on Thursday, September 18.

 

Best Regards,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

 


School is open....

Dear Dana Middle School Community,

 

I would like to thank all of the Dana Middle School stakeholders who have supported the school and its students in making the opening of the 2014-2015 school year a success.

 

Though the opening has not been without its challenges, I am proud and pleased at the way the Dana community has rallied to overcome obstacles and remain focused on the reason we all are here: student academic success and safety.

 

Student schedules are being finalized, and all classes are providing students with a rigorous curriculum focused on student engagement, independent thought, and knowledge application.  A primary point of emphasis for Dana Middle School this year is the concept of “writing across the curriculum,” or having students write in all classes.  Through repeated writing students practice and become proficient at generating their own ideas, and then developing and supporting those ideas.

 

With that, I want to take this opportunity to invite all stakeholders to the Dana Middle School Back to School Night on Thursday, August 28, 2014, from 5:00-7:00pm.

 

This night is a great opportunity to meet your students’ teachers, walk the campus, and become more familiar with the instructional and physical environment in which your student spends his/her day.

 

In addition to the Back to School Night program, all stakeholders are invited to the following meetings that are designed to inform and involve the Dana community:

 

  • Title I Parent Meeting (4:00-4:30; Library)
  • SWPB (Safety) Meeting (4:30-5:00; Media Center)
  • 7th Grade Meeting (4:30-5:00; Auditorium)
  • 8th Grade Meeting (7:05-7:30; Auditorium)

 

Please plan to attend any meeting in which you may be interested in order to remain informed and involved.

 

I look forward to seeing and meeting the entire Dana Community at Back to School Night.

 

As always, please feel free to contact me anytime to discuss any element of your student’s experience at Dana Middle School.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School

 


 

Welcome Back Message

Dear Dana Middle School Community,

 

As the new principal of Richard Henry Dana Middle School, I would like to welcome all returning and new students and family community members to the 2014-2015 school year.  I am pleased to be joining the Dana Middle School family, and look forward to an enjoyable and enriching year.  I live in San Pedro, and previously worked at San Pedro High School for 8 years among other places. I am familiar with and have great respect for the pride and support within the San Pedro community.

 

A first point of information I would like to share relates to student programming.  Over the summer the entire Los Angeles Unified School District began a transition to MiSiS, a new system of programming and tracking students.  As with any new system, the transition has not been without its challenges.  Dana Middle School personnel have been working tirelessly to ensure that students are programmed into classes that support their academic success.  I am proud of the work being done, and it has resulted in the majority of students being programmed appropriately.  Even so, there will be some challenges and flaws in student programs.  All school personnel are committed to making the students’ experience one that makes them feel welcome and respected.  As this process continues, I ask that the Dana community be patient as we work together to ensure that students are programmed correctly while being supported through any challenges.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the progress of your student’s program, please feel free to contact me.

 

In addition to the above MiSiS transition district-wide, Dana Middle School is shifting to a new website to better serve all stakeholders.  The previous website address (danams.org) is no longer valid or supported.  To access information and news about Dana Middle School, please visit: www.danams.us.  Though not completely updated with all information yet, once complete this new site will allow more personalization and flexibility of information.  I apologize for any inconvenience this transition may have caused as we continue to strive to provide improved resources.

 

Finally, I would like to close by reiterating that it is my goal, and that of the entire Dana Middle School faculty, that all students and community members have a successful experience at school.  Please be on the lookout for announcements of community meetings with the principal.  If you have any questions, or would like to meet to discuss any aspect of your student’s school experience, please feel free to come in to see me or contact me at (310) 241-1100.

 

Thank you for your support of Dana Middle School and its continued success.

 

Best Regards,

 

Steve Gebhart

Principal

Richard Henry Dana Middle School