Orinda Back To School Updates for next School Year 2022-2023

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(Photo courtesy of Aida Glimme)
The new multipurpose room at Sleepy Hollow Elementary, will give students a welcome new addition to the school space.

    It’s a new school year for Orinda, which brings new excitement, new learning opportunities to grow and fun memories for the students.
    Miramonte Principal, Ben Campopiano, is happy to see normalcy back on campus.
    “It will be so great to see students without masks and to see their excitement as they start a school year in a more normal way,” he said. “The start of every school year brings energy, positivity and hope. It brings me and our staff so much joy to be a part of it.”
    Miramonte High School is seeing its share of construction as well.
    “Our Miramonte Parents’ Club and ONE-Miramonte have funded 10 new hydration stations to go around campus. We’re also working on beautifying our gardens and courtyards,” said Campopiano.
    He added, “We also had seven classrooms receive all new furniture as part of our modernization process, and we are looking at modernizing the furniture in our library, student union and staff lounge as well.”
    Miramonte Theater teacher, Heather Cousins, talked about what’s new for the department.
    “Seniors have a new opportunity to enroll in a Board and UC-approved Advanced Drama Honors option,” said Cousins. “These seniors will take on an intensive course of study in which they demonstrate leadership skills through a capstone project, which includes a portfolio as well as writing or directing and fully producing a play for a live audience.”
    Cousins, who has taught at Miramonte for 23 years, added, “I am thrilled that theater students now have the ability to challenge themselves further while receiving honors credit on their transcripts for their hard work.”
    Orinda Union School District Superintendent, Aida Glimme, is also thrilled about the new school year.
    “I look forward to being ready for a year we anticipate will be similar in that we will be ready for ongoing changes in health protocols,” said Glimme. “We already know what questions to ask the Health Department, how to be prepared for inevitable changes, how to best communicate with our public and how to determine the best safety measures to implement.”
    Glimme also talked about another priority for administration and faculty: “Anticipating increasing challenges in mental health and needs for our students.” She said, “While we focus on academics, we understand what we need is additional support in mental health. We have wellness centers to be implemented at every school and we’ve increased counseling, to support students in every way.”
    OUSD schools will also sport new physical improvements including a new multipurpose room under construction at Sleepy Hollow Elementary, where every classroom will also receive new HVAC units and filters as a part of Bond Measures E and I.
    School is set to start Aug. 9 for all Orinda campuses.
    Orinda Academy and Holden High School both begin Aug. 26.
    While parents are busy buying new school clothes and supplies, Campopiano has this message for all: “Every school year has its challenges and its ups and downs, but I honestly believe this will be a great year for our students.”

Annabella Booth can be reached at annabellabooth@gmail.com.

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