For the exception of the two large shade trees in the middle of campus, Lathrop Elementary School looked hardly recognizable on this first day back.
The 65-year-old campus was recently renovated thanks to Measure G.
“The old school looks inviting,” said Principal David Silveira on Monday during the first day of school for the Manteca Unified School District.
Earlier, he welcomed students – a shade under 900 – at the outdoor staging area featuring both live oak trees also known as ‘The Warriors Hangout.’
That came directly after the morning rush, where Silveira along with Vice Principal Denise Buske and others helped direct traffic of the newly reconfigured campus.
The old entrance on Fifth Street near Thomsen Road is now used as a drop-off point for buses. Kindergarten students on up were moved over to the south end of the school, allowing for parents to use O Street to drop off their youngster.
The front of the new, centrally located office on Fifth Street directly across from N Street is the main drop-off area for most students.
“This whole week will be about learning the new procedures,” Silveira said. “It’s all about new routines for everyone.”
Lathrop Elementary along with Lincoln, Golden West, Shasta, and Sequoia schools were all part of voter-approved Measure G.
As one of MUSD’s oldest school sites, Lathrop Elementary, at $14.6 million – that made up for a chunk of the $158 million school bond to overhaul these give aging campuses – was able to add new classroom structures along upgrades to the existing building and new infrastructure to support the latest in technology.
The reading recovery program known as Read 180 can be found in the old main office. That part of the building was turned into an instructional facility.
The old cafeteria is also gone. It’s now the multi-media / library, according Silveira.
“We flip-flopped the school – the junior high is located (in the area) where we used to have the younger kids,” he said.
The Multi-Purpose Building on the southeast corner of the campus is where all students go during lunch time.
“The kitchen staff is all together in a cozy work room,” Silveira said.
As for the new classrooms, Silveira did have a say during some of the planning stages. “There were some give and take,” he noted.
Silveira, for example, was able to get a centrally located office coupled with the adjoining doors to some of the rooms of the new wing.
He’s been principal at the school for the past 12 years.
In fact, Joseph Rasmussen was part of Silveira’s first promoted group of eighth graders. From there, he went to Sierra High along with Stanislaus State.
Rasmussen, who was among the handful of new teachers, is back where it all started.
“This is my first day (as a sixth-grade teacher) at Lathrop Elementary,” he said. “I know the students here and I know the community.”
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.