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Park View pilgrims welcome Indians from other schools
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The Pilgrims of Park View welcomed the Indians from other Ripon schools as they enjoyed their Thanksgiving feast together in a kindergarten classroom at Park View Elementary School. Shown are, from left, Audrey Vitarisi, Taylor Greene, Sophia Hernandez and Nick Milan. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It was something of a history lesson for kindergarten children at Park View Elementary School when they hosted newcomers in the form of “Indians” from other Ripon schools to a Thanksgiving feast in their classroom on Tuesday.

It was much in the same way that the historic pilgrims invited the native Indians to share their feast with them at the first Thanksgiving.

The event was held in the classroom of Diana McManis located in the E-wing at 11:15.  There were nine parents helping – all moms with one dad added.  The children were all decked out in paper period costumes to mark the day.

It was the first level of a reverse to class size reduction in the primary grades through a recent state law that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown extending over the next eight years before it reaches its full fruition.

Kathy Coleman, director of curriculum, explained that the program is weaved into a very complex formula for school districts throughout the state to follow.

A new kindergarten teacher, Kristy Dillman, was hired last week to teach a second kindergarten class at Park View.  She explained that her students came from overages at the four other schools.  Three came from Weston, five from Colony Oak, five from Ripon Elementary, three from Ripona and one new child to Ripon from Ohio.

She noted that she had met with parents at recent teacher conferences at all of the schools and explained what was being planned for her new classroom.  That was followed by an orientation on the Park View Campus for the parents of the students who were moving.  It involved Mona Ogden, principal and Bill Draa, school district superintendent.

The students in both classes have melded together in their adjacent classrooms, she said.

“Now that they have started, the parents are being very supportive,” she added, “and the kids are having fun together.”