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Lovonya DeJean Middle School: General Information
November 23, 2002

Lovonya DeJean Middle School

3400 Macdonald Avenue

Richmond, CA 94804-3003

Phone: (510) 412-5056

Fax: (510) 412-5060

Principal: Antoinette Henry-Evans

Campus Features

Lovonya DeJean Middle School occupies 15 acres at the former Harry Ells site.  The campus consists of a two-story Library-Media Center / Administration Building, four two-story Classroom Buildings, the Gymnasium / Multi-use / Performing Arts Building, and a modernized Shop Building.  The structures cover 116,531 square feet and provide for:

> 27 classrooms

> 4 science labs

> 1 computer lab

> 2 special education classrooms

> 1 technology lab

> 1 piano lab

> 1 dance studio

> 1 band room

Opening Day of Instruction

Lovonya DeJean Middle School will open for instruction on Tuesday, January 28, 2003.  The school will open with sixth-grade students only.

School Attendance Area

The attendance area for the school is made up of the attendance areas of Nystrom, King, Coronado, and Lincoln elementary schools.  Lovonya DeJean Middle School is the neighborhood school for students who live in these areas.

School colors: Electric Blue and White

Mascot:  Alpha Wolf

Motto:  “Leading the Way”

The Academic Program

The school will offer the same basic middle school core educational programs that exist in all of the WCCUSD middle schools, including foreign language.  Programs unique to DeJean Middle School will be the technology lab courses where students will rotate through hands-on computer technology learning modules covering Video and Editing, Structural Engineering, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Energy and Power, Flight Technology, and other subjects.

Home Economics and Industrial Arts courses will be technology-based.  Learning modules will include Nutritional Facts, Math in the Kitchen, Banking Services, Dry Walling, Plumbing, and Simplified Electrical Connections, to name a few.

Lovonya DeJean Middle School will be the first school in Richmond to benefit from the Kids First Program.  The Mayor of Richmond, Irma Anderson, initiated Kids First, which will offer before- and after-school academic/recreational programs to various schools.

Dates to Remember

> Teacher and Student Tours:  November 19, 2002 (tentative)

> Grand Opening, 10 a.m. - 12 noon: January 14, 2003

Upcoming Events (dates to be determined):

> Get Acquainted Picnic (for incoming students, families, and staff)

> Evening Tour for the Community

> Evening Community Informational Meeting

History of the School Name

At its June 19, 2002 school board meeting, the Trustees of the West Contra Costa Unified School District voted to name the new middle school at the former Harry Ells site in Richmond the Lovonya DeJean Middle School.

Ms. DeJean, a resident of Hercules and a native of Westlake, Louisiana, passed away on May 20, 2001 at the age of 57.  She worked in the West Contra Costa Unified School District for 13 years as a principal at Kennedy High School and as the district’s director of state and federal programs.

Ms. DeJean was a tireless advocate and activist for educational equity, driven by personal experience and by the observation that educational systems tend not to serve children of color—especially African American children—well.  In response, Ms. DeJean designed, promoted, and conducted trainings to increase awareness in the areas of race, culture, ethnicity, and class, and how they impact teaching and learning.  She encouraged educators of every stripe to make personal connections with students and with the communities that they called home.

To the many people she mentored—among them teachers, parents, young people, and just plain community folk—Ms. DeJean was in the vanguard for addressing racism in public schools and how it hurts children’s ability to learn.

Ms. DeJean’s vision of equity and social justice also stemmed from her world travels and visits to other nations and societies.  In 1995 she traveled to South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar, visiting Egypt and Ghana along the way.  Her later travels included visits to China and Tibet.  In the end, Ms. DeJean was an advocate of learning for all students.