Mobile Menu Trigger



Les Hommes De Foi

Off Canvas Navigation Container

Close Trigger (container)

Spotlight on Academic Life

MAY 2017

May 2017 Letter from Dr. Heather Alumbaugh

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends of De La Salle,

As we approach the end of the 2016-2017 academic school year, I have been thinking constantly about one of my favorite poems, written by doctor-poet William Carlos Williams and entitled “The Red Wheelbarrow.” The poem reads:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Originally published in 1923 as "Poem XXII" in Williams’s collection Spring and All, the poem has polarized public opinion for generations. In my own classrooms, students have either loved it or hated it. I have always been a committed fan of the poem, not only because of its elegance, deceptive simplicity, and visual appeal, but also and more importantly because of how I have interpreted its content for three decades. The poem, to me, has always been a beautiful meditation on the simple aspects of our everyday lives upon which we depend. It invites the reader to contemplate what aspects of the reader’s life are crucially important but perhaps overlooked.

As we approach the end of the school year, this poem resonates with me deeply because we have so much for which we can be grateful at De La Salle High School, so much to celebrate, so much to embrace. The triumphs our students experience both big and small depend upon so many people, depend upon a dedicated group, from parents and siblings and grandparents to coaches, staff, and faculty. These same groups also promote our students’ abilities to be resilient and to persist. The amazing support that Mr. Jim Olwell received as he battled cancer and the fact that so many are gathering tonight at De La Salle High School to celebrate his life testify to a community that depends upon one another to triumph, to change, to grow, to struggle, and to mourn.

In a few weeks, we will graduate the class of 2017 and that would not be possible without the hard work of our students and their families as well as their mutual sacrifice, commitment, faith, and idiosyncratic journeys. I want to take this moment to end our school year by celebrating not only our students, but also our families. Let’s metaphorically celebrate “The Red Wheelbarrow” upon which so much depends. Thank you, as always, for allowing us to be part of your sons’ educational journeys.


Dr. Heather Alumbaugh
Vice President for Academic Life

Heather Alumbuagh, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Life
(925) 288-8139

May 2017 Letter from Mrs. Mary Ann Mattos

ACADEMIC AWARDS will be presented on Tuesday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m. We are looking forward to this very special evening when we honor students from the 9th-11th grades for academic excellence in all subject areas offered at De La Salle. You will receive an invitation in the mail if your son is slated to receive an award.

FINAL EXAMS are scheduled for May 26, May 30, and May 31 for Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors. (See schedule above.) Students should plan to spend a reasonable amount of time preparing for these exams. Activities should be limited in the week or so before the exams to give sufficient time for preparation. If you have a concern about your son’s standing in a class, please feel free to contact your son’s teacher directly. I encourage you to check your son’s academic progress on PowerSchool at this time and in the next few weeks. Remember that tutorial help is available every day at 7th period. In addition, we are providing additional support in our Academic Support Center (Room 409) after 7th period. The schedule for final exams will be as follows:

FINAL GRADES: Final grades will be sent out during the week of June 5. Students will be able to see their final grades as well as final exam grades on PowerSchool as soon as they are posted. Grades are due to the office on June 2. We will be closing down the parent/student portal for viewing during final exams (beginning May 26) and until grades are posted on June 3 to allow the faculties from both DLS and CHS appropriate time to get final assessments graded. Final transcripts for Seniors will be sent out by the end of June.

2017-18 CLASS SCHEDULES will be visible on PowerSchool by mid-July. Final placement in Honors and AP courses is determined by the respective departments based upon second semester grades received in June. Letters of appeal for an honors course may be sent to Mrs. Mattos, who will forward them to Department Chairs. Students have been adjusting their course selections with Mrs. Mattos since the beginning of April, as needed. Since students had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their counselors, the classes chosen should have been accurately and carefully chosen.

SUMMER SCHOOL IS REQUIRED for make-up of any semester F grades earned during this school year. If your son is in danger of receiving an F for the second half of this year, take care of enrollment in summer school NOW for any places offering summer school! Have your son see his counselor now regarding the course(s) and credits he needs to make up, and get an approval signature on the concurrent enrollment form from Mrs. Mattos. Your local public school district offers only VERY LIMITED summer school courses in many areas, due to budget issues. DVC and LMC are also options, but the class choices are limited, and students need to see me to get a concurrent enrollment form. There will be summer school available at both Bishop O’Dowd and Salesian High School. Brochures are available for some of these programs at local sites, and can be found on the bulletin board outside the Registrar’s Office or from Mrs. Mattos directly. Our online summer school options may be the best choice for most students. Visit our Summer Academic Program page for more information.

Students who earned D grades may wish to retake courses in summer school. Colleges and universities will not accept D grades in entrance-required courses, i.e. core courses such as English, Math, Social Studies, Science, etc. Your son may also need to retake a course to meet prerequisites for a course he plans to take next year. Please see the separate section about special on-line summer school make up possibilities. Visit our Summer Academic Program page here more information.

SUMMER SCHOOL ONLINE MAKE UP: Our Director of Online Learning, Mr. Donald Van Bomel, has several venues and options for online course remediation. Please contact him directly at (925) 288-8100 x8160 or VanBomeld@dlshs.org for more information. Students can also go see Mr. Van Bomel in the Student Services Building on the second floor to obtain information and direction. Please note that for Biology, we will have a summer make-up class on campus that will satisfy the UC/CSU requirement for lab sciences.

Spring 2017 Final Exam Schedule



May 16, 2017
May 17, 2017
May 18, 2017
7:15 - 8:05Period 0Period 0Period 0
8:15 - 9:35Period 6*Period 3*Period 2*
9:35 - 9:55BreakBreakBreak
9:55 - 11:25Period 1*Period 5*Period 4* (until 11:15)
11:25 - 12:20LunchLunchLunch
12:20 - 1:40Period 4Period 2Period 3
(dismissed to Field Day
by Mr. Aliotti)
1:45 - 3:15Period 7Period 7 (until 2:30)n/a

*All Classes Meet / Seniors Take Finals

juniors, sophomores, and freshmen


Friday, May 26Tuesday, May 30Wednesday, May 31
8:15 - 9:45Period 2Period 5Period 6
9:45 - 10:15BreakBreakBreak
10:15 - 11:45Period 4Period 1Period 3
11:45 - 11:55AnnouncementsAnnouncementsAnnouncements
12:15 - 1:45Period 7Period 0n/a
12:15 - 1:45Period 7Period 0


April 2017

5 April 2017

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends of De La Salle,

When I lived in New York City, my husband and I were avid theater fans, which is why in the 2008 theater season we saw four different versions of Macbeth, including one in Polish. The current school’s production of the very same Shakespearean play is, simply put, amazing. The set design, acting, lighting, and direction are all superb, and it is as memorable as the many professional productions of Macbeth that I have seen. Brava, Company!

March witnessed many academic accomplishments for our students. On March 16 and 17, a number of our AP Biology students exhibited their research and inventions at the Contra Costa Science and Engineering Fair. The standards to place 4th/3rd/2nd/1st are very high, and the Sophomores compete in a larger group with Juniors and Seniors from throughout the County. The work is judged for creativity, design, logic, thoroughness, problem solving, interviewing, and clarity of writing. It is with great pride that we congratulate our AP Biology Brotherhood and announce that all DLS AP Biology students placed at the competition! Eric Andre and Tanner Mercer won 1st Place and advance to the prestigious State Science Fair.

Also in March, three teams of Latin students competed in Certamen, a team-based trivia contest revolving around questions based not only on Latin, but also Roman mythology, history, and culture. The students have spent the past few months studying in their spare time in preparation for this contest. Their hard work paid off: every team managed to score enough points to qualify for the state semifinals, which will be held at the California Junior Classical League state convention this April. The Latin I team consisted of Sophia Hermelin, Jack Killeen, Antonio Renghini and Luke Taylor. The Latin III team consisted of William Cumbelich and the AP Latin team was comprised of Luke Giuntoli, Alexander Sintic, and Rohan Castelino. Congratulations to all of you, and good luck in the semi-finals!

The Robotics Club was at UC Davis on March 23-25 for the FIRST Robotics Competition. After nine qualifying matches, they were ranked 9th out of 56 teams, which allowed them to be a team captain in the playoffs for the first time. They made it to the semifinals and were eliminated after a couple of very close matches.

Finally, when you walk on campus this spring, remember to check out our inaugural member of the Spartan Garden that our Science staff has been nurturing all year.


Dr. Heather Alumbaugh

Powered by Finalsite