Sunday, January 31, 2010

Save the Date: State of the District Address Scheduled March 24

Board President Richard Barrera will present the 2010 State of the District address on Wednesday, March 24, at 6 p.m., at Cherokee Point Elementary School, 3735 38th St. (92105). Please mark your calendars and look for details in upcoming editions of Friday Notes. For more information, please contact Bernie Rhinerson, chief district relations officer, at (619) 725-5578.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Astronaut urges students to reach for the stars

Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., the first African-American to walk in space, came to Lincoln High School yesterday to inspire and encourage students to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune» KGTV» KFMB» Exxon-Mobile Foundation News Release»


Priority-Based Budget Process

Since the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 12, district staff has been hard at work developing a budget plan based on the following six priorities selected by the Board:

* Maintain Current Class-size
* Provide a Safe & Supportive Environment
* Provide a 21st Century Learning Environment
* Promote Diversity, Integration and Choice
* Provide a Broad-based Curriculum
* Raise the Achievement Level of All Students

In order to develop a the budget that is based on these priorities, six teams were organized to examine every budget category and department in the district. Three teams evaluated department budgets from the perspective of what was required for “minimal” operations. Three other teams looked at two of the priorities and evaluated budgets to make recommendations on how best to reflect the Board priorities with budget allocations.

This process could also be called “broad-involvement” budgeting. Over the past two weeks, the teams have dedicated numerous hours to meetings, seeking input from representatives of all departments, and holding briefings with community and labor organization representatives. The recommendations of the teams are currently being analyzed by the Finance Department and will be presented, along with the Interim Superintendent’s recommendations, at the Board’s next budget workshop on Feb. 9.

With an estimated 2010/11 budget deficit of more than $80 million, the Board once again faces very difficult budget decisions. School communities are encouraged to provide input and suggestions to the Board members as they continue their budget deliberations. The district continues to advocate in Sacramento for additional education funding and negotiate with our labor organizations about how we can develop a shared solution for a balanced budget.

The public is encouraged to attend the budget workshop on Feb. 9, at 5 p.m., at the Education Center. You can stay up-to-date with our budget challenges by visiting our website at

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Friday, January 29, 2010

JROTC Briefs O¹Farrell Middle School

JROTC members from Lincoln High School recently visited eighth grade students at
O¹Farrell Community School, discussing the JROTC and the pathway to become
better a citizen. High school JROTC members from across the district visit middle schools to discuss the voluntary program with interested future cadets in eighth grade. For more information, please contact Col. Harry Ridge at (858) 496-8203 or

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

CTE Students at High Tech High Work with Non-Profits

High Tech High students working with Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers David Berggren and Blair Hatch adopted Non-profit Organization and created deliverables in an effort to benefit the organization and promote its mission. The Not For Profit For Change project involved ROP Multimedia Production/Engineering and Design students collaborating with representatives from organizations such as Pro Kids Golf, Ronald McDonald Charities, the New Children's Museum and the Reuben H Fleet Science Center. Promotional videos can be found at the High Tech High website and DVD's are available upon request at For more information, please contact Blair Hatch at (619) 243-5041 or

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Polls Show Support for Parcel Tax

News coverage of a report on putting a parcel tax to San Diego Unified voters. The projected tax would be $98 per parcel and was endorsed by 64 percent of those polled.
  • From Voice of San Diego:
    San Diego Unified has been kicking around the idea of a parcel tax to raise money for schools. Last August, it hired political consultant Larry Remer to research and do outreach on the idea. Read more from Voice of San Diego»
  • From San Diego Union-Tribune:
    Encouraged by results of a survey that shows public support for a parcel tax to generate money for the cash-strapped city school district, the Board of Education last night took a step toward putting a measure on a ballot as early as November. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Project Making a Difference Looks at Success

A report to the Board of Education highlights successful schools in San Diego Unified. Read more.

President Barrera, Council Member Emerald Tour Crawford Complex

On Jan. 15, City Council Member Marti Emerald was escorted around the Crawford High Educational Complex by San Diego Unified Board President Richard Barrera. Emerald and Barrera observed many of the programs housed in the small schools on campus: CHAMPS (Community Health and Medical Practices School), IDEA (Invention and Design Educational Academy), LAB (The School of Law and Business), and MVAS (Multimedia and Visual Arts School). After the tour, Councilmember Emerald took time to interact with students and encouraged them to continue their studies to make our community a better place to live. For more information, please contact CHAMPs Principal William Laine at (619) 583-2501, ext. 2450 or
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

'Idol'-style Competition Sharpens Interview Skills of Clairemont High Students

In a twist on “American Idol” and with more than 600 students in attendance, Clairemont High School’s Academy of Business and Technology students recently learned the proper job interview skills from business partners.

The second annual American Idol-style program had business partners as the judges and students as the contestants trying to land a job. The judges included credit counselor Derrick Evens, Steve Lyons of State Farm Insurance (who donated gift cards that were used as prizes), and entrepreneur Joe Chaffee.

Instructor Alan Walter played the role of Ryan Seacrest. The event is not only fun for students but also gives them ideas on how pressure-packed a job interview can be. For more information, please contact Dean Darley, program specialist, Office of College, Career, and Technological Education, at (858) 503-1752 or

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Staff-Created High School Menu Items Win Taste Contest

Four items now on middle and high school lunch menus, developed by San Diego Unified’s Sylvia Kravitz, have won the 2009 USA Rice Federation Healthy Rice Bowls contest. Kravitz's creations -- Sweet & Sour Shrimp, Teriyaki Chicken with Asian Vegetables, Beef with Broccoli and Fajita Chicken Rice Bowls -- are part of the district's new middle and high school menus that debuted in September. The Federation noted that the creative recipes and marketing of the new menu items were "outstanding." Kravitz and the district will receive two commercial rice cookers and $250 for the district's education fund. For more information, please contact Gary Petill, food services director, at (858) 627-7301 or

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Language Academy PTSA Receives National Honor

The Language Academy recently made headlines when the school’s Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) received the Outstanding Advocacy Award at the district level from the National PTA. Last year’s proposed $10.5 million budget cut in transportation would have affected 57% of the student body at the French and Spanish immersion magnet school. The PTSA took immediate action, organizing rallies, town hall meetings and a media campaign to send the message to the school board that the cuts would be too devastating for their school to survive. The group’s united effort resulted in its bus funding being restored.

Language Academy’s PTSA was chosen for its dedication, leadership and sustained effort to positively affect child related policy, regulation and legislation. The group will be recognized in Washington, DC, in March during National PTA’s Legislative Conference. For more information, please contact Bey-Ling Sha, PTSA president, at

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

UC Irvine, VAPA Partnership Helping Children Learn English Through the Arts

An effort to boost the language skills of K-2 students through the arts is underway. The district's Visual and Performing Arts Program (VAPA), together with the University of California Irvine, have brought the Teaching Artist Program to some of San Diego's neediest schools

Instead of asking children to sit quietly at desks, teachers co-teach 27 arts lessons with teaching-artists in their own classrooms. The curriculum is balanced among lessons in theater, dance and visual arts. This boosts the amount of verbal interaction between adults and young English learners and is considered a key factor in learning a new language. This powerful arts instruction has already shown to build student enthusiasm for learning.

The effort is under way at Adams, Baker, Balboa, Cadman, Central, Hamilton, Jefferson, Jones, Knox, Logan, Marshall, McKinley and Paradies Hills. For more information, please contact Karen Childress-Evans, VAPA director, at (858) 539-5349 or

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Students Collect Food in Honor of Dr. King

Students at five San Diego high schools will hold food drives in the next two weeks in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. Clairemont, Crawford, Morse, SCPA and Serra high schools will participate in the Ninth District PTA's MLK Freedom from Hunger Food Drive for the San Diego Food Bank. The school that collects the most food will be awarded a $1,500 grant to its ASB from the PTA. Community members who want to contribute can drop food items off at the schools. For more information, please email

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

SCHOOL STATUS: Loma Portal Elementary Closed, All Others Open

Loma Portal Elementary School, 3341 Browning Street in Pt. Loma, has been closed for today due to a power outage. Students who have already arrived at the school will only be released to a parent or guardian with proper identification. Parents who have not yet brought their students to school should keep their child home today. The daycare and extended-day programs at the school are closed as well.

All other schools are open.

Weather Conditions At 25 Schools

As part of their solar energy systems, 28 San Diego Unified schools and facilities have online reports available for current weather conditions. Check if your school is listed.»

IN THE NEWS: Ethnic cuisine helps bridge cultural divide

EL CERRITO — As a child, Fadumo Aweys sold traditional sambusas at her family’s restaurant in Somalia. As an adult in San Diego, she makes the meat-and-mint-filled dumplings to feed her children and remind them of their African culture.

Aweys and her daughter, Muna Abdirahman, were among several students last week who shared their favorite ethnic dishes — and the stories behind them — with students at Crawford High School as part of a community diversity project. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune.»

IN THE NEWS: Kearny High soccer rebuilding and conquering

KEARNY MESA — The Kearny High boys soccer team stands together on the shore at Mission Beach, all eyes on senior Eric Sanchez.

“Do the fat-girl dance,” Sanchez’s teammates say, already laughing at the thought of their best pregame ritual. “Do it, EJ.” Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune.»

Golf Tourney Tickets Help Schools

Everybody knows that the big, annual PGA golf tournament at Torrey Pines Jan. 25-31 shows a nationwide TV audience how beautiful it is in San Diego, but did you know that over the years this tournament has raised thousands of dollars for our schools? This year is no different.

Schools and individuals, through our PE, Athletics and Health Department, can get day-pass tickets to sell for $17. Of that, $15 goes to our PE programs and individual schools.

For more information, contact the PE/Athletics/Health office at (619) 725-7126.

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Studying Lady Bugs and Butterflies at Palomar Outdoor School

Each year, nearly 8,500 sixth graders participate in the Palomar Outdoor School program, which often includes unique science lessons and special learning experiences. The Lost Ladybug Project is a weekly “hands on” science project in which San Diego students join peers across the country in collecting and identify ladybugs for entomologists at Cornell University. Findings are included in a national database and sixth graders learn about the scientific process and how organisms interact with each other and their environment.

Students also work to save the endangered Laguna Mountain Skipper Butterfly by participating in a project to plant the diminishing perennial called Cleveland’s Horkelia. The plant (a member of the rose family) attracts the butterfly back to the habitat with the aim of expanding its population each year. While the Laguna Mountain Skipper Butterfly has already disappeared from Laguna Mountain, the hope is that it can be reestablished on Palomar Mountain by increasing the host plants in the area. For more information, please contact Dr. Mary Cannie, Instructional Support Services, at (619) 725-7224 or .

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lincoln High on SD6

Here are reports from Lincoln High that were aired live on San Diego 6 in the Morning on Jan. 19, 2010. The reporter is Ruben Galvan.

Sequoia Elementary, Jack-In-The-Box, JA on SD6

Sequoia Elementary School's Junior Achievement Program and sponsor Jack-In-The Box was featured on San Diego 6 in the Morning with reporter Ruben Galvan.

7:30 and 8:30 a.m. Reports (click on image of story to play)

State Business Group Honors 29 San Diego Unified Schools

California Business for Education Excellence has recognized 29 San Diego Unified schools in its annual Scholar and Star school programs. The 2009 Honor Roll includes public elementary, middle and high schools that have been recognized by California’s business community for demonstrating consistent academic achievement and have made significant progress toward closing achievement gaps among all students. The Honor Roll is made up of two different awards -- the Star Schools Award and Scholar Schools Award.

Star Schools Award winners at San Diego Unified include: Cadman, Ericson, Field, Florence, Hickman, Juarez, Lindbergh/Schweitzer, Mason, Ocean Beach, Penn and Vista Grade elementary schools, Preuss School UCSD (charter) and the School of International Business at Kearny High School. Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have show a significant increase in grade-level proficiency and achievement-gap reduction over four years.

Scholar Schools Award winners are: Benchley/Weinberger, Bird Rock, Curie, Dingeman, Einstein Academy, Explorer (charter), Green, Holmes, Jerabek, Kumeyaay, La Jolla, Miramar Ranch, Sandburg, E. B. Scripps, Silver Gate, Sunset View and Torrey Pines elementary schools. Scholar Schools are schools that are showing significant academic achievement levels, but do not have a significant socio-economically disadvantaged student population. For more information, please contact Kristi Dean, interim chief elementary school improvement officer, at (619) 725-7170 or

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PTA Safari to Sacramento

PTA members from San Diego Unified, San Diego County and across the state will converge on Sacramento for the annual Legislative Conference, Feb. 21-22. This year’s theme, Connecting the Dots: From Issues to Advocacy, includes meetings with legislators on Feb. 23 to discuss how budget cuts affect California’s children. Board member Katherine Nakamura will also be joining the “safari” on behalf of San Diego students. Any interested PTA members are encouraged to attend the conference on their school’s behalf. Assistance with conference fees and costs may be available from the PTA. For more information, please contact your school site PTA or email Laura Schumacher, president, San Diego Unified Council of PTAs, at .

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

IN THE NEWS: "They Want to Feel Like a Kid"

Pam Hosmer oversees San Diego Unified school programs for a wide range of children with unique needs, including foster children, children in hospitals, runaways and military kids. As schools and shelters alike brace for the budget crunch, we sat down to talk with her about homeless children. Read more from the Voice of San Diego.

Project Recovery Locates 2,387 ‘Dropouts

The district’s Project Recovery, which identifies, locates and works with “missing” students, has brought 2,387 students back to our schools this year, or identified them as students who have transferred to another school. The program works with school sites to identify students who are registered but have not been attending school – a key dropout rate indicator. Project Recovery successfully brings students back to school and allows for a more accurate dropout rate to be reported to state and federal agencies.
The Project Recovery team includes central office staff, attendance clerks and other school staff members who diligently work to investigate every “missing” student. Staff members make phone calls and visit neighbors and family members to track down students. In a majority of cases, students have moved to another district and the new district has created new (tracking code) numbers for those students, rather than using the number assigned to them while at San Diego Unified.
Students identified as dropouts receive individual support and guidance, including counseling, transfer to a new school and independent study. Although the district is pleased to report statistical improvements in our dropout rate, the most important measure of success is having each of our students earn a high school diploma.
This year, there are still 835 students to locate, down from more than 1,800 last year. This collective effort is just one of many district programs aimed at supporting and reconnecting students with our schools. For more information, please contact Nellie Meyer, executive director, Dropout Prevention, at (619) 725-7388.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Oscar-Winning Actor Surprises UC High Teacher

Back in September, Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss wrote an opinion piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune, complaining about the lack of civics education in our high schools.

Michele Fournier, government teacher at University City High, wrote the newspaper — which published the letter — saying that civics education was alive and well in her classroom and that Mr. Dreyfuss could stop by any time.

Much to her surprise, he took her up on the offer and stopped by on Dec. 18. While there, he observed Ms. Fournier’s “holiday song project” and was delighted by her students’ knowledge and creativity. He addressed the students and explained the importance of understanding civics and democracy; he also spoke passionately about the skill of being able to reason and argue rationally.

Dreyfuss believes civics should be taught in grades K-12 and created The Dreyfuss Initiative to encourage the adoption of this curriculum.

For more information, please contact Michele Fournier.

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Prop S Update: January PSA Training

Prop S The next Project Stabilization Agreement (PSA) training is set for Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m., at Transportation Services, 4710 Cardin Street, SD 92111. The first PSA project is the Hoover Green Construction Building, which has the following key dates:
  • Bid advertisement - Tuesday, Jan. 12
  • Job walk - Thursday, Jan. 21, at 9 a.m.
  • Bids opened - Thursday, Feb. 4
  • Board of Education awards contract - Tuesday, March 9
The PSA is designed to ensure a sufficient supply of skilled craft workers and to eliminate work disruptions on Prop. S projects. It also includes sections that promote the hiring of skilled craftspeople living within the San Diego Unified boundaries and encourages individuals living within district boundaries, including students, to become apprentices. For more information, please contact George Harris, contracts compliance manager, at (858) 637-6269 or .

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

IN THE NEWS: "Students need to fight for education"

"As many of you may already know, San Diego Unified School District is facing an enormous budget shortfall this year. We, as a district, are projected to lose an estimated $180 million to $200 million in funding for the 2010-11 school year. This number affects every level in our district, from elementary to high school. Sacramento representatives are neglecting to realize that we students are the future. They feel that education can be cut, simply because nobody is complaining about it. That is why it is our job to speak up." -- Read La Jolla High ASB President Vince Gumina's commentary in the La Jolla Light »

IN THE NEWS: Mission Bay Soccer Leader Always Ready to Lighten Mood

Bucs girls soccer co-captain Micaela Cervantes profiled. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Get Ready for the San Diego Science Festival

One of the biggest science events of the year is beginning in a few weeks.

The San Diego Science Festival will run March 20-27 and is a collaboration of more than 125 leading science organizations including the San Diego Science Alliance, CONNECT, BIOCOM, N.D.I.A., and other key local organizations and media partners. Campuses around San Diego Unified will be participating in the festival, which is organized by community members and the University of California, San Diego.

Activities include a Rubik’s Cube Tournament and the Nifty 150, with visits by San Diego’s 150 leading scientists to classrooms.

The week-long event culminates with Family Expo Day on Saturday, March 27, at Petco Park. For more information, please go to the festival’s website.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Schools, Offices Closed Monday, Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King Holiday

All San Diego Unified School District schools and offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 for the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

All schools and offices will reopen Tuesday, January 19. It will be the first day back for schools on year-round schedule, which have been on winter break since Dec. 21. See the district's academic calendar for more information.

Crawford CHAMPs Students Check For Vitals

On Dec. 17, the San Diego County Office of Education's Tech Productions Team visited the Crawford High Educational Complex to video and photograph Lisa Quintana's Health Essentials course at the Community Health and Medical Practices School (CHAMPs).

Students worked in an epidemiology lab and role-played patients and nurse assistants, checking vital signs to help identify symptoms of a possible disease.

The Office of Education is producing a video to model exemplary classrooms for other teachers, featuring Quintana's classroom among others. For more information, please contact Principal Bill Laine at (619) 583-2501 ext, 2460.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Congratulates California Teacher of the Year Selected as a National Finalist

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today congratulated Kelly Kovacic, a 2010 California Teacher of the Year, for her selection as one of four 2010 National Teacher of the Year finalists.

“Ms. Kovacic’s passion for teaching makes her a natural educator,” O’Connell said. “During her relatively eight short years in the classroom, she has made a tremendous impact on the lives of her students. Kelly has an innate ability to transcend the boundaries of her students’ world and provide them with the education, encouragement, and resolve to overcome hurdles and realize their own potential.”

In addition to California, teachers from Florida, Iowa, and Michigan were also named National Teacher of the Year finalists today. The announcement came from the Council of Chief State School Officers, which oversees the program. For more information, please go to:

Ms. Kovacic teaches twelfth grade Advance Placement U.S. Government and Politics and eleventh grade Advanced Placement U.S. History at The Preuss School, a charter school established in 1999 on the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla. The school provides a rigorous college-preparatory education for motivated low-income students who all live below the poverty level.

Ms. Kovacic, who is one of four 2010 California Teachers of the Year and also a 2009-10 Teacher of the Year Runner up for the San Diego Unified School District, graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from Stanford University, where she also received a California Professional Clear Credential.

“I am extremely honored to be chosen as a finalist,” Ms. Kovacic said. “It is an exciting opportunity to be an advocate for teachers, students, and public education. More than anything else, this honor is recognition of the dedicated and hard working students, staff, and teaching colleagues I have the privilege to work with each day at The Preuss School.”

Since the National Teacher of the Year Program began in 1952, six National Teachers of the Year have been named from California, including the program’s first National Teacher, Geraldine Jones, who taught in Santa Barbara. Chauncey Veatch, a history and social studies teacher at Coachella Valley High School in Thermal, was the most recent California winner who received the honor in 2002.

Ms. Kovacic’s selection marks the third consecutive year that a California teacher has reached the national finals. During the two preceding years, Alex Kajitani, a mathematics teacher also known as the Rappin’ Mathematician at Mission Middle School in the Escondido Union (Elementary) School District in San Diego County, and Lewis Chappelear, an engineering design teacher at James Monroe High School in North Hills in the Los Angeles Unified School District, were both named National Teacher of the Year finalists.

The 2010 winner is expected to be announced in April.

Board President TV Interview

Board of Education president Richard Barrera discusses the search for a new superintendent on the Fox 5 Morning News.


Lowe's Lends Hand to Barnard Chinese Magnet

Barnard Elementary LogoBarnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School has been awarded a $5,000 grant through Lowe's Toolbox for Education program.

The money will be used to improve the school’s learning environment by creating an outdoor reading area, renovating the sandbox on the Kindergarten playground and installing benches throughout the campus. These improvements will be implemented immediately.

Special thanks to Barnard parent Polly Traylor who wrote the grant. Xie Xie!

For more information, please contact Principal Edward Park at (619) 224-3306.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Save the Date: School Choice Fair, Saturday, Jan. 30

Last Year's School Choice FairBack by popular demand, the 2nd Annual School Choice Fair will take place on Saturday, Jan. 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Balboa Park Recital Hall. The free event will highlight schools and student performances from throughout San Diego Unified. Families across the county can learn first-hand about the many educational options available to students, including those parents who work but do not live within the district’s attendance boundaries. Information about district-run schools, including neighborhood, magnet and International Baccalaureate, as well as other innovative programs will be under one roof. Representatives from the enrollment office will be available to answer school choice application questions. More than 1,500 families attended last year's event. The school choice open enrollment period ends Feb.15, 2010 for school year 2010-11. For more information, visit .

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

PPO Continues Tradition of “Holiday Hope” with Food Drive

The Physical Plant Operations (PPO) Building Committee sponsored the 5th Annual “Holiday Hope” Food Drive and donated 60 food baskets to some of San Diego Unified's neediest families. On Dec. 18, PPO staff volunteers delivered food baskets to Logan, Chavez, Perkins, Burbank, Emerson and Golden Hills elementary schools. This charitable effort, which began in 2004, provides needy families with a complete holiday dinner, including turkey, trimmings and pumpkin pie. Families also receive staples such as peanut butter, jelly, bread, cereal and milk to supplement food supplies during winter break when students are not in school. Throughout the year, PPO conducts fundraisers in support of the food drive. This year, the generosity of Stumps Market owner Dirk Stump helped expand the number of baskets to ten additional families. For more information, please contact Martin Perez at (858) 627-7213 or ; or Michelle Rogers at (858) 627-7226 or .

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Budget Update: Gov. Announces Plan for 10-11

Governor Schwarzenegger released his draft budget Friday, Jan.8, providing additional detail about K-12 education funding for the next budget year. We were pleased to see that the Governor’s proposal does protect education from draconian cuts needed to solve California’s significant deficit. But there are still steep cuts in store for K-12 education in the proposed budget that will add to the challenges faced by San Diego Unified as we prepare our budget for the 2010/11 school year.

Our staff’s very preliminary analysis of the Governor’s budget concludes that statewide, the total reduction in funding to Proposition 98 for K-12 education is close to $2.4 billion. San Diego Unified’s share of these state cuts for the 2010-11 fiscal year could be $25 to $35 million. Our staff will be working over the next week to analyze the budget proposal in greater detail and prepare more specific estimates for the Board of Education. It is important to note that this projection is subject to action by the state legislature which could significantly change education funding in the final budget.

San Diego Unified already faces a projected deficit for 2010/11 of approximately $64 million. These additional state budget cuts would take the total projected deficit to a range of $89 to $99 million. The Board of Education is currently working with district staff to develop budget priorities that will be used in the budget process. Parents, employees and the public are encouraged to continue to submit their comments to the Board and attend board meetings to provide their input. For more information, please read the Summary of Governor’s Proposed 2010-11 Budget.

Pt. Loma Takes Third in Economic Competition

Pt. Loma High’s Economics and International Trade class went to USC in early December to participate in the 2009 Regional International Economic Summit.

The Pt. Loma team, representing Bolivia, received 3rd place overall in the Outstanding Economic Advisor Award category.

The event was hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, USC’s Marshall Center for International Business and Education Research and the Rossier School of Education.

More than 300 students from Southern California participated in the competition, representing various world countries in mock world trade strategies.

For more information, please contact Mary Jean Del Campo at (619) 224-4532, ext. 4603 or .

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Seven schools in JA 'Titans of Industry Challenge'

Students pose with briefcases after the Titans of Industry business management challengeSeven San Diego Unified high schools took part in the Junior Achievement Titans of Industry Challenge on Dec. 11.

Patrick Henry, Clairemont, Scripps Ranch, San Diego High LEADS and MVPA, Hoover and the MET competed against each other as their virtual corporations were judged on economics and business management decisions.

This year’s top winning team was from Alan Walters’ class, DKL Enterprises from Clairemont High. Patrick Henry and the MET placed 3rd and 4th in the county competition. Top placing teams received laptop computers and saving bonds.

Congratulations to all participating schools. For more information, please contact Dean Darley, program specialist, at (858) 503-1752 or .

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Prop. S Update: Bond Funds Reach Schools

In addition to specific construction and modernization projects identified on the Prop S ballot, the bond measure also provides discretionary funding for facility improvement projects to be selected by each school. The amount of funds allocated for each site is calculated by multiplying the official fall 2009 enrollment by $150 per student. Schools must follow the board-approved process and criteria when requesting approval of projects for the use of these funds. The Facilities Planning and Construction Division will begin rolling out the program in early January.

The Site Discretionary Fund allocation will be spread over 10 years and allocated annually by board member sub-district. The allocation is based on the proportion of students in each district. Schools with the lowest Academic Performance Index scores in each sub-district will be notified that they have priority for the first 90 days of each allocation period. At the end of 90 days, if uncommitted funds remain, the next lowest API schools will be notified that they have a 90-day period to use their discretionary funds. This process will continue until all funds are committed. Schools may request less than their full allocation, but requests made after their 90-day period will be deferred to the next annual cycle. For more information, please contact Jeff Hudson, senior project manager, at (858) 637-3500 or

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

'Shop With A Cop' Included SD Unified's Finest

School Police officers and studentsMore than 300 children in need received help during the holidays from School Police.

Our force participated in the annual “Shop with a Cop” event Dec. 5, joining law enforcement officers from throughout the county to volunteer their time at the big celebration for underprivileged children.

Our officers joined the kids for a visit at Sea World and then on a shopping spree at Target stores, where each child received a $100 gift card to spend. The event is funded by donations and grants.

For more information, please contact Lt. Rueben Littlejohn at (619) 725-7100 or .

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More Teachers are Board Certified

San Diego Unified is proud to announce that 19 teachers have achieved National Board Certification in 2009. With a grand total of 166 National Board Certified Teachers, the district now has the second highest number of board certified teachers among all California school districts.

This program was established to advance student learning, improve teaching and make schools better. Teachers who achieve certification have met high standards through study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review.

The district’s Board Certified class of 2009 includes:

  • Linnea Caldera Mille, Joyner Elementary

  • Suzie Fore and Cecile Nedellec, Serra High

  • Brian Pollard, O’Farrell Charter

  • Cynthia Larkin, Morse High

  • Michel Cazary, Garfield Elementary

  • Sarah Gladd and Jessica Guy-Smith, Montgomery Middle School

  • Jessica Touw, Birney Elementary

  • Alicia Flores, Ibarra Elementary

  • Joy Schumacher, Dingeman Elementary

  • Kathy Ryan, Fay Elementary

  • Mary Laiuppa, Clairemont High

  • Aimee Sage, Whittier Center

  • Dianna Vanderhurst, Wangenheim Middle School

  • Quynh Mai and Yvonne Munguia-Lucero, Crown Point Elementary

  • Kimberly Roberts, Bell Middle School

  • Amanda Turnbull, SEEC (no longer with the district)

In addition, an announcement about the district’s newly-recertified teachers was posted in a previous Friday Notes and retired administrator Karen Wroblewski’s name was inadvertently omitted from the list. Congratulations to Karen and to all our board certified teachers. We applaud their commitment, time, talent and dedication to the teaching profession. For more information, please go to or contact Julia Groff at

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Monday, January 4, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Mira Mesa High Counselor is HS Educator of the Year

Mary McDonald, head counselor at San Diego’s Mira Mesa High School, has been selected California League of High Schools Educator of the Year for Region 9, which includes San Diego and Imperial counties. Read more from the Ramona Sentinel »

Cox Heroes College Scholarship Available

Cox Heroes scholarships, presented by Mission Federal Credit Union, are available in denominations of $2,500 or $10,000, for San Diego County adults, military dependents and high school seniors who dream of furthering their education. Through the Cox Kids Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications, a total of $55,000 will be awarded to students who are committed to pursuing their educational goals while overcoming adversity.

Scholarships are available in the following denominations:

To be considered for a Cox Heroes scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria and file their completed, postmarked application by Friday, January 29, 2010:

Cox Heroes scholarship winners will be notified in May 2010. Recipients will be chosen based on their personal commitment to scholastic achievement while demonstrating the perseverance to overcome life's challenges.

Cox Heroes scholarships are funded by the Cox Kids Foundation through employee payroll donations that are matched 100 percent by Cox Communications. Program details and an application can be found by visiting (click on My Connection, Community and Cox Kids Foundation.) Applications must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 29, 2010, and mailed to: Cox Heroes Scholarship c/o Cox Communications, 5159 Federal Blvd., San Diego CA 92105, Attention: Marnie Peterson.

IN THE NEWS: Perkins Elementary School Hosts Russian Guests

The relationship between Perkins Elementary and its sister school in Russia started simply enough, with the children writing letters back and forth and sending each other maps, newspapers and magazines. It shot a few rungs up the ladder when the children from Novocherkassk in southern Russia spent 10 days visiting their new U.S. friends in San Diego a couple of months ago. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune »