Friday, April 30, 2010

IN THE NEWS: A 'Behind the Scenes' Look at School Cafeteria Food

"I recently traded in my Anchormom garb, for a hairnet and apron and turned lunch lady for an afternoon at Scripps Ranch High School.  And what I found was a far cry from the mystery meat sandwiches I smelled before eating in my school cafeteria. Salad bars, "Wok and Bowl" Asian buffets, Mexican food carts and food fresh off an outdoor grill were all on the menu. I couldn't believe my un-botoxed eyes."

IN THE NEWS: Pep Rally Puts Students In Testing Frame of Mind

Serra High motivates students for the upcoming state tests by holding a school-wide pep rally.
News Coverage

Lincoln High School Teachers Selected for Science Fellowships

Lincoln High science teachers Janelle Javier and Jennifer Ogo have recently been awarded fellowships by UCSD. Javier received the UCSD Teacher Fellowship, while Ogo will be a Teacher Fellow in the Scripps Graduate K-12 Program. Each teacher will have a graduate student working with them to develop curriculum and higher-level labs during the 2010-11 school year. In addition, Jennifer and Janelle will have the opportunity to work in graduate labs at the campus. For more information, please contact Principal Ana Maria Alvarez at (619) 266-6500.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

SD High, Serra and Henry Top Cadet Challenge

More than 130 students from the 13 JROTC programs in San Diego Unified recently competed in the annual JROTC Cadet Challenge Physical Fitness Competition. San Diego High, Serra and Patrick Henry high schools placed first, second and third respectively in the competition. The annual competition tests the physical fitness of five boys and five girls from each school's program in events that included push-ups, curl-ups, basketball throw and a 5x400 relay race. The competition follows the format similar to the Service Academy Fitness Assessment test and evaluates one’s physical strength, endurance and fitness levels. Physical fitness is a major part of the JROTC program, helping cadets to live a healthy lifestyle. For more information, please contact Shawn Loescher, CCTE director, at (858) 503-1754 or

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sharpen Those Pencils -- It’s Time to TestSMART

The district has launched a new, user-friendly website featuring valuable information on standardized testing. “TestSMART: It’s All About Doing the Best on the Test” was created as a way to spotlight all the innovative ways we can raise student achievement by being prepared at test time. A Parent Toolkit, Teacher Toolkit and Student Toolkit, offering audience-specific tips and helpful links, are available online.

Give Your Input on New Superintendent

Dozens of parents, students, community members and employees have already attended one of the Superintendent Search Town Hall meetings. Attendees have given their input on what qualities they think that the district’s next superintendent should possess. The final Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at de Portola Middle, 11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (92124).

If you cannot attend a town hall meeting but would like to give input on what qualities you think the next superintendent should possess, you can post your suggestions on the district website. For more information, please contact Bernie Rhinerson, chief district relations officer, at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prop S Update: Mission Bay HS Celebrates Grand Opening of “Buc Café”

Mission Bay High School celebrated the official grand opening of its “Buc Café” student store on April 21 with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Principal Fred Hilgers kicked off the festivities with remarks about the school’s Academy of Entrepreneurship, a program that teaches students real-world business skills and how to run the on-site café. School Board Member John de Beck talked about the important role that business plays in today’s global society.

The "Buc Café" is one of 15 College, Career & Technical Education (CCTE) facilities being constructed using both Prop S and state Prop 1D bond funds. The 750-square-foot café represents a nearly $400,000 investment in Mission Bay High and the community. For more information, please contact the Prop S Communications Office at (619) 725-7252 or

Monday, April 26, 2010

ASB Students Celebrated for Leadership

Students from the Associated Student Body (ASB) Council, made up of ASB presidents from district high schools, recently enjoyed a Padres Game on April 15 courtesy of Cox Communications. The students were being recognized for their outstanding leadership at their school sites and the district. For more information, please contact Leonard Thompson, ASB Council advisor, at

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two Elementary Schools Attain Prestigious IB World Schools Status

Birney and Jefferson elementary schools have received official notification that they have been authorized as International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programmes, part of the prestigious International Baccalaureate World Schools program. The IB Primary Years Programme is for students aged 3 to 12 and is the first in a sequence of three IB Programmes, which also include The Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 11 to 16 years and The Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19 years. The three programmes form a coherent sequence of education by promoting the education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth. For more information, please contact Carolyn Goohs, director of Magnet Schools, at (619) 725-7158 or

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Crawford’s Law and Business Spends Day at Law School

Students from the Crawford High School of Law and Business visited Thomas Jefferson School of Law on March 26. Steve Luttbeg, a retired attorney and School of Law and Business instructor, set up the event, which was hosted by the Black Law Student Association. Crawford students got a glimpse of a day at law school, highlighted by a mock trial where the Crawford students were teamed up and guided by Jefferson law students. They argued issues related to locker searches, dress codes and curfews as Jefferson students and staff judged their presentations and awarded prizes. For more information, please contact Shawn Loescher, CCTE director, at (858) 503-1754 or

Friday, April 23, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Teen Iron Chef Pits Mira Mesa vs. Scripps Ranch

The competition heats up in the Teen Iron Chef competition between Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch high schools. See the results from Fox 5 San Diego»


Final Superintendent Search Town Hall Wednesday

The Superintendent Search Committee holds its final town hall Wednesday to give the public an opportunity to give their opinion on qualities and qualifications for the next district leader. The meetings are open the public.

There's more information on the committee's website.

In the News: Coverage of the superintendent search process.

Statewide Webinar Highlights San Diego’s Summer Lunch Program

The successful Summer Lunch Program was highlighted during a statewide webinar sponsored by the California Summer Meals Coalition. Joanne Tucker, Food Services marketing coordinator, joined other presenters in talking with more than 200 school districts and community group members about how summer lunch programs work. San Diego Unified was the only school district invited to participate. To date, our district has been the recipient of three Summer Sunshine awards from the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information, please contact Joanne Tucker at (858) 627-7316 or

Thursday, April 22, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Crawford New Student Program Highlighted

As a child in Guinea, Hawa Fallah had to sell bananas in the seaside city of Conakry to pay her school fees. When business was bad, she didn't go to school. The sixteen-year-old says she only got four years of schooling in her country. Her family moved to San Diego nine months ago for something better. Read more from Voice of San Diego»

IN THE NEWS: Board Approves Reorganization Plan

The new structure, which will go into effect in the 2010-11 school year, will add one deputy superintendent, replace school improvement officers with area superintendents and remove superfluous duties from the chief financial officer. Read more from City News Service via KPBS-FM»

IN THE NEWS: Joyful Noise Greets Oak Park Students

Music educator and renowned violinist Monique Mead gave a program to train teachers how to create music with their students. The musicians have also performed at Freese and Crown Point elementary schools. See more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Instructional Media Center Receives Grant From NEH

The Instructional Media Center (IMC) was one of 4,000 libraries across the country awarded the We the People Bookshelf Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which provides free hardcover editions of 17 classic books on the theme of “A More Perfect Union.” In addition, the IMC will receive bonus materials, including a DVD edition of “The Civil War,” the award-winning documentary by Ken Burns. The materials will be available to schools at the end of May. For more information, please contact Martha Karanopoulos at (858) 496-8439 or

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rally for Our Schools Set for May 8

On May 8, there will be a community-wide Rally for Our Schools in Balboa Park to support public education funding. The event is being organized by Educate for the Future, an independent grassroots organization of parents, students, community leaders and educators. The rally begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of 6th and Laurel. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

15 Make State 'Distinguished Schools' List

Record Number of Elementary Campuses Are on This Year’s State Department of Education List

Elementary schools from Pacific Beach to Scripps Ranch, from La Jolla to South Bay Terraces — throughout the San Diego Unified School District, were honored today by receiving 2010 California Distinguished School awards from the state Department of Education.

The schools on this year's list from San Diego Unified are: Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet, Bay Park, Bird Rock, Birney, Cadman, Chesterton, EB Scripps, Ericson, Foster, Jones, Loma Portal, Nye, Perry, Sequoia and Vista Grande.

"Our hard-working students, teachers and educational teams deserve all the credit for this recognition of their excellence in academics," said Bill Kowba, Interim Superintendent. "This is the largest number of our schools to be honored. That speaks highly of all the students, educators, staff and families in San Diego Unified."

The 15 elementary schools are the most in one year for San Diego Unified since the program began in the mid-1980s. Elementary and secondary schools are awarded in alternate years; in 2009, six middle and high schools were awarded.

Schools were evaluated based on their test scores from the state Academic Performance Index and federal No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress, as well as efforts to narrow the achievement gap among ethnic groups. Each school had to describe two signature practices that lead to a narrowing of the achievement gap and an increase in student achievement.

An awards banquet at Anaheim's Disneyland Hotel will be held June 4 for the 2010 California Distinguished Schools. More information is online.

IN THE NEWS: Volcano Strands Students in San Diego

If things had gone according to plan, Claire Fourneaux would be back in her classroom in northern France today. But as travelers often learn, you can’t plan for Mother Nature.

It’s a lesson Fourneaux and 20 of her high school classmates are learning firsthand this week, thanks to a massive cloud of volcanic ash that has grounded flights over Europe and left the exchange students stranded in San Diego for another week. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Prop S Update: Hoover Students Take Hard-Hat Tour

On April 8, approximately 15 students from the ACE (Architecture/Construction/Engineering) Mentor Program at Hoover High School toured a two-story, 30,284 square foot permanent classroom building that is currently under construction. The construction project is funded by local Proposition S funds and matching state funds from an Overcrowded Relief Grant. This classroom project represents an investment of more than $5.5 million into Hoover High School and the Mid-City community.

The mission of the ACE program is to enlighten and increase high school students’ awareness of career opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering and related areas of the design and construction industry through mentoring; and to provide scholarship opportunities for students in an inclusive manner reflective of the diverse school population. For more information, please contact Nora Welshans, Hoover employer outreach specialist, at (619) 283-6281 or

Monday, April 19, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Breakfast at Sherman School Highlighted

Sherman Elementary School was the place to be for breakfast Monday morning.

State schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell joined San Diego Charger Luis Castillo, nutrition experts and others sampling fruit, yogurt and burritos as part of a statewide effort to get more students to eat breakfast on campus. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Superintendent Search Committee Meets Wednesday, Thursday

The Superintendent Search Committee meets twice this week to give the public an opportunity to give their opinion on qualities and qualifications for the next district leader. The meetings are open the public.
Next Week
  • 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 28, at de Portola Middle, 11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (92124)
There's more information on the committee's website.
In the News: Coverage of the superintendent search process.

Bill to End Class Size Penalties Goes to a Vote

San Diego Unified has been working with Assembly Members Marty Block (D-78) and Nathan Fletcher (R-75) to introduce Assembly Bill 2272.This legislation rolls back counterproductive penalties for districts that prioritize small class sizes but are still forced to increase them because of severe state budget cuts. With AB 2272, the district would be able to keep an additional $20 million for our classrooms over the next two years. The Assembly Committee on Education will vote on the bill this Wednesday, April 21. Parents, teachers, and community members are encouraged to have their voices heard on this issue by contacting Marty Block at and Nathan Fletcher at, and calling the committee chair and vice chair at (916) 319-2041 and (916) 319-2064 respectively. For more information, please contact Bernie Rhinerson at (619) 725-5578 or

Sunday, April 18, 2010

CHAMPs Students Inspired by Disabled Athletes Advocate

Emmanuel Ofuso Yeboah, the physically challenged athlete from Ghana who rode 380 kilometers across his country to raise awareness and change perceptions of the disabled, visited with students at the Crawford High’s CHAMPS New Arrival Center on March 25. Yeboa, who has only one leg, showed his award-winning documentary (narrated by Oprah Winfrey). The students were inspired by his courage and determination to change perceptions about the disabled not just in his country, but around the world. Crawford students, who hail from nations such as Liberia, Burundi, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Mexico and Burma, utilized their developing English skills to ask Emmanuel questions about his experiences. For more information, please contact CHAMPS Crawford William Laine at (619) 583-2501 ext 2460 or

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mira Mesa High Culinary Arts Students Get to Work

Mira Mesa High School Culinary Arts students recently spent a day at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, shadowing the club’s employees. The eight students worked in various positions with chefs, hostesses, front desk staff and human resources staff. The day gave the students an opportunity to see the inside operations of one of San Diego’s most exclusive facilities. For more information, please contact Jennifer Kvalvik, employer outreach specialist, at

You Are What You Eat, Dude!

On April 6, Max Sturman, author of "You Are What You Eat, Dude," donated 1,000 copies of his book to Crawford Educational Complex. The book is a simple guide to a healthier lifestyle. Sturman is 91 years young and has 60 years of experience in the field of nutrition. He is president of the Do It Naturally Foundation, an organization that produces and distributes educational material to educate the nation's youth and adults alike, on a healthy eating plan anyone can follow. For more information, please contact Anna Asaro-Baker at

Friday, April 16, 2010

School Police Dispatcher Honored

Erika Rodgers, a San Diego Unified police dispatcher, is one of three police dispatchers to be recognized tomorrow night at the San Diego Association of Public Safety Dispatchers’ 7th Annual Dispatcher Appreciation Awards Banquet. The banquet, which will be held at the Handlery Hotel and Resort, culminates National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 11-17. Erika will be honored for her split-second decision to return to work to assist and relieve an ailing fellow dispatcher who had just taken over her shift. Erika’s gut reaction told her this dispatcher needed immediate medical attention so she summoned paramedics. Until help arrived, she continued to monitoring incoming calls and alarms, and care for her ailing colleague. The dispatcher was rushed to the hospital where she received urgent treatment for a potentially life-threatening condition. For more information, please contact School Police Chief Don Braun at (619) 725-7008 or

World-Renown Choreographer’s Work Featured at SCPA

The Jose Limon Dance Foundation has granted permission to School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) dancers to perform Missa Brevis as part of the school’s Spring Odyssey Dance Concert on April 16, 17, 22 and 23, at 7 p.m., and April 24, at 2 p.m. SCPA is the only high school in the nation to be granted permission for its students to learn and perform Missa Brevis, which will be performed by 30 SCPA dancers along with three dancers from the Coronado School of the Arts. The dance concert will also feature choreography by three other guest choreographers. Tickets for the performances are $8 and $6 and may be purchased through the SCPA Box Office at (619) 475-8556 or For more information, please contact Richard Trujillo, artistic director, at (619) 470-0555 ext. 212 or

Montgomery Middle Artwork on Display at Cricket Wireless/LEAP

Artwork created by Montgomery Middle School’s sixth graders is on display until July 1 at the corporate offices of Cricket Wireless/LEAP International, Inc., 5887 Copley Drive, San Diego. The theme of the exhibit is “Powerful Women in History.” Each work of art illustrates a portrait of a powerful woman in history along with a brief description of how she impacted the world. Some of the women depicted in the exhibit are Hatsheput, Hypatia, Mary Leaky, Isis, Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth. Cricket Wireless/LEAP will host a reception for parents, students and teachers on April 22. For more information, please contact Emalyn Leppard, Montgomery Middle School, at (858) 496-8330 x102.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Green Elementary Hosts the Annual Green Junior Olympics

Myron B. Green Academic/Athletic Magnet School held its annual Junior Olympics on Monday. The competition will include Music in the Round, running, relays and other field events and is the highlight of Green’s school year. The Olympics offer enriching experiences that reflect the unique curriculum of athletic competition and world culture study at the school. This longstanding tradition brings a unique learning opportunity and makes an indelible impression to the students. The weeklong celebration starts with opening ceremonies, at which time the countries are presented by the students through dance, song and regalia. The week culminates with the fifth-grade track meet held at nearby Henry High School's track. For more information, please contact Principal Bruce Ferguson at (619) 460-5755.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Facilitator Training on Sibshops

A training on Sibshops, a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental or mental health concerns, will be held May 15-16 at the Ballard Center.

The workshop will feature Don Meyer, the nation’s leading trainer and educator on sibling support, and is open to family members, teachers, psychologists, social workers, counselors and other providers who want to start a local Sibshops program.

For more information, please click here or call Special Education at (619) 725-7327.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Elected Officials Encourage Students to Go to College

San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria and School Board Member Shelia Jackson recently attended kick-off pep rallies for GEAR UP, which stands Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. A federally-funded Department of Education grant program, GEAR UP is designed to help current 6th and 7th grade students begin thinking about and preparing for college. The events, at College Avenue Compact middle schools Monroe Clark and Woodrow Wilson, were designed to get students excited about participating in GEAR UP and encourage them to strive for success. Teachers, counselors and GEAR UP staff sported t-shirts emblazoned with “Believe in your dreams to achieve your goals. Succeed in life.” Councilmember Gloria emphasized the importance of remembering where you come from and helping your community. Board Member Jackson lead students in a cheer of “100% College Bound!” She spoke of the importance of education in achieving one’s dreams and encouraged the students to continue to strive to do well in school. GEAR UP counselors will support the Clark and Wilson students as they move through Hoover High School, providing mentoring and tutoring, plus support for teachers and parents. For more information, please contact Clark Principal Thomas Liberto at (619) 563-6801.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lincoln Center for Public Safety Goes to Court

Judge Barbara Major was joined by other professionals, including court reporters, court interpreters, and judicial assistants from the U.S. Marshal's Office, Superior Court, the U.S. Attorney, the Federal Defender's Office, and the U.S. Probation Officer, recently met with students in the Legal and Law Enforcement Careers class at Lincoln High School. The March 24 event, part of the "Open Doors to the Federal Courts" program, allowed students to learn first-hand about the numerous career opportunities in the judicial system and the education and experience required to qualify for these careers. Judge Major and the other professionals discussed procedures in criminal, civil and bankruptcy proceedings, plus the importance of financial responsibilities. For more information, please contact Shawn Loescher, Office of College, Career and Technical Education, at (858) 503-1754 or

District Translator/Interpreter to be Honored at Countywide Event

Alfonso Erdmann, who has worked as a Spanish language interpreter and translator for the district for more than eight years, will be honored on May 13 at the 12th Annual Biliteracy Symposium, an event sponsored by the San Diego County Office of Education. This event recognizes individuals who make significant contributions in promoting biliteracy for students. Alfonso has a gift for simultaneous interpretations from English to Spanish and Spanish to English that is second to none. He regularly serves as interpreter for monthly District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) meetings; he can also be seen at other district meetings, such as the Board of Education. For more information on the symposium, click here or contact Debra Dougherty, Office of Language Acquisition program manager, at (619) 725-7266 or

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Success for Taft Students

Taft Middle School has had such success with its English language literacy efforts that more than 40 students were applauded this week at a special ceremony commemorating their achievement. All students have graduated from being English learners to becoming fully fluent in the language of their adopted homeland. What made the school’s reclassification ceremony even more remarkable was the global reach of its student body. Taft is a veritable United Nations with students who come from many countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, China, Colombia, Somalia and Mexico.

The ceremony featured students receiving medals and an official certificate of Reclassification to Fluent English Proficiency. Principal Mike George praised the work of English Learner Support Teacher (ELST) Carlos Ramirez, who is a success story himself. He arrived in the U.S in the 1990s, worked hard to learn English and then graduated from San Diego State University. The ceremony was highlighted in El Latino, the leading Hispanic newspaper in San Diego. Read the article (PDF).

Prop S Earns “Special Achievement in Energy Education” Award

The district’s Proposition S Program was honored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy at its sixth annual San Diego Excellence in Energy (SANDEE) Awards on March 25. The program earned the award for the installation of “an energy-efficient air conditioning system and improved occupant comfort and indoor air quality” at EB Scripps Elementary. Using Prop. S funds, San Diego Unified decided to install a new air conditioning system at EB Scripps that could serve as a prototype for future air conditioning installations in district schools located within the hot, inland area (designated as Zone Three). The annual energy savings estimate could be as much as $15,000- $20,000. For more information, please contact Evan Leslie, project management supervisor, at (858) 637-3513 or

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Recent Shakes are Earthquake Preparedness Reminder

Last Sunday’s 7.2 earthquake in Baja California was a jolting reminder of the importance of earthquake preparedness. Although district schools and offices were closed at the time of the tremor, it’s important to note that all district schools and sites have comprehensive disaster plans in place and are prepared should an earthquake or other disaster strike during school hours. Schools routinely conduct practice emergency drills, including earthquake and fire. For the past two years, San Diego Unified has participated in the Great California ShakeOut, a statewide disaster exercise that involved more than 7 million participants.

Student and adult safety is a top priority at San Diego Unified and being prepared is the first step to ensuring everyone’s safety. In addition to being prepared at school and work, it’s important for families to have their own earthquake preparedness plan. For information on how to prepare your family for a possible earthquake, please visit the County of San Diego Earthquake Facts and Preparedness website. For information on school disaster preparedness, please contact School Police Lt. Rueben Littlejohn at

Superintendent Search Town Halls Underway

On April 7, dozens of parents, community members and employees attended the first of five Superintendent Town Hall meetings at Porter Elementary School North. Attendees had the opportunity to share their suggestions on what San Diego Unified students need to be successful in the 21st century and global economy, and the qualities that the district’s next superintendent should possess to meet these needs. Interested individuals are invited to attend any or all of the remaining meetings:  
All meetings will take place from 6:30-8 p.m. For more information, please visit

Friday, April 9, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Panel Hears Ideas on Next SD Schools Chief

The District's Superintendent Search Committee met Thursday evening for the first of five public town hall meetings.
Future meetings
All meetings will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. For more information, please visit or contact Bernie Rhinerson at

Lewis Middle Embraces Online Tutoring Program

Students at Lewis Middle School enjoyed a cool smoothie as a reward for their consistent attendance in their after school support class. These dedicated students receive 30 minutes of homework assistance followed by 30 minutes of English and math support using their student netbooks. Students at Lewis are among the first in the district to take advantage of a new web-based tutoring program called Learning Upgrade. Learning Upgrade’s reading and math online courses use flash animation, songs, video and games to engage today's media-savvy students. Lewis Middle School will be tracking student progress and the impact the new program has on academic achievement. For more information, please contact Principal Brad Callahan at or (619) 583-3233.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Promoting Positive Behavior

There was a real dramatic breakthrough for positive behavior among schools recently. That’s when 47 teams from district elementary and middle schools came together at Taft Middle School to strengthen the positive school climate of their respective sites. The highlight of the day came as students worked with the adults on the school teams to create skits to demonstrate the principles of how positive behavior is achieved.
The program centered on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), an approach aimed at improving overall school climate through a system of establishing behavior supports, structures and social culture that works to help students achieve social, emotional and academic success. It assists school staff with feedback from students and families to develop an effective school wide behavioral support and discipline plan. Participating schools included Alcott, Audubon, Baker, Bayview Terrace, Bethune, Burbank, Carson, Carver, Chollas Mead, Emerson/Bandini, Euclid, Freese, Fulton, Gage, Hancock, Horton, Ibarra , Jerabek, Johnson, Knox, Marshall, McKinley, Nye, Perkins, Porter, Ross, Tierrasanta, Valencia Park, Walker, Washington and Whitman elementary schools along with Bell, Challenger, Clark, Correia, Innovation, Memorial Prep, Millennial Tech, Montgomery, Roosevelt, Standley, Taft, Wangenheim and Wilson middle schools, and Riley and Whittier/Del Sol atypical schools. For more information, please contact Linda Trousdale, Office of Dropout Prevention, at

For more district news, subscribe to the Superintendent's Friday Notes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Two Kearny High Students Win Scholarships and Surprise

Two students from Kearny Educational Complex won scholarships this week and a night at the “circus” they’ll probably never forget. Winning $5,000 scholarships each were Priscilla Elizalde from Kearny Construction Tech Academy and Eric Jackson from Kearny Science Connections Technology. In an unusual twist, they were presented with their awards by acrobats. The students were surprised on March 18 by the announcement of their winning the Sun Life Rising Star Awards by Sun Life Financial Inc. Priscilla was nominated by Barrio Logan College Institute where she has been an active member since elementary school and has taken advantage of its wide variety of activities. Eric was nominated by Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego for actively participating in a variety of areas at the Linda Vista Teen Center. Priscilla and Eric were recognized publicly at a special VIP reception at the Cirque du Soleil show at Del Mar Fairgrounds on March 19. For more information, please contact Principal Laura Bellofatto at

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Serra HS Student Wins Essay Contest

Serra High School junior Celia Smith won the grand prize or a $1,000 scholarship in the 12th Annual Cesar E. Chavez High School Essay Contest. The writing topic of the contest was "The Art of Inspiration in Serving Our Communities". Celia will be recognized at the San Diego Cesar E. Chavez Commemoration Community breakfast on Monday, March 29. For more information, please contact teacher Juan Mora at

Monday, April 5, 2010

Having Fun with Worms

Seniors from Crawford's Multimedia and Visual Arts School (MVAS) are teaching fourth graders at Fay Elementary about worm composting. The MVAS students recently taught three lessons to their junior scientists. During the final lesson, students constructed a worm compost bin for Fay Elementary classrooms. For more information, please contact MVAS Principal Diego Gutierrez at

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Fly Like an Eagle"

On Wednesday, March 17, motivational speaker and NFL Chaplin Ken Johnson encouraged 11th and 12th grade students at the Crawford High Educational Complex to “fly high like an eagle and not cluck like a chicken.” Johnson’s anti-drugs and anti-violence messages focus on empowering young people to make solid choices for their future. For more information, please contact Principal Dr. Arturo Cabello at

Friday, April 2, 2010

Challenger Wins Governor’s Award

Students are not just stronger at Challenger Middle School, they’re winners. So strong that they have won the Governor’s Challenge Competition and the $1,000 prize money along with one of the popular Wii interactive video games systems courtesy of champion athlete Tony Hawk and Nintendo game company.

The school won the statewide fitness contest held among K-12 schools promoting increased physical activity and better health for California’s youth. Challenger students took on the challenge collectively, as more than 1,050 students flexed their muscles in the activities for a total of 53,626 active days, collectively. Our students weren’t the only ones sweating. Sixty-one staff and community members also competed in the challenge, racking up a total 791 active days. They received their prizes during a ceremony March 19, with the check being accepted (in photo, left to right) by School Improvement Officer Shirley Wilson, Principal Sheelagh Moran, physical education teacher Mark Monroe, Christa the Challenger Cheetah and Mira Mesa Town Council President Ted Brengel. For more information, please visit or contact Principal Moran at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

IN THE NEWS: School District May Look Locally To Offset State Cuts

Public school districts up and down California are turning to a parcel tax as way to offset deep budget cuts. Read and hear more from KPBS-FM»

IN THE NEWS: Patriot golfer works on the mental part of the game

The scores have been exceptional in recent years for an athlete first exposed to golf at age 3, when his parents gave him a plastic club and a ball to play with in the backyard. Find out all about Byron Meth, a junior at Patrick Henry.

Food Safe Zone

Joyner MicroSociety Magnet is the star of an educational video for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our district was selected for its exemplary safety efforts. For two days a crew from Time Frame Productions filmed Joyner school nurse Gail McLaurin, R.N., discussing how our district nurses have coordinated efforts to reduce the risk of accidental exposure for students with allergies to certain foods, such as peanuts. Also interviewed were School Board Trustee Shelia Jackson and Joyner Principal Gilbert Gutierrez. Teachers Isabel Arce and Colleen Keefe were filmed teaching their students about food allergies and how to protect against adverse reactions. For information, contact Gail McLaurin, RN, at

For more district news, subscribe to the Superintendent's Friday Notes.