Saturday, May 29, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Solar Sailors from Scripps Score

A group of Scripps Ranch High School students crowded around their 15-foot solar-powered boat like proud parents.

It took seven months of working in class and after school to build the boat. But it was worth it, they said. The team placed first in the newcomer’s division of the Solar Cup Competition, a statewide race sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California that challenged high school students to build vessels powered by the sun.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mobile Farm Lesson on the Food Chain Comes to Muir

Second graders from John Muir School learned a lesson last week about how healthy food gets from the field to their tables. The 7 and 8 year olds got a visit from the Green Machine, a mobile farm education program sponsored by the County Office of Education that teaches kids about cultivating healthy choices. They learned about modern farming techniques, and how food production works from farm to table. They explored worm-filled soil, learned about composting, found out what to do about bugs and alternative pest control, including releasing ladybugs into the garden. The educational program is supported by Henry’s Farmer Market and Kaiser Permanente. For more information, please contact Caryn Maroni, magnet resource teacher, at (858) 268-1954.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

IN THE NEWS: San Diego MET is a Principal's Pick

San Diego Met is one of more than 80 schools in the United States,
Australia, and Europe that exemplify the philosophy of Big Picture learning.
Read more from Principal Leadership Magazine at

IN THE NEWS: Madison High Senior Profiled as Outstanding 2010 Grad

An academic standout and athlete at Madison High School in San Diego, Sharon
would seem to lead one of those gilded lives where success and opportunity
come effortlessly.

Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Prop. S Update: Breaking Ground on Madison High’s Broadcast Journalism Facility

The Board of Education recently awarded the construction contract for a 3,250 square-foot, high-definition broadcast journalism building at Madison High School. Construction will begin next month and is expected to be complete by spring 2011.

The facility was designed by experts in the field and will support a course of study that prepares students for careers in the arts, media and entertainment industry. The broadcast area consists of a 900 square-foot, two-set studio next to an adjacent 335 square-foot, eight-workstation control room. Student learning and project preparation will take place in a 1,150 square-foot audiovisual classroom with three editing rooms.

The College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE) project is funded by Proposition S and a California Proposition 1D grant. For more information, please visit the CCTE website at or the Prop S website at\PropS.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Student Safety is Top Priority

School Police Share Tips That Help Protect Children

The safety and well-being of our students and staff are a top priority. In response to the Chelsea King and Amber Dubois tragedies, School Police has compiled a list of simple, common sense tips that can help protect children and adults against stranger abduction or attack. Please read these tips carefully and share with students, staff, parents and community members:
  1. Don’t walk or run alone, when possible. Go with a family member, friend and/or a dog.
  2. Always tell someone where you are going and how long you’ll be gone.
  3. Walk or run in highly-visible, well-populated, well-lighted areas. Avoid alleys, canyons, wooded areas and other isolated areas.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your instincts. If an area or a situation doesn’t feel right, leave immediately.
  5. Don’t become so distracted by your iPod or radio that you lose focus of your immediate environment. Keep the volume low so you can hear everything around you. Using only one earbud/headphone and keeping one ear free is strongly recommended.
  6. If you have a cell phone, bring it with you.
  7. Have personal identification with you that contains a phone number of an emergency contact as well as information about any allergies or other conditions that may be needed by a paramedic.
  8. If you find yourself in trouble, scream loudly to attract attention. Run towards people, a school, or open business.
  9. Be extra cautious at night.
Additional tips on child safety can be found on the San Diego Police Department website at .
For more information or with questions, please contact School Police Lt. Paula Rivera at (619) 725-7002 or .

More on the Bravissimo Theatre Awards

Last week we reported that Ines Ramirez won a scholarship to the Balboa Junior Theater as part of the Bravissimo Theatre Awards, the annual awards for Excellence in Theatre Education. There were many other district winners in other categories. Distinguished Theatre Program Schools included: Mira Mesa High Teacher Daniel Kriley and Principal Scott Giusti, and Clairemont High Teacher Stacey Allen and Principal Lenora Smith, who was also named Administrator of the Year. Bravissimo Choice Award winners included: Ann Lyon-Boutelle from La Jolla High, Cathy Hickman from Creative and Performing Media Arts (CPMA) Middle School and Daniel Kriley from Mira Mesa High. For more information, please contact the VAPA Office at (858) 539-5349.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

$10,000 Grant Buys New Equipment for Summer Lunch Program

The Food Services Department has received a $10,000 grant from the Share Our Strength Great American Bake Sale which will be used to upgrade food preparation equipment for the district’s Summer Fun Café. Last year, the Summer Fun Café served more than 250,000 lunches and snacks in low-income areas of San Diego. This year's kick-off will be held on Thursday, June 24, at the Skyline Hills Community Park, in partnership with the City of San Diego Department of Park and Recreation. For more information, please contact Sally Spero, food services supervisor, at (858) 627-7306 or

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Monday, May 24, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Lincoln Advances to Final Round of National Fashion Competition

A team from Lincoln High is one of the final five teams in the Walk the Walk, a high school fashion competition that's best described as "Friday Night Football" meets "the Runway." They're competing for a $25,000 prize. Read more in news release»

School Police Officer Honored for “Taking Charge”

San Diego Unified Police Officer Carla Kuamoo was among 16 outstanding law enforcement officers honored at the 19th Annual Peace Officer of the Year Awards on May 7, at The Prado in Balboa Park. Officer Kuamoo was recognized for her work in implementing a student diversion program, in lieu of arrest, entitled “Take Charge.”

Through this program, Officer Kuamoo instills the value of taking personal responsibility for one’s actions, teaches life skills and shows the importance of participation in community service, physical fitness and team-oriented activities. Recently, she started a second diversion program focusing on mentoring high-risk students flirting with criminal behavior.

Officer Kuamoo promotes the Campus Crime Stoppers program and has received more than 60 anonymous tips this year from Clark Middle School students, which have solved and prevented numerous crimes.

For more information, please contact School Police Lt. Rueben Littlejohn at (619) 725-7000.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Going Above and Beyond for Special Education

Several district employees were recognized at the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for Special Education and Special Education Division’s annual “Above and Beyond Awards” on May 13. Recipients include: Robin Jenner, of Stein Education Center; Brian Lemons, of Harriet Tubman Charter; Leticia "Betty" Murguia, of Logan Elementary; Amy Satter, of Garfield Elementary; and Spiro Walpert, of Hoover High and Crawford Educational Complex. The CAC Honor Roll includes: Rose Chavez, of Garfield Elementary; Julie Kroener, of TRACE; and Pat Moulton, of Special Education Parent Services.

For more information, please contact Jody BonDurant-Strong at (619) 725-7327.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Classified Employees of the Year for 2010

Classified Employees of the Year

Classified Employees of the Year

2010 Winner

Jan Kosaka
Chesterton Elementary School
Elementary School Assistant
Jan KosakaJan Kosaka has been a “fixture” at Chesterton Elementary for more than 20 years. According to colleagues, she can generally anticipate what someone will need and how she can help them, even as they are walking towards her desk. She’s described as “extremely professional, gracious, pleasant to work with and irreplaceable.”
San Diego Unified congratulates Jan Kosaka and her family on her selection as 2010 Classified Employee of the Year.
“Jan’s very thorough knowledge of school operations and budget, excellent organizational skills and gentle understanding of the needs of Chesterton’s students, parents and staff allows our school to function smoothly and efficiently,” said Principal Herb Delute. “Her sense of humor, calming influence and problem solving skills in the front office also promote a very positive atmosphere with both the public and the school staff.”
Kosaka started as a classroom aide and now works as an administrative assistant. She is much beloved by staff, teachers, students and parents alike. Although Jan Kosaka is known throughout the district for her expertise, strong work ethic, reliability and dependability, it’s her genuine smile that is most often recognized. She is admired for having a positive, easy going demeanor, balanced with the ability to do her job efficiently, going above and beyond her job description every day.

2010 Runner Up

Marina (Liz) Stevenson
Marston Middle School
Student Information Systems
Site Technician II
Liz Stevenson“Marina (Liz) Stevenson is an exceptional employee and a valuable member of the Marston Middle School staff. She touches virtually every aspect of the school – working with administrators to make sure the master schedule reflects the school’s educational philosophy, with counselors to ensure the most effective placement of students, with teachers to use data systems to drive instruction and with parents in getting connected to student information via technology. She exemplifies the term “life-long learner” while being one of the most patient “non-teacher” teachers I have ever known.”
-- Betsy Cook, Principal, Marston Middle School
“Liz Stevenson is one of the most dedicated and positive staff members on our campus… her wit and sense of humor make our work environment caring and fun, ensuring that her officeis always a bright place to be. Her technological wisdom allows our staff to use relevant data and technology to create innovative programs that promote student learning and success. It is a sincere pleasure to work and learn from her each and every day. I believe I am a better educator because of the support that she provides in service to our community.”
--Joni Rullo, Counselor Marston Middle School

More on Classified Employees of the Year

IN THE NEWS: Middle School Teacher of the Year in Spotlight

Emalyn Leppard of Montgomery Middle School highlighted by newspaper.

IN THE NEWS: Classified Employee of the Year 'Indispensible'

Newspaper highlights Jan Kosaka of Chesterton Elementary School.

Partners, Volunteers of the Year Honored

SeaWorld San Diego's Nautilus Pavilion was the scene last week for one of the great celebrations held each year by San Diego Unified, the 28th Annual Community Recognition Event. Each school brought its best partners and volunteers to be honored for their services and contributions to the children of San Diego.

Partners of the Year: The Rice Family Foundation (Encanto Elementary School); MALS-11 Devilfish MCAS Miramar (Sandburg Elementary School); SPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific (Pershing Middle School); Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (Kearny High School Construction Tech Academy); and Mossy Automotive Group (District Relations Office).

Volunteers of the Year: Guadalupe “Doña Lupe” Alvarez (Kimbrough Elementary School); Eliazar Sandoval (Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary School); Bill Mayo (Ocean Beach Elementary School); Barbara Shortill (Challenger Middle School); and Marilyn Bradford (Mark Twain High School).

Special thanks to SeaWorld San Diego and California Coast Credit Union for once again sponsoring the event. Read more. For more information, please contact Ellen Tiffany, manager, Community Relations, at or (619) 725-5594.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Application Deadline Extended for Superintendent

The Superintendent Search process continues to make progress toward the final selection of a permanent superintendent. In February, the Board of Education approved a search process that included an extensive community engagement effort, seeking to provide all stakeholders with opportunities to provide input into the selection of a new superintendent.

A key element of the search and selection process has been the work of the Superintendent Search Advisory Committee, a group of 15 volunteers representing a wide-range of interests from our school communities. The Advisory Committee helped develop a detailed superintendent job description, helped facilitate five town hall meetings, met to review all submitted applications and submitted their top candidate recommendations to the Board.

On May 18, the Board met for an initial review of the applications and to review the recommendations of the Advisory Committee. The Board directed staff to keep the position open though June 4 to encourage more applicants. The Human Resources Department will continue to advertise for the position until that date.

The selection process is still ahead of schedule. Once the position closes on June 4, the Advisory Committee will review any additional applications, make further recommendations, if applicable, and the Board will schedule interviews to narrow the field of candidates to three finalists. The three final candidates will be asked to make a presentation at a community meeting prior to the Board making a final selection. The Board’s goal is to make a selection in June or early July. For more information, please go to .

'Nation's Report Card' Results are Mixed for San Diego Unified

San Diego Unified's results on "The Nation's Report Card" -- National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) -- show mixed results for San Diego Unified, with students in fourth and eighth grade increasing in some areas, but with others needing improvement. The NAEP tests a sampling of all schools in the nation, including public, charter and private schools. The Test Urban District Assessment (TUDA) provides details for 18 of large, urban school districts across the nation. San Diego Unified has participated in this program since 2003. Data on individual schools is not provided by this study. For more information, view detailed report (PDF).

Highlights, as compiled by San Diego Unified's Research and Reporting Division
  • Overall district NAEP reading performance at grades four and eight showed modest gains compared with 2007 on all measures, with improvements in average scale scores and in percentages of students scoring at or above basic and at or above proficient. Since 2003, there have been substantial gains at grade four, with steady progress; at grade eight, scores have zig-zagged up and down since 2003.

  • San Diego performed relatively well in reading compared to other TUDA districts, ranking fifth to seventh of 18 districts, depending on the grade level and the particular NAEP measurement. At both grade levels District students continue to perform lower than public schools nationally but, in general, higher than large central city and California public schools.

  • At grade four, Black, White, and Asian students showed gains over 2007 and 2003 performance. Although Hispanic students did not perform as well as other racial/ethnic groups in grade four, grade eight Hispanic students improved on all measures, while other racial/ethnic groups’ results were mixed.
  • District White students outscored their counterparts in national public schools and large central cities at both grades four and eight; except for grade four Black students, who also outscored their racial/ethnic counterparts nationally and in large central cities, District Asian, Hispanic, and Black students scored lower than their racial/ethnic counterparts nationally and in large central cities.
  • At both grades, economically disadvantaged students and English Learners saw little change in performance; Economically disadvantaged student and English Learner performance have been flat (negative over the long term for grade eight English Learners), while non-Economically Disadvantaged and non-English Learner student performance has improved since both 2003 and 2007.
  • In general, there has been little improvement in gaps among student groups varying in race/ethnicity, economic advantage, and English proficiency. Notably, the gap between Blacks and Whites at fourth grade has narrowed over the years.
  • Most reading performance gaps (White-Black, White-Hispanic, meal eligible-non-meal eligible, English Learner-non-English Learner, and Special Education-regular education) in grades four and eight are wider than corresponding gaps in California public schools, national public schools, and large central cities. Exceptions are the grade four White-Black gap which is smaller than that for large central cities and grade eight gap between Special Education and regular education students, which is slightly greater than that for national public schools, slightly less than that for large central cities, and well below that for California.
  • Comparisons to previous years’ results should be tempered by two considerations affecting the comparability of 2009 data with those of previous years:

    1. Previous years’ results included charter schools and the 2009 results do not and,
    2. The NAEP reading assessment framework, particularly at grade eight, has been changed, eliminating questions focused on reading to perform a task.
View detailed report (PDF).

Hamilton Fourth Grader Wins Drama Scholarship

Ines Ramirez wins a scholarship The talent of Hamilton Elementary student Ines Ramirez won her a scholarship to Balboa’s Junior Theater. Ines is a fourth grader, and one of two winners from San Diego to receive the scholarship through the Christian Rowley Memorial Scholarship Fund. The celebrated drama program is in its 62nd year, the oldest youth theatre program in the nation. For information, contact Mary Taylor, Hamilton principal, at

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Field Narrowed to Five for Superintendent

Five finalists from a pool of applicants to become San Diego’s next schools superintendent have been submitted to the San Diego school board. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

IN THE NEWS: Donate Old Instruments to Benefit Music Students

Music education advocates are once again asking San Diego County residents to dig deep into their closets and attics in search of out-of-use instruments that could find new life in the hands of budding young musicians. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Spotlight on Our Sports Heritage

One of our graduates, Union-Tribune sports columnist Nick Canepa, wrote recently about his picks for the Top 10 Athletes in San Diego History. Most of these were star athletes at San Diego Unified high schools, with many going on to great careers in professional sports. His picks who attended our schools? Charlie and Art Powell (San Diego High); Marcus Allen (Lincoln High); Harold "Brick" Miller (San Diego High); Deron Johnson (San Diego High); Alan Trammell (Kearny High); and Albert "Pesky" Scott (San Diego High). Who are your nominees? Let us know.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prop. S Update: Clairemont High Auto Facility Under Construction

A $2.6 million project funded through Prop. S and state Prop 1D is under way at Clairemont High. The 3,475-square-foot College, Career & Technical Education automotive technology facility will have six fully equipped auto bays to support certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. Part of the old auto shop will be remodeled and upgraded into a new classroom for the auto-shop students. When they complete their studies, students are prepared commercial automotive industry careers in areas such as engine performance, steering and suspension, electrical and mechanical components and brakes. For more information on these and other Career, College and Technical Education (CCTE) programs and facilities, please call (858) 503-1754 or visit For Prop. S information, e-mail, visit or call (619) 725-7252.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Scripps Ranch Takes 'Newcomer' Award in Boating Competition

Solar-powered boats built and raced by students from Scripps Ranch High School won newcomer division in the eighth annual Solar Cup competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and local water agencies. Read more from BusinessWire»

Students from San Diego High also participated in the competition. Solar Boat Christened by Assembly Member SaldañaSciTech students spent seven months designing and building a solar-powered boat that they entered in the Metropolitan Water District's Solar Cup competition.

The solar boat built by Sci-Tech High School students was christened by Assembly Member Lori Saldaña (D-San Diego) and School Board President Richard Barrera.

The Solar Cup, sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District is being billed as the largest solar boat competition in the nation, with more than 40 high school teams and 800 students competing.

The Sci-Tech High School team is led by Green Technology and Energy instructor Jon Karanopoulos. It is one of two first-time teams to participate in the 8th annual event at Lake Skinner in Temecula.

Each team had to construct a boat with a budget under $4,000. For information on the Solar Cup, visit the website; or contact Shawn Loescher, director of College, Career & Technical Education, at or (858) 503-1754.

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Bring on the Canapes: CCTE Showcase Thursday

The popular College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE) Showcase is an annual event that brings together students and programs from the CCTE classrooms around the district. From culinary arts students strolling with desert trays to robots to medical technicians, it's a place where prospective employers and community partners can see first-hand how students are learning real-world skills for today's jobs. Interim Superintendent Bill Kowba will be visiting with guests in his Executive Lounge, talking about vocational education and other topics.

The event is scheduled from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday at the McMillan Liberty Station Hall in Pt. Loma. It's open to the public.

For more information about this event, please contact Shawn Loescher, director of College, Career and Technical Education, (858) 503-1754.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Music Education Hits Grace Note

Acknowledging a "commitment to and support of music education in schools,"San Diego Unified has been honored as one of America's Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. According to the association's website, "As the economy hinders state and local school budgets to adequately support music education, the 174 school districts named by the NAMM Foundation demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students." Congratulations to our music teachers, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department, students, administrators and School Board members for making this honor possible. For more information, read the news release or contact VAPA, Karen Childress-Evans, at (858) 539-5349.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

'Best Moms' Have Kids in San Diego Unified

Students from Clairemont High and de Portola Middle School took top prizes in the "San Diego's 50 Best Moms" contest from Time Warner Cable. An additional 12 students from San Diego Unified were successful in placing their mom on the "Best" list. Hunter Garnier, grade 8, from de Portola, and Francesca Brown, an 11th grader at Clairemont High (shown here with Kim Rohr from Sony and Marc Farrar from Time Warner Cable), each received a new Sony VAIO laptop computer; their teachers received a $250 gift card for supplies for their classrooms. The contest, now in its ninth year, asked students in grades 4 through 12 a very simple question: “Why do you think your mom is one of San Diego’s 50 Best?” More than 3,550 entries were received from San Diego County students, but only 50 rose to the top. See list of winners.

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IN THE NEWS: Teacher Spotlight is Elementary Teacher of Year

Nancy Wooten teaches the first grade at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy in Bay Terraces, where she’s been teaching professionally for 10 of her 20 years. She was one of three educators recently named Teachers of the Year for the San Diego Unified School District. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Downtown Schools Honored For Data Use

Three of our downtown high schools are among just 11 nationwide that have been singled out for their quality data collection and use by the Early College High School Initiative of Jobs for the Future. Receiving a $1,500 award are the San Diego Middle/Early College at City College, and two San Diego High small schools, the School of the Arts and LEADS. They were honored May 3 by the Initiative, which is supported by organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Foundation of New York, the Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Of the 210 early colleges in the initiative, the 11 honored nationwide used data "to better identify and serve students in need of support," said Michael Webb of Jobs for the Future. For more information, please contact Jeff Olivero, high school improvement officer, at Read more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Students Take Center Stage at Shakespeare Festival

Third and fourth graders from Hawthorne Elementary along with students from Mira Mesa High School were among the winners at the Student Shakespeare Festival held April 24 in Balboa Park. More than 40 elementary, middle and high school teams from across San Diego County took part in the fifth annual event. Each group took turns performing scenes from a Shakespeare play on one of six stages erected along the park’s main walkway. Judges awarded trophies to the schools performing the best scenes in several categories and medals to the best actors. For information, please contact Mira Mesa theatre instructor Daniel Kriley at or Hawthorne GATE/Seminar teacher Patricia Smith at

Thursday, May 13, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Test Scores Continue to Shine

Test scores in San Diego Unified continue to rise, with 19 schools joining the "elite 800" score level, according to state API test scores released May 13.
More Information

  • State Department of Education website»

Construction, Debris Recycling Saves District Funds

An arrangement with a local recycler has resulted in construction debris savings of more than $12,700 in just two months. Since February, mixed construction and demolition debris -- mixed concrete, dirt, rock, asphalt, wood -- has been hauled to an EDCO Waste and Recycling Company facility, rather than to the City of San Diego's landfill. EDCO's rates are about half the cost of city rates, so the $12,700 saved in two months is expected to pile up -- the district dumps nearly 240 tons of construction and demolition debris every month. For more information, please contact J. William Naish, supervisor, energy/utility management, support services, at (858) 627-7217 or

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chargers, Dairy Council Help Students Fuel Up

The Fuel Up to Play 60 program was the subject of the annual Food Services Essay, Poetry, Rap Contest which brought together the San Diego Chargers, The Dairy Council of California, SeaWorld Adventure Park and the Pear Bureau Northwest. Students described the importance of eating right and being active for 60 minutes each day. Contest winners were selected in four grade-level categories. For a complete list of winners, go to For information, please contact Joanne Tucker, food services, at (858) 627-7316 or

Monday, May 10, 2010

Share Your Opinions on Area Superintendent

The Board of Education has approved a reorganization of the district (see org chart). Part of the reorganization includes a change to how schools in the district are managed.

The new organization, under the Deputy Superintendent for Academics, will have nine Area Superintendent positions responsible for the leadership and management of a group of schools within an assigned high school cluster.

Each Area Superintendent will manage the principals for all schools within two high school clusters. A survey has been created to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share their thoughts about the qualities most desired for an Area Superintendent.
Opinions will be shared with the Board and the recruiting team. These positions are expected to be filled before the end of June, 2010.

Click here to access the survey.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

MET Students Help Preserve Living Laboratory

If you'd like to see seniors from the San Diego MET High School in action, plan to visit San Elijo Lagoon Day on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Lagoon Visitors Center in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Since October, seniors from the school on the Mesa College campus have been participating in an ecological community service project to better understand biodiversity and discover how endangered species are affected in wetlands habitats. Working with staff from the San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, the students have created their own exhibits, which will be on display for the public. For more information, please contact Jill Badger, MET LTI coordinator, at (619) 388-2296.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

CHAMPs Students Maintain Commitment to Excellence

Things have been busy at CHAMPs, the Community Health and Medical Practices school at the Crawford High Educational Complex. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency recently hosted students from CHAMPs for the “Be Healthy San Diego” half-day active learning adventure. Students learned about career opportunities in public health, as well as some good health tips for themselves. They heard from the county’s Medical Examiner and toured the labs, plus heard from panels talking about career opportunities and other health issues. In other CHAMPs news, 82 new students have been inducted into the school's chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society. CHAMPs has nearly 200 student members and is the only school in San Diego County with a chapter of this prestigious organization. For more information, please contact CHAMPs Principal William Laine at (619) 583-2501, ext. 2450 or

Friday, May 7, 2010

IN THE NEWS: Local Groups Rally for Schools on Saturday

Meet Sunday for Rally for Our Schools in Balboa Park.

News coverage

Meet the 2010 Teachers of the Year

Pacific Beach Student Stars in Newspaper

The remarkable spirit of volunteerism of 12-year-old PB Middle School student Hannah Bloom earned her a place as the Union Tribune's Spotlight Student of the week. Her commitment to improving her community started in third grade, when she first heard about student council. Since then, she has earned more than 130 public service hours and launched a school-beautification fundraiser, in addition to volunteering with Little League. She was recently elected president of the community service club at Pacific Beach Middle’s International Baccalaureate. Read the article. ( For more information, please contact Jennifer Sims at (858) 273-9070, ext. 2357 or

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rains Kept Physical Plant Operations Teams Busy

This winter’s wet weather has kept site-based and district-wide Physical Plant Operations (PPO) staff busy over the last few months. First, the rain brought minimal damage to facilities such as storm drains and roofs. For example, the PPO staff worked with the city of San Diego to clean out a clogged drainage channel on the west end of the Mission Bay High School campus. At Pacific Beach Middle, two large eucalyptus trees are being removed before they become a hazard, and work will begin on repair of the eroding bank near the softball field at Clairemont High School. PPO teams within all the zones (Scripps Mesa, Park View, Central City, Coastal Bay) and Central trades strive for excellence in the workplace and are dedicated to customer service. For more information, please contact Ted Doughy Jr., manager, maintenance services, (858) 637-6289 or

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New on the Web: Student Fees

A website has been created to provide principals, staff, students and parents with guidelines related to fees, donations and fundraising at school sites. The website provides essential resources with the dual goals of school-community cooperation to support programs and legal compliance while providing that support. Visit the site at For more information, please contact Sid Salazar, chief high school improvement officer, at (619) 725- 7772 or

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2010-11 JROTC Joint Brigade Commander

Scripps Ranch High student Kevin Huynh has won selection as Joint Brigade Commander for the district’s Junior ROTC program for the next academic year. Kevin is a member of the Air Force ROTC program and will be responsible for nearly 2,000 cadets from across the district. He was one of six students to receive a leadership award at the National Military Order of World Wars 2010 American Leadership Youth Summit at Valley Forge, Pa. For more information, please contact Col. R. Mike Hogan, at (858) 621-9020, ext. 4421 or

FPC Honored for Construction Management Industry Support

The district’s Facilities, Planning & Construction (FPC) Division was recognized April 22 as a “Distinguished Owner Honoree” by the San Diego Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA). FPC was honored for its support of the construction management industry. The district’s Construction Management Department oversees and manages approximately $63 million in construction and construction-related projects. CMAA promotes and enhances leadership, professionalism and excellence in managing the development and construction of projects and programs. For more information, please contact Cynthia Reed-Porter at (619) 725-5579 or

Monday, May 3, 2010

Point Loma High Heads to D.C.

A successful program at Point Loma High School for children of families with parents in the military has been selected to be showcased this summer in Washington, D.C. It will be one of 200 programs nationwide run by students for students at the event. Point Loma students along with a school counselor and librarian received training in Texas in December from the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), to launch the program at Point Loma. The purpose of student-to-student programs is to ease the transition for all incoming and outgoing students whose parents are being transferred by the military. For more information, please contact Point Loma High librarian Sarah Sine at

PE, Health and Athletics Director Receives State Award

Congratulations to Bruce Ward, director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics, on being named the recipient of the 2010 State Award of Merit by the California State Athletic Directors Association (CSADA). He received his award on April 25 at the state conference for athletic administrators. Ward was recognized for his 36 years of service to the field of education as well as his extensive service to the CSADA. For more information, please contact Nellie Meyer, interim deputy superintendent, at (619) 725-7104 or

Sunday, May 2, 2010

National Finalist for Top Presidential Honor

Student Anna Kornfeld Simpson has earned such outstanding achievements at Patrick Henry High that she has become ranked as a Presidential Scholar finalist. She is one of only 560 in the nation in contention for the Department of Education’s highest national academic recognition. Anna excels in math and science and has won numerous awards for her achievement. For more information, please contact Wendy Anderson at (619) 286-7700, ext. 2208.

GAME On! Attendance Initiative Brings Results

Thanks to the efforts of the GAME On! Good Attendance Means Everything initiative, more than 40% all of high schools have improved their ninth grade attendance over last year. In February, 72% of all high schools improved ninth grade attendance. High schools with exceptional improvement for the first semester include Clairemont, Point Loma, Crawford IDEA, Crawford MVAS, Crawford CHAMPs, Crawford LAB, Kearny SCT, Kearny School of International Business, San Diego School of International Studies, San Diego LEADS, San Diego School of Business and Patrick Henry. Crawford IDEA has improved its overall 9-12 grade attendance by more than 2% this year. Crawford CHAMPs and Point Loma High School also show significant overall improvement. (Shown in the photo are Madison High School ninth graders receiving attendance awards from San Diego Chargers Steve Gregory and Jeromey Clary.) For more information, please contact Becky Phillpott, Dropout Prevention, at

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Musical Inspiration from Patrick Henry High

Student and musician Kayla Sivak Reid of Patrick Henry High, will be highlighted as Channel 7/39 NBC's Inspirational Student on May 3. Kayla, who plays the flute, is such an outstanding student and musician that she shares her gift with others by tutoring music students at other schools. Her volunteer work has helped many students improve their musical skills. For more information, please contact Jim Good at (619) 286-7700, ext. 2210.

Revised 2010-2011 Student Calendars Finalized

The revised 2010-11 traditional and year-round instructional calendars were approved by Board of Education on April 27 and are now posted on the district website at The revised calendars reflect the reduction of the teacher workyear by five days, which the board previously approved through ratification of an agreement with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA).

The first day of student attendance at all schools is Tuesday, September 7, 2010. The last day of student attendance/instruction at traditional school sites is now Monday, June 13, 2011. The last day of student attendance at year-round school sites remains July 21, 2011. The removed student attendance days at year-round sites are April 27-29, 2011, revising the spring intersession schedule to April 4-29, 2011; and June 17 and 20, 2011, creating a four-day weekend after the testing window.

This revision relates solely to the 2010-11 student attendance/instruction calendar and the implementation of the district/SDEA agreement. It does not impact the workyear of any other employee groups, which are the subject of ongoing negotiations. For more information, please contact Linda Zintz, director of communications, at