Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kearny SCT MESA Students Bring Home Awards

Students from Kearny Science, Connections and Technology competed and placed in the Southern California Math Engineering and Science Achievement Regional Finals at UC Irvine.

Edith Hernandez placed 2nd in the Speak Easy competition where she had to research, study and speak on randomly selected science topics. Arrison Tampoc, Russel Kuoch, and Roland Kong placed 2nd in the Team Math Quest, a group math test competition including level 2 Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus. Jonathon Truong and Russel Kuoch placed 3rd in the Mousetrap Car Design and Build Competition – Accuracy while teammates Ann Sediego and Stacy Perkins also placed 3rd in the same competition, but in the Power category.

The MESA program at Kearny SCT is a partnership with the College of Engineering at San Diego State University. The SDSU College of Engineering's MESA Schools Program works with local middle and high schools to provide and promote after-school pre-engineering activities and class period electives.

The program's goal is to encourage students to pursue educational careers in engineering, math, and science through fun, hands-on projects and other college awareness activities that promote science, technology, engineering and math college and career options. Many companies work with by providing equipment, technical resources, internships and volunteers. For more information, contact Phil Etson at

CHAMPs Celebrates Third Annual Mu Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony

Crawford CHAMPs
As the auditorium doors opened, 103 proud students from the Crawford Educational Complex moved down the aisles, took their seats and waited anxiously for the induction ceremony to begin. Once the speeches were delivered and each inductee had the opportunity to shine on stage individually, the ceremony was finalized with a unified “I do” as the students were officially admitted into Mu Alpha Theta, the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society.

The third annual Mu Alpha Theta Induction Ceremony, held April 21, proved to be a resounding success with nearly 400 people in attendance including Supt. Bill Kowba, Area 9 Supt. Dr. Tony Burks, parents, school staff and community members.

Mu Alpha Theta is a national organization dedicated to inspiring keen interest in mathematics, developing strong scholarship in the subject, and promoting the enjoyment of mathematics in high school and two-year college students. Crawford CHAMPs is the only school in San Diego County with a chapter of this prestigious organization.

For more information, contact Jonathan Winn, 2011 San Diego Unified High School Teacher of the Year and Mu Alpha Theta advisor, at (619) 583-2501, ext. 4304 or

Friday, April 29, 2011

Petco Park Hosts Madison vs. Coronado Varsity Baseball Game

Madison High School's Varsity Baseball team will experience the thrill of playing at Petco Park on Saturday, April 30, in a game against Coronado High School. The first pitch is at 4 p.m.

Madison Baseball Team

The game is a rematch of last year's CIF Play-Off game and part of the “2011 Padres Present High School Baseball at Petco Park” program. Thanks to the generosity of the Padres, high school students will have the unique opportunity to experience playing in a major league baseball facility.

The game is open to the public and the schools will receive a percentage of the ticket sales as a donation from the Padres organization.

For more information, call Madison High School at (858) 496-8410.

Kearny Student Named Gates Millennium Scholar

Congratulations to Evelyn Ramirez, newly named Gates Millennium Scholar from Kearny High School of International Business.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, provides outstanding low income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose. Continuing Gates Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The Gates Millennium Scholar promotes academic excellence by providing thousands of outstanding students, who have significant financial need, the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Evelyn will be attending the University of Redlands, where she will pursue an undergraduate degree in international business. She then plans to earn a Master’s degree in psychology.
For more information, contact Principal Ana Diaz-Booz at

Challenge Day at Hoover High

Students and teachers at Hoover High School together participated in a 6 1/2-hour interactive Challenge Day program. As part of the Be the Change Movement, Challenge Day's mission is to provide youth and their communities with experiential workshops and programs that demonstrate the possibility of love and connection through the celebration of diversity, truth and full expression.

Challenge Day has been described by staff as “the most impactful day at Hoover – it is changing the school culture for the better.”

The program is funded through The Anti-Violence Grant, a $500,000 five-year State of California grant that enabled Hoover staff to serve students at risk of violence. The purpose of the grant is to eliminate the socio-emotional challenges that adolescents experience as they relate to violence, suicide prevention, truancy and drug use.

For more information, contact program lead Kasimu Harley, Hoover High, at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

SCPA Produces Spelling Bee, 2nd Place Student in County Competition

The SCPA community is celebrating Rochelle Ann Sombilon Marifosque’s second place win at the 42nd Annual San Diego County Spelling Bee.

This is the second year in a row in which Rochelle, a 14-year-old eighth grader,  has placed second in the county competition. Bee Master David Hay described this year’s competitors as the best field he has ever witnessed.

Rochelle will receive her official trophy award on Opening Night of SCPA’s latest production “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

Under the direction of Bill Doyle, the musical runs through April 22, 28, 29 and 30, at 7 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m. Call the Box Office to reserve tickets at $4 each, at (619) 475-8556.

IN THE NEWS: Mel Collins, Lincoln's leader, prepares to graduate

Four years ago, Lincoln High School was reborn on a sparkling new $130 million campus. One of the city’s oldest high schools, Lincoln needed a charismatic leader before its reopening. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

CHAMPs Students Win Laptops and Prepare for CST Tests

champsTwo college-bound Crawford CHAMPs students, Tantalera Conley and Milia Hin, won new HP laptops by placing first and second in an essay contest sponsored by Friends of Children United Society (FOCUS). A third laptop that was donated by the organization will be awarded to a student who has raised their proficiency levels at least 20 points in the last year. Tantalera will attend San Diego State University where she will be working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies. Milia will attend California State University San Marcos where she will pursue a career as a surgical nurse. FOCUS has also agreed to provide breakfast for the first day of the CST testing on May 10. For more information,  contact CHAMPs Principal Bill Laine at (619) 583-2501 ext. 2460 or

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kearny SCT MESA Students Bring Home Awards

kearnyStudents from Kearny Science, Connections  and Technology competed and placed in the Southern California Math Engineering and Science Achievement Regional Finals at UC Irvine.

Edith Hernandez placed 2nd in the Speak Easy competition where she had to research, study and speak on randomly selected science topics. Arrison Tampoc, Russel Kuoch, and Roland Kong placed 2nd in the Team Math Quest, a group math test competition including level 2 Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus.  Jonathon Truong and Russel Kuoch placed 3rd in the Mousetrap Car Design and Build Competition – Accuracy while teammates Ann Sediego and Stacy Perkins also placed 3rd in the same competition, but in the Power category.

The MESA program at Kearny SCT is a partnership with the College of Engineering at San Diego State University.  The SDSU College of Engineering's MESA Schools Program works with local middle and high schools to provide and promote after-school pre-engineering activities and class period electives.

The program's goal is to encourage students to pursue educational careers in engineering, math, and science through fun, hands-on projects and other college awareness activities that promote science, technology, engineering and math college and career options. Many companies work with by providing equipment, technical resources, internships and volunteers.  For more information, contact Phil Etson at

Cherokee Point Families Receive BBQ Lunch from Food Services

bbqSchool may be out, but families are definitely “in” at the Spring Fun Café Barbecue at Cherokee Point Elementary.

More than 740 barbecue meals were served by Food Services to families in the Cherokee Point community through the Seamless Summer Program.  The meals were offered free to children 18 and under and $2.00 for adults.  Community partners were on hand to share information about a variety of programs that benefit low-income families and Feeding America provided free bags of food to families.

For more information contact Norma Johnson at or (858) 627-7308.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

JROTC Competes For Annual Fitness Championship

championsThirteen high schools were represented by their most fit JROTC cadets at the annual Cadet Challenge Physical Fitness Competition, held last weekend at Patrick Henry High. Having already outperformed all the cadets at their school, these cadets had the privilege of competing against the best from other schools in events which included timed push-ups, sit-ups, a basketball throw and a relay race. Although the competition was fierce, in the end, the cadets from Serra High were crowned overall champions, with Scripps Ranch coming in second.

This competition uses a format similar to the Service Academy National Fitness Assessment tests and is proven to evaluate a person’s physical strength, endurance and fitness levels. Physical fitness is a major part of the JROTC program. It builds character and self-confidence, but most importantly, it teaches students to live a healthy lifestyle which will benefit them throughout their lives. The cadets demonstrated a strong commitment to fitness and during the competition. They matched their hours of hard work against each other to determine this year’s physical fitness champions. For more information, contact LTC David Guzman, program manager, JROTC/Military Sciences, at (858) 496-8203 or

Monday, April 25, 2011

Patrick Henry Coach Celebrates Record 200 Wins

Patrick Henry High Baseball Coach and Athletic Director Jack Lococo celebrated with his team after their 12-8 win against University City High on April 1.  The celebration marked Coach Lococo's 200th win, with a career spanning 10 years as head coach. To commemorate the event, a news crew from KUSI was there to film the entire game. Congratulations to Coach Lococo, Coaches Mike Pierrat, Jack Morgenstern, Johnny Lococo and all the talented baseball players from the last 10 years.

San Diego Unified Robots Are Headed to the Championships

roboticsThree San Diego high school Robotics teams are going to St. Louis at the end of April, representing the region at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Championship. La Jolla High won the Las Vegas Regional and High Tech High came out on top at the San Jose Regional. Madison High also landed a spot in the championships having won the coveted Regional Chairman’s Award. All teams have strong connections with industry partners, benefitting from the mentoring and support of science and technology professionals from the local community. For more information, please contact CCTE Program Specialist Bill Berggren at (858) 503-1753 or

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Governor’s Challenge Competition Celebrates California Fitness Month

Note: April 30 Deadline:
Schools are strongly encouraged to promote physical activity during the month of May, which is California Fitness Month. One way to promote physical activity is to encourage participation in the 2011 Governor’s Challenge Competition--a free contest among K-12 schools that challenges California students, parents and teachers to get more active, healthy and fit.
What is the Governor’s Challenge?
The Governor’s Challenge is to be active 30-60 minutes a day at least three days a week for a month. Californians taking the Governor’s Challenge can choose to be active in any way they see fit, whether it is walking to school, playing soccer at recess and lunch, or playing on a basketball team after school.
The Governor’s Challenge is FREE, and it is easy for schools to administer on-line.  Participating schools report positive benefits to students’ health and academic success.  Last year over 1.3 million students participated in the 2010 Governor’s Challenge.
What incentives and prizes are available to students and schools?
Three Grand Prizes – State-of-the-art fitness activity centers awarded to the winning:
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Grand Prize winners are determined by student participation in the Governor’s Challenge and by support for good nutrition on campus
  • NEW – Three additional fitness centers will be awarded to schools doing an exceptional job at promoting fitness during May, California Fitness Month
  • 11 Regional Awards –$6,000 awarded to the top school in each region
  • Official Certificates of Completion to each student who completes the Governor’s Challenge
How can schools get started in the Governor’s Challenge Competition?Principals interested in having their schools vie for an award in the 2011 Governor’s Challenge Competition should have a school representative sign up as their Governor’s Challenge Coordinator at

Congratulations to the TRACE Program

The State of California Advisory Commission on Special Education has awarded the district’s Transition Resources for Adult Community Education (TRACE) program with the 2010-11 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) Award. The GOAL award is the commission’s highest recognition and celebrates the professionals, programs, and practices in California that serve youth with disabilities of all ages. The award recognizes the hard work of each TRACE team member and their dedication, diligence and passion for working with students. Congratulations to everyone on the TRACE team. For more information, contact Joe Fulcher, chief student services officer, at

IN THE NEWS: Building Expectations – Portrait Of Lincoln High School

A look at why some young people aren't going to class and how one school is reaching out. Watch report from KPBS-TV»

Watch the full episode. See more Envision San Diego.

District Celebrates $49,000 Investment from the Masons of CA

taftTo kick off the organization’s annual Public Schools Month, the Masons of California recently presented a check for $49,000 to Superintendent Bill Kowba to be applied towards scholarships for high school students. The Investment in Success Scholarship Program offers a unique opportunity for students who may not appear to be college-bound or may not be recognized for academic success, but who possess the desire and determination to overcome personal obstacles to achieve their goals.

The students and staff at Taft Middle School rolled out the red carpet for their special guests on April 1 with a celebration and reception to mark the district’s continued partnership with the Masons. Several Masonic lodges throughout the area already partner with our schools, offering human, financial and other valuable resources to support student success. The district thanks the Masons of California for their continued support of public education. For more information, contact Taft Principal (and Mason) Mike George at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

IN THE NEWS: Claim of Big School District Reserve Is False

Speculation and confusion over the finances of the San Diego school district prompted Superintendent Bill Kowba to issue a public budget update Friday, just days after hundreds of teachers challenged their layoff notices during tense labor hearings.

Bridging the Digital Divide: What Parents Need to Know

Cell Phones  •  Cyberbullying  •  Sex Exposure Online
Parents need help crossing the digital divide. Along with the wealth of information on the Internet, there are risks of cyberbullying, phishing and predators. Children need guidance to safely and responsibly use today’s rapidly changing technology.
Join us at this event to get tools and resources you need to help you parent our first online generation.
This is a free community program. Register by April 24, online at or call (858) 453-5060.
> Download the English Flier Adobe PDF  Spanish Adobe PDF
Marston Middle School, 3799 Clairemont Dr. (92117)
Contact Information:
Phone: (858) 453-5060

Deaf Hip Hop at CPMA Middle School

hip hopStudents at Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School (CPMA) have had an extremely unique opportunity this spring. Every Thursday after school students participated in an hour long hip hop class to foster peer interaction, providing experiential exposure and generating positive self esteem. Although CPMA is known for its creative arts program, what makes this after school experience unique is that most of the students are deaf or hard of hearing. The usual sound system is replaced by a large base amplifying speaker so students feel the music, if hearing it is not possible. Instruction is provided by a teacher for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and has additional background in teaching and performing hip hop. As well as visual modeling, teaching is supported with American Sign Language. This experience was made possible due to the Buchanan Parsons Trust & committee. 

Throughout the classes, students engaged in warm-up dance activities, learned current, popular dances, and practiced basic fundamental hip hop dance moves. The 10-week dance session culminated with a showcase presented to friends and family on Thursday, April 14. For more information on possible performances and/or additional footage, please contact Laura Turse at

Watch La Jolla High Academic League on Televised County Finals

LJHS Academic LeagueCongratulations to the La Jolla High School Academic League Team who recently defeated The Bishop's School team to progress to the San Diego County Academic League Finals.

The Bishop's School had defeated La Jolla High School during their regularly scheduled match early in the season.

Academic League is a cross between the old College Bowl TV show and Jeopardy and enables academically oriented students to enjoy the same sense of competition as athletes.

The County Finals will take place the week of April 24-28 and will be broadcast on ITV Cable Channel 16. For more information and a listing of the broadcast schedule, go to

Friday, April 22, 2011

Update on Budget Prospects

Superintendent Kowba held a news conference today on the status of layoff notices and the district’s budget prospects. Specifically, he responded to misleading and inaccurate information that the district is sitting on an unused surplus of $57 million. In fact, these funds have already been programmed into the proposed budget for the 2011-12 school year and the district continues to face $115 million in budget reductions.

It’s important that our staff, families and district supporters are not misled into thinking that the district has hidden pots of money that can be used to prevent layoffs. The answers to relieving the district’s financial crisis are with advocacy efforts to convince state representatives to reject further cuts to K-12 education. Read Superintendent Kowba’s letter to staff.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

School Planet Protectors, District Efforts Highlight Earth Day

Sherman Planet Protectors
Sherman Planet Protectors
Perkins Planet Protectors
Perkins Planet Protectors
Zamorano Planet Protectors
Zamorano Planet Protectors
Curie Planet Protectors
Curie Planet Protectors
"Planet Protector" clubs and other earth-friendly efforts at schools around San Diego Unified, along with district-wide recycling programs that save 61,000 trees a month, and the largest solar energy installation of any school district in United States, are just a few things going on as we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on Friday.

At Birney, Perkins and Sherman elementary schools, as well as all schools across the district, students are involved in helping recycle, learning about ecology and studying the science that may one day provide scientific breakthroughs.

The staff of the district's Energy/Utility Management Program make efforts every day to not only save money but help save the planet:
  • Works with schools to support Planet Protector programs

  • Maintains a website for students wanting information on recycling

  • Recycles 300 tons of paper each month from our schools and offices

  • Saves the district nearly $90,000 in avoided disposal costs

  • Saves more than 61,000 trees

  • Operates the nation's largest school district solar energy system
Join the effort by pledging to recycle, reduce waste, conserve energy and water, use less toxic products, and keep our campuses and communities clean.  You can make a huge difference for our district and our community. 

For information, visit the District's Energy/Utility Management website, or contact Janet Whited, recycling specialist, Energy/Utility Management Recycling Program at (858) 637-6268 or

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

IN THE NEWS: Mira Mesa Chefs Show Their Stuff

Culinary arts students at Mira Mesa High School warm up for their school's Teen Iron Chef competition on the Morning News. Watch video from XETV-6»

Accident 'Victims' in Drill Are Lincoln Hornets

Lincoln student drill
No students were injured in this drill.
Lincoln triage
A mock incident is one of the best ways to learn about a disaster and students in Lincoln High's Fire Protection Academy recently did just that.

The mock incident was a traffic collision resulting in an explosion causing multiple injuries. The entry level students, those taking the Fire Protection 1-2 course, acted as the patients/victims with various injuries.

The Journeyman level students, those taking the Fire Protection 3-4 course, acted as the first responders and firefighter/rescuers conducting search and rescues and triaging/packaging patients for transportation.

The Capstone level students, those taking the Fire Protection 5-6 course, acted as the Emergency Medical Services personnel which re-triaged the patients and provided treatment.

Students from two other courses in the school also assisted in the mock incident: Criminal Justice students acted as law enforcement personnel providing support to fire personnel, and Tools for the Digital Age students filmed the event and will create public relations materials.

Representatives from the San Diego Fire Department were on-site to evaluate and provide feedback to the students. At the conclusion of the mock incident, the feedback from San Diego Fire included a suggestion for increased communication during the event. The fire chief used a personal example of the Witch Creek fire and explained how the lack of communication in the beginning of the incident put them at a disadvantage.

For more information, please contact Jorge Hernandez, College, Career & Technical Education teacher, at

Students Awarded at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair

The 57th Annual Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair held in late March featured many students from schools within San Diego Unified, including Bell, Correia, De Portola, Lewis, Marshall, Millennial Tech, Pershing and Wangenheim middles schools, and Henry, High Tech, Kearny, Madison, Morse, Point Loma, Preuss and Scripps Ranch high schools. For a complete list of individual student winners, visit the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair website.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

IN THE NEWS: Safe Passage Program Helps Improve Safety at Bell

Canyon brush will be thinned, allowing students safer passage on path. Thanks to County of San Diego, Urban Corps, San Diego Police Dept. and San Diego Unified School District Police. Watch video»

Barona Tribe Grant Helps Longfellow Spanish Immersion Magnet School

Longfellow Spanish Immersion Magnet School has received a $5,000 grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians.

The grant is part of the tribe's effort to "make a difference" in local communities. The funds can be used for items such as supplies, books and computers.

On April 1, Edwin "Thorpe" Romero, chairman of the Barona Tribal Council, and State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), visited the school to present the check to Cynthia Arce, principal of Longfellow.
For more information on the grant program, visit the Barona website.

Culinary Arts Students Show California Their Skills

Chef Zhee Zhee Aguirre (MMHS culinary instructor) with her students (left to right) Cindy Cruz, Celine Jolla, and Hannah Richardson
Chef Zhee Zhee Aguirre, Mira Mesa culinary instructor, left, with her students, Cindy Cruz, Celine Jolla, and Hannah Richardson, at the competition.
Scripps Ranch team
Culinary arts team from Scripps Ranch High School at the ProStart competition.
San Diego High team
Students from the School of Business at San Diego High competed.

Restaurant professions have rewarded culinary arts students from Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch and San Diego School of Business high schools during the ProStart Culinary and Management Cup.

Mira Mesa High took second place, Scripps Ranch took fifth, and San Diego High School of Business placed seventh in the Management Cup; Scripps Ranch also placed fifth in the Culinary Cup.

Culinary competition contestants had just 60 minutes to prepare an entire three-course meal using two butane burners for cooking. Management competition teams will develop a business proposal for a new restaurant concept, including a supporting menu, a marketing plan and a detailed design.

According to the California Restaurant Association, participants in both events engaged in a battle of skill and knowledge, with points awarded on specific criteria, such as proper cooking procedures, safety and sanitation, presentation, product taste and teamwork.

There are 30 judges from the industry.

Judges praised the Mira Mesa High team for its poise, knowledge and impressive marketing plan. The students each received certificates, medals, books, chef knives and culinary/hospitality school scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.

For more information, please contact Angela Croce, CCTE program specialist at (858) 503-1750 or For more on the ProStart program, go to

Monday, April 18, 2011

IN THE NEWS: FCC Grant Helps Learn-On-The-Go

News coverage of the announcement that the district has received a $1 million grant from the Federal Communications Commission to expand the netbook-based program. Watch video»

IN THE NEWS: Jazz Legend Bill Watrous at Correia Middle School

With a donation from Sanyo, Watrous sharing his classic sound with Pt. Loma music students. Watch video from KUSI-TV»

IN THE NEWS: Learn how to get contracts with the San Diego Unified School District

Attend the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce's April 19 mixer presented by the San Diego Unified School District. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Real-World Green Tech Eyed by SciTech Scholars

Green Technology students from SciTech at San Diego High School learned more about the LEED rating system on the roof of a UC San Diego housing project by looking at the Thermal-Solar panels on a field trip to the La Jolla campus.

The students had the opportunity to learn more about this specific project - using the panels to build a more sustainable community from a Clark Construction Company superintedent who worked on the project.

For more information, please contact Katie Carl, SciTech teacher, at (619) 525-7459, ext. 4502 or .

Three Schools Have Students With 'Border Voices

Eight students from California and Nevada -- four from San Diego Unified -- have won prizes for poems that are “sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes a little of both.”

Winners from San Diego Unified are:
  • Max Mittleman, Grade 5, Hearst Elementary School; Poet-teacher – Celia Sigmon; Classroom Teacher – Chris Vasquez
  • Bridget Carr, Grade 3, Spreckels Elementary School; Poet-teacher – Celia Sigmon; Classroom Teacher – Deron Bear
  • Nohelani Augustine, Grade 10, John Muir School; Poet-teacher – Jackleen Holton; Classroom Teacher – Patricia Hurt 
  • Nittaya Evans, Grade 8; John Muir School; Poet-teacher: Jackleen Holton; Classroom Teacher: Chet Hancock
The students will receive cash prizes as well as publication April 30 in "What the Song Hoped For," the 18th annual anthology by the San Diego-based Border Voices Poetry Project.

They will also appear on four TV shows along with notable poets including Steve Kowit, author of The First Noble Truth and The Gods of Rapture as well as In the Palm of Your Hand: The Poet’s Portable Workshop.
Other poets appearing with the kids are the widely published and much-honored Chris Baron, Seretta Martin, and Celia Sigmon.

For more information, visit the Border Voices website.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prop. S Website Gets Perfect Score

The San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation gave the district’s Proposition S website ( a “perfect score” in a report (read report) it released Tuesday, April 12. The foundation studied 15 San Diego County school districts with active, voter-approved facilities bond programs.

The districts were analyzed on cost savings, state dependence and public transparency. The score card for public transparency included 11 factors. The district’s Prop. S website, developed by the district’s Communications Office and the Facilities Planning and Construction Division, features detailed information on school projects, the Prop. S Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee, schedule, budget, audits, program status updates and more.

The website is consistent with the superintendent’s and board of education’s initiatives to increase transparency and accountability. For more information, visit the website, e-mail or call (619) 725-7252.

You may also follow Prop. S on Facebook (Search Prop.S) and Twitter (username: PropositionS).

Lincoln High Students Visit U.S. District Court

Judges at Federal CourtDuring a day in federal court in San Diego, students from Lincoln High School met with a judge, a court reporter, U.S. marshal and other professionals, as well as held a mock trial.

Part of the "Open Doors to Court" program, the visitors to the U.S. District Court for Southern California and District Judge John A. Houston were learning about what goes on in the court.

The day included presentations from Judge Houston, the court
reporter, a U.S. marshal, a U.S. attorney, a public defender, a court interpreter, a courtroom deputy, pre-trial services members, a clerk and an IT specialist. A mock trial was held, with students taking on the roles of the judge, the U.S. attorney, the public defender, the clerk, the bailiff, various witnesses, jury members and the defendant.  The mock trial was about the illegal downloading and selling of music.

The experience ended with a presentation on credit abuse and the impact bad credit (misusing a credit card, unpaid bills, checks bouncing, etc.) has on your credit rating, getting a job, renting an apartment, getting a loan, etc.

For more information, please contact Ray Beattie, College, Career and Technical Education teacher, at

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Robotics Team from La Jolla High Heads to Championship

After a victory in the Las Vegas regional competition, La Jolla High School's Vikings robotics team will travel next to St. Louis for the international championship.

In Las Vegas, the Vikings went undefeated and also picked up the Industrial Design Award for outstanding use of materials and functional design.

"These are remarkable achievements for just their third year," said principal Dana Shelburne. "The students are now out trying to raise about $20,000 to cover expenses for the trip, entry fee and other expenses."
The international competition is April 27-29 in St. Louis.

Team members George Brabon, Patrick Sapin, Julia Haerr, Rafael Cosman and Robert Andrews all graduate this year. Jason Farnam, Emma Scott, Nichole Walker and Scott Strange round out the team. The team mentor is Jim Snook, who the students say was key to their success.

For more information, contact Principal Shelburne at (858) 454-3081 or

Annual Olympics Come to Green Elementary Academic and Athletics Magnet

Green Elementary alum and Patrick Henry High senior Ryan Urie, an academic and athletic star, was guest speaker as the academic and athletics magnet school recently celebrated its annual junior olympics.

The olympiad is one of the high points of the school year. Not simply an athletic event it begins with opening ceremonies where students represent the nations of the world in costume and flag. Other events include students sharing details about their nation, including culture and cuisine. After a week of track competitions, and a music festival with traditional songs from different nations, final race competition and ceremonies were held at Patrick Henry.

“I learned my work ethic attending Green’s Magnet program,” said Urie. A first-team All American, Urie will attend Syracuse University next year.

The week was full of learning, international experiences, and exercise, culminating in a united desire to do their best whether in the classroom or physical activity: "Academics + Athletics = Success."

Contact Bruce Ferguson, principal, at, or (619) 460-5755.

IN THE NEWS: The Octopus Garden

Students at McKinley Elementary School in San Diego CA, learn about nature by growing and maintaining their own flower garden. Watch video from USA Today»

Friday, April 15, 2011

IN THE NEWS: How One Teacher is Exciting Students about Calculus

Crawford High teacher Jonathan Winn, recently named San Diego Unified High School Teacher of the Year, said he nearly ended his teaching career after only two years but was inspired to stay by a fellow educator who believed all students could succeed in math. Winn now teaches AP calculus in the school's theater to accommodate a class of 100 students. Read more on >>.

Help Lincoln High "Walk The Walk"

Lincoln High lost its title as Walk the Walk Champions last year, but students and teachers have been working really hard to get back on top. The competition, sponsored by clothing designer Hurley, is a high school fashion competition that’s best described as “Friday Night Football” meets “the Runway.”

Before Lincoln can grab its title back, the school must qualify via video challenges that begin this week. The steps are simple and the prize is high, $25,000 is up for grabs. Please follow the directions below – it only takes a few minutes, and make sure to return every week for the next three weeks to vote for the other two video challenges.

Instructions for voting

  1. Visit 
  2. Choose Lincoln’s Hornet Logo to view it
  3. You will be required to login to to vote. It’s a painless process, so don’t let that hinder you!
  4. Click VOTE!
  5. Spread the love by sending everyone you know to!!

Remember, each account user is allowed one vote PER school PER challenge. So, you have all week to get each person you know to cast their vote!

The remaining dates for voting are as follows (all times Pacific Daylight Time):
  • Challenge 2: 12:01 a.m. April 18 to 11:59 p.m. April 22;
  • Challenge 3: 12:01 a.m. April 25 to 11:59 p.m. April 29;
  • Wildcard (only needed if we don’t make the cut): 12:01 a.m. May 16 to 11:59 p.m. May 20.

Please make sure to vote each week and pass this on to your friends and family. Lincoln has won the Walk the Walk Fashion show in 2008 (House of Blues), West Coast Grand Champions in 2009 (Huntington Beach – U.S. Surf Open), and hopes to get a chance to do it again in 2011 this summer.

A special thank you goes out to Mr. Mutter’s students (video production class) and everyone else that was featured. Over 30 hours went into each 2 minute video, so please make sure to thank anyone you know that was part of that process!

Finalists will meet for the National Championship event at the U.S. Open of Surfing, the world’s largest action sports event. After surviving five months of video challenges, the six finalists will now create their own 5-minute fashion show and compete on the runway to win the grand prize of $25,000. Good luck Hornets!

High School Students Explore Ethics of Social Media and Internet

EthiCAL TapingStudents from several district high schools including Clairemont, Hoover, Kearny DMD and the MET recently participated in a panel discussion about Social Media and the Internet for the iTV program, EthiCAL. The program, sponsored by the SD County Office of Education, is available on the web.

The students, who are well-versed in social media, listened intently and asked questions of panelists Rebecca Coates Nee, faculty advisor of San Diego State University's DigiMedia Program; Erin MacKinnon, Community Outreach Specialist with the FBI; Dan Clark, Vice President of Marketing with ESET; and Brant Tosi, Small Business Technical Advisor at Microsoft.

For more information, contact Jill Badger at or (619) 388-5734.

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

Fortissimo Awards Honor Music Educators, Administrators and Advocates

Several San Diego Unified music teachers, administrators and community members received awards recognizing exceptional work in music education, at the annual Fortissimo Awards of Excellence in Music Education, held on March 28.

Sara Spafford, from Creative Performing Media Arts Middle School, won the Choral Educator Award; Steve Steinberg, from Marshall Middle School, won the Orchestra Educator Award; and Glenda Gerde, from Loma Portal Elementary, won the Elementary Administrator Award.

The two most prestigious awards of the night went to Harvey Tellinghuisen, an itinerant music teacher, for the Music Educator of the Year Award, and community member Ann Marie Haney for the Fortissimo Award. Both Tellinghuisen and Haney are active in promoting music education within San Diego Unified schools.

The Fortissimo Awards are presented by the California Music Educators Association Southern Border Section, in conjunction with the San Diego County Office of Education, and honor educators and administrators from all over San Diego and Imperial counties.

For more information, contact Ron Jessee at or (858) 292-3547.

IN THE NEWS: New homework center opens in Mountain View

Students needing help with homework in the Mountain View neighborhood now have a new choice, thanks to the Neighborhood House Association. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

IN THE NEWS: Council approves new field, park at Roosevelt Middle

A new, joint-use field at Roosevelt Middle School in Balboa Park has been approved by the City Council. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

IN THE NEWS: Top area students heading to D.C. to present research

Students from La Jolla and Patrick Henry high schools are in Washington, D.C. to compete for $50,000 scholarships in the Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition. 60 teens from across the country are regional finalists in the nation’s premier public health research competition for high school students. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Schools are 'Distinguished'

The School of International Studies at the San Diego High Educational Complex is joined with charter schools Preuss School UCSD and the Albert Einstein Academy Middle School on the state education department's list of Distinguished Schools for 2011.

Schools are selected based on their academic performance and success in losing the achievement gap. The annual award alternates between elementary and middle/high schools.

"All of us in San Diego Unified salute these schools for their high achievements," said Superintendent Bill Kowba. "From the students to the teachers and staff to the principal -- a job well done."

In Sacramento, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson congratulated this year's honorees.

"Becoming a Distinguished School is a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work, and vision of each school¹s education community," said Torlakson. "They have succeeded despite a bleak economic environment and have endeavored to maintain their momentum and focus."

-- The School of International Studies at the San Diego High Educational Complex is one of the six small schools at the San Diego High Complex. Its focus is internationalism, which students explore in all courses. The school also offers International Baccalaureate classes along with the opportunity to attempt the IB diploma.

-- The Preuss School, located on the University of California San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla, California, is a charter middle and high school dedicated to providing a rigorous college prep education for motivated low-income students who will become the first in their families to graduate from college.

-- Albert Einstein Academy Charter Middle School is an independent charter school that has a instructional focus of German, Spanish and English immersion within the context of a rigorous academic instructional model. It is an authorized International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program World School.

The applicants were also identified by their success in narrowing the achievement gap that exists between higher-performing and lower-performing students. All applicants underwent a stringent selection process conducted by the California Department of Education with the help of many educators from across the state.

More Than 1,000 Cadets Attend 70th Annual JROTC Cadet Ball

Seventy years ago, the district held its first JROTC Cadet Ball with only three Army JROTC programs established and less than 200 students enrolled.

Today, more than 2,000 students from 13 high schools represent the Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force JROTC programs.  On March 26, more than 1,000 JROTC students attended the San Diego Unified School District's 70th Annual Joint Brigade Cadet Ball at the Town and Country Convention Center, making this Ball the largest student-attended social event in our school district.

This formal and prestigious event is filled with long-standing military tradition, pageantry and honor; it gives cadets the opportunity to come together as a JROTC family, share a common bond and a true belief in the excellence which their programs represent.

The Ball included a three-course dinner, guest speaker and dance, but the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Royal Court.  It is a long-standing tradition for each school to present its Royal Court to their Principal and Senior Military Instructor.

The Area 9 Superintendent, Dr. Tony Burks, was the keynote speaker for the evening
“The mission of our school district is to make sure that all students graduate with the skills, motivation, curiosity, and resilience to succeed in their choice of college or career in order to lead and participate in the society of tomorrow," he said. "Based on your leadership and service as cadets, I am confident that JROTC is one of the reasons we are accomplishing our mission.”

For more information, please contact LTC David Guzman, Program Manager JROTC, at (858) 496-8203 or

Visions of Education Event Captures Powerful Learning Experiences

Visions of EducationTeachers, students and community members came together at the Visions of Education event on March 23 as part of a multi-year grassroots engagement initiative that focuses on powerful learning experiences and how to mimic their key elements in today’s classroom.

The event was part of a nationwide campaign in conjunction with the release of a new book in which 50 Americans – from students to social workers to the Secretary of Education – share personal stories about their most powerful learning experiences and/or most effective teachers. 

The purpose of the campaign is to give all Americans a chance to reflect on four essential questions:  1) How do people learn? 2) What is worth learning? 3) What does the optimal learning environment look like? and 4) How can we create more of them? 

ROP teacher Ellie Vandiver and her student Rhianne Maxwell were honored guests along with Irwin Jacobs, Co-Founder and former CEO of Qualcomm; Randolph Ward, SD County Superintendent of Schools; and Ralf Swenson, Grossmont Union HS District Superintendent.

Patrick Henry High ROP Engineering Design and Development students displayed the stair crutch they developed to assist persons with Multiple Sclerosis.  Students from Crawford High Multimedia & Visual Arts School (MVAS) graphically captured the essence breakout sessions by creating posters. Student work from Scripps Ranch High, SCPA, San Diego High School of Business, Zamorano Elementary and Sherman Elementary schools were on display at the event

Currently, 25 American cities are planning to host public conversations that will provide an opportunity for people to hear stories, share their own insights and participate in experiential learning opportunities that are used to seed relevant ongoing local work.  For more information, visit

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

Learning On-The-Go Grows With FCC Grant

A student at iMiddle is interviewed during the announcement.
A student at iMiddle is interviewed during the grant announcement.
In the News
The sight of students walking home from school with a netbook computer and using that computer at home on a wireless network will grow in the 2011-12 school year thanks to a $1 million grant from the Federal Communications Commission.

Under a pilot program at Innovation Middle School in Clairemont, students have been supplied with netbooks and 3G wireless access at home. With the new grant, this off-campus technology will grow at eight other schools.

"The San Diego Unified School District prides itself on access to technologies that can enhance learning," said Darryl LaGace, Chief Information and Technology Officer. "On-campus, students have access to a variety of learning technologies across a 65,000-workstation network. But to extend learning beyond the walls and wires of the high-speed network, we've established and are growing the Mobile Learning Program."

This program takes on-campus technology beyond the school fence. Off-campus, the small, netbook computers access 3G networks -- the same used by smart phones, tablet computers and other wireless devices -- so students can do lessons, research and other tasks using the internet at home.

"Giving students access to learning resources anytime and anywhere is key to keeping them engaged, promoting a real love of exploration and discovery and providing a true 21st-century learning experience," said LaGace.

More than 30,000 netbooks are currently in use, funded through Prop. S. About 3,000 will be used by sixth graders in eight middle schools, plus school-wide in two, as part of this project.

Schools receiving the assistance for the 2011-12 school year are Innovation in Clairemont; Millennial Tech in Emerald Hills; Dana in Pt. Loma; Knox in Lincoln Park; Lewis in Allied Gardens; Longfellow in Clairemont; Mann in City Heights; Montgomery in Linda Vista; Pershing in San Carlos and Wilson in Mid-City.

The same internet-safety standards must be in effect whether the student is on- or off-campus, so, Lightspeed Systems is working with San Diego Unified to adapt its filter to the netbooks.

"The Lightspeed Mobile Filter helps us safely and securely open up new learning opportunities when students leave the campus," said LaGace, "at home, at the park, at the pizza parlor, at their sister's dance recital."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IN THE NEWS: Tweens Tackle Prescriptive Drugs At Local Middle School

Memorial Middle School pilot project is a joint effort between pharmacy residents at the University of San Diego Medical Center and the San Diego Unified School District. Read more from KPBS-FM»

Bullies Beware -- Board Passes New Policy to Eliminate Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation

In its commitment to providing all students and staff with a safe learning environment where everyone is treated with respect and no one is physically or emotionally harmed, the Board of Education has approved a policy saying the district will not tolerate any student or staff member being bullied (including cyber-bullying), harassed, or intimidated in any form at school or school-related events (including off-campus events, school-sponsored activities, school buses, and any event related to school business), or outside of school hours with the intention to be carried out during any of the above.

Vista Grande Teacher, Students Honored for Achievement in Social Studies

Vista Grande social studies winnersVista Grande Elementary School recently honored the outstanding achievements of its teachers and students in social studies. Students and staff recognized third grade teacher Micheline Wagner, who was named the 2011 Outstanding Elementary Teacher for California at the annual conference of the California Council for the Social Studies.

Ms. Wagner is actively involved in social studies education throughout the county, serving as the vice president of the Greater San Diego Council for Social Studies, and has helped schools from across San Diego participate in the yearly History Day competition. Ms. Wagner is also involved in Project Citizen, sponsored by The Center for Civic Education.

Eight students were also recognized whose posters won awards at this year’s San Diego County History Day competition. Among these students were Ryan Agosto, Zachary Bohedba, Jonathan Ly, Sarah Staten, Bernie Graves, Justin Cervi, Sydney Werner and Erica Swartz. Of these, three posters were selected to represent San Diego at the statewide competition, to be held in San Jose on April 28- May 1.

Students attending the state competition are Sarah Stevens (individual poster), Bernie Graves and Justin Cervi (group poster), and Sydney Werner and Erica Swartz (group poster). The theme of this year’s History Day competition was “debate and diplomacy in history.”

For more information, contact Principal Cathy Calcagno at or Micheline Wagner at

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

DePortola Teacher Wins Prestigious Award

award winnerBrad Pulverenti, instrumental music teacher at De Portola Middle School, has been awarded the David Paul Schuchman Memorial Award for 2011, for his outstanding contributions to the school's and district's music programs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Colgate-Palmolive Library Book Donations

RIF BooksCabrillo, Joyner and Juarez elementary schools have received more than 130 books to add to their school library collections from Colgate-Palmolive, in partnership with Reading is Fundamental (RIF).

The program promotes children’s literacy through the award-winning Healthy Bedtime Habits program. An integral part of the program provides book collections to children nationwide. Healthy Bedtime Habits promotes healthy reading, teeth brushing and handwashing habits to make sure children and parents integrate them into their daily routines.

For more information, contact Martha Karanopoulos, Instructional Resources and Materials Department, at (858) 496-8439 or

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

Lee Elementary Fifth Graders Shine in SD County History Day Competition

Lee students
With the theme of "Debate and Diplomacy in Early American History" as the theme, seven fifth-graders from Lee Elementary School competed in the recent San Diego County History Day.

Students Shiloh Logan and Kevyn Fernandez were finalists in the Elementary Division.

"Congratulations to Shiloh and Kevyn, and all of our entrants for their excellent projects," said Principal James Jimenez. "Their achievement is a tribute to all the hard work by students at our school."

The students' families attended the county's Celebration of Learning this week at the Hall of Champions, which honored History Day winners and special award recipients.

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

ROP Students Learn 'How To Be A Star'

Hospitality students
Hospitality students
More than 300 ROP Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Tourism students from Morse, Mira Mesa, Madison, Scripps Ranch, and San Diego high schools participated in the annual San Diego State University Hospitality and Tourism Conference.

The program featured behind the scenes tours of various local hotels and restaurants including the San Diego Convention Center, Hotel del Coronado, the Fish Market Restaurant, Omni Hotel, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Hard Rock Hotel, and the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

Students saw firsthand what it was like to work in the industry and network with professionals from all levels. After the tours, the students returned to the USS Midway to enjoy a fashion show of “Interviewing:  What to Wear and Not Wear “ put on by the Marketing, Meetings and Special Events ROP class at Mira Mesa High School.

To further expose the students to employment opportunities and/or helpful tips, during lunch, the students were seated with Human Resources representatives from local hotels and restaurants.

The event was planned and coordinated by SDSU Hospitality and Tourism students who took the lead in mentoring the high school students throughout the day. The year’s theme was “How to Be a Star.”

For more information, please contact Angela Croce, CCTE Program Specialist, at (858) 503-1750 or

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

Spring Fun Café Brings Free Lunch to Year-Round Students

April brings multiple opportunities for San Diego Unified School District children on Spring Break to have free lunches and snacks and participate in family BBQs as Spring Fun Café begins a three-week run on Monday, April 4.

Lunch is free to kids age 18 and younger at eight City of San Diego Recreation Centers and eight schools. Some of the locations will also have breakfast and snacks available.

Two Spring Fun Café family barbecues are also being held on the following dates:

April 13: Memorial Park, 2902 Marcy Ave. (next to Logan Elementary).

April 20: Cherokee Point Elementary, 3735 38th St. (92105).

This program is a collaboration between the San Diego Unified Food Services Department and Office of Youth in Transition and the schools involved; City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department; Jackie Robinson YMCA; and Feeding America San Diego.

The program is funded by the Seamless Summer Lunch Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Spring Fun Café Schedule

2011 Spring Intersession Meals at SDUSD Schools

School Breakfast Lunch Times Address Dates
Burbank Elementary 8:10-8:20AM 12:40-1:10PM 2146 Julian Ave. 92113 April 11-22
Chavez Elementary 12:30-1:00PM 2751 Greyling Dr. 92123 April 11-22
Cherokee Point Elementary 8:00-8:20AM 1:00-1:20PM 3735 38th St. 92105 April 11-22
Ericson Elementary 12:10-12:30PM 11174 Westonhill Dr. 92126 April 11-22
Jones Elementary 11:35AM-12:20PM 2751 Greyling Dr. 92123 April 11-22
Webster Elementary 12:50-1:30PM 4801 Elm St. 92102 April 11-22
Wilson Middle School 12:30-1:00PM 3838 Orange Ave. 92105 April 11-22

2011 Spring Intersession Lunches at Parks and YMCA

Location Lunch Times Address Dates
Jackie Robinson YMCA 12:00-1:00PM 151 YMCA Way 92105 April 4-29
City Heights Park & Rec 12:00-1:00PM 4380 Landis St. 92105 April 4-29
Kearny Mesa Park & Rec 12:00-1:00PM 3170 Armstrong 92111 April 4-8
Linda Vista Park & Rec 12:30-1:30PM 7064 Levant St. 92111 April 4-29
Mountain View Park & Rec 1:00-2:00PM 641 So. Boundary St. 92113 April 4-29
Paradise Hills Park & Rec 1:00-2:00PM 6610 Potomac St. 92139 April 4-29
Penn Athletic Field 12:00-1:00PM 2555 Dusk Dr. 92139 April 4-8
Southcrest Park & Rec 12:00-1:00PM 4149 Newton Ave. 92113 April 18-29
Willie Henderson Park & Rec 12:30-1:30PM 1035 So. 45th St. 92113 April 4-29

CONTACT: For more information, contact Joanne Tucker at or (858) 627-7316.

Welcome back from Spring Break to all traditional calendar schools

Mira Mesa Students, District Physical Plant Operations Partner On T-Shirt Design

Mira Mesa High Students
Mira Mesa High graphics students Ronald Bonslater, left,  Mariela Catalan, Danielle Le, Ashley Rindfleisch.  Not pictured: Marlene Alspaugh who did the computer/design work.

Creative students and staff are joining forces in a fundraiser to raise money for the district's Physical Plant Operations and Facilities Planning and Construction departments' employee emergency fund.

New "Planner, Estimator, Inspector" t-shirts are rolling off the presses with a design created by the Computerized Graphic Arts program at Mira Mesa High School. The slogan was created by employee Richard Kite.

The students in the College, Career and Technical Education program run a production facility, working in small teams to design, print, sort, pack and even ship their creations. They're graded on the ability to follow projects from concept to creation. Clients include the school administration, clubs and organizations, and other sources, such as the Physical Plant, as well as outside companies.

"The class stays very busy, and is often booked 6-8 weeks in advance," said the class's teacher, Art Spurlock.

The Physical Plant Operations and Facilities Planning departments' emergency fund assists colleagues and their families with costs such as insurance needs and living expenses when families go through challenging times.

If you would like more information on the program, or to get a printing quote, please contact Spurlock at

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It's Back To School Monday For All Traditional Calendar Schools!

Remember that Monday is back to school day for all San Diego Unified schools on the traditional calendar. Let's make it a 100 percent attendance day!

Friday, April 8, 2011

IN THE NEWS: D.A. issues truancy warning

Parents throughout San Diego were warned about the problem of truancy this week in a rare letter from District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who has partnered with education officials to crack down on the issue. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

IN THE NEWS: McKinley Elementary volunteer won’t let anything get in way of helping

Maria Soto will find a way to make it to her volunteer duties at North Park’s McKinley Elementary School. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

IN THE NEWS: Board President, Supt. Discuss Budget Issues

In separate interviews, Board Pres. Richard Barrera and Supt. Bill Kowba talk about budget challenges; aired April 4, 2011. Courtesy KUSI-TV. Watch the video. >>

Monday, April 4, 2011

Crawford CHAMPs Student Takes 11th Grade Honors in Essay Contest

CHAMPs Essay WinnerCrawford CHAMPs student Shukri Egal was named the winner of the César E. Chávez Commemorative Essay Contest in the 11th grade category.

The annual essay contest, sponsored by the UCSD Early Academic Program and the César E. Chávez Commemorative Committee, is open to all high school students in San Diego,  Imperial, and Orange counties.

To commemorate the core values of the late César E. Chávez, students are asked to write a two-page essay that includes what the student is doing to help create civil discourse between different ethnic and cultural groups at their school and in the community, what activities the student is involved with that foster acceptance of those who are treated by others as less worthy or less valuable human beings, and how one can work to eliminate the causes of poverty rather than donating handouts to the poor.

For his award-winning essay, Shukri Egal received $400 and was honored at the Thirteenth Annual César E. Chávez Commemorative Breakfast held March 28 at the San Diego Convention Center. Read the essay pdf.

For more information, please contact CHAMPs Principal William Laine at (619) 583-2501 ext. 2460, or

Schools on Spring Break. Traditional return 4/11; year-round 5/2

Sunday, April 3, 2011

IN THE NEWS: School Teachers Keep Chavez's Legacy Alive |

Angie Connor is a 3rd grade teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in San Diego. Projected on her classroom wall is a large map of California. She points to yellow stars that dot the Central Valley. The stars represent the areas where Chavez had to go to pick crops.

More from KPBS-FM»

Friday, April 1, 2011

Patrick Henry Senior Wins Car for Academic Achievements

Car winner
Program emcee
Erica Fox, left, car
winner Suzanne Amor,
and Board of Education
Trustee Kevin Beiser.

Suzanne Amor, senior at Patrick Henry High School, was the winner of a new car at the Cool to be Smart raffle held on March 31.

Amor’s 11 entry tickets were earned by her participation and achievement in Advanced Placement programs during high school as part of the Cool to be Smart incentive program. San Diego Unified, in partnership with Mossy Automotive Group, hosted the event to encourage students to pursue rigorous academic classes in high school as they work toward postsecondary education.

For the second year, Mossy Automotive Group donated the new car as the grand prize. Amor will have a choice of several models at the company's dealerships.
To be eligible, students had to take at least two semesters of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. These are college-level classes taught at high schools; generally, colleges and universities give course unit credit to students having taken these courses and passed the after-class exam. Students received one entry for each course taken.

The event was attended by 371 students who met eligibility criteria. Prizes, in addition to the new car, were donated by other local businesses and ranged from cash cards to movie tickets.

Kevin Beiser, San Diego Unified Board of Education trustee, and Dr. Hector Montenegro, Area Superintendent, were on hand to call the winning student names. Fox 5 San Diego reporter Erica Fox was the mistress of ceremonies.
More than 1,900 students from 26 San Diego Unified high schools were eligible for the incentive program showing that it is Cool to be Smart!

Thanks to the following companies for their generous support the Cool to be Smart program: Broken Yolk Café, Brunswick Premier Lanes, California Coast Credit Union, Casa De Pico Mexican Restaurant, Chicken Nest, Chick-fil-A, H&M Landing, ICETOWN, La Jolla Kayak, Marie Callender’s, Miramar Speed Circuit, Mission Federal Credit Union, Mrs. Field’s, Old Triste Restaurant, Pure Spa and Chiropractic, Real Mex Restaruants, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Sail Ho Golf Club, Sam’s Club, San Diego Chargers, San Diego Coaster Company, San Diego County Fair, San Diego Harbor Excursion, San Diego Ice Arena, San Diego Padres, San Diego Repertory Theatre, San Diego Restaurant Management, San Diego Symphony, SeaWorld, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, The Cheesecake Factory, The Fish Market, The Wave Waterpark, Ultrazone, Westfield Parkway.

For more information on the program, visit the Advanced Placement Incentive Program website or call (858) 505-9578.

Doppler on Wheels Visits Alcott Elementary School

The Doppler on Wheels exhibit paid a visit to fourth and fifth-grade students from Alcott Elementary last Wednesday, thanks to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

Students had the opportunity to see one of only three Doppler on Wheels vehicles in the country, and observe the radar along with related weather computers and equipment.

In addition, students learned about the radar, and had the opportunity to climb into the truck and see the inside workings of the system.

For more information contact Elementary School Assistant Julia James at (858) 273-3415 ext. 114.