Tuesday, July 31, 2012

IN THE NEWS: La Jolla, Patrick Henry Students Learning Washington, D.C. Ways

Students from La Jolla and Patrick Henry high schools students took part in the prestigious and competitive Boys Nation program, which brings together teens from virtually every state who put together a mock federal government and learn how it really works. Read more from UT San Diego»

Monday, July 30, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Free meals for children during summer break

San Diego Unified is serving meals in 69 places — 30 school sites and 39 community spots — and expects to serve 300,000 hot meals before the academic year resumes in the fall. The state reimburses the district $1.80 per breakfast and $2.79 per lunch. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012-13 Official Calendar Approved; Includes School Closures Due to Budget Cuts

The calendar for the 2012-13 school year has been approved by the Board of Education. Finalizing of some of the dates were delayed due to negotiations with district labor unions over furlough days and other adjustments due to state budget reductions. Here are the important dates in the 2012-13 school year.
Traditional Calendar

  • 3, Holiday: Labor Day
  • 4, First day of school
  • 12, Holiday: Veterans Day
  • 19-23 Thanksgiving vacation
  • 24, Winter break begins
  • 7, Schools reopen
  • 21, Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 15, Holiday: Lincoln Day
  • 18, Holiday: Washington Day
  • 29, Spring break begins 
  • 8, Schools Reopen
  • 27, Holiday: Memorial Day
  • 11, Last day of school 

Year-Round Calendar

  • 3, Holiday: Labor Day
  • 4, First day of school
  • 12, Holiday: Veterans Day
  • 19-23, Thanksgiving vacation
  • 17, Winter break begins
  • 14, School returns
  • 21, Holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 15, Holiday: Lincoln Day
  • 18, Holiday: Washington Day

  • 29, Spring break begins
  • 26, Schools Reopen
  • 27, Holiday: Memorial Day
  • 14, 17-18, Schools Closed, Furlough Days 
  • 4, Holiday: Independence Day
  • 19, Last day of school 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Whitman 4th Graders Take on Fox 5 Morning News Anchors

Whitman Elementary School fourth graders took the challenge from the anchors at Fox 5's Morning News in the Battle of the Brains. Watch what happens»

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Resurrection of drive-in movies puts Pacific Beach in the spotlight

Each weekend throughout the summer, the lot next to Pacific Beach Middle School — located at 1500 Felspar St. — will transform into a 1950s-style drive-in, complete with a classic concession stand, vintage advertisements, live entertainment and film screenings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Read more from Beach and Bay Press»

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

COMM22 Project Breaks Ground in Southeast San Diego

COMM22 Board Member Richard Barrera recently joined Mayor Jerry Sanders, City Councilmember David Alvarez and other dignitaries in celebrating the groundbreaking of “COMM22” in southeast San Diego. “COMM22” is a public-private venture that is providing mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development located at Commercial and 22nd streets, on a four-acre, former San Diego Unified maintenance facility site.

Ultimately, “COMM22” will combine 130 affordable family apartments and 70 senior affordable apartments with day care facilities, community-serving commercial and retail space, office space, market rate live/work lofts and for-sale townhomes. The lofts will be housed in a rehabilitated warehouse building, with the remainder of the development consisting of new construction. The master-planned development will also feature enhanced plaza areas for public gatherings, strong pedestrian connectivity throughout the site and convenient access to public transportation. The site is being co-developed by BRIDGE Housing and MAAC, in partnership with San Diego Unified.

The project is a perfect example of a public-private venture that benefits the school district, city and community, as well as our students and their families. At San Diego Unified, our concern for our students extends beyond the school campus. We know students learn and achieve more when they live in a safe and positive environment. This project will provide that.

The first phase of the development process begins this summer, when area infrastructure will receive significant upgrades such as streetscape improvements, storm drains, water and sewer lines, and undergrounding of power lines. Construction on the family and senior apartments is scheduled to be complete by June 2014.

For more information on this project, contact, Georgiana Becker, real estate specialist for San Diego Unified, at gbecker@sandi.net or 619-725-7274 or Jeff Williams, project manager for BRIDGE Housing Corp., at jwilliams@bridgehousing.com or 619-231-6300, ext. 501.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Push for career-technical education meets parent resistance

Career and technical education has come a long way since the days when students could be steered from academics into hairstyling, auto repairs or carpentry. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to sell the concept of having all students take courses in CTE, as it is known. Read more from The Hechinger Report»

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New House is Product at Kearny Construction Tech

Casita de CTA A one-bedroom, 512-square foot apartment was completed this spring by students at Kearny High's Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy.

Called the Casita de CTA, it took two years worth of students in the Advanced Construction class to design and build the apartment. They created the drawings for the building, then worked on all phases of construction, including framing, electrical, plumbing, exterior siding, drywall installation and taping, as well as installation of all doors, windows and interior cabinets.

"This project represents the collective effort of all the students," said Principal Laura Bellofatto. "The Casita stands as a symbol of their dedication, attention to detail and hard work."

Civil engineering, architecture and other courses helped the students gain the knowledge to design and build the apartment. Offered through the Regional Occupational Program (ROP), these courses prepare give students the technical skills and knowledge required for entry-level employment, or valuable hands-on skills for those students entering four-year university programs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Scripps Ranch High JROTC Academic Team Wins Top Honors

Scripps Ranch After nine rounds of competition, the Scripps Ranch High School Air Force JROTC academic team, composed of Alwin Hui, Cameo Tsui, Stephenie Reid and William Jiang, took first place in the 2012 Air Force JROTC Academic Bowl Championship. The competition was held in Washington D.C., on the campus of George Mason University, June 22-26. The event was sponsored by the Air Force JROTC and conducted by College Options Foundation.

The Scripps Ranch High team earned the top scores of the more than 200 teams that competed from around the world to win a place in the finals, which included an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. In the two fast-paced rounds of online competition, students were tested on their knowledge of JROTC curriculum, English, math and science, using SAT/ACT-type questions. One of the main goals of the JROTC Academic Bowl is to prepare students for state graduation exams as well as college entrance exams. The team was one of only sixteen Air Force JROTC teams to advance to the finals.

The JROTC Leadership Symposium and Academic Bowl is a nationally recognized academic competition created exclusively for JROTC students and provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition and college opportunities.

College Options Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the academic development of high school students and assisting them in their preparation for higher education. Utilizing academic competitions, college exam study guides, college admissions tutorials and personalized counseling, College Options Foundation has assisted the nation’s 1.1 million JROTC cadets.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Carson Elementary Students Make a Splash

At Carson Elementary School every child learns every day. Having well-rounded and healthy students is important for classroom success as well as attendance rates. In addition to improving academic skills, Carson students also cultivate their physical education skills.

This year nearly 450 students participated in the Mission Valley YMCA’s Physical Education Outreach Program, providing them the opportunity to engage in free dance, soccer, and swim lessons during the school day. Carson is fortunate to have a long-standing partnership with the Mission Valley YMCA. In addition to the P.E. Outreach program, this unique opportunity provides our school with excellent childcare and after school programs such as Prime-Time and PRYDE. Students in first through fifth grade recently completed swim lessons focused on basic water safety and swim technique.

A special school assembly will wrap up the school year in aquatic style as every student receives a new swimsuit courtesy of a generous YMCA donor. For more information, visit www.sandi.net/carson or contact Principal Joe Frescatore at jfrescatore@sandi.net.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Parents to 'Tune In' to Broadcasts Their Students See

Parents in the San Diego Unified School District will be able to view the same Channel One News InterActiv broadcasts their 3rd- through 12-grade students see at school this fall - on their mobile phones. Read more from Education Week»

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Zamorano Hosts Another Successful Celebration of Art

Zamorano Fine Arts Academy hosted its annual Celebration of Art on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The evening event was a huge success. It was a packed house all night long. Student art filled the auditorium and the windows, doors, and display panels of the campus. Every student had a piece somewhere on campus.

The school’s music instructors kicked-off the event with performances by the band and orchestra students. After the performances students along with their families and friends were free to explore the rich diversity of art produced by the students this year. All of the school’s creative classroom teachers led a wide variety of art activities for all ages. Activities included torn paper monsters, scratch art, origami, painting like Jackson Pollack, drawing like Picasso, bubble art and more.

The atmosphere was full of smiling faces all evening as proud students, parents, and family members were present enjoying the event. Zamorano students work hard in art classes all year, and it is fulfilling to put on such a high caliber exhibit every year to showcase their talents. The event was also a successful fundraiser for Zamorano with raffle baskets put together by the different grade levels, art work for sale, a cake walk, and cookie decorating.The proceeds will go to the school's Parent Teacher Foundation to benefit it “Keep the Arts Alive at Zamorano" program.

Special thanks go out to everyone who made the event a success- the art team, classroom teachers, parents, administration, volunteers, custodial staff, and of the course the students! Click here see photos from the event. For more information, contact Carlos Ramirez at cramirez1@sandi.net or 619-267-8007 x2122 or visit www.sandi.net/zamorano.

Friday, July 13, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Feds Serve Up New Lunch Rules

District works hard to offer students fresh and healthy food options. Read more in California Watch/UT San Diego

Thursday, July 12, 2012

District Graduates Earn Seal of Biliteracy

Madison High graduate Chris Lopez
shows his diploma displaying the
Seal of Biliteracy. Pictured with
Principal Richard Nash.
More than 450 graduating seniors in the Class of 2012 were recognized for attaining mastery in two or more languages with the distinguished Seal of Biliteracy.

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award granted by the district to high school seniors upon graduation to certify they have mastered two or more languages. Adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 2011, the 2012 graduates are the first group to receive the honor. The Seal recognizes that “in addition to being academically prepared and fully proficient in English, all students benefit from being proficient in another language.”

The accomplishment is noted on the student’s transcripts and the student’s diploma is affixed with a gold seal embossed with the Seal insignia.

The Seal of Biliteracy was established to encourage students to maintain an extended sequence of language study with the hope that it leads to high levels of proficiency in two or more languages. In addition, it serves as a way for prospective employers and universities to quickly identify students with biliteracy skills.

Identifying eligible students for the Seal of Biliteracy was a collaborative effort that included the Office of Language, administrators, school counselors, and world language teachers who identified students and assisted them in completing the application.
For more information on the Seal of Biliteracy, please contact the Office of Language at 619-725-7264.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

JAZZ in the Schools Raises $5,000 for Arts, Music

Jeremy Kern on tenor sax at the
Anthology Jazz fundraiser.
Six award-winning middle and high school jazz bands from San Diego Unified participated in the first annual Jazz in the Schools fundraiser held recently at Anthology in downtown San Diego.

University City High School sophomore Jeremy Kern introduced the idea, and coordinated the event. Inspired by his love of music and desire to support the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program and its teachers, Kern gathered several of the best jazz groups in the district to participate.

The nearly five-hour concert included performances from the following schools: Pershing Middle School, directed by Mark Anderson; Challenger Middle School, directed by Ted Foster; Marshall Middle School, directed by Steve Steinberg; the School for the Creative, Performing, and Media Arts (CPMA), directed by Richard Ciavarelli; Mission Bay High School, directed by JP Balmat; and University City High School, directed by Cameron Brown. 

The event raised over $5,000 for the San Diego Unified School District's Visual and Performing Arts Department to promote and benefit jazz music instruction and performances. 

For more information on JAZZ in the Schools visit their website, or contact VAPA director Karen Childress-Evans at 858-539-5349.

Monday, July 9, 2012

PB Middle Students Give Back 14,000 Hours to Community

Garden project Students at Pacific Beach Middle School contributed more than 14,000 hours of community service during the 2011-12 school year.

Part of their education as an International Baccalaureate Programme school, the students helped with programs such as the Coastal Cleanup and White Sea Bass feeding for Coast Keepers, holding arts and crafts classes at the local senior center and providing diapers to foster families.

"At Pacific Beach Middle students have been keeping records of service for over four years now," said Jennifer Sims, the school's Librarian and International Baccalaureate Programme coordinator. "Service, or principled action as we call it, is just part of the culture, part of who we are and what we do. This year, our students participated in over 14,000 hours of service and that's only 665 students."

Some students design their own service learning projects. Clubs like Yearbook, Ecology Composters, Garden Club, and Video Club are popular for student participation.

International Baccalaureate Programme philosophies are taught at several San Diego Unified School District schools. In addition to providing top academic achievement, the program includes a school-wide effort at public service and cooperation. The goal is to show students how the nations of the world can get along and thrive through peaceful coexistance.

For more information, contact Sims at jsims@sandi.net.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Zamorano Art Displayed at Normal Heights Pop Shop

Zamorano artist Students, family members and friends of student-artists at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy elementary school turned out for the opening of the students' art show at Viva Pops, a Normal Heights dessert shop.

The reception welcomed the 25 third graders who had art on display.

"Students, families, teachers and friends were streaming in and out of the shop," said Art Teacher Donald Masse. "There were plenty of smiles, hugs and fist bumps going around throughout the reception."

The project was inspired by an image by artist Lisa Congdon and the delicious pops that Lisa makes.

Students focused on pattern making and creating symmetry in their designs. They also applied tints and shades to their cut paper pops to make them look 3d against the decorative pattern background of their projects.

Students received a free pop from Lisa Altmann, the store owner, for their hard work and creativity. A portion of the evening's sales went to support the school.

Zamorano Fine Arts Academy is located in South Bay Terraces of the Paradise Hills area of San Diego and operates on a single-track, year-round schedule. Zamorano is a K–5 visual arts magnet school and features art instruction in painting, drawing, three-dimensional design, photography, textile design, architecture, ceramics, and graphic arts. Zamorano was recognized as a California Distinguished School in 1993.

Inspired by the festive colors and flavors of traditional Mexican-style pops called “paletas,” Viva Pops all-natural frozen fruit pops will rock your world. They’re made with organic fruits and herbs, many of which are purchased from local growers and suppliers at San Diego farmers’ markets. We use fresh ingredients and try to keep their flavors true. That means we don’t over-sweeten our pops, or use any additives or preservatives.

For more information, contact Masse at dmasse@sandi.net.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lindbergh/Schweitzer, iMiddle Share Anti-Bulling Effort

Let It Begin With Me It started with Lindbergh Schweitzer students walking to Madison High School in January to exchange a banner to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s message of peace entitled "Let it Begin With Me."

The next step was taken in April when the ILEAD Team from Madison High School gave a presentation about bullying to the Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary fifth and sixth graders, and demonstrated ways students can empower themselves against bullies on campus.

Another step was taken on May 29 when Lindbergh/Schweitzer student government leaders were welcomed by the counterparts at nearby Innovation Middle School as they continue to move their anti-bullying message forward by sharing their "Let it Begin With Me" banner for students to sign and make a pledge.

It is the hope of the students at Lindbergh Schweitzer that the banner travel through the Madison Community of Schools as a message of campus unification against bullying of any kind.

iMiddle A.S.B. Adviser Chantal Bonfond stated that this exchange was a good step in launching a similar program at their site. This was another successful Service Learning project begun by the students at Lindbergh Schweitzer.

For additional information contact Media Production Assistant Julie Harris at jharris2@sandi.net or 858-496-8400.

Friday, July 6, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Aztec Teachers Saluted

Elementary Teacher of the Year Patti Read is the second of three generations to attend SDSU. Read more from SDSU NewsCenter»

Thursday, July 5, 2012

University City High gets New Field and Track

One of the last Prop. S projects completed during this school year was at University City High School. The project included a new synthetic turf football field, an all-weather track, new lighting and a new scoreboard for the stadium. To celebrate, the school will hold a dedication ceremony during its first varsity football home game in the fall.

This is one of nearly 40 major construction projects that have been completed since Prop. S passed in 2008, including College, Career and Technical Education facilities, new classroom buildings, rebuilt high school stadiums, other synthetic turf fields and all-weather tracks, air conditioning, and student drop-off and pick-up improvements. There are approximately 65 projects in the design phase, and nearly 20 in various stages of construction. More construction projects will begin during the summer.

Prop. S funds are generated by a general obligation bond measure that was passed in 2008 to repair and renovate district schools. The funds cannot be used to pay teacher or administrator salaries.

For details on school projects, please visit http://fpcprojects.sandi.net/. For information on Prop. S, visit www.sandi.net/PropS  or e-mail PropSinfo@sandi.net .

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Safe School Task Force Receives 2012 Spirit of Stonewall Service Award

San Diego Unified was recently named a recipient of a 2012 Stonewall Service Award for spearheading the Safe School Task Force. The award is designed to honor local individuals and organizations that have made a positive impact on San Diego's LGBT community.

Born in a conversation in summer 2010 and reinforced by a fall of youth suicides, the Safe Schools Advisory Board came together officially in November 2010 to ensure the San Diego Unified Board of Education adopted a safe schools/anti-bullying policy. The new policy includes a comprehensive set of protocols, procedures and initiatives designed to ensure that all students, including LGBT students, have access to a school environment free from bullying, harassment and discrimination, and where each student is free to achieve their educational potential.

The community-education partnership has been innovative, successful and vital to changing the culture and climate of the school district. It is made up of many individuals and organizations that spend their lives advocating for our youth: PFLAG San Diego, the Anti-Defamation League, CA Faith for Equality, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, GLSEN San Diego, the PTA, City of San Diego Human Relations Commission, San Diego Education Association, CA School Employees Association, Center for Excellence in School Counseling, the offices of Sen. Christine Kehoe and Assembly Member Toni Atkins, and the San Diego Unified School District.

San Diego Unified Trustee Kevin Beiser accepted the award on behalf of the district at special ceremony held June 26. Awardees will also be honored at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Friday, July 20 at 6 p.m., on Normal Street, between Harvey Milk Street and University Avenue.

Monday, July 2, 2012

La Jolla High PTA Honored for 700+ Members

La Jolla High School's PTA has received two awards from the Ninth District PTA, the organization's local chapter.

The high school's association was recognized by for having more than 700 members, the highest in the San Diego Unified School District.

"That's what we're proudest of," said Dana Shelburne, La Jolla High Principal. "Each of our PTA volunteers — parents, teachers and staff — should be very proud that they have brought this level of involvement to La Jolla High School."

The school was also recognized for the Life 101 program, which brings speakers to the school to talk with Senior Vikings about challenges they will face as adults, such as how to manage money, rent an apartment and stay healthy. The program was developed by a La Jolla High parent (and PTA member) Linda Rutgard, with funding from the PTA.

The PTA's Ninth District serve the children and schools of San Diego and Imperial Counties. With 367 PTA associations representing more than 70,000 PTA members, Ninth District PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in San Diego. Find out more about the PTA at http://www.ninthdistrictpta.org/.

For more on La Jolla High School, visit the school's website.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Garfield Culinary Student is CRA Student of the Year

Luis and friends.
Jot Condie, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association, left, Luis Bastidas and Mike Morton, Jr., Chapter President for the California Restaurant Association San Diego County.
Garfield High student Luis Bastidas has been named Culinary Student of the Year by the California Restaurant Association’s San Diego chapter.

Bastidas is the first Garfield student and one of only a few in the entire district to complete eight levels of culinary arts classes in a two-year period. He has twice participated in the prestigious annual Garfield Foundation Thanksgiving luncheon at The Prado restaurant and has worked evenings and weekends for almost three years at Supreme Catering.

“Luis deserves this award because he is a continual learner, has established himself as a professional and has an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Arlyn Hackett, culinary arts and management teacher at Garfield.

Bastidas plans to study business at a community college and open his own catering company or gourmet food truck.

The Culinary Arts and Management program provides entry-level and advanced training for careers in culinary arts, hospitality and tourism. For more information, contact Angela Croce, program specialist for the Office of College, Career and Technical Education, at 858-503-1750 or acroce@sandi.net.