Monday, April 30, 2012
Engineering is thought of as an advanced subject, but in classrooms at Mann Middle School in City Heights pre-teens are beginning to learn about it with the help of an $11,500 grant from Lockheed-Martin.
Jose Lara, Mann's Gateway to Technology teacher, received the grant from Lockheed Martin's Cory Smith, representing the company's Engineers in the Classroom program. The class taps into the natural curiosity of middle school students, using a hands-on approach to teaching basic STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills.
The grant will be used to purchase component systems that the students will use to build small robots, structures and other items created by the imagination of the students.
"Horace Mann and Lockheed Martin partnered together in 2009," said Lara. "Aside from the financial contribution, our partnership has included countless site visits by Lockheed Martin Engineers and various forms of support within the classroom."
For more information on the program, contact Kevin Martin, Vice Principal, at (619) 582-8990.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
The project included widening and relocating the existing driveway into the parking area, adding fencing and landscaping, installing dedicated left-turn lanes on Beryl Street and adjusting traffic signals. The changes are expected to improve traffic and parking, and ensure safer conditions at the school.
The nearly $2 million project was funded by Proposition S, San Diego Unified School District’s general obligation bond that was passed November 2008 for capital facilities improvements at district schools. Construction began May 2011 and was completed March 2012. The project partners were Group Cristilli Architects and Summit Builders Construction Company.
For more information, contact Proposition S Communications at 619-725-7252 or PropSinfo@sandi.net.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
PLEASE NOTE: Children who received a DTP, DTap or Tdap shot on or after their seventh birthday meet the Tdap booster requirement and do not need another shot. Parents and guardians can simply provide their child’s school with a copy of the updated shot record.
For more information about the Tdap vaccine, visit www.shotsforschool.org.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Concurrently, San Diego Unified and other school districts are continuing their budget development as dictated by the California Education Code. This past Tuesday, the Board of Education had to make another extremely difficult decision, authorizing the issuance of layoff notices to more than 975 classified support staff. This figure includes 385 personnel in the early childhood education program who are directly impacted by state funding cuts to preschool programs. The classified number, combined with the 1,656 certificated staff who already received preliminary layoff notices, equals a staggering 2,631 of our dedicated employees affected by the state’s enduring economic woes.
Another parallel activity was last week’s Administrative Law Judge hearings that were held in response to the certificated layoff notices. We are now standing by for the judge's decisions before presenting an updated certificated layoff list to the Board. The layoff notice numbers will likely be adjusted a bit as a result of the judge's decision and could subsequently be altered by other dynamics such as near-term decisions of the Governor and/or legislature. In the meantime, the terrible reality is that the layoff process must proceed in accordance with specified Education Code procedures that include the dissemination of final layoff notices to hundreds of our certificated staff in May..
At this point in the 2012-13 budget cycle, our calculated deficit for next year remains at $122 million. With a revenue gap of that magnitude, the proposed program and personnel reductions highlighted in the March 15 second interim financial report remain in effect. As the district heads into the homestretch of our 2012-13 budget adoption process, the California budget outlook for public education continues to look grim. The state controller is reporting that California revenues may come in more than $2 billion below projections. This disconnect could further undermine the state’s ability to adequately fund public education next year.
The Governor’s May Revise budget proposal may come out at a later date than is the norm. We may not know the full impact of his proposal until after May 20. While many assume that this is the final direction for the preparation of next year’s budget, it is probably not the final word. I expect the budget uncertainties will spill into June as the legislature weighs in with responses to the May Revise. We will eventually arrive at a final state budget and an adopted district budget but still have to prepare for another major uncertainty, the outcome of November tax ballot measures.
Clearly, we are operating in an ambiguous and fluid budget process, one that is, in no way, synchronized between the state and local agencies. We all want clarity and certainty and there is none to be had at the moment. We will do all that is possible to keep you informed. I am firmly committed to seeking the solutions that will best mitigate the detrimental effects on our students, staff, and programs; resolve the budget deficit; and create a balanced 2012-13 budget. I will work closely with all stakeholder groups to deflect the financial blows, but we all know that there will be some direct hits.
In closing, words are inadequate to express my deepest appreciation to the entire staff for their steadfast support of our students and laser-focus on academic excellence during this unprecedented, financially turbulent time. We are a team and by working collectively and collaboratively, we will get through this together.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
|From left to right, back row: Mr. Ryan Storms (Street Law instructor), LaBraye Franklin (9th grade), Mr. Francisco Vidal (Street Law instructor), Josh Mendelson (9th grade), Mr. Mark Hoskisson (ALBA English teacher), Mr. Burton Skomal (ALBA SPED assistant); front row: Honorable Judith F. Hayes (San Diego Superior Court), Edgar Arribeno (9th grade), Mario Cecena (9th grade), Ms. JoAnne Johnson (ALBA Street Law coordinator), Brandon Lopez (9th grade).|
The Honorable Judith F. Hayes, San Diego Superior Court Judge, presided over the April 16th competition between ALBA and Hoover High School. The jury found for ALBA’s prosecution team, giving the school its third straight Street Law Mock Trial Competition victory. Judge Hayes also recognized two ALBA 9th grade students, LaBraye Franklin and Brandon Lopez, issuing them the outstanding advocate awards.
This year’s Street Law Competition was held at the downtown San Diego Superior Courthouse in front of a jury of four adult community members. Mr. Ryan Storms and Mr. Francisco
Vidal, students from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, served as instructors, teaching the five-member team of ALBA students for ten weeks, guiding them through a rigorous preparation and selection process.
Mr. Alex Simpson, staff attorney at California Western School of Law and Street Law Program Coordinator, indicated that he was very impressed with ALBA’s consecutive win streak. He stated that the Street Law program is really
geared for ALBA students, giving them a unique opportunity to positively interact with our country’s legal system. Ms. Joanne Johnson, ALBA ROP Career and Life Management teacher and on-site Street Law coordinator, appreciated the dedication of the Street Law instructors and explained that ALBA’s success is because of a school-wide commitment to the program.
For more information about Street Law, contact Mr. Alex Simpson at email@example.com or 619-515-1525. For more information about ALBA Community Day School, contact principal R. Vernon Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-293-4468.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
But more than 30 high school students at Serra High School will be skipping forward in their careers, becoming published scientists before they've even graduated from high school.
Members of the biotechnology program at Serra, the students have helped advance a project that is researching how species are impacted by environmental decay. Starting last February, students analyzed the COI gene, a portion of the DNA, in 20 Channel Islands species. Their work is being submitted for inclusion in the Barcode of Life Data Systems project, which hopes to establish a planetary DNA database. This lead to a visit to the Coastal Marine Biolabs in Ventura, which is publishing a study on the results of the tests. This study will include the names of all the Serra students who participated.
"Many scientists have to wait until their careers have advanced before they become published," said Dr. Ericka Senegar-Mitchell, Serra's biotechnology teacher. "Having high school students named in a study published in a peer-reviewed scientific platform is outstanding and will aide them every step up the educational and professional ladder."
Serra's biotechnology program gives students an early look at what could be their life's work. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment to learn about the basic building blocks of life. Many of San Diego's top biotechnology firms donate equipment and other supplies to the program, which gives students and advanced look at the sciences they might take at a university.
During Spring Break, 10 students and Dr. Senegar-Mitchell, traveled to Coastal Marine Biolabs in Ventura Harbor, where they worked with research scientists who are cataloging species DNA for the study. They helped investigate how biodiversity loss is a result of habitat destruction, invasive species, population expansion, pollution, and overharvesting.
"This program gives students a real chance to see this type of research in action," said Dr. Senegar-Mitchell. "Part of our job as teachers is to expose our students to as many opportunities as possible. Marine research is a very important part of this field."
For more information on the program, contact Dr. Senegar-Mitchell at email@example.com.
About the School
Located in the Tierrasanta neighborhood, Serra High School is a comprehensive high school with a tradition of excellence. It offers students a wide variety of programs, from high-tech, cutting edge programs such as biotechnology, to career-technical education, to athletics and marching band. Serra is the center of the community and receives outstanding support from its foundation and neighbors.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Reporter Ruben Galvan from San Diego 6 News visits with students performing in the school;s Passion and Pathos Spring dance concert. Watch video from San Diego 6»
About the concert
For the second straight year, 38 SCPA dancers will perform the work of legendary choreographer Donald McKayle. Mr. McKayle is a Tony and Emmy Award winning choreographer, but his greatest contribution may have been to the world of modern dance. SCPA dancers will perform his masterpiece, House of Tears, April 19-27, 2012 in The Grand Theatre. Other works include former Alvin Ailey dancer and current choreographer Christopher Huggin’s piece The List. Both pieces are moving tributes to human suffering from major world events that have left indelible marks on our world consciousness. House of Tears explores the heart wrenching experience of “the disappeared” in Argentina from 1976-1983 and The List is a gripping reminder of the inhumane Holocaust. SCPA’s concert entitled Passion and Pathos will also feature works by Fred Benjamin, and SCPA dance instructor Erin Fetters. And, running concurrently in the Little Theatre is the 2012 Senior Exhibition of work by the Visual Arts majors. Many of these students have already been accepted to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Otis Parsons College of Art in LA, and The New School for Design in NYC! Tickets are only $5, and available online at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 619-475-8556.
The ILEAD Team from Madison recently visited Lindbergh-Schweitzer, performing skits and playing games to demonstrate bullying, as well as how to react to the behavior by others. The high school juniors and seniors engaged in a lively discussion with elementary school students in grades 5-6, with all students pledging to avoid bullying.
Plans are for the ILEAD team from Madison and the students from Lindbergh-Schweitzer to continue working together next school year.
For more information, contact Julie Harris at email@example.com or 858-496-8400.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Research validates that support at home and community involvement are critical to academic success. Volunteers have a tremendous impact on the lives of students, both today and in the future.
To parents and grandparents, community members and neighbors, high school and college students, working people and retirees, business partners, and the countless others who dedicate their time to making a difference in the lives of our students.
|Teacher Amy Chmbard, right, and student |
Sarah Gonzalez with her parents.
Chambard's fourth-grade class won the grant as part of the California Milk Advisory Board's Real Seal Appeal Sweepstakes. Families saved 274 "Real California Milk" seals off dairy products, with two-thirds coming from student Sarah Gonzalez, her parents and friends.
The 50 books came from Scholastic Books, which partnered with the Milk Advisory Board. The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), representing California's dairy families, awarded more than $1.4 million in cash, books and school supply prizes to elementary schools in Southern California as part of the Real Seal Appeal! sweepstakes drawing.
For more information on Vista Grande Elementary, contact principal Mary Calcagno at 858-496-8290.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
|Jefferson students test-drive the new field.|
The multipurpose field opened to the public Monday, April 16. The one-acre field, located on the southern part of the school campus, is a joint-use facility that will be used by the students during school hours and the public during nonschool hours. The improvements include a new multisport field using synthetic turf, parking and accessibility for people with physical disabilities.
The project cost more than $1.1 million. Construction was funded by the school district’s Proposition S bond program, money from which can be used only for capital improvement projects. Construction began in November 2011, and was completed in January 2012. Project partners were Mesquita and Associates (architecture) and Soltek Pacific Contractors (construction). The City of San Diego will fund and provide the maintenance of the field.
The city and the school district have a long-standing agreement to share school and park land to benefit both the city and the school district. The facilities shared by the city and the school district include multipurpose turf fields, lighted athletic fields, tennis courts, gymnasiums, parking facilities and libraries. In total, the school district and the city currently have 76 joint-use agreements.
For more information, contact Cynthia Reed-Porter, communications supervisor for San Diego Unified School District, at 619-725-5579 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
|Students, staff and inspiration Gladys Swensrud celebrate.|
The students are raising the money in the name of Gladys Swensrud, a retired staff member and longtime neighborhood resident who has MD.
"I stand in awe and am extremely grateful for the continued generosity and enthusiast support Challenger’s student body and staff have demonstrated for MDA through their Shamrock contributions,” said Swensrud.
The school creates competition between classrooms for the coveted green and gold shamrocks, which are placed in the class windows.
"Competition can become quite fierce between advisory classrooms as each class strives to have the best display of colorful shamrocks appearing in their classroom windows," said Principal Sheelagh Moran.
The fundraising effort also has educational value, she said.
"Students also learn about the organization and are inspired to help others in need," she said.
Challenger was the first middle school in the county to participate in the Shamrock Drive.
"MDA has been able to use Challenger Middle School as a successful example to inspire more San Diego area schools to join the Shamrock Drive," she said.
About the school
Challenger Middle School is located in Mira Mesa, north of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Our school is named in honor of the Challenger space shuttle. The memory of the Challenger crew serves as a role model for our multi-ethnic student population. The Challenger name captures the energy and the inspiration associated with our school’s commitment to success. We motivate students to go beyond their limits, have high expectations and touch the future.
Friday, April 20, 2012
CalRecycle, the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, awarded the grant that will allow district staff to help expand the programs to all campuses.
School green teams and others encourage students and staff members to recycle as much on their campus as possible. The funds will provide schools with source-separated beverage containers and co-mingling of paper products, bottles and cans.
Not only does the student work help save the environment, it helps put more money in the classroom. By the terms of the district's waste hauling contract, recycling is provided for free, while schools are charged by the dumpster for waste hauling. The more recycling, the fewer dumpsters that need to be filled.
In other news, the Recycling Program has launched "Get Your Green On!", an online blog with recycling tips, student scholarship and involvement opportunities, and other great news. Check it out at http://www.sandi.net/energy
For more information,contact Janet Whited, Recycling Specialist, at (858) 637-6268.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
One classroom used torn pieces of construction paper to represent their hair, while the other classroom used pictures of hair cut out from magazines. The students also attended a performance by a storyteller and visited displays of student work inspired by all the participating authors.
Local clowns were on hand to entertain students with bubbles, parachute activities, puppets, and games in between activities. The fair is co-sponsored by the Greater San Diego Reading Association.
For more information on the Author’s Fair, please visit website at www.gsdra.org. For additional information, please contact Elementary School Assistant Linda Earlston at email@example.com or (858) 273-3323.
About the SchoolField is a small school, but we have a lot to offer: General Education classes from Kindergarten to 6th grade, a State Pre-School program for 3 and 4 year old children, and a Special Education program serving the needs of pre-school children in Special Ed/Early Childhood (SEEC) and Medically Fragile children in grades K-6. All our students receive instruction in Physical Education. A Child Development Center is also located at our school. Our PrimeTime program provides supervision for students before and after school.
|leading the pledge of allegiance|
during the Board meeting.
|County Supervisor Ron Roberts,|
back left, with Principal Derek Murchison
and Adams Student Council members.
While there, the students lead the pledge of allegiance during a Board of Supervisors meeting. In attendance were the the fifth-grade president, fourth grade vice-president and secretary, and third-grade fire marshal.
"The student council really enjoyed this experience," said Adams Principal Derek Muchison, "and maybe in 25 years from now they will be inviting young students to see the work that they will be doing at a County Board of Supervisors meeting."
For more information on programs at Adams, contact Murchison at (619) 284-1158.
About the schoolLocated in the historic Kensington/Normal Heights neighborhood, Adams Elementary School has thriving community support and offers science for all grades, including hands-on laboratory science where kids love a chance to get messy and try new experiences.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The San Diego City Council Rules, Open Government and Intergovernment Relations Committee meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Council Committee Room, 12th Floor, City Administration Building, 202 C Street, and is scheduled to hear a report from Dr. Evans about the district's Vision 2020, community based school reform plan and budget challenges.
"Our goal is to educate council members with a more detailed overview about the progress being made in our schools and the serious budget challenges we are facing," said Dr. Evans. "We welcome support for public education from all segments of the community including city government."
Evans and Young have also discussed the possibility of having a full joint meeting of the City Council and Board of Education this fall to explore ways in which the city can be more supportive of the district’s mission to provide a quality education to all San Diego children.
"This is the start of an important discussion between the City Council and Board of Education on ways we can strengthen our ties, further partnerships and work together toward a better educated San Diego," said San Diego City Council President Tony Young.
Evans will share with the Council Members the district's academic focus and goals through the Vision 2020 plan. These include efforts to boost student achievement, narrow the achievement gap between ethnic groups, improve attendance, implement University of California A-G classes for all students, and ensure there is a quality school in every neighborhood. The San Diego Unified School District is one of the top large school districts in the nation, with 104 of its 185 schools having API scores above the state target of 800, the second lowest dropout rate and steadily rising test scores, despite five years of severe budget cuts.
Wednesday's meeting is open to the public. It will be televised on the city's cable channel and streamed live at http://www.sandiego.gov/citytv/.
|Digging for the time capsule|
that was never found.
The school's students, staff and families March 16 learned about and celebrating the culture of Juarez, five-term President of Mexico and historic leader of that nation. Each year, the school community marks his March 21 birthday.
This year, the week began with student leaders, staff and parents digging for a time capsule, reportedly buried in 1976.
"We never located the time capsule despite alumni descriptions of where it was buried," said Principal Marceline Marques. "We dug for probably 12 hours over 3 days and nothing! So... in order to make our efforts worthwhile, the ASB decided to create timecapsule and bury it in the same place. We will be putting it together this week. We will do our best to leave word for future generations to unearth it!"
On Benito Juarez Day, March 21, alumnus “Papa” George Arroyo kicked off the day with an uplifting rap performance urging students to do their best in school. He was followed by the San Diego High Mariachi Band, under the leadership of teacher Serafin Paredes. Next, the band Afro Meztizo performed music indigenous to the area where Benito Juarez grew up.
A fiesta lunch was enjoyed by all, and following that a fun filled carnival and classic car show featuring the Road Ramblers and the Horseless Carriage Club of America took place.The Zumba booth, led by YMCA staff, was by far the most popular carnival activity.
For more information on the school, contact Principal Marques at (858) 496-8145.
Monday, April 16, 2012
|Above, the Mira Mesa High team.|
Below, three of their dishes:
Togarashi Crusted Ahi,
Alaskan Halibut and
Macadamia Nut Cake.
Mira Mesa took first place in the Boyds Coffee Culinary Cup and third place in the BJ’s Restaurant Management Cup. Scripps Ranch took third place in the Boyds Coffee Culinary Cup, received a special cash award of $2,000 from BJ’s Restaurants Foundation and student, Jordan Tucker, was named the ProStart Student of the Year.
Mira Mesa will now have the opportunity to represent California in the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore, Md. The competition was tough this year with a total of 23 culinary teams and 14 management teams from all over the state competing.
An association spokesperson said that the 23 culinary teams and 14 management teams from all over the state impressed the judges and attendees with their skill and entrepreneurial spirit. The judges were quick to note the passion and dedication apparent in all of the teams’ performances – clearly an indication that the future of the industry looks bright, thanks to the ProStart program.
The ProStart School-to-Career program was created to educate and develop promising high school graduates by giving them culinary and business training. The California Restaurant Association Education Fund works to increase student opportunities for higher education, jobs and careers in the hospitality industry.
Designed for high school juniors and seniors, ProStart is a two-year program that provides instruction in 25 subject areas, ranging from service to sanitation. This program encourages high school students to embrace and experience all of the skills necessary to operate and manage a successful food service establishment. ProStart also helps students develop the good business management skills crucial to future industry growth.
The Culinary Cup has teams competing in a series of skills tests as well as preparing a fine dining three course menu -- within an hour -- using only two butane burners. The teams have to bring all their equipment and food items to the competition. The Management Cup teams had to create their own restaurant concept, business plan and perform an oral and visual presentation to a panel of potential investors.
In San Diego Unified, culinary arts programs are offered at five high schools: Garfield, Mira Mesa, Morse, San Diego High and Scripps Ranch. Students who have completed the program have gone onto receive degrees from cooking academies and four-year universities with specialties in hospitality and other fields.
For more information, contact Mira Mesa chef/teacher Zhee Zhee Aguirre at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Scripps Ranch chef/teacher Kimberly Coelho at email@example.com.
About the schools
Sunday, April 15, 2012
EnTech, a specialized academy within SCT funded through a California Partnership Academies grant, involves students with UC San Diego's Science Bridge program, which links local research first with schools.
Academy students presented GIS maps and soil sample data they collected from a recent field trip to Tecolote Canyon; they demonstrated and taught visitors how to test soil samples and interpret the results.
The EnTec students are working on a cross-curricular project called My Green Life. The project is shared by the students' English, biology, and Global Information Systems (GIS) courses. The goal of the project is to have student connect emotionally and intellectually with the world around them. The students believe that appreciation is the first step to conservation.
For more information, contact Corri Burgess, GIS Teacher, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the School
The School of Science, Connections & Technology (SCT) at the Kearny High Educational Complex exists to engage students in rigorous, stimulating and diverse learning experiences that emphasize critical thinking and foster interpersonal communication skills. Our collaborative learning environment empowers all students to be successful members of their local and global communities. It is one of four small high schools on the historic Kearny High School campus.
Students from Lincoln Academy of Public Safety, Crawford Academy of Law and San Diego High School participated in the annual Open Doors to Federal Court event.
Each year, the Federal Court allows students to visit their court rooms and participate in a mock trial. The students prepare in advance of the field trip by studying and practicing a mock trial script. The students then get to participate in the court room the day of the event.
This year’s mock trial focused on manslaughter charges for a teen driver that got in an accident while texting while driving.
For more information, please contact Ray Beattie, CCTE Instructor, at email@example.com.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
All current La Jolla High students are welcome to submit a film or video for the festival, as long as they enter by May 1 and follow two rules: the video must be under 10 minutes in length and it must include at least one potato.
Why a potato? “It’s an object anyone can acquire easily,” said Julian. Read more from The La Jolla Light»
Patrick Henry Choir Director Carol Fleming said the students were conducted by Dr. Lynne Gackle, Associate Professor of Ensembles and Associate Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University. The concert featured a variety of music, including the full Mozart "Te Deum" with string quartet.
"Our Henry Patriots had the experience of working with a diverse group of student musicians to create beautiful music and to put the final artistic touches on each song," said Fleming. "It was truly a group effort."
The Bel Cantos competed in a Field Studies International program to reach Carnegie Hall, with the choir submitting a CD for judges' consideration.
The Bel Cantos have 32 members in grades 9-12. The March 18 performance is the third time this Patrick Henry advanced choir has performed at Carnegie Hall.
While in New York, the students also visited the Metropolitan Museum, Ellis Island, 9/11 Memorial and saw "How to Succeed in Business" and "Newsies" on Broadway.
For more information on the choir, contact Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Board approved using the University of California's "a-g" courses as a basis for graduation requirements for students, beginning with the Class of 2016. It removed an earlier proposal to mandate two semesters of career-technical education courses. Students will be required to complete the ‘a-g’ coursework in order to graduate high school while still being able to take the popular career classes as electives. Classes range from engineering to information technology to medical technology in 15 career sectors (read more).
The Board also voted to fund workshops in the 2012-13 school year to inform parents/guardians and students about the new requirements. As the new graduation requirements are more rigorous than those required by the state, additional funding is being allocated on an equitable basis to schools for students who need help to pass the required courses.
More information on the current and future graduation requirements is available online at www.sandi.net/graduation.
Board member Kevin Beiser also attended the event that drew more than 1,000 JROTC students from the 13 programs around the district, which has been held nearly every year since 1937.
Gloria reflected on his days as a Madison High School cadet and shared the impact the program had on his life.
"JROTC taught me to be prepared for the unexpected, become an effective communicator, and a contributing part of a team," he said.
Students from each school completed traditional presentation of the Royal Court to their principals and senior military iinstructor.
For more information on the JROTC program, contact LTC David Guzman at email@example.com.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The schools are: Angier Elementary in the Serra Mesa neighborhood; Garfield Elementary, North Park; Hardy Elementary, College area; School of International Studies at San Diego High, downtown; Vista Grande Elementary, Tierrasanta; and King/Chavez Primary Academy Charter, Stockton.
"I congratulate each of these schools, their principals, teachers and staff, students and parents, as well as the schools' network of partners, volunteers and supporters," said Superintendent Bill Kowba. "It takes a daily effort by each individual involved to create the climate of educational excellence recognized by this honor."
Only schools receiving federal Title I funds are eligible to receive the award. The program provides funding and other assistance to schools serving students whose families are at or below the poverty line. To receive the award, low income students need to make significant improvement on meeting California's academic standards, doubling achievement targets for two consecutive years.
In making the announcement, state Superintendent Tom Torlakson lauded the schools for continuing to make progress in tough budget times."Their accomplishments prove the value of investing in our schools," he said, "and I thank the hardworking parents, teachers, administrators and school employees at these campuses for their efforts."
For San Diego Unified Title I Academic Achievement Award winners through the years, go to http://www.sandi.net/page/88. For more on the state program, go to http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr12/yr12rel29.asp
In addition to being Grant's school-wide geography bee winner, David took a proctored exam, scored by National Geographic, to determine if he could move forward to the state level.
Unfortunately, David wasn't a winner and won't move forward to the national competition.
The contest is designed to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
For more information, see the National Geographic Bee website.
Challenger Middle School placed second in its division, winning $150, while Language Academy, Wilson Middle School and San Diego Early Middle College also competed.
The competition was held at California State University San Marcos and the Mira Mesa High team took the grand prize with an astonishing completion time of 03:01:15. Lead by head coach Zarek Pilakowski and assistant coach Don Boccio, team members are Steven Zakravsky, Joshua Li, Miguel Horrilleno, Anthony Clark, Dominic Tran, Seth Nakanishi, Danise Edra, Dani Ambrosio, Khai Nguyen, Kimberly Nguyen and Alex Lieu. The team had to "unmix" 25 Rubik's cubes, competing against other high school teams.
The competition, held March 17 at Cal State San Marcos, was part of the San Diego Science and Engineering Festival. The creators of Rubik's Cube have set up competitions around the country to encourage students to try the puzzle. For more information on the Mira Mesa effort, contact Sara Leonard, vice principal, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Lunch is available free to any child 18 and under during intersession break, April 9-27, 2012.
Through a partnership with the City of San Diego Department of Park and Recreation Department, the Jackie Robinson YMCA and selected military-related sites, lunches will be made available to any child who comes to the site during serving times. There is no paperwork or qualifications required.
Great food and fun activities at a special City Heights barbecue, April 25, 2012, noon to 1 P.M.The whole family is invited to join the BBQ fun. Besides the BBQ, free fruit and vegetables will be available for every family to take home and many community organizations will share resources available in San Diego. Adults are invited to join their children for only $2 per person. Kids eat free.
Principal Derek Murchison was on hand to make sure students were on their best behavior but he needn’t have bothered. Teacher Adam Gray had only to say “back to work” between takes, and his students were nose to books.
The video was part of the United Way's Volunteer for Education program.
"Volunteers make a huge difference,” said Murchison, adding that he hopes the video gets even more volunteers tutoring, mentoring and reading to children.
"The experience motivated and inspired the children," he said, "and “let these students know that they are amazing and that a lot of people truly care about them.”
The United Way staff was very grateful to Principal Murchison, Mr. Gray and the Adams students for allowing them to film the video in their classroom, calling the students the real rock stars of the video production. To learn more about how you can Volunteer for Education, go to the United Way of San Diego County website.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Torlakson has named San Diego Unified one of 11 districts in California that are "models of attendance improvement."
San Diego Unified is reporting its third year of attendance gains, with more than 96 percent of students in school or on excused absences every day.
"We can't teach students if they're not in class," said San Diego's Superintendent, Bill Kowba. "This has been a total effort among staff and the community to do everything possible to make sure kids are in school."
The effort was a combination of teams from the district's School Attendance Review Board; the ORBIT team, which implemented new computer software to track absenteeism; and the Dropout Prevention program, said Kowba.
Contributing to the results were efforts by school attendance clerks, as well as principals, teachers, counselors and other school staff members.
"Our great support by the parents, our community partners and the wonderful residents of San Diego contributes to this success," said Dr. John Lee Evans, Board of Education President."They know that if they see a school-age child out and about on a school day, there should be some questions asked. Specifically, why isn't that child in school."
Districts awarded by the Model SARB program are those that are taking positive approaches to help students and families improve attendance, rather than just seek to punish offenders.
"While we need to address problems with truancy, we cannot overlook students and families that may need support due to health or emotional problems, or who may simply not realize the importance of regular school attendance, even in kindergarten," Torlakson said.