Friday, August 31, 2012

State Test Scores Continue to Rise; SDUSD Ties for Top Spots in English, Science Among Large Districts

CST Results Test scores in English language arts, math, science and history/social science continue their five-year rise, while the test score gap between ethnic groups continues to narrow in the San Diego Unified School District, according to 2012 state test results released today.

Overall, English scores were up two points, math up one point, science up five points and history/social sciences were up four points. Among the large urban districts in California, San Diego Unified is tied for the top spot in English Language Arts with San Francisco Unified, and Science (NCLB) with Garden Grove Unified. This is the second year that San Diego Unified has been at the top of the English Language Arts list of the state’s large districts, according to the California Standards Tests, under the state's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.

"Our test scores have steadily gone up since 2008," said Dr. John Lee Evans, President of the Board of Education. "This shows we were on the right track this year when we worked out an agreement to recall 1,500 teachers back to the classroom. We need every one of these teachers to continue producing these great results."

The achievement gap -- the difference in test scores among ethnic groups -- continues to be an issue, according to Dr. Nellie Meyer, Deputy Superintendent for Academics.

"While we are pleased with the continued progress, our challenge continues as we work to make sure that all student groups continue to improve. Our goal is to narrow the gap between groups, particularly African Americans and Latinos, at a faster pace," she said. Meyer noted that the district's concentrated effort to reduce the gap ranges from identifying at-risk youth in elementary schools to district-wide programs to reduce the dropout rate.

"We have fostered a spirit of innovation here that has allowed our teachers, staff and, in many cases, community volunteers the ability to work one-on-one with a child and make sure they are prepared to become great contributors to the next generation of San Diegans," she said.Superintendent Bill Kowba saluted the hard work by teachers and staff members.

"Despite these trying budget times, our district is continuing its statewide and national leadership," he said. "I salute all of those adults working every day to help our kids."

Download charts showing the 2012 district-wide test results at

News Coverage

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Evaluating English Language Learners for Special Needs a Challenge

IN THE NEWS: San Diego Unified's new techniques for identifying students in need of special education will help reduce lopsided referral rates of English-learners to special education. Read more from Education Week (registration required)»

Community Helps Beautify Sandburg Elementary

The Cleanup Crew Students returning to Mira Mesa's Sandburg Elementary School next week will see the results of a recent beautification day, where students, parents and other volunteers planted flowers, shrubs and generally spruced up the school.

"Community service is part of our curriculum here at Sandburg," said Principal Geoff Martin. "We're glad that our parents are here today with their kids and are setting a great example."

Parent Ann Melton found the hard work on a hot day inspiring.
"Beyond the flowers, we saw the beautiful spirit of the Sandburg community," she said. "It's a good feeling, one of those sweet intangibles that makes you feel welcome and joyful to be a part of something extraordinary."

More than 50 parents, students, staff members were on hand for the beautification on Aug. 18. The work included planting drought-tolerant shrubs and flowers, adding bark to the school's patio planters and painting the lunch tables and other areas of the schools.

"This added to the work done by the district, which included painting the entire school, resurfacing the playground and parking lot," said Martin. "We also have our new, Prop. S-funded running track and fitness equipment."

Prop. S was approved by voters in 2008 and included funds for improvements at schools.

Located in the northeast part of the Mira Mesa community, Sandburg Elementary is a neighborhood campus that serves students in kindergarten through grade 5. The school is has more than 740 students with diverse ethnic cultures represented. Approximately 30 different languages other than English are spoken in students' homes. The school honors its diversity by flying the flags of 31 nations in the center court.

For more information on the school, contact Principal Martin at

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SD Unified Starts School Year as Statewide Leaders in Developing Healthier School Meals

California schools will be implementing new healthier school meal standards this school year, and will be looking to creative ways to serve students fresh and tasty food.

One approach has come from the San Diego Unified School District. After debuting the food-court inspired SanDi Coast Café at middle and high schools in 2009, California's second-largest district has altered recipes and will be ensuring that students take the correct amounts of fruit, vegetables, grains and other staples required by the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Similar changes will greet elementary students at their Kids' Choice Café.

"The new guidelines are an opportunity to expand our existing menu of healthy offerings," said Gary Petill, San Diego Unified's Food Services Director. "Our team is focused on making sure we provide the best quality lunches, breakfasts and snacks for all of our students."

New options for the 2012-13 school year include Asian chicken salad and Asian tofu salad; vegetarian pizza with jalapenos, corn, olives and green peppers; vegetarian chili in a bread bowl; and corn and black bean salads. The popular Chicken Diego Wrap, a grilled chicken and vegetable wrap, is back on the menu.

Although San Diego Unified's menu has been lauded for its variety and healthy choices, the district's goal is to not only ensure its students are served today, but that they grow up making healthy choices. San Diego Unified serves more than 25 million meals a year.

"Today's high school seniors have had salad bars in their cafeteria since they were in second grade," he said. "We now have a whole generation of students who embrace healthy food and know how to make good choices."

The effort at high schools also includes more service locations to shorten lines and food court-style kiosks with different entrees at each station to reduce the "institutional" look to school food.

The district's food services continued its evolution in 2010 when the Farm to School program debuted. Part of a County of San Diego $16 million grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Farm to School brings locally grown fruits and vegetables to students, along with farm tours and other activities that help kids learn where their lunch came from.

The challenge that districts face has brought The California Endowment to San Diego Unified, highlighting a school lunch program that has taken up the challenge of fighting childhood obesity.

“San Diego Unified has long been a leader in providing innovative and nutritious meal options to students,” said Judy Larsen, Program Manager for The California Endowment. “At The California Endowment, we applaud their role as pioneers in ensuring that health happens in schools.”

It's a challenge that all districts in the nation are facing, thanks to the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was signed into law in December, 2010. The new guidelines, which were developed by nutrition experts at the Institute of Medicine, must be followed by all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The new standards include:
  • Increased produce options, ensuring that students are receive both fruits and vegetables every day of the week.
  • A ban on unhealthy trans fats.
  • Portion size guidelines and calorie limits based on the age of children served.
  • Increased emphasis on whole grain products.
  • Limits on the types of milk served, with an emphasis on low-fat (1%) and non-fat varieties.
  • Reductions in sodium levels to be phased in over several years.
According to a recent study by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, 38 percent of children in California are obese or overweight. Studies show that childhood obesity increases risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and a host of other serious chronic diseases. With California schools serving 810 million meals a year, and many students receiving roughly 40 percent of their daily nutrition from school meals, the new school meal guidelines have the potential to play a significant role in improving the health of California’s kids.

In addition to lifelong health benefits, studies show that there is a strong link between good nutrition and academic performance.

“There’s a good reason teachers advise students to eat a healthy breakfast before a big test. It gives kids energy and helps them focus,” said Larsen. “If all kids ate healthy meals every day, it would make a real difference in classrooms across California.”

The California Endowment knows that health happens in schools, and as part of the statewide “Health Happens in Schools” campaign, is raising awareness about the new meal standards and highlighting creative implementation in districts across the state. As part of the campaign, the Endowment is running radio and online advertisements in San Diego and other select markets throughout California promoting the new meal standards.

The advertisements also encourage parents to learn if their children qualify for free and reduced price school meals. Families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify (approximately $42,000 for a family of four). An estimated 233,000 San Diego County students qualify for free or reduced price lunches, but many are not participating in the program. Increasing participation is a critical goal because school meal programs provide food to lower-income students who face food insecurity or lack access to adequate nutrition. San Diego Unified School District’s enrollment application is available online at: Parents can also contact their child’s school to see if they qualify.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tragedy, Discrimination are Topics of Movie Showing August 30

Join the San Diego American Indian Health Center and Parent Outreach and Engagement, Title VII Indian Education Program, to watch a powerful movie, Two Spirits. It is based on a true story of a 16-year-old Navajo youth’s life and death. It is being presented in partnership with Tribal-TANF, Indian Human Resource Center and Soaring Eagles.

When: Thursday, August 30
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Ballard Parent Center in Old Town
2375 Congress Street, San Diego, CA 92110.
Details: In the tradition of the Native American culture, dinner Where: will be provided and potluck is always welcomed!

For more information please contact Christopher Scott, Health Center Coordinator at 619-234-2158, ext. 111.

Please note the serious topics addressed in this movie.
About the movie. Two Spirits interviews the tragic story of a mother’s loss of her son with a revealing look at a time when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders. Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. But the place where two discriminations meet is a dangerous place to live, and Fred became one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Between tradition and controversy, sex and spirit, and freedom and fear, lives the truth—the bravest choice you can make is to be yourself.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Help iMiddle School Win Up To $15,000

STEMIE Awards iMiddle School in Clairemont is a finalist for a McGraw Hill Education STEMIE Award and, with your help, could win as much as $15,000 to support the school's STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math -- programs.

The award voting period runs through Sept. 19. Supporters can go to STEMIE Award page for iMiddle School to vote.

"We need as many people as possible to vote for us," said Principal Harlan Klein. "We're proud of the work our students and teachers do here at iMiddle and this award would help them continue their excellence."

iMiddle uses the concept of "flipped learning" in many of its classes, where teachers' lectures are put on video and watched by students during the traditional homework time. Class time is used to work through problems and experiments, allowing the teacher to provide students with much more one-on-one time. To apply for the award, iMiddle teachers submitted a video that talks about how the program works at the school and how students produce some of the videos used to teach their peers.

"Not only are our students benefiting from watching the videos, they're gaining valuable skills by shooting and editing the videos," said Klein. "Our students also gain pride of ownership in these videos, which further motivates them to learn."

At the end of the project, the school put on a student film festival, awarding prizes to the top shows.

The STEMIE Awards are designed to encourage engaging/interactive lessons, unique uses of technology in the classroom, innovative and differentiated instruction techniques and teaching tips you would give your first-year-teacher self.

Watch Video • Vote

Sunday, August 26, 2012

City Heights Campus Breaks Ground On School-Based Health Centers

IN THE NEWS: Central Elementary is like a lot of campuses in the San Diego Unified School District. It is staffed with a caring principal and caring teachers. The folks in the office know all of the kids by name. And lunchtime is filled with a mixture of conversation punctuated by shrieks of laughter. Read more from KPBS>>.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Office Depot Foundation Donates 4,000 Kid-Friendly Sackpacks

With the first day of school just around the corner, the Office Depot Foundation donated 4,000 colorful new sackpacks to deserving children served by schools, non-profit organizations, and agencies.

The Foundation – the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot – presented the sackpacks, which contained essential school supplies, during a special “Back-to-School Celebration” at the Mission Valley Office Depot on Aug. 22.

Supt. Bill Kowba and Board Member Shelia Jackson were on-hand at the special ceremony. Both expressed their deep appreciation to the Office Depot Foundation for making this donation to our children.

“Just like adults need the right ‘tools of the trade’ to be successful at their jobs, students need the right tools to be successful in school,” said Kowba. “We thank the Office Depot Foundation for this generous donation, giving deserving students the necessary tools and school supplies to achieve greater success in the classroom.”

This is the eighth year that the Office Depot Foundation has provided free backpacks and sackpacks to San Diego’s children and the 12th year of its national backpack program.

“In keeping with our mission – Listen Learn Care − we created these fun and exciting sackpacks in response to what kids have told us they like,” says Foundation President Mary Wong. “Every year, we have seen our donations bring hope to children whose families might not be able to afford to buy school supplies.”

The first day of classes for all San Diego Unified School District schools is Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Free Tdap clinic at John Muir School August 28

A free Tdap clinic for all sixth grade students who have not received the Tdap booster they need to enter seventh grade is being held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 28, at John Muir School, 4431 Mt. Herbert Ave. (92117).

This clinic is open to all students accompanied by parent who will sign consent. VFC qualification is not required as the district has obtained some unrestricted Tdap vaccine from the County for distribution.

Proof of immunization will be available in SDIR after all data is entered from clinic.

For more information, contact Adrienne Lenhoff, RN, at

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back-To-School Shopping Spree Gives Students Fresh Start

Phil Mickelson and friends.
Going back to school never felt so good for 1,500 deserving, underprivileged San Diego County students thanks to the eighth annual START SMART event, underwritten by professional golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy. The START SMART initiative, coordinated through the Mickelson Foundation and the San Diego County Office of Education, provided students from eight local school districts,  including San Diego Unified, with a once in a lifetime shopping experience for school clothes and school supplies.

“Our number one goal is to provide a fun and safe morning for children to get them excited about going back to school,” said Mickelson.

The Start Smart event was held Aug. 18 at the Mission Valley Target Store where each first-through-fourth grade student left with a wardrobe of new clothes and shoes, along with a bag full of school supplies and new backpack. Angiers, Carson, Emerson/Bandini, Fulton, Rosa Parks and Sherman elementary schools were the San Diego Unified Schools selected to particpate this year. Each school chose their “most deserving” children to participate in the back to school event along with one parent or guardian to accompany them.

In the case of several of the students, this was their first time shopping in a large department store and for others it was their first time ever to pick out new clothes.

Throughout the morning, parents and teachers were overjoyed as they helped children select brand new tops, shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, backpacks and socks. KPMG, one of Mickelson’s PGA tour sponsors, also took part in the event, giving each student a new Dr. Seuss book: Green Eggs and Ham for first and second graders, and Fox and Socks for third and fourth graders. The front page of each book included a congratulatory note from the Mickelsons.

The Mickelsons also paid for the bus transportation of students, parents and dozens of teachers and administrators. San Diego Unified schools were the first to shop, arriving at Target at 6 a.m. The early morning wake-up call did not deter the excitement of the children once they arrived at the store. Several principals did remark, however that the bus ride from school to Target was one of the quietest they had ever experienced.

Other districts participating this year included La Mesa-Spring Valley, South Bay Union, Cardiff, Vista, Santee and Borrego Springs along with County's Monarch School.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

History center gets Depression-era paintings

The San Diego History Center has entered into an agreement with the San Diego Unified School District that allows it to show a series of rare, depression-era paintings that for decades hung in public schools and administration buildings. Read more from UT San Diego»

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Transitional Kindergarten Begins in 2012-13

In accordance with the Kindergarten Readiness Act, students who turn 5 years old between Nov. 1 and Dec. 2, 2012, will be enrolled in a Transitional Kindergarten Program for the school year starting on Sept. 4, 2012.
For full details in English and Spanish, see the Transitional Kindergarten website.

Central Elementary is a 'Cool School'

IN THE NEWS: Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine honors principal of Central Elementary School for new health center. Read more»

Monday, August 20, 2012

Partnership for Children, UCSD to Provide Eye Exams to 5,000 Students

IN THE NEWS: City Heights Partnership, UCSD Shiley Eye Center team up to help at 10 schools. Read more from City Heights Life»

Friday, August 17, 2012

Juarez, Whitman Receive $25,000 Grants from Target

Juarez and Whitman elementary schools were awarded $25,000 grants as part of Target Stores’ “Give With Target” initiative.

The two schools were among 25 schools nationwide announced this week. Target plans on announcing 75 more grant winners by the end of August.

“My staff has been celebrating the good news since we got the official word,” said Juarez Principal Marceline Marques. “I don't know how to thank Target for this gift. It will really make a difference for our students.”

Area 4 Superintendent Marian Phelps recommended both schools apply for the grants. Juarez plans to use the grant money to pay for its Power Hour program teachers. These teachers collaborate with the classroom teachers to provide strategic and focused literacy support for one hour to small groups of students across all grade levels.

“This grant is invaluable to a small school like Whitman Elementary,” said Principal Pamela Thompson. “We have a limited budget and can't afford extra supplies and opportunities for our students.”

Whitman looks to use the grant to support its Science, Technology, Math and Engineering programs. Plans include technology support for its K-2 Deaf and Hard of Hearing and other special needs students, supplies to complement the science Foss kits, and maintaining its partnership with Ruben H. Fleet to give students access to science-related field trips.

“Give With Target” is a two-part giving campaign aimed at helping schools across the country prepare for the new school year. Target will provide $2.5 million in grants to 100 in-need schools, as well as up to $2.5 million in Target GiftCards to local schools that receive votes on Target’s Facebook page.

For every 25 votes a school receives through Target’s Facebook application on, the company will donate a $25 Target GiftCard, with a maximum donation of $10,000 per school. Parents, students and teachers are encouraged to vote weekly from July 26 to Sept. 8.

Encouraging The Next Generation of Scientists and Engineers

IN THE NEWS: Patrick Henry, Preuss and High Tech High students spend summer at Naval Warfare Summer Academy. Read more from DVIDS News»

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Free, Reduced Price Lunch Policy Set for 2012-13

The San Diego Unified School District today announced its policy for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The Food Services central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The household size and income criteria identified below will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price (currently there is no charge for reduced-price meals in San Diego Unified School District), or full-price meal benefits (meal prices are $ 1.00 for breakfast, $2.00 for elementary lunch, and $2.50 for secondary lunch). Children from households whose gross income is at or below the levels shown here are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Households who receive CalFresh (also known as SNAP or Food Stamps), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside.

Application Forms will be distributed to households with a letter informing them of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children. Applications are also available at the office in each school. To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and return it to the school office or mail it to the central Food Services office for processing. Households may also apply on-line by going to and selecting the School Meal Info/Application shortcut. To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete an application and return it to the school office, mail it to the central Food Services office for processing, or complete the on-line application.

Applications may be submitted at any time during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by school or program officials.

Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving CalFresh (also known as SNAP or Food Stamps), CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits – applications need only include the enrolled child(ren)'s name, CalFresh, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member. For households who do not list a CalFresh CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all household members, the gross amount and source of the income received by each household member, and the signature and corresponding last four digits of the adult household members Social Security number. If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must check the box indicating on the application that they do not have a Social Security number.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, the determining official(s), as designated by the San Diego Unified School District Food Services department, shall review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the decision and may do so orally or in writing with the Food Services hearing official. Parents or guardians should contact Food Services for specific information regarding the name of the determining official and/or hearing official for San Diego Unified School District.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact Food Services. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household's income falls at or below the levels shown above.

Households that receive CalFresh, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits may not have to complete an Application for Free or Reduced-Price Meals. Food Service officials will determine eligibility for free meals based on documentation obtained directly from the CalFresh, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR office that a child is a member of a household currently receiving CalFresh or FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit receiving CalWORKs or Kin-GAP benefits. Food Service officials will notify households of their eligibility, but those who do not want their child(ren) to receive free meals must contact Food Services. SNAP, CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households should complete an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by September 1, 2012.

To find out more about the free and reduced-price meal program, contact Food Services as (858) 627-7328 or on the web at and select the School Meal Info/Application.
San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) also participates in the National School Lunch/Breakfast Programs Provision 2 program which is a program that reduces application burdens, simplifies meal counting and claiming procedures, and provides meals at no charge to all students attending schools operating under Provision 2. In the 2012-2013 school year the following schools/programs will begin the base year of Provision 2; Florence ES, Garfield HS, Pacific American Academy, Porter North/South ES, Sports Science Academy, Metro Schools, CTEC Independent Study, Choice Community School, First Avenue Literacy Community, Thurgood Marshall Community School, Youth Day Center, BCA Youth Build Community School, University Community School, Metro Tech Academy, Mira Mesa Community School, Bay Point PK, Dewey CDC, Fletcher CDC, Walker CDC, Wegeforth CDC. The district has 81 other schools participating in Provision 2 where all students are receiving meals at no charge, for a listing of schools please go to

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjunction, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Household Size Table

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Officer's last conversation reverberates

IN THE NEWS: A year ago at a McDonald’s in City Heights, Daveon Scott, then 13, held the last conversation anyone would have with San Diego police officer Jeremy Henwood. Scott is a freshman at Hoover High School. Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune»

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summerbridge Program Sends College Message to 150 Students

Martel Irby from SCPA leads his
Summerbridge class in the dissection
of a sheep's brain.
Elementary and middle school students considered "at risk" recently completed the Summerbridge program at La Jolla High School.

The program, established in 1993, this year helped 150 students in grades 5-8 improve their English-language arts, math and science skills. Students with good skills in these areas generally go farther in their education. The program also takes students to local colleges, universities and other areas so they can see what higher education has to offer.

"Summerbridge has helped me becore more confident in myself," said Kenneth Chaney, a fifth grader at Encanto Elementary School. "I am now comfortable standing up and speaking in front of a crowd of people. I also feel that I am getting ready to go to college to become an entrepreneur."

San Diego Unified School District, UC San Diego, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego work with non-profit Summerbridge San Diego.

"Summerbridge ensures that a group of district students connects with enthusiastic teachers who inspire in them a love of learning and a commitment toward higher education," said Conrado Castro, Executive Director of Summerbridge. "In addition, Summerbridge San Diego includes families in their students' learning."

The program isn't limited to the summer months; during the school year it holds parent events, plus tutoring and mentoring opportunities with university partners.

"There is a trust, a bonding, even a magic that takes place throughout the summer and the school year," said Castro. "With the support of Summerbridge and our partners, our students return to their schools stronger students, exemplary role models, and leaders in their communities."

For more information, contact Executive Director Conrado Castro at

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tournament for Young Anglers Aug. 11

Young anglers ages six through 15 are invited to compete in the free 10th Annual Young Angler Tournament this summer at the Shelter Island Pier.

Date: Sat. Aug. 11, 2012
Location: Shelter Island Pier
1776 Shelter Island Drive
Onsite Registration: 9 a.m.
Fishing: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Prizes are awarded by 2 p.m.
Young anglers ages six through 15 are invited to compete in the free 10th Annual Young Angler Tournament this summer at the Shelter Island Pier, located at 1776 Shelter Island Drive. This saltwater event is sponsored by the San Diego Sportfishing Council, the International Game Fish Association and the Port of San Diego.

The tournament will feature a points system to allow for catch and release. Winners-one in each age category between six and 15 — will be determined by adding up points for various fish caught. The angler with the most points overall will be recognized on the tournaments’ perpetual trophy. IGFA representatives and volunteers from the United Pier and Shore Anglers Club, San Diego Rod & Reel and the San Diego Anglers will be on hand to assist young anglers and to tally points. Young anglers in the competition are encouraged to bring their own gear, although a limited number of loaner rods will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Small quantities of bait will be provided each angler while supplies last.

The Shelter Island Pier Tournament is slated for Saturday, Aug. 11. Registration begins at 9 a.m., fishing runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., prizes are awarded by 2 p.m. dHot dogs, chips, and sodas will be served to all registered anglers. Lunch provided courtesy of Stump's Village Market of Rancho Santa Fe and Tommy Gomes from Catalina Offshore Products and Specialty Produce.

Sponsors include OKUMA Fishing Tackle, West Marine, Anglers Distributing, De-Fishing Soap, Friends of Rollo, Point Loma Sportfishing and H&M Landing. Prizes and raffle drawing items for the tournament include rods and reels, hats, T-shirts, and fishing gear and deep sea fishing trips. Loaner Gear, Bait, and tackle are provided by Okuma Fishing Tackle, Anglers Distributing, and Friends of Rollo.

The San Diego Sportfishing Council is California non-profit corporation established in 1979 to promote San Diego fishing as an attractive marine recreational activity, to increase awareness and availability of "how, when and where" information on sportfishing opportunities.

For details on the event, visit the San Diego Sportfishing Council website or call 619-234-8793.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Securing Our eCity, Cybersecurity Poster Contest 2012

The Securing Our eCity, Cybersecurity Poster Contest 2012 is a contest for 6th-12th grade students designed to help promote cybersecurity awareness and education throughout Southern California schools. We are offering students an opportunity to showcase their creative talents and submit posters that will be used in our local cybersecurity campaign throughout 2012-13.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Observe Teen Curfew, Driving Rules This Summer

Curfew and driving laws in the State of California and the City of San Diego can affect teens' time off and should be known by students and their parents, according to San Diego Unified's School Police Chief.

"Curfew enforcement is intended to protect children from dangerous circumstances and people," said Rueben Littlejohn, police chief. "While it may be an inconvenience, it's important to make sure at home when the curfew starts at 10 p.m."

As teens have more free time during the summer, it means they have more opportunities to run afoul of these laws, which also include restrictions on teen drivers. The rules are enforced by the San Diego Police Department, California Highway Patrol and other local police agencies. A conviction can put a mark on a young person's record that might otherwise be clean, he said.

"The regulations also have sections with that affect parents," he said. "A teen who breaks the law may face punishment -- and so can their parents."

More information on the local laws

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Help Your Favorite Middle School and Save Energy at the Same Time

The more energy you save, the more you can win! The San Diego Energy Challenge will run from June through Nov. 30, 2012, and your school could win big. The winning schools will split $30,000 and households can win tablet computers and gift cards.

This summer, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is sponsoring the San Diego Energy Challenge, an online game that encourages our community to conserve energy. Through the San Diego Energy Challenge, San Diego Unified area residents are eligible to earn "Reduce Your Use" day rewards by saving energy, while also earning points for the San Diego Unified middle school of their choice. Even if you do not have a child attending a middle school, you can still participate in the Energy Challenge if you live within the boundaries of San Diego Unified. This is a social and fun way to get everyone working together to save energy.
It’s easy to get started:

Step 1: Have your SDG&E® account number ready and sign up at .

Step 2: Select the SDUSD Middle School of your choice

Step 3: Save energy on a Reduce Your Use day

Step 4: Click here to get energy conservation ideas:

And, by saving energy on Reduce Your Use days from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., you'll be rewarded with a credit on your SDG&E bill. For more information about "Reduce Your Use" visit

Monday, August 6, 2012

San Diego REP, SCPA Again Collaborate; This Year It's 'Zoot Suit'

The historically based drama with music was chosen as the third annual collaboration between the Rep and San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. In many ways, it's a perfect pairing ---- the Rep has produced more plays by Valdez than by any other playwright (Shakespeare's in second place, with five), the city has a large Latino population, and the talented teen actors, dancers and musicians at SCPA are seasoned and polished.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Students in Class of ’12 Take Graduation Walk

Lincoln students
These adults are now
graduates of Lincoln
High School.
Families of the nearly 150 students who participated in San Diego Unified's annual Summer Commencement Ceremony, for high school seniors who hadn’t fulfilled graduation requirements in time for June ceremonies with their high school class, filled the Lincoln High School auditorium on August 3.

Students from all of the district’s high school campuses participed. Each student’s name, as in the traditional ceremony, was read aloud, and students wore the caps and gowns in their school's traditional colors. Seniors who participated are those who may not have passed the California High School Exit Exam in time for June graduation, or needed summer school to pick up credits needed to graduate.

The district has held this special graduation ceremony since 2005. Officiating was Dr. Patricia Crowder, Principal of Patrick Henry High School, with Dr. Sid Salazar, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support Services, delivered the commencement address. Richard Barrera, Board of Trustees member, accepted the class on behalf of the Board of Education.

Before the Summer Graduation ceremony was established, students would receive a diploma by mail but wouldn’t be able to participate in a graduation ceremony.

High school graduation requirements include 44 semester credits, a 2.0 or higher grade point average, science and math course requirements, completing a senior portfolio and passing the exit exam.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tentative Agreement Reached Between SD Unified and Administrators Association Certificated Staff

The San Diego Unified School District and the Administrators Association San Diego (AASD) certificated bargaining unit have reached a tentative agreement on revisions to the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school year contracts that will help the district cope with state budget reductions.

The certificated unit of the Administrators Association, which includes principals and vice principals, have negotiated a tentative agreement that includes restoring last year's furloughs and deferring cost of living raises in the current contract that where planned for the 2012-13 school year. The agreement contains concessions similar to those included in earlier agreements reached with the San Diego Education Association and the San Diego Unified School Police Officers Association. Non-represented management staff will also make similar concessions.

The AASD tentative agreement also includes additional furlough days that would kick in should state tax ballot propositions fail in November. The district estimates that with the contingency furlough, administrators would contribute a proportional share of approximately $4.5 million to help resolve the estimated $40 million of mid-year cuts facing the district should the November ballot measure fail.

The membership of Administrators Association must now ratify the revisions and the Board of Education must also approve the agreement. The Board of Education will schedule the tentative agreement for final approval at a September Board meeting, following the AASD ratification vote to be held in August.

"This agreement with our principals and vice principals once again demonstrates that our district is taking the right actions that will ensure that we maintain a balanced budget for the 2012-13 school year," said Dr. John Lee Evans, Board of Education President. "We thank the members of the Administrators Association for making the same sacrifices that our teaching staff has agreed to so that we can preserve excellent educational opportunities for our students.

"Our principals have had to cope with the devastating effects of shrinking budgets over the last five years that impact their school operations. They are all working harder to keep our schools focus on students even as they, like our teachers, accept two more years of reduced pay. This is another example of how our school leaders in the Administrators Association make a priority of doing what's best for the kids."

The Tentative Agreement, which must now be ratified by the Association membership contains the following elements:
  • Deferral of raises contained in current contract;
  • Agreement to a set number of furlough days for the 2012-13 and 2013-14fiscal years; with additional furlough days to be added based on mid-year cuts (tracking with the SDEA schedule);
  • A 1 percent increase to top salary step if either state tax measure passes in November;
  • No layoffs in 2012-13 only;
  • 13 retirement incentives per year, with any unused from 2012-13 rolling over to 2013-14 and increasing up to a maximum of 18 in 2013-14 if there are positions eliminated that year;
  • Settlement of the priority consideration grievance and agreement to a contractual side letter outlining the process for future implementation as outlined in the most recent Human Resources Department iteration.

IN THE NEWS: Program Helps Lincoln High Student Avoid Hatred

A local Anti-Defamation League program implements Holocaust curriculum, sponsors trips.

"In my opinion, you learn about the Holocaust not just to learn about how it affected the Jewish community, but how it relates to issues happening today. A lot of people were bystanders when the Holocaust happened. The biggest thing I learned is not to be a bystander. If you see people being mistreated, if you see someone become the target of hate, you have to raise your voice.” -- Myra Rodriguez, Lincoln High.  Read more from the San Diego Jewish Journal»

Thursday, August 2, 2012

IN THE NEWS: San Diego Unified Plan Mirrors Obama Initiative To Improve African American Education

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans aims to get more African-American kids into pre-Kindergarten programs and have fewer unnecessarily referred to special education services. It will also look to even out the use of harsh disciplinary measures suspension and expulsion and ensure access to college and career-track classes. More from KPBS-FM»

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IN THE NEWS: Baker Elementary's Tamara Lewis is Inspirational Teacher

Station's monthly award goes to a teacher whose "brain never stops." On any good team, there's an inspiration. At Baker Elementary, it's Tamara Lewis. Watch video from KNSD.»