Holmes' third graders spread joy to seniorsThird graders from Mr. Blasé's class, Mrs. Celle's class, Mrs. Elliott's class, and Mrs. Leonardy's class traveled to Wesley Palms Retirement Home on December 5th. The students sang holiday songs to a large crowd of excited seniors. Then, the students had an opportunity to ask prepared interview questions and have a discussion with the seniors. The culminating activity involved seniors and students working together to make candy cane ornaments. This annual event has become a great way to spread holiday cheer throughout the community.
Collecting food at John Muir
This photo shows some of the students of Peace Patrol/MLA with five large boxes of non-perishable food that they collected, with the help of the students, families, and staff of John Muir K-12 Magnet. The food they collected will go to the San Diego Food Bank, who assist more than 380,000 people each month. Also pictured are Laura Bellofatto-Principal and Barb Waller-teacher/sponsor.
The Peace Patrol/Muir Leadership Academy is an amazing group of 16 fourth, fifth and sixth graders who are dedicated to helping students solve problems, promote good character, and make a difference in their community.
Crown Point Junior Music Academy in PB parade
Students and community members from Crown Point Junior Music Academy participated in the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade on Dec. 15.
"Wow. It was such a nice day and we had a lot of our families present." said Cathy Calderon, school secretary. "It was also a lot of fun to see many of our students and their families in the crowd cheering us on. It was a great experience."
Morse Food GiveawayA generous donation by Foresters allowed the Office of Children and Youth in Transition to provide food for almost 200 families at Morse High School during the first day of Thanksgiving break. For many families, the holidays are a time of extra hardship. Without the school breakfast and lunch programs, it is even more difficult to make ends meet. Fortunately, volunteers from First Investors and parent company Foresters, along with staff from Morse High School, the Office of Children and Youth in Transition and Feeding America San Diego were available to distribute food to a grateful group of families. Families from Morse, Fulton K-8, Audubon, Lee and Bell received food to help them through the break.
Families were able to receive information about the Affordable Care Act and learn about community food resources and programs. Feeding America San Diego staff also provided recipes to help families stretch their food dollars.
A special thanks goes out to Joyce Orona, Morse community assistant, and the wonderful school counselors Judith Percy, Ramona Garcia and Eli Salazar, who helped to notify needy families of the event.
Monday, December 23, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
|Peace on Earth. Photo credit: Central Elementary PrimeTime|
The holiday season is here, a time of celebration, reflection, and gratitude. Days with little daylight remind us of how important light is in our life. We see the light in the faces of our students during holiday programs and in our parents we see the hope and promise of a new year to come. Similarly, our staff can reflect on our relentless focus on our students as we gather together to build upon what has been working. As I met many of you during the year, I was reminded of our role in delivering on the hope and promise of quality schools throughout our city.
Our school system has been built by generations of people who care. Vision 2020 inspires us to join together to ensure that our students become actively literate, contributing, participating members of society. This vision both honors the work of those who came before us and challenges us to be innovative and deliver excellence in an intentional and purposeful manner to teach our future generations.
I would like to take a moment to highlight a few of our accomplishments. In July, upon becoming superintendent, our district was reorganized to ensure that our students are always at the heart of the educational experience. We are focused on the instructional shifts necessary to implement the Common Core State Standards which bring a renewed rigor and align with our approach to deliver a broad and challenging curriculum. With equity at the center, our approach is designed to close the achievement gap and prepare all students for college and career opportunities.
Accomplishments also include the development of monthly Principal Institutes, as well as principal teams that support ongoing peer-to-peer learning. I have had the great opportunity to visit 65 schools and am proud to say that our staff is working thoughtfully to engage our students in critical thinking across the curriculum.
Thanks to the voter-approved Prop S and Z construction bonds, many students are learning in new state-of-the-art classrooms, including new two-story classroom buildings at Encanto, Euclid and Zamorano elementary schools to name a few. We have also delivered nearly 100,000 tablets and laptops to students throughout our schools.
We have been proactive in communicating with our parents, staff, and community about the new Local Control Funding Formula and its implications to education. San Diego Unified continues to be a leading voice advocating in Sacramento and in Washington for a funding level that reflects the priority that our state and nation needs to give to education, to deliver on the promise of the ideals of public education that is at the center of our democracy.
Looking forward, we can say goodbye to a productive 2013 and hello to a successful 2014. After all I've seen firsthand in our schools, I am encouraged by what I see and proudly share our work wherever I go. I invite you to do the same and share with at least one person something that works well at your school and to engage in a dialogue that reflects on the excellence of our schools.
I want to extend my warmest wishes for a joyful, peaceful, and delightful winter break. May your holidays bring good health, the pleasure of spending special time with family and friends, and a New Year filled with hope and optimism.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Patrick Henry High
Mira Mesa High
On hand to deliver food were Trevor Hoffman, Randy Jones, Bud Black and Tim Stauffer from Padres Baseball; City Council members Marti Emerald and David Alvarez; and the Firefighters of Station 17.
All schools and families are part of the Hoover cluster where there are high numbers of Title I students. Family members were so appreciative of this generous opportunity to provide a holiday meal for their family.
For more information please contact Irene Hightower or Soraya Freire at Rosa Parks Elementary School at 619-282-6803.
This year was extra special for the students because one of their own Academy of Finance alumni from the class of 2011 participated as a walker. He had cheered on walkers back in 2010 with the Academy of Finance students.
The Academy of Finance students participate in community service activities throughout the school year as a whole group, grades 10-12, to learn the importance of giving back to the community. This event is always one of the students’ favorites because they can directly see the effect they have on the walkers as they cheer them on.
The Academy of Finance is a California Partnership Academy funded by a grant from the California Department of Education. California Partnership Academies are three-year program in grades 10-12 structured as a school-within-a-school. Academies incorporate integrated academic and career technical education, business partnerships, mentoring, and internships.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Just come to one of the eight Park and Recreation Centers, one YMCA or four military-related sites hosting the program. San Diego is one of very few districts in the U.S. that offers this program during intersession.
Winter Fun Café helps to bridge the gap during winter intersession when school lunch is not available.
“We feel there is a real need for families, especially during the holidays,because a lot of children and families depend on the food at school during the week,” said Gary Petill, Food Services Director.
Winter Fun Café Locations
|Location||Address||Zip Code||Lunch Time|
|Bayside Community Center||2202 Comstock St.||92111||12:45-1:45 p.m.|
|City Heights Recreation Center||4380 Landis St.||92105||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Colina Del Sol Recreation Center||5319 Orange Ave.||92115||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Jackie Robinson YMCA||151 YMCA Way||92102||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Linda Vista Recreation Center||7064 Levant St.||92111||12:30 -1:30 p.m.|
|Logan Heights Public Library||567 South 28th St.||92113||12:30-1:30 p.m.|
|Mt. View Recreation Center||641 So. Boundary St.||92113||1-2 p.m.|
|North Park Recreation Center||4044 Idaho St.||92104||1-2 p.m.|
|Paradise Hills Recreation Center||6610 Potomac St.||92139||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Southcrest Recreation Center||4149 Newton Ave.||92113||12:30-1:30 p.m.|
|Willie Henderson Recreation Center||1035 So. 45th St.||92113||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Military Connection, open to the public|
|Gateway CYP||2741 Mendonca Dr.||92110||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Murphy Canyon CYP||4867 Santo Rd.||92124||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Murphy Canyon Kid Connection||3493 Santo Rd.||92124||Noon-1 p.m.|
|Base access required|
|MCAS Miramar Youth||2700 Moore Rd.||Noon-1 p.m.|
The National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and math tests administered in 2013 reports that San Diego Unified ranks among the highest performing cities in the nation in fourth- and eighth grade reading and math. The program tests students across the nation and in each state, and it allows the 21 participating cities to compare their results not only to California but to the nation and to other cities outside the state.
Superintendent Cindy Marten indicated that the district received good benchmark data from the assessment that will allow the school district to know where it stands with comparable cities and where reforms will need to focus going forward.
"Our culture of innovation, excellence, and creativity has allowed teachers to concentrate on student achievement, giving San Diego Unified a consistent spot near the top," said Marten. "As we transition to the new Common Core State Standards, our focus is on increasing rigor, pacing, and engagement as we challenge ourselves to come up with new ways to address the persistent achievement gap and achievement in grade 8 math."
In Grade 4 reading, the 2013 score of 218 is up from 2003's score of 208. The national public average this year was 221 with the large-city score at 212. Los Angeles came in at 205 while Fresno students scored 196. Districts topping San Diego Unified nominally were Austin, Texas, and Jefferson County, Ky., 221; Miami-Dade County Fla., 223; Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 226; Hillsborough County, Fla., 228. As with mathematics, San Diego scored higher than several cities such as Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia. Houston actually posted a significant decline in 4th grade reading scores on the 2013 assessment.
Grade 8 reading saw San Diego students score at 260 in 2013, up from the 250 in 2003. The 2013 average for large cities was 258, while the national average for public schools was 266. Districts topping San Diego Unified were Jefferson County, Ky., and Austin, Texas, at 261; Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 266; Hillsborough County, Fla., 267. San Diego scored higher than cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston.
In Grade 4 math, San Diego Unified's scores have risen to 241 in 2013 from 226 in 2003--right at the national average and substantially above other large city schools. The comparable Los Angeles score was 228 and Fresno's was 220. Districts with somewhat higher scores than San Diego Unified were: Hillsborough County, Fla., 243; Austin, Texas, 245; and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., 247. San Diego scored higher than cities such as Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and New York City.
In Grade 8, math, San Diego's 2013 score of 277 was up from the 264 in 2003. The 2013 average for large cities was 276, while the national average for public schools was 284. Districts topping San Diego Unified were Houston, 280; Boston, 283; Hillsborough County, Fla., 284; Austin, Texas, 285; and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, N.C., 289. Among California districts, Los Angeles was 205 and Fresno, 196. San Diego out-scored cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
"Over the last decade, the San Diego schools have posted some of the largest academic increases of any city nationwide -- something that is very hard to do given its already high academic achievement compared with other cities," said Michael Casserly, Executive Director of the Council of the Great City Schools. "This is particularly impressive given the frequent leadership transitions, major personnel changes, and significant budget cuts that the school system has experienced over that period. We are enormously optimistic about the reforms that the school system is launching under its new superintendent."
Data on individual schools is not provided by this study. For more information, visit the NAEP/TUDA website at http://www.nationsreportcard.gov.
The magazine, which is to the Mexican tradition of quinceanera that Brides magazine is to weddings, selects its cover subjects from the area served by its local edition.
According to her profile in the magazine, the 14-year-old aspires to attend a university once she's graduated from high school, and become a professional model, getting her face on the cover of a magazine. She lists as her hobbies "modeling, shopping, swimming and spending time with her family."
At least one of those goals has been satisfied... being on the cover of a magazine.
"Thanks to Quinceanera Magazine my dream came true," she wrote.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Danga, a senior, is the Air Force JROTC Wing Commander at Mira Mesa and said she was thrilled to receive the award.
"This is the second time in two years that a MMHS Wing Commander has received the award," she said. "This gives me an opportunity to help inspire young girls and enables me to give back while supporting the MMHS AFJROTC program in developing future leaders."
After graduating this summer, Danga is heading to San Diego State University and a major in kinesiology. She hopes to become a physical therapist when she has finished her education and training.
In 2012, Mira Mesa High School's Arnelle Sambile was named a 2012 Girl of Merit.
The Nov. 3 ceremony picked 10 girls from around the region. They're honored for their care about their family, their friends, and their community; because they give of themselves in order to better the lives of others; have care and compassion for others; and are strongly committed to excellence in all areas of their lives.
For more information on the Girls World Expo, check out its website.
Monday, December 16, 2013
|Store manager Luciano Villela, |
left, Supt. Cindy Marten,
students Brandon Thai
of Crawford and Michaela Valk of SCPA.
In presenting the check to the Board of Education at its Dec. 10 meeting, Villea noted that the company has supported local after-school programs and the Raising a Reader program at several elementary schools.
"At Walmart, we have a long history of supporting student programs throughout the region," said Villea. "In 2011, we provided a three-year, $1.7 million grant to support the San Diego Unified School District and Think Together to in providing learning programs and nutritious meals during the summer."
For more information on the program, contact Villea at (619) 849-5729.
Working with the district's Office of Children and Youth in Transition, the donations reached students at 75 schools where the need was greatest.
"So far, approximately 6,000 students have received new shoes." said Vanessa Peters, Director of the Office of Children and Youth in Transition, "thanks to the efforts of school staff who identified needy students, measured feet, and picked up shoes at the district warehouse for final distribution."
Parents and kids were grateful for the shoes, with staff receiving notes such as this one: “Thank you for the gift of shoes given to Israel. Thanks, Israel’s Mom.”
Cherokee Point Principal Godwin Higa reported that “the kids were
ecstatic with their new shoes.”
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
A presidential museum, housed in a high schoolClairemont High social studies teacher Jim Fletcher began collecting presidential memorabilia in 1996 to spice up his American history lessons. With the help of his students, Fletcher started the Museum of the American Presidency that now has more than 40,000 items representing all 44 presidents.
Among the 2,000 items on display in the school's library annex are Bill Clinton's golf shoes, a Richard Nixon shower head, a life-size cardboard cutout of Barack Obama and a 1980s "First Family Paper Doll book" of Ronnie, Nancy, Ron Jr. and Patti Reagan complete with clothes, accessories and furnishings. There's more to see in a locked conference room that's also open to the public when not being used for, say, a math department staff meeting. Read more from CNN»
Friday, December 13, 2013
The journalism students in Jessica Frichtel's ninth-grade English/journalism class are competing as freelance writers to have their articles on the construction at CPMA featured in the January edition of Contractor News and Views, a construction industry publication.
Construction News and View and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of San Diego have supported construction academy since its inception.
Students received mentoring from journalists that work for Contractor News and Views so that their article, which will be viewed by over 20,000 subscribers, is high quality. The AGC Training Facility picked up the tab for the bus so that 51 students could attend the press conference and tour the job site.
During the press conference, students heard from Scott Thomason, principal of CPMA; Lee Dulgeroff, the school district's executive director of Facilities Planning and Construction; Rick Morazavi, the district's construction manager for the project; Jeff Almodovar the project superintendent for Triton Structural; and Rebecca Grijalva, the lead architect for the new Performing Arts Center at CPMA.
After the press conference, students toured the middle school to see the work that’s being done under Propositions S and Z. A new performing arts center is being constructed on the east side of the middle school campus (former Kroc MS). The new 20,600-square-feet facility will feature the following amenities:
- 400-seat theatre
- Two music classrooms
- Scene shop
- Green room
- Control and ticket booths
- Support and storage spaces
For more details on bond projects at CPMA, visit https://fpcprojects.sandi.net/Pages. For information on Propositions S and Z, visit www.sandi.net/Facilities, e-mail SDUSDFacilitiesInfo@sandi.net or call 858-637-3604. Media inquiries should be directed to Cynthia Reed-Porter, facilities communications supervisor, at 619-546-3378.
During her report to the Board of Education on Dec. 10, Supt. Marten talked about many of the children who lined the parade route, including some of her former students from Central Elementary. The parade, an annual tradition in North Park, runs down University Avenue and 30th Street in the historic North Park neighborhood. It is very close to Central Elementary, where Marten was Principal before becoming Superintendent in July.
"I was honored to have been asked to be the (grand) marshal," Marten told the Board of Education, "the first time I've been asked to be a grand marshal."
Marten was joined by San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and other dignitaries during the event.
Today’s Toyland Parade is all about families, having fun, and enjoying North Park, according to the parade's organizers, Victoria House Corporation. It began in the 1930s when North Park was one of San Diego's busiest shopping districts, with department stores and specialty shops lining the streets. It was revived in the 1980s as a catalyst for the rebirth of the area, which is today one of San Diego's trendiest neighborhoods.
"We're proud to be a Kindness Certified school," said Principal Rita Powell. "Last year we participated in the Great Kindness Challenge, a Kids for Peace initiative. The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive, proactive anti-bullying initiative, reaching millions of students during the last full week of January every year."
In order to create a consistent, positive message throughout the school and community, Jones holds "kindness stations" during recess every month. Students make hearts, bookmarks and posters all devoted to kindness for their friends, teachers, parents to show that kindness matters.
"One child even shared the note he wrote," said Powell. "'It said "I am sorry.' Other kids wrote, 'You are a great friend" and 'You make me smile.'
"I am so thankful to our wonderful PTA and parents that help run and support our efforts of creating a bully-free, safe and caring school environment!"
For more information, contact Powell at 858-496-8140.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
One of three milk-related menu items that are being added to the secondary menu as part of a grant from the Anita Bosch Milk Fund through the San Diego Foundation that encourages children to drink milk.
“These two grants have given us a great opportunity to expand our breakfast menu for secondary school students," said Gary Petill, Food Services Director. "The kids are already enjoying the hot chocolate and yogurt parfaits and smoothies are next.”
The new menu items will be part of Food and Nutrition Services new breakfast theme called Morning Break Café.
Designed to carry on the SanDi Coast Café theme of the secondary school lunch programs, the design and signage for Morning Break Café was funded through grants from the California Department of Education and the Community Transformation Grant.
Morning Break Café is being launched in an effort to encourage more secondary school students to eat breakfast. Students of this age often skip the most important meal of the day which can give them the energy they need to be at the top of their game, both mentally and physically.
For more information, contact Norma Johnson, food service program specialist at email@example.com.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Board vote was taken at the district governing body's annual meeting, in which officers for the new year are established and other procedural items completed.
"I look forward to working together to continue improving public education with quality schools in every neighborhood," Beiser said shortly after the meeting.
Beiser was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2010 representing District B and is also a math teacher. Prior to his election, Beiser’s work with his students earned him “San Diego Math Teacher of the Year” honors in 2008-2009.
“My experience in the classroom, working side-by-side with school administrators and parents alike, has given me a unique insight as to how the policies that are developed by the Board and the superintendent’s office affect those of us on the front lines,” Beiser said. “I’m honored that my Board colleagues found that experience helpful and I look forward to working with Superintendent Marten to continue creating a world-class classroom experience for our students.”
Beiser had served as Board Vice President for one year and hands that position over to San Diego native Marne Foster, who represents District E.
“I'm excited!” said Foster. “I look forward to continuing this work to create the conditions where ALL students can succeed, and value the listening and collaborating with San Diego Unified internal and external stakeholders to make it happen."
"Our band director, Jeanne Christensen, leads this state ranked program," said Francisca Del Carmen-Aguilar, Mira Mesa Vice Principal. "Her inspiration has influenced thousands of students, past and present in her 23-year career as an educator.
"We were honored to have Superintendent Cindy Marten in attendance to experience the wonderful student performances. A special thanks to the students, staff, parents, and the Mira Mesa Instrumental Music Boosters for their tireless efforts as contributors to the success of the annual tournament."
For more information and inquires on how to support the Sapphire Sound, Mira Mesa's Marching Band, please contact the Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (858) 578-5143.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
One of the regular events at the North Clairemont campus brings together the school community in an evening of fun and games. Emma's Gut Bucket Band, regular performers for community events at Whitman Elementary, warmed up the crowd with live bluegrass music.
The moms working hard that night will be back in the Whitman cafetorium at 12:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec.16, as part of the "Whitman Fashion Mom" contest. With a goal of raising funds for a new track and improvements to the school's field, audience members will "purchase votes" for $1 each for their favorite Whitman Fashion Mom.
Contestants, all members of the school's PTA, have an opportunity to be a winner in four categories: Most Votes, Most Fashionable, Best Runway Performance, and Facebook Fashion Mom. All contestants will be given gifts for their participation.
Supporters can purchase a vote for their favorite contestant for $1 each. For each vote purchased you can get a raffle ticket for an opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including the Grand Prize of Four One-Day Hopper Passes to Disneyland California Resort.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Some hands-on work by parents, guardians and school staff lead to adults learning more about the new Common Core Standards at Johnson Elementary STEM Magnet School in Emerald Hills.
At a recent parent meeting, Johnson staff and parents came together to learn more about the demands that the Common Core State Standards will require of teachers, parents and students.
Parents were given a performance task in the area of science and were put though the challenge of doing the lesson as students. Parents learned how concepts build upon prior years learning and the importance of literacy in all of the content areas as students will be expected to explain their thinking through various types of pictorial representations, oral explanations and through writing.
Parents asked many questions about what their students are going to be expected to do in grades K through the high school years and enjoyed this hands on experience.
Centrally located in the Emerald Hills community, Johnson Elementary STEM Magnet School has more than a half-century of tradition. The school, named for former Superintendent Henry C. Johnson, continues to grow and expand.
"We provide a stimulating and rigorous curriculum to ensure grade level proficiency," said Principal Tracey Jenkins-Martin. "Our high expectations foster strong academic excellence. Addressing the needs of the whole child is critical. Our teaching reflects this belief, while strengthening the understanding of STEM."
For more information on the school and its implementation of the new Common Core State Standards, contact Jenkins-Martin at (619) 344-4900.
The San Diego Unified School District, other California districts and the California Department of Education are participating in Common Core State Standards.
Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school. The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.
Common standards allow for collaboration among states on best practices and professional development. It also helps students whose families move from state-to-state to minimize the adjustment at school. For more information on Common Core State Standards, visit the district's website.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Birney highly recommended keeping a writing notebook to record ideas and encouraged students to write daily! She also emphasized the importance of thinking about life through the eyes of your character and doing research as part of the writing process.
This wonderful opportunity was brought to Bird Rock through a partnership with Warwick’s Book Store in La Jolla. Next month, Stuart Gibbs, author of the Spy Camp books will be visiting. Bird Rock students love learning directly from published authors!
Saturday, December 7, 2013
In addition, the grant will help in the purchase of materials that will support students at their levels of need, each classroom will house several examples of mentor texts as well as books students can get their hands on and read.
These books will not only promote literacy and reading comprehension, but also transition into students' writing, which is a school-wide focus for the 2013-2014 school year.
Since 2006, Barona has awarded more than $1.5 million to more than 300 schools statewide through its grant program, which is the first of its kind in California created and administered by a Tribal Government. The goal of the Barona Education Grant program is to create strong educational opportunities for the children of California building upon the success of the Barona Indian Charter School, which operates under a continuous improvement model.
Schools throughout California can apply for educational grants from Barona to purchase much-needed supplies and materials that promote academic improvement.Each grant awarded by the Barona Education Grant Program is $5,000.Applications can be downloaded at http://barona-nsn.gov/education .
Friday, December 6, 2013
Although the famous court case may have been the impetus for holding the dialogues, the conversation focused less on the case itself and more on the issue of racism and how changing attitudes and creating a more tolerant society starts with education.
“This is not so much about George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin as it is about giving students the tools they need to address the issues we face right here in our own community,” Agin Shaheed, chief of the district’s race, human relations and advocacy office told UT San Diego.
|Panelists Dr. Alberto Ochoa and Dr. John Robert Brown|
For more information about the dialogues, contact the district’s Office of Race Human Relations and Advocacy at 858-490-8678.
Patricia Rucker, a senior at Morse High School, has received the 2014 San Diego Teen PSA Award from The Greatest Save and Kindervision, a non-profit program that educates kids to protect them from predators.
Rucker's video educates students on the dangers of parties and rape.
"The video's message is powerful," said Det. Jay Gresham of the San Diego Unified School District Police Department. "I would like to recognize Patricia Rucker as the recipient of this award, as well as Kristi Flint who was instrumental ensuring that the project was complete and Rick McFall for being the videography support."
The Greatest Save partners up with the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, local law enforcement officers and educators to protect children from predators. One of the ways that they do this is by having the public service announcement contest. Rucker's video, the San Diego winner, will be entered into the national contest.
She was given her award at a recent banquet where guests included Randy Jones, a retired member of the San Diego Padres and inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In addition to her award, the group will be donating proceeds from a recent golf tournament to Patricia's school, Morse High.
For more information on the award, contact Det. Gresham at 619-725-7000.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
"Tom will have a little more fun delivering the mail at Lindbergh Schweitzer," said Principal Deanna Rohde. "So if you see him ride by, give him a wave and a smile. He deserves it!"
Wanting to make his four or more daily trips across the campus easier, the staff put together a fundraising campaign that only took four days to reach success. The shiny blue (school colors) bike came complete with a basket to carry the red mail bag and other delivery items, a helmet, and a cheery little bell to announce his arrivals.
For more information, contact Rohde at (858) 496-8400.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
La Jolla High English teacher Jewel Weien uses the WordWright competition as part of her instruction. The WordWright Challenge is a national reading competition for students in grades 9-12 that requires analytical reading of many kinds of prose and poetry. It emphasizes perceptive interpretation, sensitivity to language, and an appreciation of style. More than 54,000 students from some of the best public and private high schools in 46 states (and four foreign nations) participated last year.
Overall, two teams from La Jolla High won highest honors in the competition, with the school's 11th grade team tied for eighth in the nation.
The tests for the first WordWright in this school year were a short story by Tess Hadley for grades 9-10 and a pair of essays by Thomas Carlyle and Frank Bruni (written more than 150 years apart) for grades 11-12. The students will participate in three more WordWright meets during this school year, with awards going to students who make the most progress during the year.
For more information on the program, contact Weien at email@example.com, and on the program at wordwrightchallenge.com.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
|Dad and son at Whitman Elementary.|
Across town at Whitman Elementary, parents spent about 30 minutes observing their students in the classroom. In Mr. Brady’s second-grade classroom, several students showed their parents how they use netbooks to enrich their studies. The PTSA also hosted refreshments in the library for parents while Interim Principal Angela Zarzosa shared information about the new Common Core Standards and Local Control Funding Formula.
“I think our event was successful in reaching out to parents, as I saw many parents who had not attended these types of events before,” said Celeste Bobryk-Ozaki, Whitman PTA treasurer and one of the event’s organizers. "As a community member, I believe in the district's Vision 2020 Plan, a quality school in every neighborhood, and this includes a parent engagement program."
Milton Martin, vice principal at Sandburg Elementary, took time out of his busy work day to show support for his son, Nicholas, who is a sophomore at Patrick Henry High.
"As parents many times we wean ourselves from participating in our children's lives as they get older, but our teenage children need us just as much, if not more, than they did when they were younger," Martin said. "I also wanted to also meet some of the students our son supports in the "Circle Of Friends," program. I'm very proud of our son for having such a compassionate heart and wanted to encourage him to continue in that vein."
National Parent Involvement Day is a collaborative effort between the district’s Parent Outreach and Engagement Department and the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs to recognize parents/guardians and the invaluable role they play in supporting a child's learning at home and at school.
Other activities in the district in honor of National Parent Involvement Day included:
- University City High School hosted a special “Chat with the Principal.” The PTSA provided refreshments and appreciation gifts to all attendees and the principal gave a presentation entitled "The Benefits of Celebrating Effort and Recognizing Achievement - a Look at Western versus Eastern Cultures."
- Language Academy welcomed Walter Lam, president & CEO of Alliance for African Assistance, who spoke about the importance of parent involvement. A proclamation by the City of San Diego was also presented, recognizing Nov. 21 as National Parent Involvement Day. In addition, more than 20 Language Academy middle school students were recognized for outstanding academic achievement.
- Marshall Middle School hosted a breakfast and principal chat.
- Standley Middle School hosted events for parents throughout the day, including coffee, cookies and pizza with the principal. Each event included a demonstration for parents of the new PowerSchool Parent Portal.
- Sandberg Elementary hosted "Family Reading Night," where students, dressed in their PJs, munched on milk and cookies and listened to the principal, teachers and parents read short stories.
- Zamorano Elementary hosted a morning reception and allowed parents to observe their children in the classroom.
- Loma Portal Elementary hosted as Western BBQ for parents to eat lunch with their child
This was the district’s second year celebrating National Parent Involvement Day. The national event was started 19 years ago by Project Appleseed. For more information on National Parent Involvement Day, contact Bea Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or your school's PTA representative.
Monday, December 2, 2013
The students and their teachers took a field trip to the downtown hotel, working with its culinary experts to build and decorate the traditional holiday treat. The houses are currently on display in the hotel's lobby.
"I am so happy that the Hyatt has invited our students for the fifth time to participate in this holiday event that will benefit the Make a Wish Foundation," said Principal Flavia Soria. "Making gingerbread houses is something that our students have not experienced before and they are thrilled to be a part of this learning experience."
The Nov. 14 event found groups of 4-5 students teaming up to create one gingerbread house. Students also made and decorated a holiday cookie to take home and enjoyed a healthy lunch provided by the Hyatt.
"This is such a wonderful program that not only teaches our students lessons about those less fortunate," said Soria, "but how to create a plan, like an architect's blueprint, of how they want to decorate their house.
"Design, colors and organization are all very well thought-out."
The students' completed gingerbread houses will be auctioned off to benefit Make A Wish San Diego at a later date in December. Kimbrough is pleased to have been allowed to participate in this great program every year.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Sandburg Elementary has a partnership with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11 from MCAS Miramar.
Each Friday Marines from MCAS Miramar come to work out with Sandburg’s fifth grade students and provide mentorship to selected students across all grade levels.
As a reward, the Sandburg community, on Nov. 22, provided a Thanksgiving dinner for the Marines that volunteer.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Watch video from NBC 7»
Slideshow of event»
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to take the opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the parents and community who support the students of San Diego Unified. I am grateful to stand beside you as your superintendent as we work together to create conditions in our classrooms and schools where all students graduate actively literate, participating, contributing members of society making a positive difference in the world.
Since the beginning of the school year I have had the opportunity to visit nearly 30 of our schools. I have been amazed and inspired by what I have seen and learned. Although there are challenges ahead as we focus on our Vision 2020 to create quality schools in every neighborhood, I have been heartened to see examples of our vision in action as I spend time in classrooms and on our campuses. I have watched principals support their teachers in collaboration and planning. I have witnessed quality teaching with purpose and meaning, incorporating the critical thinking necessary to shift to the new Common Core State Standards. I have observed students actively engaged as they take ownership of their learning. I have visited with custodians and food service staff who take pride in the services they provide to our children. I have listened to parents share their hopes and dreams for their children. So many people with various roles and responsibilities, coming together for a single purpose: teach in ways that connect to the brilliance of every child, every day. I am thankful for the hard work and heart work of our team in San Diego Unified.
It is clear to me that kindness matters more than ever before. As we prepare our students for the rigor of the Common Core State Standards, we must adhere to the idea that it is up to us to create a safe, inclusive and nurturing climate and culture in our schools. Our current accountability system ranks and values our schools based on the skills we can measure easily on a bubble in test. Human attributes such as kindness, tolerance, hope, perseverance, compassion, dedication, commitment and forgiveness are not part of the formula. Imagine if our API scores included measures of these attributes in our students? These skills are important not only in schools, but in all workplaces. Businesses hire employees who can collaborate, think critically, pay close attention and care for one another while doing work that matters. Businesses want people who can be thoughtful and kind even when they disagree and hold different opinions, feelings and points of view. Teaching our children these skills clearly is part of preparing them for their future success in career and life.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our students. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and restful Thanksgiving. Please take time to nurture yourself and to listen closely to the children who surround us and teach us.
Work Hard. Be Kind. Dream Big! No Excuses.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
"On behalf of my family and the San Diego Chargers," said Spanos, "i would like to congratulate the winners and ... I would like to commend all the teachers and administrators who work so hard for our young people."
Dr. John Lee Evans, Board of Education President, saluted the team and the Spanos family for its consistent support of physical fitness and the health of San Diego children.
"This is a great, great honor and presentation," he said. "We can see the really specific things they are doing for our schools."
Since the program began in 2000, Chargers Champions has provided more than $1 million to assist schools, teachers and students in the San Diego Unified School District; across San Diego County, the team and family have donated more than $4 million to schools. Each year the Chargers Champions School Grant Program allows public and private schools within San Diego County to apply for badly-needed funding for physical fitness, nutrition or athletic programs on their campuses.
Here is a list of school grants and uses.
Nye Elementary, peaceful playground and equipment; Wangenheim Middle,
fitness room and equipment; John Muir School, archery range, Field Turf
and equipment; Clairemont High fitness center, cardio and weight
- 2011: Carson Elementary, grass
field; North Park Elementary, physical education equipment; Mission Bay
High, fitness, weight and cardio center.
Alcott Elementary, activity room equipment; Hoover High, fitness
equipment grant; Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary, 16 spinners.
- 2009: Bay Park Elementary, fitness area for visually impaired students; Horton Elementary, indoor fitness room equipment.
Cubberley Elementary, basketball courts; Kearny High Educational
Complex, weight and fitness room; Washington Elementary, basketball/ball
wall courts and fitness equipment.
Morse High, Active Healthy School Program; Patrick Henry High, wrestling
and aerobics room matting; Taft Middle, HOP Sports Center.
Scripps Ranch High, field renovation; Mann Middle, fitness center; Hage
Elementary, fitness equipment; Paradise Hills Elementary, outdoor
fitness trail club.
- 2005: Roosevelt
Middle, indoor fitness lab; Carson Elementary, turf field project;
Sunset View, Elementary, running track; Kieller Charter, fitness lab;
Paradise Hills Elementary, 10-station fitness trail; North Park
Elementary, Fitness Games.
- 2004: Darnall
Charter, 10-station outdoor fitness center; McKinley Elementary,
10-station outdoor fitness center; Bell Middle, 8-station multipurpose
fitness room; Crawford High, weight and aerobics facility.a
- 2003: Pacific Beach Middle, physical fitness room; Serra High, weight and aerobics room.
The story, about an injured starfish and the lessons she learns in recovery, is being published in"I Write" Short Stories by Kids for Kids, edited by Melissa M. Willilams, a Texas author and president of the non-profit READ3Zero. Lexy's story was the only one selected from a Southern California student.
"Lexy has a great imagination and when she is out somewhere, she always looks around to get ideas for stories and characters" said Michelle Hutchinson, the school's Library Assistant.
Lexy's story is about a starfish was injured and helped back to health by her friends. The starfish recovers, but having enjoyed the attention from her friends, tries to hide her good health. From there, life's lessons unfold.
This is the fourth year that author Melissa Williams has created "I Write."
“Encouraging not only students but parents, teachers, partners and businesses to inspire literacy is our goal with READ3Zero." she said. "The combination of literacy and creativity within the community is going to heavily influence the lives of young children to continue to learn outside of the classroom."
To learn more about READ3Zero and see the entire list of award recipients, visit www.Read3Zero.org.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Academy of Business is an award-winning, grant-funded small learning community that focuses on the business and finance industry pathway. Founded in 2004, the Clairemont High program offers access to an array of unique educational activities and opportunities that are not typically part of a general high school education. The three-year program provides college-prepratory curriculum that incorporates business elective courses at each grade level. Partnerships with local companies and organizations also play an integral part in the Academy’s day-to-day.
Clairemont High students enter the Academy of Business in tenth grade and then stay together as a group, taking three to four periods of each school day in the program until they graduate. The academy teachers work together to create interdisciplinary, problem-based projects and industry-relevant experiences that build from year-to-year. Students say the academy is a “family environment” that “gives them a focus” and “encourages them to succeed.” The academy’s motto is "success is a choice."
The Academy of Business is part of the California Partnership Academies, a network of approximately 500 programs supported by competitive state grants in California’s public high schools. Begun in 1985, the California Partnership Academies are designed to prepare students for both college and career by relating academic subjects to a career field via a sequence of career-technical courses, linking students to the outside world and career paths of possible future interest. To accomplish this, academies form partnerships with employers in the selected career field, and two-and four-year colleges in the region.
Recent studies show that career academies are the most durable and best-tested component of high school reform strategy; they are highly effective in improving outcomes for students during and after high school. Though California Partnership Academies programs target students who are under-performing or economically disadvantaged, students enrolled in California Partnership Academies programs like the Academy of Business perform better than state averages in overall graduation rates, minority graduation rates, standardized tests, and university eligibility.
California Partnership Academies Lighthouse Academies are very important to the program for several reasons: they set the standard for correct implementation of the California Partnership Academies model, provide assistance to other Partnership Academies, and provide critical assistance to the California state California Partnership Academies team. This distinction reflects the quality, history, and understanding of the CPA model to which Academy of Business has dedicated itself.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The online PowerSchool Portal for parents and students is now active. The portal, which is linked to the district’s new student information system PowerSchool, is a powerful online tool for obtaining information about your child. You will be able to review your child’s class schedule, grades, progress reports, homework assignment scores and attendance from any computer that has internet accessibility, which means you can monitor your child’s progress at any time.
The portal application is a secure link that encrypts the data to and from the end user, so a username and password are necessary to allow access for only authorized users to the appropriate student record. Parents/guardians will have their own individual parent/guardian account, including username and password.
Please contact your child's school to learn when the portal will be available and to obtain a username and password.
To learn more about the PowerSchool Parent Portal, please view the following: