Monday, March 31, 2014

Supt. Marten challenges TV anchors with Common Core field test question

IN THE NEWS: What kind of questions are coming up on the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress tests? Supt. Cindy Marten visited Fox 5 San Diego to find out if the anchors could answer an 11th grade field test question. Watch video»

Friday, March 28, 2014

Region's educators salute three San Diego Unified staff members

A principal, department director and Education Center administrative assistant are being honored by regional education organizations.
Recognized as Administrators of the Year for the Association of California School Administrators and the San Diego County School Boards Association are: Michelle Irwin, Principal of Marshall Middle School in Scripps Ranch; Shawn Loescher, Director of College Career and Technical Education; and Josefina Viorato, Confidential Employee, Confidential Administrative Assistant II, Board of Education Services.

The trio will be honored at the organizations' "Honoring Our Own" awards dinner on May 2.
Each year, the associations ensure that school leaders are recognized for their excellence by rewarding excellence throughout the county. Other award winners come from the other 42 districts in San Diego County and the San Diego County Office of Education.

In announcing the awards, a release from Region 18 said "we honor School Board Members, Administrators, Staff, Parents, College Professors, and Community Members for their achievements and their dedication to public education. Many of our Honorees have gone on to be recognized at the State and National levels."

Region 18 Past Presidents’ Committee selects award winners for each category. The award winners, along with the Region 18 Membership, are notified about their accomplishment and are recognized at the Annual “Honoring Our Own” Awards Dinner. The San Diego County School Boards Association has a similar process and they honor five award categories at the “HOO” Awards Dinner.
Nearly 500 educational leaders and friends of the educational community attend this gala event.

Additionally, representatives from over 20 local businesses attend and support the event with sponsorships ranging from $500.00 up to $5,000.00. Sponsors are recognized for their support of public education in our Region throughout the evening.
For more information, visit the association's website at

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Local companies help families at Morse, Bell and Fulton get connected

Connect2Compete Event at Morse More than 100 families from Morse High, Bell Middle and Fulton K-8 recently had the opportunity to purchase computers and internet connectivity at reduced rates thanks to Computers 2 SD Kids and Cox Communications.

At an event at Morse High School organized by the cable company, local non-profit and San Diego Unified, families gathered to sign-up for Cox Internet service and to purchase refurbished computers. Representatives from both organizations were there to provide assistance so that families could walk away with Internet service and a refurbished computer – all in under one hour.

An enthusiastic Marne Foster, San Diego Unified board vice president, welcomed the families to the early-morning affair. She expressed how important it is for students and families to have access to computers and the internet and thanked both organizations for making it possible.

Getting connected is an important piece of the district’s Vision 2020 plan, and all district schools located in the Cox service area have the opportunity to get reduced rates for Internet and possibly computers under the Connect2Compete program. Ensuring students have access to the latest technology at home is key to improving student achievement and by having the right technology at home, parents can monitor their child’s performance and be more involved in their education.

Visit the Connect2Compete website to see if you are eligible for Internet connectivity at reduced rates. To learn more about hosting an enrollment event at your school, contact Jennifer Rodriguez in the District Communications office at

Kearny High breaks ground on new stadium and baseball field

Despite the rain, students, parents, alumni, community members and staff celebrated the start of construction with a groundbreaking ceremony on Feb. 27. Read more»

Free lunch for kids during year-round schools intersession

During the Spring intersession, Food and Nutrition Services will offer free lunches to any child 18 yrs. and under who comes to one of the Spring Fun Café sites. There is no paperwork or proof of income required. Spring Fun Cafe

The program is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture Seamless Summer Feeding Program. Through partnerships with the City of San Diego Department of Park and Recreation and various community centers, these meals are offered in low income neighborhoods with year-round schools.

The program serves a vital purpose to help bridge the nutrition gap left when school is not in session and children do not have access to meals from school. For more information contact Joanne Tucker at

Locations Address Lunch Times Notes
Open March 31-April 25

 Bayside Community Center 2202 Comstock St. (92111) 12:45-1:45 P.M. Breakfast served. Check location for time
 Jackie Robinson YMCA  151 YMCA Way (92102)  Noon-1 p.m.
 Sherman Heights Community Center  2258 Island Ave. (92102)  11 a.m. to noon
 Open April 1-15
 City Heights Recreation Center  3080 Landis St. (92105)  Noon-1 p.m.
 Colina Del Sol Recreation Center  5319 Orange Ave. (92115)     Noon-1 p.m.
 Linda Vista Recreation Center  7064 Levant St. (92111)  12:30-1:30 p.m.
 Logan Heights Public Library  567 So. 28th St. (92113) 12:30-1:30 p.m.
 Mira Mesa Recreation Center  8575 New Salem St.  Noon-1 p.m.
 Mountain View Recreation Center  641 So. Boundary St,. (92113) 1-2 p.m.
 North Park Recreation Center  4044 Idaho St. 92014         1-2 p.m.
 Paradise Hills Recreation Center  6610 Potomac St.  92139     Noon-1 p.m.
 Penn Athletic Field     2555 Dusk Dr.  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. 
Open April 14-25
 Cherokee Point Elementary Students  3738 38th St.  92105 Noon to 12:30 p.m.  Breakfast served. Check location for time
 Open March 31-April 25 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. 
 Open March 31—April 25 to children with military base access only
 Miramar Youth and Teen Center  2700 Moore Ave.  92145 Noon-1 p.m. Breakfast served. Check location for time

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Donations needed so SD High SciTech robotics students can go to nationals

IN THE NEWS: San Diego High School of Science and Technology is taking the next step in its robotics competition, and could use your help. Watch video from NBC 7»

'Shrek' brings message of individuals working together to Mira Mesa High

Performances of "Shrek, The Musical" by the theater program at Mira Mesa High lead to great spirits all around the campus.
Superintendent at Mira Mesa High Shrek performance
Students spread the word to “let your freak flag fly” and encouraged students to be themselves and be proud of their individuality. According to Principal Scott Giusti, the show celebrates our differences.

"'What makes us special, makes us strong!' are the themes of the show," said Daniel Kriley, the show's director and a College Career and Technical Education teacher at the school. "One of the things we strive for at Mira Mesa High are the messages in the show: 'We are different and united. You are us, and we are you.'”

Giusti praised Kriley, who has been producing musicals at Mira Mesa High for more than a decade. Superintendent Cindy Marten was among those attending performances.

Mira Mesa High School theater students collaborated with the school’s band and orchestra to bring live musical performances from the orchestra pit. The Mira Mesa High School Madrigals and choir program also joined forces with the show to bring their knowledge and experience to train fellow students in the theater program. Student led lunchtime performances, student run daily broadcast announcements, and the actual performances and technical theater cast helped bring the Mira Mesa High School campus and community alive.

For more about Shrek the Musical, contact Kriley at

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

UC San Diego athletes IMPACT Edison Elementary

UC San Diego Pediatrics and San Diego Unified's Physical Education, Health and Athletics are combining forces to IMPACT student health and well-being at Edison Elementary School in City Heights.
Working out at Edison
The IMPACT program -- Increasing Movement and Physical Activity in Class Time -- helps involve kindergarten and first-grade students in 20 minute workouts, twice a week. UC San Diego athletes visit the school during one of the weekly sessions, helping the kids during the 20 minute workouts through five physical-activity stations.

"It is great for our students to interact with the wonderful athletes from UC San Diego," said Derek Murchison, Principal of Edison Elementary. "I can't really say who has more fun, our kids or the UC San Diego kids, but it it is a fantastic experience for all."

The program is part of the curriculum available from San Diego Unified's Department of Physical Education, Health and Athletics. It was developed by the district's Lynn Barnes-Wallace at Hage Elementary in Mira Mesa.

"IMPACT works because it is easy to implement, inexpensive, the resources are available online and all students are engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout each 20-minute session," said Kaitlin Mohr, a UC San Diego Pediatrics intern in the School Wellness Program, Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch, who works with the Edison students.

For more information on the program, contact Murchison at .

School funding reforms spark push to get parent input

IN THE NEWS: The San Diego Unified School District, with over 120,000 students, is the state’s second-largest districtRead more from EdSource»
after the Los Angeles Unified School District. San Diego Unified is hosting 16 “LCAP workshops” in March and April at different schools in each of the district’s 16 “clusters,” which consist of a high school, and the middle and elementary schools feeding students into it.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Superintendent: Common Core "will yield authentic learning"

IN THE NEWS: Superintendent writes that the new standards "represent a necessary and urgent shift in what we must expect our students to know and be able to do in order to be contributing, participating members of our changing society. " Read more from UT San Diego» Cindy Marten

La Jolla High students show they can read and analyze on a national level

Three students representing La Jolla High School have won high honors in a prose and poetry reading and analysis competition.
In the year's third WordWright Challenge meet, Viking junior Alma Halgren was one of only six students in grade 11 around the country to earn a perfect score, while sophomores Clayton Halbert and Jonathan Mandel both placed among the 157 highest-scoring grade 10 student nationwide.

More than 69,000 high school students from some of the best public and private high schools in 47 states entered the meet. English teacher Jewel Weien supervised the La Jolla students.

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.

For more information on the program, contact Weien at

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Race and Human Relations pupil advocate is now a city arts commissioner

Macedonio Arteaga Jr., a pupil advocate in the Race Human Relations and Advocacy Department, has been appointed to the City of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture. Macedonio Arteaga Jr.

The panel advises San Diego's mayor and city council on promoting, encouraging and increasing support for the arts and culture institutions of San Diego.

Macedonio sees this appointment as an opportunity to help the City of San Diego fulfill its mission “to promote, encourage and increase support for the region’s artistic and cultural assets, integrating arts and culture into community life and showcasing San Diego as an international tourist destination.”

Arteaga brings to this appointment an extensive background in the visual and performing arts, directing plays and sharing his knowledge of unusual musical instruments. He has been able to share his expertise locally, nationally and internationally making an impact on students and adults from diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Commission consists of 15 volunteers appointed by the Mayor of San Diego, supported by a professional staff.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A special drum line at Lafayette Elementary School

IN THE NEWS: A visit by CBS 8's Larry Himmel to Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont finds Learning about music with drums works for hearing impaired and hearing students. Watch video from CBS 8»

Friday, March 21, 2014

'Chelsea's Champions' from Henry Cluster are part of community run

Patrick Henry High School Cluster students, parents, teachers, and staff teamed up as "Chelsea's Champions" for the Fourth Annual Finish Chelsea's Run in Balboa Park, following a visit by Chelsea's father to Patrick Henry.Lauren Haneke-Hopps, Henry student and team captain, with Brent King, Chelsea's father.

More than 70 participants on the team help to raise money for continued awareness and strengthening of Chelsea's Law and to provide scholarships for local San Diego youth. The team from Patrick Henry High School cluster ran with more than 6,500 other participants, including Superintendent Cindy Marten.

Student Ambassador and Team Captain Lauren Haneke-Hopps, who is a sophomore at Patrick Henry High, coordinated the team's registration. She also helped the high school to host guest speaker Brent King, Chelsea's dad, for a day of inspirational assemblies focused on hope and change for the future.
The March 1 event was held in memory of Chelsea King, who lost her life to a known child predator while running in a local community park.

Washington Elementary's exhibit at Science Festival Expo Day is unmentionable

Who knew owl "poop" could teach kids about science!
San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering
Students from Washington Elementary used the scientific method to help San Diego Festival for Science and Engineering EXPO guests understand the diet, habitat and ecosystem of barn owls. Kids and parents will have the opportunity to dissect and analyze owl pellets. They also compared and contrasted the skeleton of the barn owl to those of rodents, shrews, moles and other birds, expanding their learning at a higher level.

The Washington experiment was one of the the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering winners of the Bright Ideas Society award. Sponsored by the Kimmich Educational Foundation at the San Diego Foundation, the award was presented to one outstanding science and engineering club at the elementary, middle and high school level for their illuminating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) ideas. Under the direction of their advisor, the students produced an interactive exhibit to share their findings with more than 25,000 EXPO DAY attendees from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at PETCO Park in downtown San Diego.

"We are fortunate to have a number of K-12 schools in San Diego County involved in STEM education, which means a brighter future for all of us," says Sara Pagano, managing director, San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering. "The selection of the winners was a very competitive process. Applications were initially reviewed by our education committee and then the top entries were sent to the Kimmich Educational Foundation whose members further reviewed the applications and selected the top three." ​

A program of the Biocom Institute, the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering presented by Illumina, aims to encourage and get kids excited about science and related fields so they might one day aspire to be tomorrow's STEM innovators. More than 55,000 kids, parents, scientists, educators and community members are expected to participate in the week-long event and EXPO Day. Several features and events are scheduled, designed to shine the light on how STEM makes an impact in our everyday lives.

White House Film Fest gives honorable mention to La Jolla High video

Lilly Grossman at the White House La Jolla High's Lilly Grossman has had a life filled with what some would call disabilities, but she recently completed a video with her school pals that earned her a visit to the White House and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic Magazine and UT San Diego.

She was one of 60 filmmakers invited to the White House, with her video winning an honorable mention.

At La Jolla High, she's organized a Day in a Chair on March 24 and will be training students to use Med-Sleds, an emergency evacuation and transportation device.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

World-renown chef cooks with elementary, high school students

Jerabek Elementary and Scripps Ranch High school students have learned from a professional chef how easy it is to create delicious, healthy meals during a recent visit to their schools.Jerabek Elementary students with Chef Mark Ainsworth

Chef Mark Ainsworth, Professor of Culinary at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and three Jerabek third grade student helpers demonstrated how easy it is to create a delicious whole grain rice bowl with lots of fresh vegetables. Assistant chefs Emily Anderson, Ally Medeiros and Kennedy White stir-fried a combination of healthy, tasty ingredients and served them over whole grain brown rice to fellow students.

At the same time, Ainsworth sampled San Diego Unified's menu at the elementary Kids' Choice Café and the middle-high school SanDi Coast Café, telling NBC 7 that the offerings were "packed with solid, healthy items."

“I think it’s more nutritionally-balanced at school than it would be at home, unless mom or dad is a nutritionist or dietician,” said Ainsworth.
The visit promoted the use of healthy whole grains and encouraged students to enter the San Diego Unified’s Kid’s Create Recipe Contest.

Chef Ainsworth also talked to culinary students at Scripps Ranch High School where he shared his career path as a chef and various professional chef cooking techniques.

For more information contact Joanne Tucker, Food Services Marketing Coordinator at

2014-15 budget solutions include teachers’ early retirement incentive

San Diego Unified has agreed to a Supplemental Early Retirement Program (SERP) for teachers and other members of the San Diego Education Association bargaining unit as a budget solution for the 2014-15 fiscal year. 2014 Budget

On March 11, the Board of Education approved the resolution to initiate the SERP. Final Board approval will take place at their May 13 meeting. The program is an incentive for eligible employees to retire from the district at the end of this school year.

If fully subscribed, it will save the district $8.3 million in 2014-15, helping to close the $115.6 million projected shortfall. Read more from UT San Diego»

Common Core challenges students, budget solutions proposed, Supt. Marten says

IN THE NEWS: In television interview with NBC 7, Superintendent discusses challenging students with Common Core State Curriculum, budget proposals and successes of "Dream Big" meetings. Watch video from NBC 7»

Whitman Elementary string ensemble crosses hearing threshold

It's unusual enough to say that a group of violinists in grades 5-6 would be performing with one of San Diego's top orchestras, the Greater San Diego Chamber Orchestra.
Whitman strings performers
It's even more unusual that half of the ensemble, the Whitman Strings, from Whitman Elementary School in Clairemont, are either deaf or hard-of-hearing. Under the direction of San San Blain, an instrumental music teacher, the students performed with the Greater San Diego Chamber Orchestra on March 9.

"The Whitman Strings is a special performance group consisting of 5th and 6th grade violin students in the music program," said Susan Aaberg, one of the teachers at Whitman. Students volunteer to attend extra rehearsals, memorize their music and participate in special performances.

"What makes this group unique is that half of these students have 'normal' hearing and half of them are deaf or hard-of-hearing," said Aaberg.

Whitman elementary school is the designated school for children with hearing loss who are learning to communicate through listening and spoken language instead of sign language. There are approximately 80 deaf/hard-or-hearing students at Whitman, aged 3 years through grade 6.Whitman Strings

"At Whitman, the DHH students are “just Whitman kids,” she said. "They participate in running club, music class, band, and ASB. They play sports, take karate, join a dance company, speak two languages, succeed scholastically and yes, even play violin."

For more information on the program, contact Aaberg at

Freese Elementary gets college readiness started early

Freese Elementary School staff and students are working with strong determination to build the academic foundation in students necessary to be college ready.

Happy days at Freese To remind everyone of the goal, every Monday is now "No Excuses" Monday. Freese's student body organization conducted a read-a-thon and a jog-a-thon to raise the money to furnish every student with a "No Excuses" t-shirt. Students are excited to wear the shirts that remind us all how important it is to achieve in school.

Elizabeth Freese Arts and Culture Magnet School aims to provide every child with the educational skills needed for academic and career success.
As a magnet school, students are educated with state-approved core curriculum with a special focus on arts and culture. Those subjects are woven into academic work to enrich learning and teach students a broader global perspective. In addition, students explore topics with local artists, musicians, dancers and actors, on and off campus. More than 20 Partners-in-Education keep our magnet program enriching and lively.

Freese applies rigorous standards to learning, using multiple measures of testing and grading students to ensure their learning remains on target. The school's philosophy is that the principal, teachers and staff are accountable to parents and the community and most of all, to our students.

For more information, contact principal Alma Hills at (619) 479-2727.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Kearny, SD High students honored for creating videos, apps

Three San Diego Unified students have been honored by Careers in Energy Week for developing videos and apps to show benefits of a career in the energy-utility industry.
Get Into Energy
Matt Ferriera, a freshman at Kearny Construction Tech Academy, and Ian Romanas, a sophomore at San Diego High School of Science and Technology, received the state and regional winning awards. Another student, David Noon, from San Diego High School of Science and Technology was the Regional runner up. The contest asked for individual high school students and teams of community college and university students to develop video and apps describing why a career in the energy/utility industry is exciting, innovative and engaging.

The contest was part of a nationwide initiative to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Careers in Energy Week aimed to address the need for a qualified, diverse energy industry workforce. The Careers in Energy Week initiative has been proclaimed in 13 other states and was developed by the National Center for Energy Workforce Development. Supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, this was California’s second Careers in Energy Week designed to increase awareness about the role energy plays in our daily life at the student level.

San Diego Gas & Electric joined other California utilities in the annual event.

“At SDG&E, our goal is to support programs that provide tools and resources to students in hopes of engaging them in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Scott Drury, vice president of human resources, diversity and inclusion for SDG&E. “Careers in Energy Week is a great example of how we, as a community, are working together to develop our next generation of leaders in the region.”

For more information about Careers in Energy Week, please visit

Cybersecurity skills send Patrick Henry JROTC team to Washington, D.C.

A team of students from Patrick Henry High School is headed to the Washington, D.C. area March 26-30 to compete in the national championship round of CyberPatriot VI — The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.Patrick Henry team
CyberPatriot is a unique educational competition that challenges students to resolve real-life cybersecurity situations faced by industry professionals. Created in 2009 by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot provides students hands-on learning about securing computer networks while exciting, educating, and motivating them toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Led by retired Navy Senior Chief John Wood, the Patrick Henry High School team is one of 14 finalists for the competition’s All Service Division. The CyberPatriot competition has historically consisted of two high school divisions, with public, private, and home schools competing in the Open Division and Junior ROTC units, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Civil Air Patrol squadrons competing in the All Service Division. This season, however, CyberPatriot invited middle school students to participate in a third division: the first ever Middle School Division. In all, more than 1,500 teams registered to participate in CyberPatriot VI, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in both Europe and the Pacific.

This season, the All Service Division began with 872 registered teams. After two challenging online qualification rounds, the Patrick Henry Navy Junior ROTC team was one of only 44 teams to advance to the semifinals in January. After an exceptional performance in the semifinals, the Patrick Henry NJROTC team was recently named one of 14 All Service Division national finalists and will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot VI National Finals Competition at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. During the competition’s only in-person round, teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from a professional aggressor team.

The National Finalists will also face-off in three additional competition components: the Digital Cyber Crime Scene Challenge and the Cisco Networking Challenge, both of which return from previous seasons, and the Digital Forensics Challenge. These extra challenges broaden the cybersecurity experience for students and expose teams to new elements of the many career opportunities available to them.

CyberPatriot greatly benefits from the support and technical expertise of its presenting sponsor, the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Other sponsors include Cyber Diamond Sponsors AT&T Federal, Cisco, Microsoft, Raytheon, USA Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Cyber Gold Sponsors URS, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver Sponsors Air Force Research Laboratory, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and University of Maryland University College.

For more information about CyberPatriot, go to

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mira Mesa High cheer squads are national champions

Mira Mesa cheer squad

Congratulations to the Mira Mesa High School Varsity cheerleading team for finishing in first place and the Junior Varsity taking fifth in their divisions at the Universal Cheerleaders Association national competition.

The 2013-14 cheerleading family is composed of 31 girls, 18 on JV and 13 on varsity. While Mira Mesa's Cheer squads are competitive, they also support school sports, promote spirit on campus, and are involved in the community events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, said coach Krishelle Hardson-Hurley.

"Thanks to their coaches Krishelle Hardson-Hurley, Deija James, Tom and Mary Jensen and Lisa Keys for a fantastic job and many congratulations to the girls and their families," said Principal Scott Giusti.

The annual National High School Cheerleading Championship is the most prestigious cheerleading championship in the country. The event took place  February 8-9 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. The NHSCC is nationally televised on ESPN and ESPN2 to more than 100 million homes and 32 countries nationwide each year. Thousands of cheerleaders from across the United States travel to Orlando for this competition after first having to qualify at the regional level.

Mira Mesa High School competed against more than 40 of the best teams from across the nation in order to earn the coveted white jackets earned by all first place team finishers. For more information on the squad, contact Coach Krishelle Hardson-Hurley at


Monday, March 17, 2014

Girl Scout campaign to ban the word "bossy"

IN THE NEWS: Supt. Marten The Girl Scouts are part of a new campaign to stop people from calling girls "bossy." They say the word discourages young girls from pursing future leadership roles, and some prominent local women are joining the effort. Led by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez, the goal is to get rid of a word they say promotes unequal treatment of boys and girls. Cindy Marten, superintendent of San Diego Unified Schools, was a Girl Scout through high school, and troop leader in college. "I think sometimes girls are afraid to stand up to what they believe in, afraid people will think, I'm too bossy," Marten told CBS News 8. Watch video»

Superintendent Marten, Chancellor Carroll look to districts' shared vision

Chancellor and Superintendent IN THE NEWS: In a joint television interview, Supt. Cindy Marten and Constance Carroll, San Diego Community College District Chancellor, discuss the upcoming joint board meeting for the two districts and that kindergarten through Community College efforts -- K-14 -- bring together the two systems. Watch video from KUSI»

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SD Community College District and San Diego Unified to hold joint meeting

SDCC and San Diego Unified Governing boards of the two largest education systems in the county will hold a special joint board meeting on March 18 as part of an ongoing effort at better coordinating approaches to issues vital for both the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and SanDiego Unified.

This will be the third joint meeting of the two boards. The session is set to start at 5 p.m. in thePerforming Arts Theatre at San Diego Continuing Education’s EducationalCultural Complex, 4343 Ocean View Blvd., in San Diego’s Mountain View community.

The joint meeting builds upon previous joint sessions that took place in 2011 and 2013, and it represents an opportunity for the two organizations to evaluate progress and make additional plans to ensure that students are academically prepared for both higher education and the workforce. The public and community leaders are invited to attend.

Previous meetings have included discussion on aligning academic calendars between the two districts,coordinating curriculum, concurrent enrollment, and expanding the early/middle college high school model in which high school students are provided with extensive preparation for college and can take several courses for college credit. Mesa College is home to the city’s successful MET School.

Among the many items to be discussed at the March 18 meeting are a K-14 Accountability Framework forStudent Success, aligning mathematics and English curriculum with Common Core standards, establishing a connection and articulation between specific K-12areas of study and SDCCD college majors, early childhood education legislation,and Assembly Bill 86, which provides grants to community colleges and secondary school districts in developing regional plans to better serve the educational needs of adults.

A link to the March 18 agenda is available at

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cluster meetings provide setting for community input on the district's LCAP

Thanks to the hundreds of parents, students,administrators, teachers, support staff and community members who participated in the district’s five Vision 2020 forums, centered around creating quality schools in every neighborhood. Your input was vital to the future of our schools as well to the development of the district's Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).  Looking ahead, LCAP workshops have now been scheduled at the Cluster level. This is a next phase in the opportunity for students, parents, staff, and community members to provide input. Please join us at one of the upcoming workshops: 
Clairemont3/205:30 p.m.Marston Middle School Media Center
Crawford3/175:30 p.m.Mann Middle School
Henry3/204:30 p.m.Henry High School
Hoover3/245 p.m.
Clark Middle School
Kearny3/204:30 p.m.Kearny High Complex, Rm. 301
La Jolla3/204 p.m.Muirlands Middle School
Lincoln3/246 p.m.Porter Elementary School
Madison 3/17   4 p.m.
Madison High School Library
Mira Mesa3/245:30 p.m.Mira Mesa High School
Mission Bay4/106 p.m.Pacific Beach Middle School
Morse3/175:30 p.m.Zamorano Elementary
Point Loma4/74:30 p.m.
Correia Middle School
San Diego3/105:30 p.m.SD High Complex Library
Scripps Ranch3/194:30 p.m.Marshall Middle School
Serra3/174:30 p.m.Farb Middle School
University City3/244:30 p.m.UC High School Media Center
As the district continues to develop the Vision 2020 and Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood model of school reform, it continues to engage stakeholders in partnership. If you have a question about the cluster engagement process regarding LCAP, contact the Office of District Relations at 619-725-7505 or visit the website at

Friday, March 14, 2014

Backpacks of food for families at Juarez Elementary

Juarez Elementary More than 200 families at Juarez Elementary School in Serra Mesa will receive backpacks of food every Friday thanks to the Blessings in a Backpack program and the Walmart Foundation.

“Through Walmart’s support, we are able to help hundreds of local students receive access to the food they need to stay healthy and strong and help them stay focused at school,” said Isaac Santillan, guidance assistant at Juarez Elementary. “We appreciate Walmart’s commitment to serving local families and helping them live better.”

A $25,000 grant awarded to Blessings in a Backpack by the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program is making it possible for 250 families at Juarez to receive the backpacks.

The grant was presented to Blessings in a Backpack during a check presentation ceremony held recently at Juarez Elementary. During the ceremony, San Diego City Councilmember Lorie Zapf joined Principal Marceline Marques to commend Walmart for its support of the program.

“Walmart continues to demonstrate its commitment to San Diego’s families through its generous philanthropic efforts and this grant is no different,” said Councilmember Zapf. “These funds will benefit students at Juarez Elementary in the most tangible of ways – by providing food to ensure they are well fed and nourished.”

The contribution to Blessings in a Backpack was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s California State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better.

Blessings in a Backpack currently supports 60,000 students at 541 schools in 42 states around the country. Through its Feeding the Future program, the organization provides a backpack full of food each Friday to students at participating schools who are fed during the week by the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal program.

San Diego Walmart Neighborhood Market Store Manager Luciano Villela presented the grant on behalf of Walmart and spoke about the company’s commitment to ending hunger in America.

“We are proud to support the efforts of Blessings in a Backpack and to help the organization achieve our shared goal of helping communities throughout California live better,” said Kim Sentovich, Walmart senior vice president for the Pacific Division. “Walmart strongly believes in giving back locally, and we look forward to watching this great organization continue its work and find new ways to positively impact lives.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Public auction set for March 25

Chair San Diego Unified School District will be selling obsolete/broken/beyond economical repair/no parts available furniture and equipment at public auction on Tuesday, March 25. The auction will start at 10 a.m. at the district Supply Center yard, 2351 Cardinal Lane (92123). Preview of the items for sale will take place between 8:30 and 10 a.m.before the auction commences.

Registration for a bidder number will also take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. A cash refundable deposit of $100 is required to receive a bidder number and to participate in the auction.

For more information, contact Fischer Auction Co.,Inc. by phone: 619-590-2828, email: or website: You may also contact Rose Gustafson, manager, Materiel Control, at 858-522-5850 or email

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Superintendent Marten on Channel 8 about "Ban Bossy" Campaign

Superintendent Marten is interviewed by Marcella Lee from Channel 8 regarding the "Ban Bossy" campaign.  This is a national effort to support female leaders.

An incredible week of science and engineering starts March 15

science festival The annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the San Diego Science Festival) features a week of interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities and dynamic speakers to engage kids and families in science and engineering. This year's festival begins Saturday, March 15, and culminates with EXPO DAY at PETCO Park on Saturday, March 22.
Hundreds of community businesses and organizations present more than 35 events throughout the county the week leading up to EXPO DAY. More than 55,000 kids, parents, scientists, educators and community members participate in annual Festival events. Most events, including EXPO DAY, are free and open to families of all ages.
The Festival's mission is to engage and encourage kids in science and engineering and work with parents and teachers to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) innovators.
For complete information and a schedule of events, visit

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Students get hospitality lesson from local industry executives

Convention Center Tour More than 300 students from San Diego Unified’s Culinary Arts and Management courses got the opportunity to tour local hotels and restaurants and hear from industry executives as part of the 16th annual High School Hospitality Conference at the Convention Center.

Organized by San Diego State University’s Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism with help from San Diego Unified, the conference was designed to prepare students who are already enrolled in the hospitality and culinary programs for careers they can expect post-graduation.

Superintendent Cindy Marten kicked off the conference by addressing the students. A panel discussion followed and then students departed for tours of downtown hotels, restaurants and the Convention Center.

Students from Mira Mesa, Morse, Madison, Scripps Ranch, Hoover, and Garfield high schools attended the conference.

Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Program Director Carl Winston called the event a win-win-win.

“When we first started, we expected it to become a ‘feeder’ for our school,” Winston said. “And, while we do get students enrolled, it has become far more important for our current students who act as mentors to the high school students. This helps our students develop their leadership skills which in turn makes them even better future leaders for the local industry.”

For more information, please contact Angela Croce, CCTE Program Specialist, at

Information for this article was courtesy of the San Diego Convention Center.

Monday, March 10, 2014

'Birney Bees' looking out for their namesakes

At Birney Elementary International Studies Magnet, students, teachers, and parents are showing some love for their school's mascot, the bee, by asking local stores to help save the honeybee.

Completing letters As part of Birney's innovative Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Program, students have been studying the detrimental effects of neonic pesticides on bees. The program incorporates not only plant propagation and organic horticulture, but environmental and ecological awareness.

“From the first day, we teach students to say, ‘Thank you, bees,’" said Mindy Swanson, a Birney parent who also is an instructor in the environmental program. "Their first impulse is to be scared of bees when we see them, but then we talk about how 80 percent of the food in the grocery store is there because of the bees, because of bees’ pollination.

“After that, when we see bees in the garden, the students say, ‘Thank you, bees!’”

Students composed letters to Lowes and Home Depot, large hardware stores, asking them to remove neonic pesticides from their shelves as part of the Friends of the Earth U.S. campaign. Students delivered the notes on Valentine's Day.

As students of an International Baccalaureate World School, Birney students are encouraged to reflect upon how people affect their environments and take action respectfully to make the world a better place. Birney's garden program ties into the IB PYP's six transdisciplinary themes and reflects the specific units of inquiry for each grade level. The program has been so successful it has spun off a non-profit, Dig Down Deep, to teach others how to bring urban garden education to their schools. Contact Mindy Swanson at or (858) 522-0687.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

'Magnet School of Distinction' award goes to Barnard Pacific Rim Magnet

Barnard Elementary in Pacific Beach has been named a "Magnet School of Distinction" by the Magnet Schools of America.

Barnard The Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy, which moved to larger quarters in Pacific Beach this school year, emphasised diversity, a school-wide instructional approach, academic excellence and equity, according to Principal Eddie Park.
In notifying Principal Park of the award, Scott Thomas, Executive Director of Magnet Schools of America, said this year's competition was especially tight, as more than 300 schools submitted applications for awards, a record.

As a result of a more rigorous selection and scoring process, a smaller percentage of schools qualified for "Excellence" and "Distinguished" categories," he said.

Barnard's Mandarin Chinese Program offers students the unique opportunity to learn the Mandarin Chinese language. All students are immersed in Mandarin Chinese during language lessons each day. Students experience the Mandarin Chinese language through art, music, drama and physical education activities. The core subject, which will be taught in English, will be enriched with units of study on Chinese literature, social studies, culture and festivals.

The school now offers dual-immersion programs in Chinese, which it has offered since 2007-08, Korean, which began last school year, and Japanese.

For more information, contact Principal Park at (858) 800-5700.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

San Carlos adults have 40-year reunion with elementary teachers

It's been a couple of decades since Forward Elementary School closed in the San Carlos neighborhood, but not only is the school remembered but three special teachers are still in the minds and hearts of school alumni.

Former Forward teachers Now-retired teachers James Baker, Bill Knapp and Ralph Graves were honored by the group San Carlos Survivors for their inspiration to their students, now adults aged 40+.

"These teachers were just so fantastic that the group wanted to see if we could find them," said Tamra Mendoza-Mode, who had the teachers in sixth grade. The trio were found, but not in time for the group's annual picnic, so a special breakfast was held later in the year.
In addition to a story in the local online newspaper, the trio also guested on KUSI-TV's Good Morning San Diego (watch video via Facebook, where there are more photos and comments.)

"You always wonder what happened to these people," said Baker. "Well, today we'll be able to meet some of them. It's a unique and honorable experience."

Baker was a teacher from 1961 to 1989 at Forward and Spreckels elementary schools. Graves was a teacher from 1956-94 at Forward, Hardy and Gage, retiring from San Diego Unified in 1988. He taught six more years at a private school after leaving the district. Knapp taught at Sessions, Fletcher and Forward elementary schools from 1958-91.

Baker told Mendoza-Mode, the organizer of the event, that he also wondered if he "did any good."

"Mr. Baker, I am here to tell you: Yes, you did a lot of good. We all want to say, thank you!" said Mendoza-Mode.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ben Franklin invented daylight savings; starts again Sunday

Be sure to "spring forward" on Sunday and turn your clocks ahead one hour as daylight savings time returns to the US.

Clock According to National Geographic Magazine, the American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin was one of the first to suggest turning the clock to make better use of sunlight.
Ben Franklin—of "early to bed and early to rise" fame—was apparently the first person to suggest the concept of daylight saving time, according to computer scientist David Prerau, author of the book Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.
While serving as U.S. ambassador to France in Paris, Franklin wrote of being awakened at 6 a.m. and realizing, to his surprise, that the sun rose far earlier than he usually did. Imagine the resources that might be saved if he and others rose before noon and burned less midnight oil, Franklin, tongue half in cheek, wrote to a newspaper.
"Franklin seriously realized it would be beneficial to make better use of daylight, but he didn't really know how to implement it," Prerau said. Read more»

Cluster meetings provide setting for community input on the district's LCAP

As San Diego Unified prepares to conclude the Vision 2020 – Dream Big Together Forums, the focus will turn to engaging school communities through the regularly scheduled monthly cluster meetings. This engagement will provide students, parents, teachers, administrators, support staff and interested community members with the opportunity to provide input towards the development of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) at the cluster level. All 16 clusters will have the LCAP discussion at an upcoming meeting. Here is the schedule:
Clairemont 3/20 5:30 p.m. Marston Middle School
Crawford 3/17 5:30 p.m. Mann Middle School
Henry 3/20 4:30 p.m. Henry High School
Hoover 3/24 5 p.m.
Clark Middle School
Kearny 3/20 4:30 p.m. Kearny High Complex, Rm. 301
La Jolla 3/20 4 p.m. Muirlands Middle School
Lincoln 3/24 6 p.m. Porter Elementary School
Madison TBD       5 p.m.
Madison High School
Mira Mesa 3/24 5:30 p.m. Mira Mesa High School
Mission Bay 4/10 6 p.m. Pacific Beach Middle School
Morse 3/17 5:30 p.m. Zamorano Elementary
Point Loma 4/7 4:30 p.m.
Correia Middle School
San Diego 3/10 5:30 p.m. SD High Complex library
Scripps Ranch 3/19 4:30 p.m. Marshall Middle School
Serra 3/17 4:30 p.m. Farb Middle School
University City 3/24 4:30 p.m. UC High School Media Center
As the district continues to develop the Vision 2020 and Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood model of school reform, it continues to engage stakeholders in partnership. If you have a question about the cluster engagement process regarding the LCAP, contact the Office of District Relations at 619-725-7505 or visit the website at

Monroe Clark Middle School hopes to increase recycling

Students at Monroe Clark Middle School are hoping their parents will be recycling more, and the school is now accepting the recycled materials. Watch video»

Purchasing group donates 450 backpacks and supplies

In support of the ongoing efforts to offer Quality Neighborhood Schools across San Diego Unified, U.S. Communities, a nationwide government and education purchasing cooperative is donating 450 backpacks filled with items ranging from pocket folders, rulers and calculators to pencils and water bottles.

Hanby with bags Support was so strong for the U.S. Communities Backpack Initiative that the original goal of collecting school supplies to fill 200 backpacks was exceeded by more than double. The additional backpacks were made possible from the overwhelming response from our supplier partners: Applied Industrial Technologies, CARQUEST, Cintas, Fisher Science Education, GameTime, Garland, Graybar, Haworth, Independent Stationers, Insight Public Sector, KONE, ServiceWear, The Home Depot, UNICOM Government and Virco.

Arthur S. Hanby, Jr., San Diego Unified's strategic sourcing and contracts officer, helped arrange the donation. The backpacks have been distributed to students through the Office of Children and Youth in Transition and several schools, including Carson, Fay, Kimbrough, Rodriguez and Rosa Parks elementary schools.

“Our district serves an estimated 5,000 children and youths-in-transition experiencing homelessness each year,” said Hanby. “These include children and teenagers whose families have lost adequate housing, or are living in emergency, transitional or domestic violence shelters. Other have been forced out of their homes, have left voluntarily to escape violence or drug and alcohol abuse, or are refugees from war-torn countries around the world. What they need is a chance—a chance to succeed and a chance to hope. These backpacks help give them this chance.”

Following dinner on the first day of the meeting, attendees formed “assembly” lines to fill each backpack with everything from pencils and water bottles to pocket folders, rulers and calculators.

“Traditionally at our Annual Meeting, we are focused on the meeting content and the opportunity to network” says Kevin Juhring, General Manager of U.S. Communities. “Recognizing an immediate need among San Diego school children, our program participants, suppliers, Advisory Board Members and board members enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to give back this year. Their generosity showed a lot of heart, and we are proud to count them as part of the U.S. Communities family.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

'Read Across America' boosts young readers in SD Unified

It's an annual event: the Read Across America celebrations around the country to celebrate the birthday of San Diegan Ted Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. Sponsored by the National Education Association, Read Across America encourages schools to invite celebrities and volunteers to read to kids. Watch slide show.

Scripps Ranch High future engineers share with middle schoolers

Some of tomorrow's engineering students at Scripps Ranch High -- girls from Marshall and Wangenheim middle schools -- met up with today's engineering students recently to find out what they can expect in high school, while their parents heard about opportunities at San Diego State University.
Building a solar car
Activities included checking out the Scripps Ranch High engineering facilities, including the 3D drawing programs and building solar-powered cars. Scripps Ranch students involved in the event are all members of the Society of Women Engineers club at the high school. The club’s mission is to foster a female community and encourage students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes and careers. The club also participates in local STEM events and opportunities and is mentored by the professional chapter of the San Diego Society of Women Engineers.

While the middle school girls participated in the activities, parents attended an informational session with representatives from San Diego State University’s Project Lead the Way program and the professional chapter of the San Diego Society of Women Engineers.

The courses taught at Scripps Ranch, as well as other high schools in the district, are part of a agreement with the College of Engineering at San Diego State University. Students who follow the requirements are guaranteed admission to the College of Engineering at SDSU upon high school graduation.

The San Diego Society of Women Engineers discussed the obstacles women face in STEM careers and how to overcome the stereotypes of women in STEM fields.

Lockheed Martin, one of the sponsors for the event, provided funding for the refreshments made by the culinary arts students at Scripps Ranch and provided the take away gifts for the middle school girls. The engineering program at Scripps Ranch High School is supported in the district by the Office of College, Career and Technical Education. For more information about the event, please contact Marsi Sponsler, CCTE Engineering Teacher, at

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Final Vision 2020 Forum scheduled Monday

San Diegans will have another opportunity to weigh in on the future direction of the San Diego Unified School District.

Vision 2020The final meeting of this round of "Dream Big"forums is scheduled from 7-9 p.m, Monday, March 10, at Crawford High, 4191 Colts Way (92115). Board of Education Vice President Marne Foster, the representative from Sub-District E, is the host.

"We believe that when our priorities are inspired and informed by our parents, students, employees and community members,"said Kevin Beiser, Board of Education President, "we will have important information for long-range planning with students at the center."

Superintendent Cindy Marten said that the forums provide important guidance from the public.

"We look forward to continued stakeholder engagement beyond these forums as we work together to create quality schools in every neighborhood," said Marten.

The "Vision 2020 Forums: What Kinds of Schools Do We Want" series offer parents, staff, students, and community members an opportunity to give input to the superintendent and the board members on priorities for our students and schools. The forums will focus on three guiding questions:
  1. What do we believe is working on our path to accomplishing Vision 2020?
  2. What do we feel and/or think should be improved upon in order to accomplish our Vision 2020?
  3. How will we work together to accomplish our Vision 2020?
Childcare and translation services are provided. To reserve your spot and for more information, visit the Vision 2020 Forums webpages.

March 'Harvest of the Month' in cafeterias: Easter Egg Radishes from Suzie's Farm

Helping mark National Nutrition Month, Easter Egg radishes are the featured Harvest of the Month vegetable on San Diego Unified School District salad bars during March. Watch video»

Fresh radishes Just like Easter Eggs, these delightful little munchies come in a variety of colors and are a fun addition to kids' lunch.

The organic rainbow-colored radishes are coming from Suzie’s Farm, located in the Tijuana River Valley just north of the International Border, where Robin Taylor and Lucila de Alejandro’s California Certified Organic farm has been producing organic fruits, vegetables and edible flowers since 2004.

The Greek name for the radish is Raphanus sativus which means “quickly appearing,” a perfect name for a plant that can go from seed to sprouts in just three days and be fully ready to eat in three to four weeks.

There are many varieties of radishes with ranges in color, size and in flavor from mild-tasting to hot. The flavor is also intensified if the vegetable is left in the ground too long. Radishes provide a good amount of potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber and are usually eaten raw to add crunch and flavor to salads and many dishes.

Enjoy these colorful radishes on your Kid’s Choice Café and SanDi Coast Café salad bars on Wednesdays in March.
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign is designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Crown Point Academy celebrates new mural, western barbecue

It was a busy month at the Crown Point Junior Music Academy which celebrated not only the completion of its new mural, but also held a family barbecue.

The school's new look on Ingraham Street was celebrated Feb. 7 as local artist Matthew Cavanagh revealed the amazing "Music Opens Minds" mural for the school and its community.

"This mural represents the hard work and dedication parents, staff, and community have put forth in not only fighting to keep the school open, but also in supporting the various music programs that Crown Point Junior Music Academy has to offer," said Principal Muriel Bartolini.

Artist Cavanaugh said he very much enjoyed helping the school.

"Wow. This was such a great event to be a part of," he said. "I enjoyed all the great compliments parents, staff, and students had to say about my work. During the time I was painting the mural a lot of cars honked; pedestrians passing by gave me thumbs up and told me what a great job I was doing."

At the ceremony, string students from Steve Luch's class performed, along with musicians from Pacific Beach Middle School, for dignitaries that included: Phil Stover, Deputy Superintendent of Business Support Services; Mark Nicholson, Instrumental Music Specialist, San Diego Unified Visual and Performing Arts Department; Pacific Beach Middle School Music Director John O'Donnell; and Principal Pacific Beach Middle School Principal Ernest Remillard,

"The mural is so beautiful!" said one parent. "This is what Crown Point needed to show the outside community what (this school) is all about."

Later in the month, Feb. 21, the school had a western barbecue lunch where parents were invited to have lunch with their kids at school.

"I enjoyed dressing up in Western clothes, boots and hat with my daughter," said a first-grade parent. "I love these events!"

"It makes me happy when I see how excited my children get when I am able to come have lunch with them," said another parent. This event was amazing and the hamburgers and hotdogs were really good."

"I like it when my mom and dad sit with me to eat lunch," said a second grader.

For more information on the school, visit its website.

Business group salutes 'Excellent' schools in SD Unified

California Business for Education Excellence has named 52 San Diego Unified schools and seven of its charter schools as high-performing public schools and a spot on its 2013 Honor Roll.
California Business for Education Excellence The organization named 2,099 Honor Roll schools overall, including 1,022 higher poverty schools that are increasing academic performance and closing the achievement gap, and 100 STEM schools that excel in science and mathematics.

The Star Schools for 2013 are Adams, Alcott, Angier, Barnard, Bay Park, Benchley/Weinberger, Cadman, Chesterton, Chollas/Mead, Crown Point, Doyle, Encanto, Fletcher, Green, Hickman, Holmes, McKinley, Oak Park, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Sandburg, Sherman, Toler, Vista Grande elementary schools. K-8: Grant, Longfellow. Middle schools: Challenger, Correia, Lewis, Pacific Beach, Standley. High Schools: Kearny Digital Media and Design, San Diego High International Studies, San Diego SCPA. Charter schools: Harriet Tubman Village Charter, Health Sciences High, King-Chavez Primary Academy, Preuss UCSD, San Diego Global Vision Academy. Star schools are high poverty, high performing, achievement-gap-closing schools.

Honor Roll schools are Bird Rock, Curie, Dailiard, Dingeman, Hearst, Kumeyaay, La Jolla, Miramar Ranch, Scripps, Sessions, Silver Gate, Sunset View, Torrey Pines elementary schools; Marshall, Muirlands middle schools; La Jolla, Scripps Ranch high schools; and Einstein Academy, Old Town Academy K-8 Charter, Urban Discovery Academy Charter schools.  Honor roll schools are high performing schools without significant levels of low-income students.

STEM schools are Alcott, Benchley/Weinberger, Green, Holms, Sandburg and Vista Grande elementary schools. These schools were recognized for having Honor Roll schools with higher poverty and higher performance in math and science.

In a letter to Superintendent Cindy Marten, Dr. James S. Lanich, President and Chief Executive Officer of California Business for Education Excellence, said this year's was one of the largest ever and shows great improvement in California's schools.

"Our heartfelt congratulations and thanks to you and your schools for a job well done," he said. "After an extensive analysis of student achievement data for every public school in California, these schools stood well above the rest in raising their students to grade-level proficiency and beyond."

Schools receiving this distinction from the California business community have demonstrated consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For high schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness. 

Over time, CBEE has identified a common set of success factors in higher performing Honor Roll schools and districts. These include high expectations for all students; ongoing collaboration among teachers to improve practice; targeted use of data to pinpoint challenges and monitor progress; continual intervention for struggling students; and mastery of content knowledge and pedagogical practices.

Visit the California Business for Education Excellence website for more on the program.

Monday, March 3, 2014

PrimeTime Program applications now available

Applications for the before- and after-school care program, PrimeTime, for next school year are being accepted through May 2.

Prime TimeThe PrimeTime Extended Day Program, provides elementary and middle school students with a fun and engaging learning environment during the hours most parents/guardians are working. Parents/guardians can feel comfortable knowing their children are not only receiving professional academic support, but are also interacting with peers in a physically and emotionally safe environment.

New applications are required for the 2014-15 school year, which begins in September, even if a child is currently in the program. Applications will be sent home with students on March 3 and will also be available to print online.

PrimeTime was designed by experts in child development, education and youth leadership. PrimeTime creates a physically and emotionally safe environment conducive to learning while improving reading, writing, verbal, math, science, social and communication skills. At most schools, programs are funded to serve approximately 85-100 students per school day at the elementary schools and 100-300 students per school day at the middle schools. PrimeTime adds a strong youth-development focus, including life skills, positive communication, conflict resolution, goal setting and decision making.
Applications must be sent via U.S. mail to the PrimeTime partner providing services at your child’s school, postmarked between March 3 and May 2, 2014, to be included in the initial review and enrollment process.

Children will be accepted for participation based on the application rating system, up to the capacity for each school’s program. Once PrimeTime has reached its capacity, children not accepted for participation will be placed on a wait list, in the same order of priority, and will be accepted as space becomes available.

Families with children enrolled in San Diego Unified School District schools are eligible to apply if their school of attendance is offering a PrimeTime program. PrimeTime is free to all participating families.
At many program sites, demand exceeds capacity; therefore, enrollment is based on need and compliance to the attendance policy. Families will be contacted when they have been selected for an available opening. Children who apply but are not enrolled will be placed on a wait list.

PrimeTime operates every regular school day. Parents/guardians may choose to have their child(ren) attend the before school and/or after school program.

PrimeTime is available before school hours at most, but not all schools, and start times vary among schools. Before school programs operate for a minimum of 90 minutes.Students are expected to attend everyday for the full range of program hours.

After school, PrimeTime remains open until at least 6 p.m. each day for a minimum of 15 hours per week. Students are expected to attend everyday for the full range of program hours.

More Information

Sunday, March 2, 2014

National Association for Bilingual Education conference looks at SD Unified

The recent National Association for Bilingual Education conference in San Diego gave visitors from around the nation a look at the innovative programs in the San Diego Unified School District.
Supt. Marten and author Alma Flor Ada
With Supt. Cindy Marten as honorary chairperson, the conference matched more than 40 bilingual educators from around the nation with staff from the district's Office of Language Acquisition, parents from the District-level English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) and a special Parent Institute.

Convention attendees visited The Language Academy, San Diego Unified's K-8 Spanish and French Immersion magnet school. Keynote speaker was award-winning author Alma Flor Ada.

Superintendent Marten said San Diego Unified has a strong commitment to bilingual education and language learning opportunities for all students, as evidenced by expansion of dual language and developmental biliteracy programs for English learners, the Board of Education's District Language Learning Policy and the many graduates each year who receive the Seal of Biliteracy, an award granted to high school seniors which certifies academic proficiency in English and at least one other language.
See the NABE website for more information.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

PB Middle Vice Principal honored by International Baccalaureate group

Mitchell Booz, Vice Principal at Pacific Beach Middle IB World School was awarded the Teacher Training Award for California IB Middle Years Programme World Schools at the California Association of IB World School Spring Conference. As a winner of the award, Booz will receive an all-expense paid trip to International Baccalaureate World School Heads of School Training.

Mitchell Booz

PB Middle is already home to the three California IB Exemplary MYP Educators (Dan Sloan: Mathematics; Carren Lindsay-Dial: Language and Literature; Karla Martinez; Physical and Health Education), the IB Outstanding MYP Student of the Year Award (Hannah Bloom, PB Middle/MBHS) and Teacher Training Award recipient Principal Ernie Remillard. To learn more about our award-winning program visit our webpage or "Like us" on Facebook at

The California Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools (CAWS), a vital leader in promoting access to international education within the State of California, is a financially responsible, passionate, innovative association that proactively and effectively serves prospective and member schools. Visit the association's website for more information.