Wednesday, February 25, 2015

'Girls in Engineering Day' promotes STEM subjects

Middle school girls from around the district recently gathered for “Girls in Engineering Day” to explore the design process through engineering and architecture.

Girls in Engineering participant Hosted by Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation and Design (EID) at Kearny High School, the event kicked off with remarks from San Diego City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who was a female engineer before her political career.

Students participated in a Rube Goldberg competition, designing and constructing a mechanism that moves items without human contact, incorporates a balloon and includes a zip line. They worked in teams comprised of five middle school girls, one EID high school girl mentor and an engineer mentor from SDSU, UCSD or SDG&E.

Michelle Bunn from Project Lead the Way talked about career opportunities for women in engineering and about the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design and the engineering program at SDSU. The MOU between EID and SDSU includes guaranteed admission to the College of Engineering if a student progresses successfully through specific courses and completes the additional parameters of the agreement. More information on the memorandum can be found on Kearny EID’s website.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the past 10 years, growth in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. STEM workers are also less likely to experience joblessness than their non-STEM counterparts.

Girls in Engineering Day Participants Although women make up nearly half of the working population, they remain underrepresented in STEM occupations. Women with STEM jobs earned 33 percent more than comparable women in non-STEM jobs – considerably higher than the STEM premium for men. As a result, the gender wage gap is smaller in STEM jobs than in non-STEM jobs. Women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

For more information about this event or Kearny’s School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design contact James Michaelian at

Friday, February 20, 2015

Teachers spend afternoon with author Joy Cowley

If you have ever undertaken the important task of teaching children to read, you know it can come as a challenge for some students. Renowned children’s author Joy Cowley faced this realization when one of her own sons had difficulty learning to read. Cowley began writing stories for her son and children with similar difficulties.
Teachers and Joy Cowley On a recent afternoon, a select number of San Diego Unified TK-2 teachers attended an inspirational event that not only included an opportunity to hear Cowley speak, but also a chance to meet, talk to, and take pictures with an author who has touched the lives of children around the globe. Many San Diego Unified students have learned to read using Joy Cowley’s endearing books.

Cowley spoke to the group about the importance of focusing on joyful reading. She reminded the group that as early learning teachers, they have two jobs. First, they need to teach children to read – to crack the code, to know how books and print work. And while this work is important, she highlighted an even more pressing goal – the need to teach children to become readers and to make reading an important and valued part of their lives.

Cowley has a unique approach to writing children’s books. She believes that children need to see themselves and their own culture in the stories they read. She publishes books with real stories, iconic characters, plot lines with twists and surprises, and language that children play over and over in their heads.

Now, after having written more than 600 children’s fiction, novels and short stories, Cowley travels around the world attending conferences, running writing workshops and visiting schools. Cowley still enjoys contact with children, and states that being surrounded by children keeps her grounded.

“The day I’m no longer in touch with young people, is the day I stop writing for them because the energy flows from them and goes back to them,” Cowley says.

The event was organized in conjunction with Raymond and Christine Yuen from the Hameray Publishing Group. For more information about the event, contact Donna Marriott at

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Clairemont High Students Certified in Automotive Service

Eight Clairemont High School students recently earned Automotive Service Excellence certification, confirming their technical knowledge in the auto service field.
Clairemont HS Automotive Students Under the instruction of Larry Engelbrecht, Clairemont High’s students have been taking classes and gaining skills in the school’s state-of-the-art auto shop facility constructed in 2012. This program is part of the Transportation pathway in the College, Career and Technical Education (CCTE) program.
The ASE certification can help students find employment with local automotive industries in San Diego. The students and their certification are:
  1. Megan Bordieri – Brakes and Steering/Suspension
  2. Jack Caires – Manual Drivetrain/Axels and Engine Repair
  3. Zachary Kuntz – Electrical
  4. Brandon Leana Pliego – Steering/Suspension and Maintenance/Light Repair
  5. Jesse Runalls – Brakes and Electrical
  6. True Southfox – Electrical, Maintenance/Light Repair and Engine Repair
  7. Kyle Toczek – Electrical, Maintenance/Light Repair and Engine Performance
  8. Keith Vylavanh – Electrical
Several of the students who earned ASE certification have already served or are currently participating in an internship opportunity with Mossy Toyota and Mossy Ford. At Mossy, students are exposed to various aspects of the industry, such as repair service, parts department, service writing, vehicle sales and customer service.
Clairemont High is the first campus to offer the ASE exam in San Diego Unified. CCTE’s goal is to offer the ASE exam at all of their automotive programs, which include Morse, Madison, Crawford, Mira Mesa and La Jolla high schools.
Clairemont High’s $2.6 million automotive facility was funded by Proposition S and a California Proposition 1D matching-fund grant.

For more information about the CCTE program, contact Program Manager Greg Quirin at

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Harvest of the Month is the Organic Minneola Tangelo

Tangelos Even though we are halfway through the month, there is still plenty of time to try February's Harvest of the Month - the organic Minneola Tangelo from Sunrise Farms in Vista, Calif. Find this super fruit on your school salad bar every Wednesday during the month of February.

View the video

To help educate students on where the Harvest of the Month produce item comes from, the Farm to School program has have created monthly Harvest of the Month videos that act as virtual field trips to the farm. These videos are an opportunity to connect students to their food and local farmers. We encourage principals to have their teachers share the videos in the classroom so students can experience the full circle of their food.

Please share these Virtual Field Trip Video links with teachers, staff and students:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

IN THE NEWS: La Jolla High teachers reflect on love, life, teaching

When longtime La Jolla High School teachers Rachel and Howard Tenebaum were in college -- Rachel, a freshman, and Howard, a junior -- they attended an orientation event for students eager to make friends.

Flash forward 32 years, the twosome are still together happily and teaching at La Jolla High School, with Rachel teaching biology since 2002 and Howard teaching environmental science and chemistry since 2007.

Read their special love story published in the La Jolla Light.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scripps Ranch High teen chefs reign supreme in Iron Chef competition

The culinary arts teams from Hoover, Madison, Morse, San Diego, and Scripps Ranch high schools battled it out at “Kitchen Stadium” during the 11th Annual Teen Iron Chef Competition, with Scripps Ranch High edging out the competition for the second consecutive year.
 Scripps Ranch Students, teacher
 The Scripps Ranch team with teacher Kimberly Coelho.

The students were challenged with the task of preparing a three-course meal featuring the secret ingredient, sun-dried tomatoes, which was announced just minutes before the start of competition. The ingredient had to be incorporated into at least one of the three courses.

The Scripps Ranch team of Alexis Howard, Marlene Freerksen and Lana Monteclar plated dishes that included Hiramasa Kingfish Tartare, pan-seared scallops and Meyer lemon cake with raspberry butter.

With support from their teachers, the students had one hour to prep their food and 10 minutes to plate the food for five judges. The five judges included Chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room; Ken Irvine of Irvine Hospitality; Chef Ricardo Heredia; U-T San Diego’s Chris Racan; and San Diego Unified’s own Cheryl Hibbeln.

The local chapter of the California Restaurant Association (CRA) and SDG&E partnered with San Diego Unified to host the event.

Also announced at the event was an award of $20,000 from SDG&E to the CRA to assist the culinary programs of San Diego Unified high schools. In addition, a scholarship for San Diego students was announced by the CRA’s San Diego Chapter in honor of Rick Ghio, the late co-owner/President/CEO of Anthony’s Fish Grotto. The scholarship is intended for students interested in a obtaining a four-year degree from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management program at San Diego State University.

 Morse students
 Morse High students prepare their dishes.
The following students participated in the competition and prepared the following dishes:

Team Madison High School: Laura Garcia, Tam Nguyen, Lucy Trac, Angel Perez DeLeon
Teacher: Emilia Zelaya
Course 1: Seared Ahi Tuna With heirloom Salad and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Course 2: Shrimp Scampi with housemade Pasta
Course 3: Orange and crystalized ginger granite with Candied Citron

Team Morse High School: Jeremiah Panhwanh, Mauricio Silva, Reyes Hopster, Ricardo Chavez
Teacher: Sara Smith Piatt
Course 1: Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce --Wild Caught Shrimp with Roasted Pearl Onions, Baby Golden Beets and Scallion
Course 2: Surf and Turf - Peppercorn Roasted Filet Mignon with Pan Smoked Mushrooms, Lobster Spaetzel, Rainbow Carrots and Brussels Sprout Leaves
Course 3: Gone Bananas - A trio of Banana Empanadas , Caramelized Banana Scallops, Banana Scallops and Fresh Caramel Drizzle

Team San Diego High School: Emily Rodriquez, Michel Mariscal, Adrian Salazar, Christian Vo
Teacher: Brian Murphy
Course 1: Crisp Ravioli, Tomato, herb and cheese ravioli creamy smoked artichoke sauce
Course 2: Chilean Sea Bass, miso sea bass with squash blossom, green tea pasta, vegetables four ways,
citrus vinegar broth
Course 3: Financier and White Chocolate Mousse, chocolate coco nib cookie crumble, bruleed citrus slices, blood orange caramel

Team Hoover High School: Maiya Clinton, Rubie Perez, Arlene Guzman, Marina Valle
Teacher: Pamela Dahlin
Course 1: Italian Wedding Soup
Course 2: Shrimp Pasta
Course 3: Raspberry Tart

Now in its 10th year, the Teen Iron Chef competition was started by College, Career & Technical Education teacher, Zhee Zhee Aguirre, and modeled after the Food Network’s Iron Chef America Series.

Students have the opportunity to develop their ideas, go shopping, portion their protein and measure any dry or liquid ingredients the day before the event. They are not allowed to do any actual cooking, pre-making dough, or premixing ingredients ahead of time. On the day of the competition, they are presented with a secret ingredient that changes every year and must be incorporated into at least one of their three courses. They are allowed to have their recipes or prep-list at the station during the competition.

For more information about the event or culinary programs at San Diego Unified high schools, contact Lance Larson at or 858-503-1744.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Learn more about new state assessments that start in April

testing California has a new student assessment system that replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.

The new system is known as the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and is part of California’s new comprehensive plan for student success.The results of the CAASPP will provide important information that will be used to monitor student progress, help teachers make decisions about individual student’s academic needs, and make sure that all students leave high school prepared for college and career.

The Smarter Balanced Assessments are part of the CAASPP and will be administered in San Diego Unified beginning in April. Individual schools will determine their site’s testing schedule and will be providing that information to parents and students prior to testing.The questions and answers below have been developed to provide a better understanding of the new assessments.

What are the Smarter Balanced Assessments?
• The Smarter Balanced assessments are new computer-based tests that measure student knowledge of California’s English language arts and mathematics standards. These new assessments replace the former paper-based, multiple-choice assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11. The first statewide administration of these assessments will take place in spring 2015.

Why are new assessments needed in California?
• California has adopted the more rigorous academic Common Core State Standards that emphasize not only subject knowledge, but also the critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem-solving skills students need to be successful in college and career. These standards set a higher bar for California students to help ensure they are prepared to succeed in the future. Because what students need to know and be able to do has changed, our tests must change as well.
• California’s new assessment system represents the next step in a comprehensive plan to promote high-quality teaching and learning and improve student outcomes. This plan recognizes that assessments can play an important role in promoting and modeling high-quality instruction.

How were these new assessments developed?
• California worked with 21 other states as part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop these new assessments, as well as the professional and instructional resources provided to help students, teachers and schools throughout the year.
• Educators – from K-12 to higher education – were deeply involved in the design, testing and scoring of these new assessments. California conducted both pilot and statewide field tests of Smarter Balanced assessments over the last two years.
• Last year, California suspended its use of existing assessments in ELA and Math to give teachers time to focus on refining instruction of California’s more rigorous standards, to give students time to begin deeper learning, and to give schools time to prepare to administer these computer-based tests effectively.

How are Smarter Balanced Assessments an improvement over previous statewide tests?
• The Smarter Balanced assessment system uses both computer-based and computer-adaptive tests, providing students with a wider range of questions tailored to more accurately identify the knowledge and skills individual students have mastered.
• The tests include performance tasks that challenge students to demonstrate critical thinking and problem- solving, and to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems.
• The tests are taken online, and results are available to teachers, schools and school districts much more quickly than results from previous tests.
• The new assessments are aligned with the skills students need to start taking courses for credit at California State University campuses and other colleges. Based on their results, students in the 11th grade will have more information about the type of courses and level of rigor required in their final year of high school.
• The new computer-based tests include supports for English learners and students with special needs, allowing these students the ability to effectively demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
• The new assessment system is designed to measure student growth over time, which was not possible in California’s previous system, and will provide teachers and schools important information to guide learning.

What will the Smarter Balanced tests measure?
• Smarter Balanced tests provide one measure of student knowledge of the subject matter, critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving skills they need to prepare for and succeed in today’s world.
• These assessments provide important information as to whether students are on track to pursue college and career by the time they graduate from high school. The tests provide timely and actionable student information so that teachers and schools can adjust and improve teaching to ensure students have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.

What results can we expect from the Smarter Balanced Tests?
• The new tests are too fundamentally different from the old exams to make any reliable comparisons between old scores and new. This year’s results will establish a new baseline for the progress we expect students to make over time.
• Based on trial runs of the new assessments in California and other states, many if not most students will need to make significant progress to reach the standards set for math and literacy that accompany college and career readiness.
• Over time, as students experience multiple years of instruction related to the skills tested by the new assessments, California’s results will show improved achievement. (In 2002, California’s new STAR tests also set a new baseline for achievement and student results improved quickly over time.)
• Parents will receive a report of their child’s scores in the summer. But no student, parent or teacher should be discouraged by these new baseline scores, which will not be used to determine whether a student moves on to the next grade. Rather, the scores will represent an opportunity to focus on the needs of students and support teachers and schools in their work to achieve college and career readiness.

How will this system help improve teaching and learning?
• The Smarter Balanced assessments are an academic check-up, designed to give teachers the feedback they need to improve instruction. The tests measure critical thinking, analytical writing, problem solving, and subject area knowledge, providing teachers with multiple sources of actionable information about student strengths and areas where students need additional support.
• The system provides two types of interim assessments that teachers and schools can use to assess student learning at key points in the instructional year and to measure student preparedness for year-end summative tests. Both of these tests provide information for teachers to adjust and differentiate teaching in response to the results.
• The system provides a Digital Library of professional learning and instructional resources to help teachers assess individual student learning during instruction, provide feedback to students in a timely manner, and adjust teaching and learning as needed.
If you would like more information about the CAASPP, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) website at .

Project Ujima Parent Program Helps Students Improve Academics

For more than five years, the district’s Project Ujima parent program has been engaging African-American families in culturally-focused workshops, providing free resources to parents to help their students improve academically.

Project Ujima Named for the Kwanzaa principle of collective work and responsibility, Project Ujima workshops offer lessons on academics, as well as African-American culture and history.

“We have seen so many of our parents that started in Project Ujima that had never gone to a School Site Council meeting or District Advisory Council meeting or Board of Education meeting. They didn’t know how to support their child,” said Program Manager Elneda Shannon. “Some of these parents are now in leadership roles and their children are doing well. We have parents that never had any type of homework structure in their home and now recognize what their kids need to do, started a routine and their children are succeeding. And we have total proof of that with this program,” Shannon said.

To help busy families participate, the program often provides free childcare, homework stations and dinner. Spanish translation is also available.

The program’s all-important goal is to improve student academic success, but it provides parents with much more. It facilitates stronger partnerships and resource sharing between parents, students and the district to promote a productive learning environment for students. It also encourages stronger family involvement and provides programs that respect, value and validate the African-American culture.

Shannon and her key instructors, who are African-American, facilitate classes such as “Understanding the Common Core State Standards” and “Preparing African-American students for Career and College.”

The program comes from an African-American perspective, but all parents are welcome to participate.

“We have a diverse group of parents that are involved in Ujima because the information is good for all parents and for all students,” Shannon said.

Project Ujima is one of several culturally-focused programs offered by the Parent Outreach and Engagement Department. Project Ujima’s success led to the creation of other culturally-focused programs for American Indian and Southeast Asian parent communities. These programs complement other department programs such as Raising A Reader, Parent University and Computers on the Go.

“We want to make sure that parents have good information, good skills and good techniques on how they can help their children do well academically, and that’s what all of our programs are about,” Shannon said. “Our goal is the same: a successful student outcome and building parent leaders.”

Shannon hears from both parents and students that the program has been helpful.

“I know it’s successful when parents keep coming back and when parents share with other parents what has helped them,” Shannon said. “I know it’s successful when I have a parent come in and say ‘look at this report card’ or a student will come and tell me ‘I just passed my CAHSEE and I didn’t think I was going to.’

“I tell parents that you don’t have to know how to do your child’s homework, all you have to do is be there, be supportive and set the rules for your household.”

Project Ujima hosts monthly workshops and provides teachers with educational materials relating to African-American history and culture. In celebration of Black History Month, the department is hosting two events. The first is a screening of the play “The Montford Point Marines of San Diego – Legacies of Pride” on Feb. 12. The second is a lesson on genealogy called “Discovering Your Roots,” on Feb. 26 hosted by district staffer and genealogy expert Marti Lewis.

“Legacies of Pride” is a true story about the experiences of the original Montford Point Marines in the 1940s. They were the first African-Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps. The one-act play depicting some of their experiences was written by Project Ujima parents, students and community members.

The Montford Point project was grant-funded, as are many of the special projects and field trips coordinated by the staff at Project Ujima.

Project Ujima families at USC Students and parents have participated in college tours to USC, UC San Diego and San Diego State, as well as field trips to Campo, home of local Buffalo Soldiers, and to Julian, which unbeknownst to many, has a rich African-American history.

A separate grant funded a parent mentor program in which parents, who have been part of the Project Ujima program and support the Parent Outreach and Engagement’s mission, work with other parents to get them involved. The mentor program was piloted successfully with Project Ujima so the department recently launched it as part of the American Indian program.

For parents or guardians that want to get involved, Shannon says the best thing to do is just come to one of the workshops or events.

“I know that African-American parents care about their children and they care about education,” Shannon said. “I am an African-American parent and grandparent so I know that parents care and that they want their children to do well.”

For more information about Project Ujima, contact Program Manager Elneda Shannon at or 619-291-4431.

School Choice Application Deadline is Feb. 15.

The deadline is Sunday, Feb. 15 for school choice applications for the 2015-16 school year.

School Choice Logo San Diego Unified offers excellent educational opportunities around every corner. Visiting your neighborhood school is a great place to start. For students seeking other options, the application deadline is February 15, 2015 for the upcoming school year.

Applications will not be accepted after the deadline unless the student is new to the district or a current San Diego Unified student has a change of residence. Proof of new residence is required.

Please note:
  • Online is the preferred method of submission for applications. If families are unable to use the online application, they should contact the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options Office at 619-725-5672, email at, or contact any school for assistance with applying for your child.
  • When applying for kindergarten, you must select Pre-k for the current grade level, for Transitional Kindergarten (Please select the check box).
Families will be notified by mail or phone call in early April through June if their student is being offered enrollment for one of their choice schools.

For more information, visit the Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment Options website.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Remember to Visit Your Neighborhood School When Exploring Options

Andy Hinds IN THE NEWS: "Neighborhood Schools are the New Charters"

This is the time of year when many parents of soon-to-“graduate” preschoolers are quietly freaking out. Until now, the idea of your babies going to elementary school had been like some distant, futuristic fantasy/nightmare. Now it looms large, imminent, and fraught with ramifications that seem likely to cascade throughout your precious progeny’s lives. It’s the real deal. The big leagues. Kindergarten.

Read Jefferson Elementary parent, Andy Hinds, complete article in the January 30 edition of San Diego Uptown News.

Supt. Named 2015 Local Peacemaker by National Conflict Resolution Center

Cindy Marten Cindy Marten, head of the San Diego Unified School District, will be honored as local Peacemaker for 2015 when the National Conflict Resolution Center holds its 27th annual Peacemaker Awards.
The event, March 12, also recognizes University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former Cabinet secretary and Arizona governor, as the national Peacemaker for 2015.
Read more at the Times of San Diego

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Green Elementary wins "2015 Bright Ideas Society" Competition

Green Elementary School was one of three local schools named as ​winner of the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering​ "Bright Ideas Society" award.

The award is 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. The other two schools were Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway and High Tech High International, a charter school. Under the direction of their advisor, the students will produce an interactive exhibit to share their findings with more than 25,000 EXPO DAY attendees. 

Students from Green will help EXPO guests understand the danger of storm water in our local community in a highly interactive exhibit. Participants will be able to add ‘rain’, ‘trash’ and ‘oil’ to their storm water sample and watch it reach San Diego Bay in mock 3D setup of San Diego. Kids and parents will then have the opportunity to filter the polluted water. This display will provide a hands-on look on the dangers of storm water pollution and ways it is filtered preventing environmental damage. 

The schools will present their innovative ideas to thousands of children and adults during the Festival’s EXPO Day at PETCO Park on Saturday, March 21. Additionally, the students will receive a proclamation from Council President District 1 Sherri Lightner, who serves on the Festival steering committee. The proclamation will be presented at 11 a.m. on EXPO Day.

“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 reviewed and vetted by our education committee, which then selected the top three. Our Bright Ideas Society competition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to develop tomorrow’s STEM innovators.” 

A program of the Biocom Institute, the San Diego Festival of Science & 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 65,000 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:

Festival Week: March 14-20, 2015. Hundreds of community businesses and organizations throughout San Diego County will present a week of science, technology, engineering and math activities for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade, but everyone is welcome. Visit for a complete list of Festival Week activities around San Diego County. Many of the events are free to the public.

Nifty 50 Speaker Series: The Nifty 50 presenters are innovative science and engineer professionals drawn from industry, local research organizations and universities. They are partnered with teachers and students from regional schools studying STEM topics that match the area of their expertise.

EXPO DAY: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at PETCO Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a mind-blowing day of hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers, but everyone is welcome. This event is free and open to the public. More than 25,000 people are expected to attend. EXPO Day is free of charge and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

De Portola Continues as Model Middle School

logo De Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta has once again been re-designated a model middle school by the California Department of Education's Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage (STW™−TCS) program. This year marks
De Portola's third re-designation, representing nine years of continuous improvement.

The school's academic excellence, responsiveness to students needs were lauded by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Schools, in an announcement from Sacramento. Across California, 15 schools were returned to the "watch" list, while seven schools were added to the honor roll. There are more than 1,300 middle schools in California and 95 in San Diego County. De Portola is being joined by Olive Peirce Middle School in Ramona as the only honored schools in San Diego County.

"I commend the students, their parents, teachers, and administrators, for their efforts in helping make these 15 schools models of excellence," Torlakson said. "Their success is amazing, especially considering they are swimming against the tide of massive budget cuts, crowded classrooms, and school employee layoffs."

STW™—TCS middle grades schools are high-performing model schools that demonstrate academic excellence, developmental responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, social equity, and organizational support. These model schools host visitors from California and around the world who are looking for replicable practices that will help them improve their middle grades schools and close the achievement gap. In order to retain the designation, each school is re-evaluated every three years.

All of the schools will be formally recognized in Sacramento at the California Middle Grades Alliance annual luncheon Feb. 26, 2015.

For more information about the Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage model school program, visit the California Department of Education Website at California Schools to Watch--Taking Center Stage - Middle Grades.

Moore to Come for Hoover Wrestler

Kevin Moore IN THE NEWS: Kenneth Moore is eyeing rare success as he prepares for state championships.

A year after becoming Hoover High School’s first junior to advance to the state championships, Kenneth Moore, a17-year-old City Heights native, continues to ascend the state’s wrestling rankings, a rare San Diego Unified grappler making waves in this North County-dominated sport. His No. 6 standing in the 160-pound class not only made Moore the highest of just three city wrestlers recognized by The California Wrestler’s rankings, it has set him on a course to become just the fifth city grappler since 2004 to place at the state tournament.
Read more in UT San Diego.
Photo courtesy of UT San Diego

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Knox Middle School's 38th annual MLK March

IN THE NEWS: Hundreds of San Diego Unified students, staff, parents and guests marched through Mountain View Friday to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The group gathered at Knox Middle School for the school's 38th annual MLK March. The event started off with a performance by Knox students reciting the civil rights leader's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

There were also musical, dance and dramatic performances. Watch the story from CBS News 8.
CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hoover High Counselor Honored at White House

One San Diego counselor received a big honor at the White House Friday.

Tawnya Pringle Tawnya Pringle, a counselor at Hoover High School, was one of five counselors invited to the White House. She was honored as one of the top five 2015 School Counselor of the Year finalists by First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Connie Britton.

The ceremony marked the first time school counselors were honored at a White House event dedicated to their work.

Pringle said the experience was humbling and was one of the “most amazing times of my life.”

Read more from NBC San Diego.