CA School News

Coming This Week

December 2–10, 2016

Baldwin Park Unified High School Unveils $175,000 High-Tech Library

Baldwin Park Unified educators on Thursday unveiled a $175,000 transformation of Sierra Vista High School’s library that features five tech-infused project centers and other upgrades that foster student collaboration. Already, the changes have prompted a surge in library use, with an expanded cadre of librarians regularly hosting as many as 80 students until the facility closes at 5 p.m. The project is designed to be the first in a series of library makeovers that will provide students with state-of-the-art tools. Foremost among the changes are the project centers, including two located in private study chambers. Each center includes a flat-screen TV that can link to laptops via Bluetooth, wheeled chairs and upgraded Wi-Fi. The private rooms feature stereo sound systems. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Montebello Unified High School to Host 5th Gingerbread House Village

Bell Gardens High School Culinary Hospitality Opportunities Pathway (CHOP) students will present Montebello Unified’s fifth annual Gingerbread House Village from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 in the school cafeteria, 6119 Agra St., Bell Gardens. CHOP will show off their culinary artistry through intricate, handmade gingerbread dwellings. The top three houses will be displayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Montebello over winter break. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Lynwood Unified Schools Celebrate Computer Science Week with ‘Hour of Code’

Lynwood Unified K-12 students are celebrating Computer Science Week from Monday, Dec. 5 through Friday, Dec. 9 by participating in an Hour of Code, in which various campuses will immerse students in coding projects or lessons for one hour to bring about awareness of potential STEM-related hobbies and careers. All Lynwood Unified schools will host their own one-hour workshops for students using coding programs that include Google CS First, Code Academy and Tynker. Contact Lindsay Ivins at 480-335-3149 for information about specific campus activities, dates and times. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Baldwin Park Unified Elementary Students to Beautify L.A. County Animal Shelters

Students at Baldwin Park Unified’s Bursch Elementary School will create artwork from 8 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12 and Tuesday, Dec. 13 to beautify Los Angeles County animal shelters during the first stage in a national campaign launched by nonprofit Portraits of Hope to promote pet adoptions. Students in grades two through six will paint wooden cutouts of animals and abstract images to decorate the shelters; students in lower grades will create art pieces to decorate the school in support of the effort.  Bursch is one of just two Los Angeles area schools participating in the program thus far. The school is at 4245 Merced Ave., Baldwin Park Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Baldwin Park Unified High School Student Shines Despite Adversity

Gabriela Flores, a senior at Baldwin Park Unified's North Park Continuation High School, has grappled with poverty, homelessness and even her mother’s deportation, all without faltering in her pursuit of a diploma. Now, she is poised to graduate early with a strong academic record and perfect attendance. For her resiliency in the face of adversity, Flores, 17, has received an Every Student Succeeding Scholarship from the Southern California chapter of the Association of California School Administrators. The 24, $100 scholarships, awarded in November at the Huntington Library, honor students who exceed expectations. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

MUSD Students Learn About Education, Career Future Through Young Men Conference

More than 600 intermediate and high school students from Montebello Unified learned from professionals about higher education, careers and personal development during the sixth annual Adelante Young Men! Conference (AYM) at Pasadena City College. The AYM Conference offered intermediate and high school boys the opportunity to take part in interactive, educational workshops related to issues that affect their lives now and in the future. Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Anthony J. Martinez served as the AYM 2016 Conference Chair and presenter while Applied Technology Center students Christian Osorio and Mark Hernandez also presented during the Nov. 12 event. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More Photos

East Whittier Schools Donate to Charity and Families in Need

East Whittier City School District students are giving back to the community this holiday season by donating funds, food, toys, clothing and other items to charities and families in need. Granada Middle School’s Think Pink Club, a student-run philanthropic club, donated socks, books, board games and school supplies to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Children’s Hospital of Orange County and From Maddi’s Closet, a nonprofit public charity for children with cancer. La Colima Elementary's Parent Teacher Association held a Food and Toy Drive in which students donated canned goods, rice, beans, and new, unwrapped toys. Donations will be used to create holiday dinners and gift baskets for 18 families in need. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More Photos

Students from Lynwood Unified’s 18 Schools to Present Winter Concert

More than 500 Lynwood Unified students will present festive holiday dances and songs during the District’s culminating winter concert from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 8 in the Lynwood Middle School auditorium, 12124 N. Bullis Road. Students will sing renditions of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “O Holy Night” and “Jingle Bells,” dance a lively conga and perform instrumental holiday medleys. Ten LUSD schools will perform the first night and eight schools will shine during the second show. Media Contact: Valerie Martinez, Lindsay Ivins 909-206-5480 or 480-335-3149Read More

Paramount Unified Elementary School Honored as Golden Bell Award Winner

Paramount Unified’s Jefferson Elementary School has received a Golden Bell from the California School Boards Association (CSBA) for an instructional program that fosters professional development and improves curriculum. The “Growth Mindset is Paramount” program applies professional development with support from academic coaches and processes that include learning walks, grade-level collaboration and site-based professional learning. The CSBA Golden Bell Awards, now in their 37th year, promote excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs and practices. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Bassett Unified Podcast Rises in Popularity after Conference Presentations

Downloads of a tech podcast launched a year ago by two Bassett Unified School District teachers quadrupled to more than 400 in November after co-hosts – teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) Tom Covington and Michael Jephcott – gave presentations at conferences organized by tech advocates Computers Using Educators. The podcast, TOSAs Talking Tech, focuses on technology integration in the classroom. Through the podcast and speaking engagements, the TOSAs have networked with hundreds of educators throughout California. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Whittier Union Teacher Receives Outstanding Educator Award

Santa Fe High School biology teacher Alejandra Gonzalez has been selected for the University of Chicago’s 2016 Outstanding Educator Award. Each year for the last 30 years, the university invites first-year students to nominate an educator who has influenced them, challenged them or helped them along the path toward intellectual growth. The university receives letters from hundreds of students, inspired by teachers who have changed the course of their lives through excellent teaching and mentorship. In recognition of this profound influence, the Office of College Admissions grants the Outstanding Educator Award to teachers who demonstrate exceptional dedication to the education and personal development of their students. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Three Paramount Schools Designated as Schools to Watch

Alondra, Jackson and Zamboni middle schools have been designated as Schools to Watch by the California Middle Grades Alliance (CMGA) for their high performance and impact. The California Schools to Watch program selects middle schools as models, critiquing academics, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational structures and processes. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

9 Whittier Union Students to Perform in Tournament of Roses Parade

Nine marching band and color guard members from the Whittier Union High School District will represent their schools and exhibit their talents at the 128th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2. The Tournament of Roses Honor Band, which has marched in every Tournament of Roses Parade since 1930, chose for its 2017 band: California High School students Olivia Huizar (piccolo), Rocio Vega (trombone), Gus Sausedo (tuba), Eric Gonzalez (color guard/tall flag) and Edith Garcia (color guard/banner); La Serna High School students Avery Smith (alto sax), Taylor Medina (trombone) and Ye Lee (baritone); and Pioneer High School student Marco Galvan (trombone). Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Baldwin Park Unified Seeks Donations, Volunteers for Santa Clothes Project

Baldwin Park Unified, collaborating with the City of Baldwin Park and community partners, is seeking volunteers and donations for the 20th annual Santa Clothes Project, which will provide 300 students in need with a $50 shopping trip at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 to Baldwin Park Walmart to purchase a new set of winter clothes. The effort will match K-12 students with volunteer shoppers to help them select winter clothes. Students will be chosen from Baldwin Park Unified schools based on family financial need. Those wishing to contribute to this effort should make checks payable to the Baldwin Park Charitable Relief Foundation. For additional information, please contact Bernice Acosta in the Baldwin Park Unified School District Student Support Services Office at 626-856-4605. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

San Ysidro School District Holds Annual Blanket Drive for Students in Need

San Ysidro School District is seeking 1,500 adult-size blankets for children and families in need during its Project Dream blanket drive. Donations will be accepted through Thursday, Dec. 15 at the District Office, 4350 Otay Mesa Road, San Ysidro. The District will distribute the blankets at upcoming holiday events. The first distribution will be at Breakfast with CS Keys on Dec. 17 at the Tilted Kilt in Mission Valley, where SYSD is aiming to feed up to 75 kids and 25 adults. The second distribution will take place at the Kearny Mesa Bowl with Athletes for Education on Dec. 20. Students will bowl with professional athletes and receive a toy and a blanket for participating. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

Follow-up Stories

Azusa Unified Elementary Students Stage Ceramic Art Show with APU Mentors

Displaying ceramic works created with the assistance of Azusa Pacific University art students, 44 Powell Elementary School fifth-graders welcomed friends and family to a gallery-style art show on Nov. 29 at Powell’s newly created art studio. The art show was the culmination of a partnership between Powell and APU, which brought Powell students to the APU campus for a series of ceramic workshops, with APU art students providing one-to-one mentoring, encouraging the fifth-graders to design, create and glaze ceramic artwork utilizing symbols and pictographs inspired by studying indigenous Southwestern pottery. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)Read More Photos

San Ysidro School District Hosts Free Food Pantry for Hundreds of Families

San Ysidro School District’s Willow School filled over 300 bags of food and distributed 225 turkeys to Willow School families and local community members during the school’s bi-monthly food pantry. Hundreds of community members filled the school courtyard at the Mercado Willow Market as families stocked their grocery bags with up to 25 pounds of produce provided by Feeding America, as well as turkeys donated by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez as part of Operation Gobble 2016. The markets continue Friday, Dec. 9 and Friday, Dec. 16. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More Photos

Rio Hondo College Collects Suitcases, Backpacks for Foster Youths

Rio Hondo College students, faculty and staff have donated close to 250 backpacks and suitcases for foster children and youths as part of the College’s third annual Case of Hope Drive. The donations, which included gifts from community members, far exceeded the 150 bags donated in 2015, and came with an added surprise: a donation of 200 toys by a Rio Hondo College graduate. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Azusa Unified Elementary Students Complete College Awareness Program

Fourth- and fifth-graders from Azusa Unified’s Magnolia, Murray, Paramount and Valleydale elementary schools received diplomas recognizing completion of the College Headed and Mighty Proud (CHAMP) program at an Azusa Pacific University ceremony on Nov. 30. CHAMP is a semester-long program designed to inspire elementary school students to begin planning their post-secondary education. Students meet with APU mentors for eight weeks, discussing college admissions, financial aid and career exploration. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)Read More Photos

Upcoming Events

Rio Hondo College Dance Collective Engages 70 Area School Children in Contemporary Production of ‘The Nutcracker’

The Rio Hondo Dance Collective will present its sixth annual holiday program at 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, staging a contemporary version of “The Nutcracker” with 27 dancers from Rio Hondo College as well as 70 community dancers from five area schools and the Rio Hondo College Child Development Center. The production is streamlined to one hour to create a more enjoyable experience for parents with small children. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door; children 5 and under are free. The event will include food and gifts for purchase, including homemade tamales, plus a visit from Santa Claus.The show will be held at Rio Hondo College's Wray Theater, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Lynwood Unified Board of Education to Choose New President, Vice President

Lynwood Unified School District is set to hold its annual Board of Education reorganization meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at which Board members will choose a new president, vice president and clerk. The District will also recognize the dedication and efforts of outgoing Board President Alma-Delia Renteria. The meeting will be in the Lynwood Unified School District Board room, 11321 Bullis Road, Lynwood. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Whittier Union High School Students Make Blankets for Children in Need

Students at Whittier Union’s Santa Fe High School will gather at lunch on Wednesday, Dec. 14 to make fleece blankets to donate to organizations serving children with cancer as part of the school’s Gratitude Project, launched by counselor Cheryl Redgate and the counseling team in 2013. The effort draws dozens of student volunteers each month and is funded through donations from a growing number of businesses and organizations. The school has donated more than 700 blankets. The community and students are invited to participate in the project. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos