CA School News

Coming This Week

February 24–March 4, 2017

Lynwood Unified to Receive 2017 National AP District of the Year Award

Lynwood Unified School District will be given the College Board’s AP District of the Year Award at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 for being a leader among medium school districts across the nation in expanding access to Advanced Placement courses while simultaneously improving student performance on AP Exams. Lynwood Unified is the only California school district to receive the 2017 award. Terry Redican, College Board vice president of AP program delivery, will present the award during a ceremony at Lynwood High School. Lynwood High is at 4050 E. Imperial Hwy., Lynwood. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Monrovia Unified Robotics Teams Advance to LA Regional Championships

Six Monrovia Unified robotics teams will advance to the Los Angeles Regional Championships on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Monrovia High School after posting high scores at an interleague competition on Feb. 12. Monrovia High’s Droidnoughts, Kings and Queens, Suitbots and Team Loki; Santa Fe Middle School’s Cougarobotics Omega; and Clifton Middle School’s Hippie Bots will compete against 43 other teams at the Regional Championships, where they will code their way toward a chance to battle at the Superregionals in Tacoma, Washington. Monrovia High is at 845 W. Colorado Blvd., Monrovia. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Bellflower Unified Adds School for Spanish Dual-Immersion Program

Bellflower Unified’s popular Spanish dual-immersion program will expand to a second school in 2017-18, creating a convenient option for families living in the north end of the District. The program will be at Washington Elementary, where a preschool dual-immersion program was launched this year. Tours and informational meetings will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 at the site of the current program, the Intensive Learning Center, 4718 Michelson St., Lakewood. Kindergarten and preschool registration for both sites opens Monday, March 6. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Santa Fe High Re-Validated as an AVID National Demonstration School

Santa Fe High School has been re-validated as a National Demonstration School for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. An AVID campus for more than 20 years and a National Demonstration School since 2001, Santa Fe serves as a model to other schools wishing to implement the college preparation program. Only the top 3 percent of AVID schools reach this status. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Monrovia Unified’s Plymouth Elementary Opens Enrollment for Innovative Kindergarten Programs

Monrovia Unified’s Plymouth Elementary School has opened enrollment for its innovative Code to the Future, Mandarin dual-language immersion programs and Spring Kindergarten. Students in Plymouth’s cutting-edge Code to the Future computer science courses program robots using sophisticated block coding. Code to the Future is integrated into all classrooms from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade.Plymouth also offers a dual-language Mandarin immersion program for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade. Dual-language programs have been shown to boost academic performance, increase understanding of diverse cultures and prepare students for the global job market. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Azusa Unified Femineer Program Inspires Girls to Purse STEM Fields

Female students at Azusa Unified are learning the science behind robotic technology and computer programming through the District’s Femineer after-school program. Offered through a partnership with Cal Poly Pomona, the Femineer program encourages girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. At Azusa High School, 16 girls meet from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays to engineer their own original robots using a variety of craft supplies. Azusa students are mentored by Cal Poly Pomona students during the after-school workshops. Photos are available. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)

Monrovia Unified Middle School to Celebrate Schools to Watch Listing

Monrovia Unified’s Clifton Middle School will hold a celebration at 11 a.m. Friday, March 3 after earning a spot on the 2016 California Schools to Watch list, one of only 11 schools in Los Angeles County to make the grade. Launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, the list identifies schools across the United States that share three features: academic excellence, developmentally responsive to early adolescence and social equity. The school accepted the award on Feb. 23 and will be honored June 21-24 in Washington, D.C. Clifton is at 226 S. Ivy Ave., Monrovia. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Rio Hondo College Fledgling Mock Trial Team to Compete in Claremont Regional Tournament

Rio Hondo College’s first mock trial team will compete as one of two community colleges at the American Mock Trial Association’s (AMTA) Claremont Regional Tournament, set for Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26. The team features seven Rio Hondo College students who will be judged on leadership, public speaking, rhetoric and persuasion skills displayed a legal forum. About 25 regional tournaments are held across the country as the first round of the AMTA’s annual national tournament. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Baldwin Park Unified Schools Celebrate Read Across America

Schools across Baldwin Park Unified will celebrate reading as part of the annual Dr. Seuss-inspired Read Across America, with students competing in read-a-thons, donning hats to honor the Cat in the Hat, dressing up as Seuss characters, creating bookmarks and hosting guest readers, including Baldwin Park’s mayor. Read Across America was launched in 1998 by the National Education Association to celebrate reading. The group chose the birthday of Dr. Seuss – March 2 – with schools building a week to a month of activities around the day. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

San Gabriel Unified to Host TK/Kindergarten Info Session for Community

San Gabriel Unified School District will hold a Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten Parent Info Night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2 at Jefferson Middle School, 1372 E Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel. Parents can meet the San Gabriel Unified superintendent, principals and staff and learn about the District’s offerings, including its one-of-a-kind music immersion program, innovative science and technical laboratory, college preparatory curriculum and dual-language immersion program. Registration information and inter-district transfer applications will be available. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)

Lynwood Unified’s Roosevelt Elementary Holds Read Across America Event

More than 30 guest readers will visit Lynwood Unified’s Roosevelt Elementary School from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 1 to read to students as part of the annual Read Across America program. Read Across America was launched to inspire literacy. It coincides annually with the March 2 birthday of Dr. Seuss. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Bellflower Unified Elementary Holds Bingo for Books to Boost Literacy

Bellflower Unified’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary will hold its second annual Bingo for Books event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, with families moving from room to room across the Dr. Seuss-emblazoned campus playing bingo and winning books. During the event's first year, more than 325 students and their families won over 500 books. Bingo for Books is organized by the Thomas Jefferson Elementary PTA, Associated Student Body and Family Night Committee, with support from staff members who decorate the campus. The books given out are donated by the PTA, staff members and other members of the community. Jefferson Elementary is at 10027 Rose St., Bellflower. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Rio Hondo College CTE Open House to Highlight Auto Tech, Engineering

Rio Hondo College will host its second annual open house at 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 25 highlighting career and technical education (CTE) programs, including its new four-year bachelor degree in automotive technology. The open house will provide prospective students and parents with a chance to meet CTE faculty and current students, and learn how the programs can provide career skills and further their educational experience. Faculty members will inform attendees about course offerings, enrollment and program requirements through demonstrations, lab tours and Q&A sessions. Weather permitting, the geographic information systems program will host a demonstration highlighting its use of drones. The event will be held in the tech quad at Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Bellflower Unified Fifth-graders Bring History to Life with Wax Museum

Fifth-graders from Bellflower Unified’s Stephen Foster Elementary will don historical attire from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 for the final presentation of a “wax museum” that visitors bring to life by donating coins. Once activated, the students give a speech on their historical figure, Benjamin Franklin, Sitting Bull, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony. Students also made presentations on Feb. 21 and 24. More than 200 students and parents visit the museum each day, donating coins for Pennies for Patients and a science assembly. Foster is at 5223 E. Bigelow St., Lakewood. Photos are available. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Los Nietos Students to Compete in LA County Science Competition

Fifteen fifth- and sixth-graders from Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School will compete at the annual Los Angeles County Elementary Science Olympiad on Saturday, March 4 at Occidental College. A total of 60 teams will compete. Rancho has been preparing for the event through its weekly science club and is hoping to improve on its silver medal finish last year. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

South Whittier Seeks Input on Selection of New Superintendent

South Whittier School District is seeking input from parents, students, teachers, staff and community stakeholders on the Board of Education’s selection of a new superintendents. Participants are invited to submit their views on a survey at through Friday, March 3. The survey is available in Spanish at The information will be used to develop a profile of the professional experiences, leadership and personal characteristics the community would like to see in the District’s next superintendent. The survey also asks questions on district strengths, challenges and community values. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Pioneer High School Opens Enrollment for Escalante Summer Math Academy

Pioneer High School is accepting applications for its 27th annual Escalante Summer Math Academy, which enables Whittier’s middle- and high-school students to get ahead on math classes and prepare for college-level courses. Named for educator Jaime Escalante, the six-week program offers Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Math Analysis and Calculus classes. Students who earn A’s or Bs will advance a course level. The academy will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, June 12 to July 20. Applications are due by 3 p.m. Friday, March 10 at Pioneer High School, 10800 Benavon St., Whittier. For information, contact Javier Gonzalez at, or 562-698-8121, ext. 5200. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

San Ysidro Parents Learn Nutrition, Wellness Tips in Weekly Workshops

San Ysidro parents are learning nutrition and exercise tips during a month of workshops through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program. San Ysidro Preschool and Child Development programs are hosting weekly classes to help families with limited resources adopt healthy habits. Classes include demonstrations and cooking lessons, and cover how to plan nutritious, budget-friendly meals and find fun ways to boost activity. The final workshop will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)

Rio Hondo College Students to Provide Free 2016 Income Tax Filing Aid

IRS-certified students from Rio Hondo College will provide free basic income tax return preparation for individuals and families who earned $54,000 or less in 2016 as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays, March 3 to April 14 (except March 31). The program will be run from the Administration of Justice Building Room 203, Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. VITA volunteers will help prepare Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ, including standard and itemized deductions and earned income tax credit. VITA does not handle Form 1040NR, married couples filing separately, Schedules C, D, E, F and SE, rental property or farm income. Call (562) 463-7359 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. No appointments necessary. Arrive before 1 p.m. to ensure assistance before closing time. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

South Whittier, Partner Provide Free Counseling Services to Families

In partnership with Spiritt Family Services, South Whittier School District is providing families with free counseling services on a weekly basis for eight weeks. Spiritt delivers family-focused education, case management, support and counseling services. Services will be offered from 8:45 to 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays, March 1 and March 8 at the South Whittier School District Office Professional Development Center, 11200 Telechron Ave., Whittier. For more information or to enroll for the next session, call Daisy Rios at 562-903-7000. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Rio Hondo College Professors to Serve as Judges in Hillcrest Arts Fest

Rio Hondo College art history professor Sheila Lynch and design and drawing professor Ron Reeder will join four other art professionals to judge the 57th annual Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts, set for Friday, Feb. 24 through Sunday, Feb. 26. The juried competition’s categories range from photography and water color to graphics/mixed media, sculpture and religious. More than 200 artists participate annually. The festival is hosted by Hillcrest Congregational Church, 2000 West Road, La Habra Heights. For information, go to Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Follow-up Stories

East Whittier Parents, Teachers Connect at Symposium

More than 150 parents, principals, and teachers from each of the East Whittier City School District’s 13 schools on Feb. 10 shared perspectives on teaching students during the District’s first-ever parent-teacher symposium. Speakers at the standing-room only event included State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and state Sen. Anthony Mendoza, 32nd District. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)

Bassett Unified Students Showcase Discoveries at Science Fair

More than 100 Bassett Unified K-12 students completed science projects exploring the scientific properties of a range of household items, chemicals, plants and animals to better understand how organisms and products, both natural and man-made, work to alter or enhance our physical surroundings, displaying them at BUSD’s second annual Science and Engineering Fair, held on Feb. 22 at Torch Middle School. Three Bassett High seniors won the grand prize by demonstrating that expired pharmaceuticals cause permanent damage to the environment when disposed of improperly. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Paramount Unified Science Students Design Wing Prototypes

Using only four common household items – index cards, string, tape and scissors – more than 100 Hollydale Elementary School sixth-graders let their imaginations soar on Feb. 6, designing and constructing airplane wing prototypes under the guidance of Boeing engineers. The event was part of a partnership to help students develop collaboration and critical thinking skills targeted by the state’s Next Generation Science Standards. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Norwalk-La Mirada High School Students Take Part in Mock Interviews

More than 100 Norwalk-La Mirada High School students dressed up in professional attire as they participated in the second annual mock interview on Feb. 22. Students prepared for the mock interview since January, including writing resumes and practicing potential questions prior to sitting in front of professionals from Cerritos College, NLMUSD and the City of Norwalk. Photos are available. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Los Nietos Elementary Teaches Students to Set Goals for Achieving Dreams

Guided by familiar animated movie characters and pop music icons, Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School K-6 students received lessons on the benefits of setting goals and planning for the future during the multi-screen, multi-media presentation, “Ready! Set! Go!” on Feb. 17. The 30-minute motivational lesson focuses on telling the stories of real students across the country demonstrating proper planning strategies, and how they use initiative and perseverance to combat the obstacles that unexpectedly crop up along the way. Photos are available.

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events have been scheduled this week.