CA School News

Coming This Week

September 23–October 1, 2016

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified to Launch Fourth Middle School College and Career Center

Waite Middle School will celebrate the opening of its college and career center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 30. Students will have access to resources and take workshops to learn about UC and CSU admission requirements, develop job readiness skills, create an eight-year plan, and more. Waite is the fourth Norwalk-La Mirada Unified middle school to open a college and career center, following the opening of centers at Hutchinson and Corvallis middle schools in 2015-16, and Benton Middle School in August 2016. The ceremony will be at Waite's Room 90, 14320 S. Norwalk Blvd., Norwalk. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)Read More

Azusa Unified High Schools to Receive CIF Champions for Character Award

Azusa and Gladstone high schools will receive awards from the California Interscholastic Federation – Southern Section (CIF-SS) at the 12th annual Jim Staunton Champions for Character awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 26 at Long Beach’s Grand Conference Center, 4101 E Willow St., Long Beach. Azusa High is the only public school to receive the Champion for Character honor in 2016. Gladstone High School Athletic Director Chuck Shore and student-athlete scholar Irma Ramos have also been named recipients of the award. The Champion for Character honor goes to students, administrators, coaches and schools for contributions in promoting “Victory with Honor” and who embody the six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, sportsmanship, fairness, caring and citizenship. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)Read More

Ada S. Nelson Elementary School Mud Run Raises $6,600 for Parent Teacher Organization

More than 300 Ada S. Nelson Elementary students splashed through a mud obstacle course on Sept. 16 during the school’s second annual Mud Run, a fundraising event that helped generate $6,600 for the Ada Nelson Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). The races were staged at Nelson where students navigated through tires, overhanging nets and inflatable slides that sent them cascading into a pool of mud. A new wrinkle added this year allowed parents to run alongside their kids, and all registration fees were donated to the school’s PTO, which helped put on the run. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More Photos

Virtual Reality Mobile Classroom Heads to Bassett Elementary School

Van Wig Elementary School students will experience virtual reality technology when a mobile classroom provided by zSpace visits the school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. The mobile classroom will feature the latest, advanced technologies to immerse students in a virtual educational environment. The classroom will be in Van Wig’s main parking lot, 1151 Van Wig Ave, Bassett. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

San Ysidro School District Encouraged by Rising Test Scores

San Ysidro School District students showed impressive improvement on their year-over-year performance in the state’s second round of standardized testing on the new California Standards for English language arts (ELA) and math, according to a recent released state report. The two tests are the focal point of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), administered to grades three through eight. The exams, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, assess writing, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills far beyond the scope of California’s previous standardized tests. The new test scores offer the first chance for schools to track growth in student understanding of the California Standards, implemented three years ago. The standards focus on student-driven instruction, collaboration, integration of technology and critical thinking. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

Norwalk High Auto Teacher Honored for Inspirational Teaching

Norwalk High auto repair teacher Ken Cook has been awarded a 2016 Fender Bender Award by Fender Bender Magazine for working with his students – of whom 41 percent have special needs – to improve mobility options for students with disabilities through an initiative dubbed Inspired Inventions. Working with a $97,321 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, Cook and his students created projects that include a backpack equipped with skateboard wheels and a bicycle modified for an 8-year-old student with severe disabilities. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

East Whittier City School District Aces State Exams

East Whittier City School District students outperformed state and county averages and showed substantial improvement on the state’s second round of standardized testing on the California Standards for English language arts (ELA) and math. The number of East Whittier students testing proficient in ELA jumped by almost 12 percent while math proficiency climbed by almost 14 percent. English learners showed the greatest improvement with a 60 percent upswing in ELA and an almost 64 percent leap in math. The District credits its rising scores to its frequent monitoring of student progress as well as specialized intervention programs for the various grade levels. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)

Rio Hondo to Spotlight Election’s Impact on Community College Students

Rio Hondo College’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Division will host a program titled "Issues Affecting Community College Students and the 2016 General Election" at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29. Los Angeles Community College District Trustee Mike Eng will give the keynote address. Eng is a former state Assemblyman and mayor of Monterey Park. The event will be held in the Wray Theater at Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Follow-up Stories

Los Nietos Dedicates New Playground and Flagpole

Ada S. Nelson Elementary School celebrated a newly erected flagpole and playground with a dedication ceremony on Sept. 22. A ribbon-cutting featured Principal Marla Duncan and Los Nietos Superintendent Jonathan Vasquez. The school’s 400-plus students were on hand for a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. The project was funded by the $13 million Measure N bond. Recreational enhancements feature new basketball and volleyball courts, backstops on the baseball field and foam padding and structural updates to the jungle gym. Other campus improvements include a refurbished cafeteria and new asphalt along the walkways. Photos are available. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

Azusa Unified High School Hosts Ceremony for Renovated Gym

Azusa Unified School District celebrated the reopening of a renovated gym at Azusa High School with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 23. A second ribbon-cutting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 for Gladstone High School’s gym. Upgrades were made using dollars from Measure K, which provides funding for major renovations, repairs and upgrades to classrooms and facilities within the District. Both gyms received upgraded electrical systems, ventilation and air conditioning systems and fresh paint in time for Homecoming festivities. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)

San Ysidro School District Students Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

San Ysidro School District celebrated Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16 with art, music, food, dancing and students dressed in traditional Mexican attire. Celebrations spanned across the District from San Ysidro Middle School to Willow Elementary. Seventh- and eighth-graders at SYMS kicked off festivities with a chalk art contest with illustrations depicting what Mexican independence meant to them. Students drew vivid images that perfectly captured the spirit of the celebration. Winners of the eighth-grade team included Ily Mariscal, Rodolfo Linares and Andrea Partida. Rounding out the seventh-grade winners’ circle were Yenia Valle, Paola Ramirez and Abigail Velazquez. Ballet folklorico dancers performed choreographed dances from varies regions of Mexico in their traditional “charro” attire, which inspired the crowd of SYMS students to respond with gritos – expressions of joy and excitement. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified Elementary School Named National PTA School of Excellence

Bellflower Unified’s Esther Lindstrom Elementary School has been named a 2016-18 National PTA School of Excellence for successfully partnering with its campus PTA to support students and their families through parenting classes, art programs and special events. Lindstrom is one of just three schools in California and 173 schools from 31 U.S. states honored by the National PTA for exemplifying its six standards: welcome all families, communicate effectively, support student success, speak up for every child, share power and collaborate with the community on expanded learning opportunities. Principal Lisa Luna said Esther Lindstrom's PTA plays an integral role on campus. Photos are available. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

State Superintendent Recognizes Success at Principal’s Exchange School

A recent visit to LAUSD’s Union Avenue Elementary School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson highlighted the school's vast success at improving outcomes for English learners. Under the strong leadership of Principal Veronica Herrera Lynch and the hard work of teachers and staff, the school worked with Principal's Exchange to strengthen its research-driven approach to accelerating achievement. The August tour mirrored a visit by Torlakson in 2015-16 to East Whittier’s Ceres Elementary – another school that contracted with Principal's Exchange – where English learner achievement also is soaring. Principal's Exchange specializes in empowering educators at historically low-performing schools to remove systemic barriers to success, relying on data to focus instruction. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Lynwood Unified Launches Community Health Clinic on Middle School Campus

Lynwood Unified held a grand opening on Sept. 21 for a Wesley Health Center medical clinic at Lynwood Middle School with local officials, health clinic operators and Superintendent Paul Gothold. Lynwood Unified students, their families and members of the Lynwood community can access the Wesley Health Center for free medical checkups and screenings from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Hours will be expanded as demand rises. Photos are available. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Elementary Honored for Raising $10,000

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has honored Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s Johnston Elementary School Relay For Life Norwalk fundraising team with the “Spirit of Relay” award for raising $10,000 during the 2016 Relay For Life event in June. Relay For Life Norwalk Coordinator Jennifer Perez and ACS representative Sarah Ambrose presented the award during a flag ceremony on Sept. 23. Photos are available. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Lynwood Unified’s Firebaugh High School Students Study Financial Literacy

About 30 Firebaugh High School students gathered Sept. 21 to share knowledge on financial education they have received through a new Master Your Card online course, a community empowerment program sponsored by Mastercard. Students engaged in roundtable discussions with Master Your Card team members during the event, asking and answering financial questions that may impact them in years to come. Firebaugh High is one of two schools in Los Angeles County offering the program to students. Photos are available. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Upcoming Events

Moreno Valley Safe Routes to School Initiative Kicks Off with Bike Rodeo

Moreno Valley elementary students will bring their bicycles and helmets to the city’s ninth annual ArtoberFest to learn safety skills and bicycle control during a Bicycle and Pedestrian Rodeo presented by Community Now and Safe Moves. The bike rodeo serves as the official launching of a citywide Safe Routes to School initiative, in which 28 Moreno Valley and Val Verde Unified elementary schools will stage “Walk/Roll/Scoot Days” during the school year, encouraging parents to leave their cars at home and let their children walk or ride a bike to school. The rodeo will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center, 14075 Frederick St., Moreno Valley. Media Contact: Kevin Ausmus, 909-447-2402 (office) or 909-624-3347 (cell)

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified to Host Fifth Annual College Expo

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified will host its fifth annual District College Expo from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, offering students and parents the opportunity to speak with dozens of college representatives and take workshops to learn more about university admission requirements, financial aid and more. The expo will take place at John Glenn High School, 13520 Shoemaker Ave., Norwalk. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)