CA School News Report

Coming This Week

June 23–July 1, 2017

Lynwood Unified to Host Scholastic Literacy Event for District Families

More than 250 Lynwood Unified students and their families will engage in reading activities, photo booth fun and conversations with District administrators during the District’s first Scholastic Literacy Event at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 28 in the District Board Room, 11321 Bullis Road, Lynwood. Clifford the Big Red Dog® will join parents and guardians in encouraging children to bolster their literacy skills. All students will also take home up to three books provided by the District, Scholastic and community partners. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Gabrielino High Students to Compete in National Business Leaders Conference

Students from Gabrielino High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) program will represent San Gabriel Unified School District at the 2017 National FBLA Leadership Conference Thursday, June 29 to Sunday, July 2 in Anaheim. Six Gabrielino students will put their business sense to the test in national competition that challenges students to apply classroom concepts in a workforce-simulated environment. Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)Read More

Whittier Union Set to Launch Redesigned Website

Whittier Union High School District on Friday, June 30 will launch a new website featuring a sleek and modern look designed to provide students, staff, parents and the Whittier Union community easy access to resources and information. The redesigned District homepage and individual school home pages will maintain a comprehensive web presence that can also be accessed on tablets and mobile phones. The website will include additional content areas for news and announcements, a calendar of events and information on the Local Control and Accountability Plan and new funding system. Whittier Union partnered with Edlio, a leading school and district website developer, to enhance the website and integrate features and tools that matter most to District stakeholders. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Los Nietos Students Strengthen STEAM Skills in Summer Program

About 48 Los Nietos School District students are exploring science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields at Ada S. Nelson Elementary School during the District’s four-week summer enrichment program, which concludes Friday, June 30. Students in grades three through eight were selected for the program, which includes building model bridges, launching rockets and conducting Google Slides presentations. Photos are available Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Rio Hondo Offers Priority Registration for 2017 High School Graduates

Class of 2017 high school graduates may register for Rio Hondo College classes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12 through a priority registration program that is part of the new Rio Promise. Students can register at Rio Hondo College’s Learning Resource Center, at Whittier High School, the Rio Hondo College Educational Center at Pico Rivera or the College’s El Monte Educational Center. The Rio Promise also waives first-year tuition for students from public and private high schools in the College’s service area. To qualify, students must submit a fall application, assessment, orientation and educational plan by Friday, June 30. For information, call 562-463-4693 or email Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

South Whittier Achievement Programs Target Student Needs

South Whittier’s McKibben Elementary School has developed and refined a pair of achievement programs that engage students with hands-on projects and individually targeted lesson plans to prepare them for tackling educational challenges on their road to high school, college and beyond. McKibben bolsters student success through its High Achievers enrichment program for fourth- through sixth-grade students and offers intervention and support services for K-6 students and English learners through its Target for Success program. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos

Paramount High Graduate Overcomes Adversity to Fulfill College Dream

Paramount High School 2017 salutatorian Gabriel A. Garcia was 5 years old when his grandmother died, leaving his mother to care for her 10 younger siblings, Garcia and his younger brother. After completing high school with a 4.49 GPA and serving as the first president of the City of Paramount Youth Commission, Garcia is headed to UCLA in fall to pursue a degree in psychobiology. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Baldwin Park Unified Offers Summer Breakfasts, Lunches

Baldwin Park youths ages 1 through 18 will receive free breakfasts and lunches Mondays through Fridays this summer. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. and lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. through Friday, June 30 at De Anza Elementary, 12820 Bess Ave.; Kenmore Elementary, 3823 Kenmore Ave.; Pleasant View Elementary, 14900 E. Nubia St.; Vineland Elementary, 3609 Vineland Ave.; Walnut Elementary, 4701 N. Walnut St.; Holland Middle School, 4733 N. Landis Ave.; and Sierra Vista Junior High, 13400 Foster Ave. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. through Friday, July 7, closing July 4 at Baldwin Park High School, 3900 N. Puente Ave. and Sierra Vista High School, 3600 Frazier St. North Park Continuation High School, 4600 Bogart Ave., serves breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 to noon through Friday, July 7, closing July 4. Call 626-962-3311, ext. 4224, for details. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

South Whittier Elementary School Shines with AVID Success Program

South Whittier’s Monte Vista Elementary School is the District’s first elementary school to incorporate the learning strategies of one of the country’s foremost college-readiness programs – Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). This is the second year Monte Vista, a fourth- through sixth-grade elementary school, has incorporated AVID strategies such as notetaking and organizational skills into its curriculum. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Azusa Unified to Offer Free Meals to Children During Summer Months

Azusa Unified School District will offer free lunches this summer to children ages 18 and under through the federal Summer Food Service program. Lunches will be served from noon to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through July 28 at school campuses and public parks. Meals are available to any child residing within Azusa Unified boundaries. Call Nutrition Services at 626-732-8057 for specific locations and times. Media Contact: Mark Vidal, 909-447-2406 (office) or 626-203-8167 (cell)Read More

Follow-up Stories

Mulberry Elementary School Students Plant Tree In Memory of Whittier Police Officer

Students at East Whittier City School District’s Mulberry Elementary School planted a camphor tree and presented a $500 check to the family of fallen Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer in a special ceremony on May 23. Mulberry student council members led a Loose Change Drive that raised over $700, some of which paid for a plaque honoring Boyer. Eric Borunda, an arborist for the City of Santa Fe Springs and whose son is a Mulberry fifth-grader, donated the tree on behalf of the city. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)Read More Photos

San Gabriel Unified Grads Named to Academic All-American Speech Team

Twelve Gabrielino High School graduates were named to the 2017 National Speech and Debate Academic All-American Team, an honor reserved for students who have attained at least a 3.7 GPA, an SAT score of 2100 and who have earned superior distinction (750 points) at speech competitions. Nine of the 12 graduates culminated their high school speech careers at the 2017 National Speech and Debate Tournament, held June 18-23 in Birmingham, Alabama Photos are available Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)

Paramount High Patient Care Pathway Prepares Students for Medical Field

Paramount High School graduate Angie Camez just completed her school’s Patient Care Pathway program and is ecstatic about the prospect of using her skills in her journey to become a pediatrician. The pathway is a four-year gauntlet of office work, medical techniques and more than 170 hours of medical clinic work. For the last nine years, Paramount High’s Patient Care Pathway program has provided thousands of students with an in-depth look into the medical industry. Photos are available Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More Photos

1,000 Lynwood Unified Graduates Flip Tassels During Three Commencements

The Lynwood Unified School District recently held graduation ceremonies for its comprehensive high schools and alternative high school. On June 13, graduations were held for Firebaugh High School the Lynwood High School field. On June 14, graduations were held for Vista High School in the Lynwood High School gym and for Lynwood High School on the Lynwood High School field. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More Photos

Rio Hondo College Hosts 40 Boys & Girls Club Members for Summer Camp

Rio Hondo College hosted more than 40 youths from the Boys & Girls Club of Whittier for a four-day summer camp from June 19-22. Camp Rio, piloted in 2016, engaged children ages 11-13 in academic-focused activities aimed at inspiring interest in college. Workshops explored solar power, drone technology, public safety careers, poetry, sign language, origami and hip-hop dance. Photos are available Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Bellflower Unified Celebrates Somerset High’s Class of 2017

Alexis Nelson, a graduate of Bellflower Unified’s Somerset Continuation High School, speaking to her classmates at the school’s June 13 commencement, vowed to use her education to save future generations of disadvantaged children from the perils of inner city life. Nelson told 600 family members and friends who gathered for the ceremony at Bellflower High’s Ron Yary Stadium that her effort to give back to her community and finding a solution to gang violence starts when she attends Cerritos College to study criminal justice, with plans to become probation officer. Somerset High’s seniors will attend a variety of institutions, including Cerritos College, Long Beach City College and Universal Technical Institute. Some 21 of the graduating seniors received scholarships totaling more than $5,000 from community groups and academic associations. Audience members showed their pride in graduates by wearing customized T-shirts featuring student names and faces, and live-streaming the ceremony. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower High School Celebrates 358 Seniors in Class of 2017

Bellflower High School co-valedictorian Yvette Valtierra encouraged her Class of 2017 classmates on June 14 to use lessons learned at school and their ongoing pursuit of education to bring social change and make a positive impact on their community and the environment. Valtierra shared her remarks during a commencement ceremony recognizing 358 graduating seniors – all clad in dark red gowns with golden embellishments – who accepted long-anticipated diplomas in front of more than 4,000 families, friends and educators. The ceremony began with fireworks erupting in the sky as representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps presented the American flag and a Bellflower High School ensemble group performed the National Anthem. An atmosphere of celebration and togetherness was highlighted with the ensemble’s acapella rendition of “Lean on Me,” which had graduating seniors swaying, clapping along and embracing through the smiles and tears. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Free Adult ESL Classes Now Offered at San Ysidro Schools

Spanish-speaking parents in the San Ysidro School District learned fundamental English skills – alphabet, numbers, how to tell time, days of the week, colors and more – through a free class offered this spring by the District. Now, following the success of the inaugural English as a Second Language (ESL) class, SYSD will work with partner Southwestern College to offer two introductory English classes this fall at La Mirada and Willow elementary school parent centers, and a second-level ESL class at the District parent center. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)Read More Photos

Bassett High Students Feature Short Films at Creative Artists Agency

Three Bassett High student-crafted short films were featured at the end of May at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an international entertainment and sports agency in Beverly Hills, thanks to the Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project. The project, created by Academy Award-winning actor Edward James Olmos, brought industry professionals to Bassett Unified Schools to teach filmmaking. The CAA – which represents such clients as George Clooney, Will Smith and Tom Hanks – showcases local high school films every year to encourage students to pursue a film pathway. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified to Purchase 2 Electric Buses with $536,000 AQMD Grant

Bellflower Unified School District will receive more than $536,000 to buy two electric school buses and charging stations under a South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) program that will strengthen the District’s already environmentally friendly bus fleet. The District is one of 16 districts and two charter schools to share $8.8 million allotted for 33 buses and charging stations. Bellflower Unified runs a fleet of 28 buses, including 26 powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). The new vehicles are expected to be in service in spring 2018. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Whittier Union Names Attorney-turned-Cal High Educator 2017-18 Teacher of the Year

Before becoming an English teacher at California High School, Lori Davies spent 12 years as a corporate lawyer, analyzing writs, combing over legal briefs and winning cases for her clients. But it was her passion for transforming the lives of students through teaching that led her to transition from the courtroom to the classroom. Now after 15 years as an educator, Davies is equally successful at administering exams, reviewing common assessments and teaching the works of Steinbeck while guiding students on their path to college and growing the school’s acclaimed Puente academic support program. For her dedication, Davies has been named Whittier Union High School District’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos

New Principal to Lead Hillview Middle School

East Whittier City School District has named David S. Herrera as principal of Hillview Middle School, replacing Wendy Davio, who is retiring. Herrera, who has spent 20 years as a teacher and administrator, is a champion of student achievement, parent engagement, resources for STEM classes and programs, and pathways to college. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)Read More Photos

Upcoming Events

Rio Hondo College Offers Guidance to New Students at Welcome Days

Rio Hondo College will provide financial aid information and support guidance for new students during Freshman Welcome Days, held from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, July 10, Tuesday, July 11 and Tuesday, Aug. 1 at the Rio Café, 3600 Workman Mill Road. The event, which will also include information on transferring to a four-year university, is provided by the College’s First Year Success Center. Register online at Call 562-463-6650 or email for more information. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Lynwood Unified Elementary Students’ Original Play to be Performed in Africa

Fifteen Abbott Elementary School students will soon be globally known for their playwriting talents when a children’s group in Rwanda performs their play. Set 364 years in the future, the play depicts two neighboring families who decide to end their prejudiced ideologies and tear down a wall commissioned by President Donald Trump. The play, called “The Wall,” is one of 76 productions created by Lynwood Unified’s elementary and middle school students as part of the Building Relationships and Inspiring Dialogue through Global Exchange Theatre Project. Abbott Elementary’s play will be performed by Rwandan children during the Ubumuntu Arts Festival on Friday, July 14. Photos are available Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More Photos

Rio Hondo Offers Orientation for Families with New College Students

Rio Hondo College will brief families of new students at its First Year Family Night about financial aid, student resources and how they can support their children. The orientation program runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10 at the College, 3600 Workman Mill Road. The evening is one of several events designed to support first year students who are enrolled for fall 2017 in six or more units. A light dinner will be provided. Register at, 562-463-6650 or Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)