CA School News

Coming This Week

August 19–27, 2016

Bellflower Unified Students Top First-Year Performance on State Standardized Tests

Bellflower Unified students improved on their strong first-year performance in the state’s second round of standardized testing on the new California Standards for English language arts and math, according to data released Wednesday. The two tests are the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, administered to grades three through eight, and grade 11. The exams, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, gauge writing, critical thinking and problem-solving skills far beyond the scope of California’s previous standardized tests. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Rio Hondo Greets 14,000 Students with a First-of-its-Kind Auto Tech Bachelor’s Degree, New Regional Educational Center

Rio Hondo College begins its fall 2016 semester with a roster of expanded majors and student services, including a third regional educational center in Pico Rivera, as well as a boost in enrollment. At the College’s main campus in Whittier, a festive, balloon-filled atmosphere will greet students during on Monday, Aug. 22, a day that features free snacks, drawings and appearances by mascot Rex the Roadrunner. An information booth will be running from 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. A social media contest will be conducted via Rio Hondo College’s Associated Students of Rio Hondo College Instagram account. The year also marks the official start of Rio Hondo College’s new automotive technology Bachelor of Science program, the only one of its kind in Southern California. Student services programs continue to expand, including initiatives to help engage new and returning students. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Baldwin Park Unified Connects to Families through Smartphone App

Baldwin Park Unified has released a new smartphone app that will allow families to keep up with District news, check school calendars, bus routes and lunch menus and tap into a host of student and parent resources. The free app, developed over the summer, is available via Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The District will customize it in the next few months to include school-specific content. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Baldwin Park Unified Students Make Gains on Standardized Tests

Baldwin Park Unified students improved their performance in English language arts (ELA) and math on the state’s second round of testing on the California Standards for English language arts and math, according to data released Aug. 24. Overall, student performance climbed by 5 percentage points in ELA and 3 percentage points in math on the two computer-based exams, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The tests are administered in spring to students in grades three through eight and 11. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Fontana Unified Sees Growth, Improvement in 2016 CAASPP Test Scores

An increasing number of Fontana Unified School District students met or exceeded standards on California’s Smarter Balanced tests for English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, according to District officials and data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. The data from the second-year, computer-based tests – administered to students in grades three through eight, and grade 11 – show progress in student performance and achievement levels on the more rigorous California Standards, which are in their third year of implementation and challenge students to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in the classroom to real-world problems. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Los Nietos Science Teacher a Candidate for L.A. County Teacher of the Year

Desiree Chavez, a 17-year Los Nietos Middle School science and math teacher, is a candidate to be named one of 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year because of her ability to connect with eighth-graders, whether the topic is algebra or Pokémon Go. Chavez was named Los Nietos Teacher of the Year in May, securing her an invite to September’s Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year Banquet and a nomination for the county TOY honor. Photos are available. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Whittier Union Science Teacher Completes Costa Rica Study Program

Santa Fe High School science teacher Brett Stratton returned to the classroom this month with tales of venomous fer-de-lance snakes and spider monkeys from Central America after he completed an Inquiry in Rainforests teacher program that sent him to Costa Rica for field study this summer. Stratton joined a select group of 10 teachers from across the U.S. who were chosen by the Organization for Tropical Studies to conduct research abroad from July 8-21. More than 100 teachers applied to the program, which covered all expenses of the two-week trip and trained teachers in videography, allowing them to document their work and produce instructional videos for their classrooms. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Baldwin Park Unified Bolsters Commitment to College Prep Program

Thirty-eight members of Baldwin Park Unified’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) team came together this summer for three days of intensive training to strengthen the college-readiness program’s offerings at two District high schools, two junior high schools and one middle school. The teachers and administrators attended the AVID Summer Institute at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim from June 28-30, splitting their days between learning essential curriculum and developing Baldwin Park AVID action plans for the upcoming year. The training represents the second year of increased investment in the AVID Program by Baldwin Park Unified, which had been forced by recession-era budget cuts to reduce its annual training efforts. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Follow-up Stories

Whittier Union Kicks off 2016-17 School Year with Freshman First Day, Welcomes Thousands to Campuses

Whittier Union High School District kicked off the 2016-17 school year on Aug. 16, giving more than 2,800 members of the Class of 2020 a preview of what the next 720 days – or four years – of their high school careers will be like ahead of the first day of school. In an effort to eliminate any first-day jitters before the official start of school on Aug. 17, each comprehensive high school welcomed freshmen with opening pep rallies with colorful balloons, spirited music and displays of Condor, Lancer, Titan, Chieftain and Cardinal pride as part of Freshman First Day. Media Contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)Read More Photos

Los Nietos Middle School Celebrates Back to School Night

Los Nietos Middle School celebrated the new school year with Back to School Night on Aug. 18, giving families a glimpse into the life of students. The event kicked off with a welcome barbecue and information fair on the campus front lawn and culminated with classroom visits led by teachers. Los Nietos Middle School is enjoying several technological upgrades this year. Eighth-graders are receiving Google Chromebooks they will keep at school, while seventh-graders will have access to laptops, iPads and computer labs. Photos are available. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Upcoming Events

Whittier Union Schools Will Host Back to School Nights for Students, Parents

Whittier Union High School District is holding Back to School nights across its comprehensive high schools, enabling parents and students to learn more about academic and extra-curricular programs and how to ensure success. Parents can meet teachers and administrators, learn about the curriculum for their students’ courses, discover how they volunteer on campus and learn more about upcoming events that will contribute to their children’s academic progress. Superintendent Martin Plourde will also attend each Back to School Night for the first time since taking the District’s helm and will be available to speak to parents. Frontier High School will hold its back to school and awards night at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30; California High’s event will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1; La Serna High's event will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1; Whittier High's event will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14; Santa Fe High's event will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15; and Pioneer High's back to school night will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More

Bellflower Unified to Launch New Preschool Program on Aug. 30

Bellflower Unified School District will begin holding classes for its new California State Preschool Program on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The expanded preschool program can serve 240 children ages 3 and 4 through morning and afternoon sessions at six schools. The program includes customized curriculum that aligns with TK-12 instruction. Parents attended open houses in late July and early August to view newly equipped classrooms, meet preschool staffers and pick up registration packets. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More