CA School News Report

Bellflower Unified School District

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  • 16703 South Clark Ave. Bellflower, CA 90706 • 562-866-9011
  • The roots of the Bellflower Unified School District stretch back to 1909, when the Somerset School District was formed in the region. The school was one of the main draws for settlers. The school served thousands of students in various incarnations until its demolition in 1951, the same year the community saw the construction of Bellflower High School. The unified school district was formed in 1957. The district operates 10 elementary schools, three high schools, a home study program and a child development center.

  • Superintendent: Dr. Brian Jacobs
  • Board of Trustees: Dr. Sue ElHessen, president; Laura Sanchez-Ramirez, vice president; Debbie Cuadros, clerk; Jerry Cleveland, member; Paul Helzer, D.C., PhD., member

Bellflower Unified Students Re-Enact Key Battles of the American Revolution

Follow-up Story: More than 100 costumed fifth-graders at Stephen Foster Elementary brought the American Revolution to life at 11 a.m. Friday, May 29 through a series of short plays that opened a window into colonial life and the battle for America’s independence. The annual historical re-enactment began with a “stroll” to show everyday colonial life. The action shifted to the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party before concluding with the Ride of Paul Revere and the battles of Lexington and Concord. The 50-minute show is scripted, but students ad-lib lines from their study of the times, making each performance one of a kind.Read More

Bellflower Unified to Expand Mandarin Program to Eighth Grade in 2015-16

Bellflower Unified in 2015-16 will expand its Mandarin language program to include eighth grade, the third stage of a plan designed to boost students’ ability to compete effectively in the quickly changing international marketplace. Mandarin is the world’s most prevalent language, spoken by more than 1 billion people, or roughly a fifth of the world’s population. It is also one of the toughest to learn. China, one of America’s largest trading partners, possesses the world’s second-largest economy. District leaders introduced the program in 2013-14 as an enrichment option for students in home study and after-school programs to determine interest and to get students excited about studying Mandarin in seventh grade. The effort paid off, with dozens of students signing up for the seventh-grade program offered for the first time this year; meanwhile, the enrichment classes are finding an eager audience that has swollen to the hundreds for short-term programs that typically include one to two days of weekly instruction over six weeks. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified Students, Staff Ready for State’s New Tests

More than 7,000 Bellflower Unified students are tackling challenging new state tests in math and English language arts (ELA) that assess writing, critical thinking and problem-solving skills emphasized by the California Common Core Standards. Bellflower Unified upgraded student technology and Internet connections, conducted teacher training, administered interim tests similar to the end-of-year exams as practice for students, prepared IT support in case of software issues and engaged in extensive logistical planning by site administrators. Testing began for grades three through eight on April 20 and for grade 11 on April 28. This is the first year that scores for the new tests will be reported to schools and parents.  Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Bellflower Unified Students Launch Service Projects for Award-Winning Civics Program

Bellflower Unified's Mayfair Middle School students are launching public service projects and preparing for a school-sponsored trek to the U.S. Capitol as part of an innovative civics program recently honored as California's best. The program incorporates a variety of project-based and collaborative learning efforts to give students a theoretical and practical understanding of civics, from role-playing activities that bring historical elections to life to a public service component that students are required to lead. Mayfair earned one of three 2015 Awards of Excellence this spring in the state's Civic Learning Award program run by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified Students Create Mosaic Murals, Build Understanding

Students at Bellflower Unified’s Woodruff Elementary are hard at work this semester creating a pair of tile mosaics to decorate their campus through an innovative afterschool arts program that brings together students of differing abilities. The project was launched this fall at Washington Elementary, which is now graced by a pair of 5-foot-by-3-foot murals. The project is designed to broaden students’ appreciation both of art and of each other’s strengths. Program leaders are seeking grant funding to continue the effort next year.  Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

103 Bellflower Students to Receive Glasses Thanks to Mobile Clinic Visit

Just over 100 students from Bellflower Unified’s Washington Elementary School will receive free eyeglasses in the next few weeks after undergoing eye exams March 30-April 1 from Vision to Learn optometrists during the nonprofit’s first-ever visit to a District school. During the visit, sponsored by the Bellflower Rotary Club and coordinated by Caring Connections, 146 students received eye exams. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Students Donned Historical Attire, Personas for Wax Museum Fundraiser

Follow-up Story: Dozens of fifth-graders at Bellflower Unified's Stephen Foster Elementary dressed up as historical characters to populate a "wax museum" that visitors brought to life on three days during the month, ending March 10. When activated, students took on the attributes of their historical person and share their stories during the hour-long events. Donations benefited Pennies for Patients. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified to Finish Sweeping Upgrade of Classroom Tech by April

Bellflower Unified has spent $3 million this school year to create a system of tablets, laptops, document cameras and projectors that allows teachers to seamlessly integrate the latest technology into classroom lessons emphasizing critical thinking, hands-on learning and student collaboration. The effort combines hardware and software purchases, installation and professional development, as well as improvements in Internet access, system upkeep and maintenance. The system will be completed by April 1. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Bellflower Unified Elementary Receives Prize for Student Service

Follow-up Story: Staff from Lakewood’s Office Max on Friday, Jan. 20 presented Bellflower Unified’s Craig Williams Elementary with the “A Day Made Better” award from the Office Depot Foundation, recognizing the school’s teachers and staff for their dedication to helping student succeed. The award includes a gift of student and classroom supplies, along with other goodies for teachers. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Bellflower Unified Overhauls Career Technical Education Programs

A new career technical education course that gives students a hands-on introduction to 17 health industry careers is drawing strong interest from Bellflower Unified students, with 233 students enrolled in eight classes at the District’s two comprehensive high schools. The course, launched in fall 2014, stems from an effort to strengthen career technical education with rigorous academics, in-depth industry instruction and a focus on training students for high-skill, high-wage and high-demand occupations. The overhaul began in 2013-14 when the District placed oversight of career technical education under the same umbrella as secondary school academics. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos