Bassett Unified School District

Bassett High hosts First Annual Science Fair

Follow-up Story: Bassett High School science students conducted explosive experiments and explored bubbling reactions at the school’s first annual science fair on Jan. 27. The students gave live presentations, ranging from erupting soda bottles when combined with Mentos to making ice cream using a gallon plastic bag with ice and salt, while giving explanations on the chemical compounds that make those reactions possible. As a grand finale, a student created a moving robot in under 15 minutes by using four corks, a compact disc, a piece of wire, a battery and four pieces of metal. Photos are available.

Bassett Unified Immerses Students, Parents in College-Preparedness

Bassett Unified is boosting college awareness among elementary school students and parents through No Excuses University, a District-wide initiative that immerses students in college fairs, campus tours, weekly events and lessons about different schools. Don Julian Elementary students sport college apparel to celebrate their academic achievements at assemblies held the first Friday of each month. On Sunday, Feb. 28, Sunkist Elementary fifth-graders will receive a guided tour of USC by student athletes while third-graders will visit UCLA. Photos are available.

Influential Bassett Unified Math and Science Teacher Lauded

Credited with helping students gain admission to some of the nation’s top universities, 18-year Bassett High School math and science teacher Omar Barberena has been selected as a notable teacher on Univision’s “Maestros de Impacto” segment. The program will feature Bassett High students and teachers who were positively influenced by Barberena, as well as a personal interview on his career. He was recently named a Carlston Family Foundation Outstanding Teacher of the Year, an honor that included a $20,000 prize, and was named Teacher of the Year in 2014 at Bassett High. He is a co-adviser to the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement program.

Bassett Elementary Student Filmmakers Create Personal Stories

Some 65 Van Wig Elementary School fifth-graders are learning how to position boom microphones, to sync sound and audio by snapping clapboards and other film pre-production steps this semester through the Latino International Film Institute, a nonprofit that supports audio and visual arts education in K-12 schools and junior colleges. The program, which meets each Wednesday, was launched at Van Wig in January 2015 with 30 students and quickly gained popularity. It is especially supportive of English learners – who make up 40 percent of Van Wig’s enrollment – teaching them to express their voices through writing scripts and producing films. Photos are available.

Bassett Unified Saves Taxpayers $3.5 Million after Second Bond Refinancing

Property owners in the Bassett Unified School District area will save more than $3.5 million after the Board of Education on Dec. 8 authorized a second refinancing of bonds. The most recent action will save $1.5 million, adding to $2 million saved through a 2014 bond refinancing. Bonds approved as part of the 2006 Measure E have paid to renovate school facilities, upgrade technology and construct a gym at Torch Middle School.

Bassett Unified Celebrates New Innovation Center with Ribbon-Cutting

Follow-up Story: Bassett Unified School District celebrated the opening of its Bassett Innovation Center, a hub of collaboration that promotes integrating technology, project-based learning and best educational practices to prepare students for the rigors of higher education and competitive careers. The Jan. 21 ribbon-cutting ceremony showcased the Center, which opened at the start of the 2015-16 school year to provide a space for ongoing workshops and training for educators, staff and parents. The ceremony featured speeches by city and school officials, a performance by the Bassett High School Jazz Band and tours of the facility. Photos are available.

Bassett Unified Students Advocate for Underrepresented through Art

Follow-up Story: Bassett High School art students hosted a Dec. 17 exhibit called “Making the Invisible Visible” that depicts underrepresented communities, ranging from the homeless to veterans, as a way of advocating for overlooked segments of the community groups. English teacher Yuri Lee brought the idea to art teacher Brian Piedro as a way for students to apply their skills and knowledge to a real-world situation. Photos are available.

Bassett Unified Launches Technology Podcast, Screencast Series

Bassett Unified School District has launched a podcast and screencast series on technology use in the District. Produced at the Bassett Innovation Center by technology integration specialists Michael Jephcott and Tom Covington, the podcast series – dubbed “TOSAs Talk Tech” – promotes the importance of integrating technology into the classrooms to enhance curriculum and student learning. TOSA stands for teacher on special assignment. The screencast series, available on iTunes, provides access for teachers and administrators to professional development on new programs and equipment. Photos are available.

Area School Districts Remain Open on Dec. 15, 2015

While there has been an action taken by Los Angeles Unified School District leaders to close schools out of an abundance of caution based on a threat made specifically to LAUSD schools, the following school districts are in session and are urging parents to send their students to school to maintain instructional continuity: Azusa Unified; Baldwin Park Unified; Bassett Unified; Bellflower Unified; Little Lake City; Lynwood Unified; Montebello Unified; Norwalk-La Mirada Unified; Pomona Unified; Santa Monica-Malibu Unified; Whittier Union High. As always, student safety is the first priority and all standard safety measures will be employed by school personnel.

Bassett High Teacher Receives $20,000 for ‘Teacher of the Year’ Honor

Bassett High School math and science teacher Omar Barberena has been chosen from more than 100 California nominees to receive the Carlston Family Foundation Teacher of the Year Award. The award includes a $15,000 gift and $5,000 to be spent toward Bassett High School at Barberena’s discretion. He will also be part of an advisory board for the Carlston Family Foundation and will have opportunities to guide and support potential and current educators throughout California. Photos are available.