East Whittier City School District has been named a California Honor Roll School District by the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE). East Whittier is one of 20 California school districts to be named to the honor roll in 2016. This is the fifth consecutive year EWCSD has been named an Honor Roll school district.
The U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 28 named East Whittier City School District’s Leffingwell Elementary School as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon school for narrowing the achievement gap. Leffingwell is among 342 schools across the U.S. and 22 in California to receive the coveted designation.
East Whittier City School District has named Skarlette Torres as the new principal of Evergreen Elementary School, returning her to the school where she spent her first 10 years at EWCSD as a teacher and counselor. Torres is committed to the 5-C’s of 21st Century learning – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication and community.
Machae Tessier, a second-grade teacher at East Whittier’s Ocean View Elementary School, was named one of 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year on Sept. 29. Tessier joined the District in 1993 and has worked at Ocean View since 1997. She serves as the school’s California Standards lead teacher for primary grades, as well as its language arts matrix committee chair.
Video production students from Hillview and Granada middle schools have each won two 2017 Los Angeles County Office of Education Digital Voice Awards, recognizing their digital expertise. The student-produced public service announcements address issues such as digital equity, bullying and literacy, winning in the categories of Character Education and Technical Arts.
Sculptures inspired by Pablo Picasso and metal embossing influenced by Vincent van Gogh are among dozens of installations created by K-8 students at East Whittier Unified’s annual Student Art Show at the Whittier Art Gallery, 8035 Painter Ave., Whittier. The show closes April 29. Media contact: Maritza Fairfield, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-816-7722 (cell)
Granada Middle School has been named a California Gold Ribbon School for strengthening student and parent engagement, instilling high academic standards and fostering a supportive culture that has significantly reduced student disciplinary issues. Granada’s Matador LEAD (Leadership through Engagement, Action and Determination) initiative, implemented in 2013, was singled out for its civic education awareness and parent, family and community engagement.
As part of the Ceres Elementary School commitment to establishing a college-going culture on campus, kindergarten teacher Catherine Loomis has partnered with the Cal Lutheran University (CLU) men’s and women’s water polo teams through the CLU College Mentoring program. CLU student-athletes make regular visits to Loomis’ class to encourage students to think about attending college. In return, Loomis and her students have attended several water polo matches and dress up every Tuesday in the CLU colors of purple and yellow. The class will take a field trip to Cal Lutheran on Wednesday, April 19.
South Whittier Sixth-Graders Explore Ecosystems at Science School
Follow-up Story: South Whittier School District sixth-graders learned about three California ecosystems during a weeklong Malibu Outdoor Science School from March 20-24, using the environment around them as a classroom. Operated by the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the outdoor school focuses on state science standards, while exposing students to hands-on experiments and real-life lessons. Camp activities include night hikes, camp fires with songs and skits, as well as communal living. This is the first time the District sent all sixth-graders at the same time.
East Whittier Elementary School Alumni Make Final Musical a Special Night
Follow-up Story: Celebrating 10 years of dance and family entertainment, the East Whittier community attended the final performance of the Leffingwell Elementary School Musical, a tradition that raised money for extracurricular dance and arts instruction. All grade levels at Leffingwell performed in the show, which pays tribute to Keith Songer, who died in a 2008 auto accident. Songer was the husband of Ocean View Assistant Principal Kim Songer. The theme of this year’s show was “Be A Star” and over 80 Leffingwell Elementary alumni – from grade six to college – returned to campus for a special dance performance to show their appreciation for Songer and dance instructor Rona Overbeck.
Follow-up Story: Students at East Whittier City School District’s Orchard Dale Elementary School raised over $3,500 in donations for the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart charity, reflecting a deep commitment to pursue healthy lifestyles and give back to their communities. All students, from transitional kindergartners to fifth-graders, participated. Many families employed social media to solicit donations. Orchard Dale students staged competitions by grade level to see who had the best jump-roping skills, with toys and games awarded to those who could jump rope the longest.
East Whittier School Volunteer Honored for Commitment to Students
Scott Avenue Elementary School volunteer Amelia Bakshi has been named Community School Volunteer of the Year by the Whittier Area School Administrators (WASA). Each year, WASA honors volunteers from Whittier school districts. Bakshi was selected for her efforts to increase parent and community engagement and celebrate arts education. Her notable accomplishments include the expansion of Scott Avenue’s PTA Reflections art program into a gala-style community engagement event.
East Whittier City School District has invited community members to provide input at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 on the characteristics they’d like in the District’s next superintendent. Superintendent Mary Branca is retiring in June following a 30-year career in the district. The meeting will take place at the District Office, 14535 E. Whittier Blvd., Whittier. An online survey will be available March 13-24 on the District website at www.ewcsd.org. The board is expected to interview finalists and make a final selection on May 22.