Whittier Union High School District

  • Whittier Union Freshman Fresh Start Offers New Students a Smooth Transition to High School

    The transition from middle to high school can be difficult for students who are having trouble acclimating to the intensified academic rigor. Sierra Vista High School, Whittier Union’s independent study campus, provides a bridge for these students through the Freshman Fresh Start program. Launched in 2013, Freshman Fresh Start is designed to support ninth-graders who are behind in credits, have poor attendance or need one-on-one teacher support. The result for many Sierra Vista freshmen is better social skills, better grades, a restoration of confidence and new friends.

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  • Whittier High Senior Honored for Balancing Academics with Community Service

    Whittier High School senior Ava Sanchez is determined to make a difference – whether its empowering her peers to give back to the local community or inspiring younger students to achieve academic success. Recognized for her leadership skills, integrity and work ethic, Sanchez – a straight-A student who is on track to be one of Whittier High’s class of 2019 valedictorians – has found a way to balance academics with community service.

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  • Whittier Union Selected as a ‘Bright Spot’ District for Advancing Equity, Closing Achievement Gap

    Whittier Union High School District has been selected as one of three “Bright Spot” honorees – along with Pasadena City College and Chula Vista Elementary School – by Education Trust-West for advancing equity and strengthening the pipeline to college. Bright Spot districts and college campuses demonstrate a commitment to excellence and implement strategies and practices that have led to positive outcomes for students of color, low-income students and English learners.

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State CCC Director to Observe Crew Perform Energy Survey at Whittier High School

In a unique media opportunity, David Muraki, state director of the California Conservation Corps. (CCC) will observe a local CCC crew as they participate in an energy-efficiency survey of Whittier High School Wednesday, March 26, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (12417 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier). The crew will be inspecting various aspects of the outside of the school such as lighting, HVAC and more to collect information for energy-efficiency recommendations. The Whittier Union High School District currently is working in conjunction with the CCC to expand its energy saving efforts through the effective use of approximately $640,000 in Proposition 39 funds. The District has previously received awards from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its energy conservation program. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (cell)

Cal High to Hold Remembrance for Beloved Teacher

California High School in Whittier will hold a remembrance service for beloved TCROP digital photo and video production instructor, Tim Keeler at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 4 in the main gymnasium located on Hawes Street off of Mills Avenue. Keeler was well known in the Whittier community and had more than 20 years of experience as a video and photographic professional. He was a beloved and respected instructor and coach at Cal High for seven years. Several community leaders will speak at the remembrance, including WUHSD Board of Trustee Jeff Baird, WUHSD Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson and Whittier City Councilwoman Cathy Warner. The event is open to the public. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Cal High Teacher Receives Esteemed Art Educator of the Year Award

The National Art Education Association has chosen California High School teacher Julie Tonkovich to receive the 2014 California Art Educator of the Year Award. This prestigious award, determined through a peer review of nominations, honors an outstanding member from each state or province association whose service and contribution to art education merits recognition and acclaim. The award will be presented at the NAEA National Convention in San Diego from March 29-31. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Musical Icons Get a Motown Experience at La Serna High School

Iris Gordy of Motown Records and Ollie Brown, former drummer for Stevie Wonder, will attend La Serna High School’s Motown Experience performance on Saturday, March 22. Students will dance and lip-sync to famous Motown songs to raise money for their school and for police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, March 21 and at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

WUHSD and Team Science Open Summer Camp Registration March 15

Team Science, in partnership with the Whittier Union High School District, is opening its online registration on Saturday, March 15 for Southland students to have the chance to learn hands-on from real scientists and engineers during the upcoming Team Science Summer Camp at Pioneer High School in Whittier in July. Photos and video from last year's camp are available. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Emmy Award Winner Speaks at Rio Hondo College

Follow-up Story: To kick off Women's History Month, Rio Hondo hosted its annual Women's History Conference on March 7. About 300 students and visitors attended the conference, themed “Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility,” which was a joint venture with the Whittier Union High School District and Soroptomist International of Whittier. Photos are available. Contact: Christina Esparza, 909-445-1001 (office) or 626-383-6367 (cell)

WUHSD Schools to host Open House Events for Prospective Freshmen

Local eighth-grade students and their parents are invited to attend the Whittier Union High School District's Future Frosh Night on Thursday, March 13, when counselors, administrators and students will provide valuable information about the classes and programs available to all freshmen. The open houses will take place at 6 p.m. at each of the District's five comprehensive high school sites: California High School, Santa Fe High School, Whittier High School, Pioneer High School and La Serna High School. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Whittier High Earns Coveted Six-Year WASC Accreditation

Whittier Union High School District has a reputation for providing high-quality instruction. Whittier High School recently earned a coveted six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an endorsement that in recent years has only been awarded to 2 percent of schools. WHS' high marks follow La Serna and Sierra Vista high schools, which also received six-year accreditations in 2013. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833

Cal-Hi Auto Academy Students to Attend National Competition

Cal-Hi Auto Academy students Hunter Nolasco and James Chairez recently participated in the Automotive Technology Competition at Cerritos College and are one of only two teams in the state that qualified to attend a national competition in New York in April. Photos are available. Contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)

Santa Fe High School Chosen National AVID Demo School

Whittier Union’s Santa Fe High School has been re-selected as one of only 140 AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) National Demonstration Schools in the nation. AVID is a K-12 through postsecondary college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. Santa Fe High serves as a model for schools that are implementing or refining AVID programs. Photos are available. Contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)