Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District

  • SMMUSD Superintendent Recognized by Elite National Organization

    Santa Monica-Malibu Superintendent Sandra Lyon has been selected to join the Suburban School Superintendents (SSS), a prestigious national organization dedicated to improving the quality of schools. The SSS, founded 49 years ago, is limited to a 150 active superintendents from the pre-eminent suburban school districts throughout the country and strives to improve the quality of educational opportunities, programs and services for children, staff and parents in member districts. By pooling ideas and information from its membership, the organization works collaboratively to solve issues facing schools nationwide.

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  • Santa Monica Students Recognized for Excellent Sustainability Projects

    Students from Santa Monica High School have achieved the perfect trifecta, receiving the top three prizes in the seventh annual Sustainable Santa Monica Student Poster Contest for their artistic expression, creativity and interpretation of this year’s theme “Do More to Use Less.” Advanced Placement Environmental Science students Valerie Young, Yanjun Li and Anastasia Khromova were awarded grand prize, second place and honorable mention for creating posters that addressed the question “How can you raise awareness about the drought and cut back water use by 20 percent?” The Samohi students were recognized at the Sustainability Student Poster Contest Awards Ceremony and Celebration on May 27, hosted at the Annenberg Community Beach House.

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  • Santa Monica-Malibu 7th-Grader Interviews Prompt Reflection on Choices

    Some 350 seventh-graders at Santa Monica-Malibu Unified’s Lincoln Middle School were interviewed by professionals and community members this week on the theme, “What is a Worthwhile Life?” as a way to prompt the students to reflect on important decisions in their academic and personal futures. In its 24th year at Lincoln, the year-end Worthwhile Life interviews connect students to cross-curricular topics and themes encountered throughout seventh grade. The students were interviewed for 15 minutes on May 21 and 22 by 50 local college professors, Rand researchers, former teachers and students, local business people, and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified administrators and board members, among others.

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Santa Monica High’s Virtual Business Plan Earns First Place at Trade Show

In an innovative new venture, Santa Monica High School students have developed a product line, established company officers and salaries, and created a business plan to pitch at a simulated trade show in Long Beach, where they won first place. The students worked collaboratively to not only develop the product, a fragrance line called Pheressence, but to also effectively market the fragrance. They designed a logo and an interactive website that assists users in choosing the best product for them while featuring accessible links to social media like Facebook and Instagram. As a result of the win, a group of six students has been chosen to travel to New York to compete in the 2015 Youth Business Summit in April.

Santa Monica-Malibu Recognizes 17 National Board Certified Teachers

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District on Feb. 19 honored 17 teachers who have received certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) for the 2014–15 academic year. The NBPTS is recognized as the gold standard in teacher certification. Eight District teachers received certification for the first time, while nine completed renewal certification. The freshly certified group of teachers brings the District’s certification recipients to 73 out of a teaching staff of 543. The group joins 6,249 teachers across California who have received certification to date. Teachers with National Board certification qualify for the highest tier of licensure in California: a Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential in the subject area in which they have achieved National Board Certification. Media contact: Selina Ayala-Patlan, 909-447-2407 (office)

Arts Foundation Hosts Celebrity Concert to Benefit Santa Monica-Malibu

The Artists for Arts Foundation will host an evening of extraordinary music in a concert benefiting the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School, 601 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Colin Hay, Stephen Bishop and Venice will be performing, with radio personality Cynthia Fox hosting the event that will include performances by student musicians. The evening will also feature a live auction that will include musical instruments, Grammy tickets, a Las Vegas weekend package and more. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the show starts at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (310) 396-4557. Prices range from $50-$175.

66th Annual Stairway of the Stars to Dazzle Santa Monica, Malibu Residents

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified will showcase school orchestras on the final night of its 66th annual Stairway of the Stars at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High School, 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. The immensely popular event spotlighted 26 District bands, orchestras and choirs – totaling about 1,000 student performers – led by three prominent guest conductors.

Benefit to Send Santa Monica High Music Students to Carnegie Hall

Follow-up Story: In a special musical benefit event, the third annual Bands at the Broad concert held Feb. 3 featured the Santa Monica High Wind Ensemble with internationally renowned guest artist and Santa Monica High alum, Michael Sachs, who plays principal trumpet for the Cleveland Orchestra. The students were joined by the UCLA Wind Ensemble, with guest conductors from SMMUSD and UCLA. Concert proceeds will be used to sponsor a trip by advanced music students to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City in April.

Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation Receives $450,000 Gift

The Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) has received a bequest of more than $450,000 from a local community supporter, making it one of the largest in the foundation's 33-year history. The bequest was made by Santa Monica community member Judi Lynne, with all of the funds used to support SMMUSD's District-wide Vision for Student Success program. The donation brings SMMEF’s fundraising for the 2015-16 VSS program to more than $1.8 million.

SMMUSD Parent Engagement Survey Nets Strong Response and High Satisfaction

A District-wide survey of parents in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District elicited a strong response from participants and garnered across-the-board high marks for the District's performance on a wide range of parent engagement topics. More than 3,000 parents, representing approximately 40 percent of District households, completed the survey – the District’s strongest survey response to date. Most notably, more than 90 percent of participants reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of education their students are receiving at SMMUSD. Participants also reported that Santa Monica-Malibu schools are family friendly, with more than 80 percent of participants feeling very welcome at their respective schools. Parents responded both online and through a paper survey sent home with students.

Malibu Middle School Students to Showcase Talents in January Show

The Malibu Middle School Associated Student Body will present its annual Middle School Talent Show from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 in the school’s auditorium, 30215 Morning View Drive, Malibu. The show includes individual and group acts featuring singing, dancing and musical performances. Tickets are $10, sold during lunch or at the door. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase.

District Art Show Opens at Santa Monica High Gallery

Follow-up Story: Students from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified's middle and high schools exhibited their art at the annual District-wide Art Show on Jan. 29 at Roberts Arts Gallery. The young artists, with family members and art teachers from across the District in attendance, displayed two-dimensional artwork and photography, which was professionally installed at the gallery, as well as ceramic and video art from on Jan. 29. The free event, which was open to the public, highlighted and promoted the talents of the students, and provided a forum where District art teachers were able to observe varying art and instruction from other school sites. Roberts Art Gallery is dedicated to promoting and advancing education, interest and insight in contemporary visual arts. Entertainment was provided by the Santa Monica High Jazz Combo.

Santa Monica High Launches First Literary and Arts Magazine

Spearheaded by two Santa Monica High students, sunLIT – a new literary and arts venture – recently published its first issue. The students, along with their art director, sought to create a forum to encourage creative expression and to expose students to professional publication processes. The magazine features poetry pieces, stories of fiction and visual art from students. See the first issue at: http://issuu.com/sunlitmagazine/docs/sunlit_magazine_issue_1_fall_2014_c_76c96181aca149/1.