January 12, 2014 (La Mesa) – Grossmont Union High School District will hold a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, January 14 at 2 p.m. for a new, $15.2 million Performing Arts Complex at Helix Charter High School. The event will include tours of the facility, a ribbon cutting, student performances in the theater, and music by the Helix Highlander bagpipers.
Youth focus group shows growing concern
January 5, 2014 (Spring Valley)– “After the assembly we had last week, I went to the bathroom. It was really smoky. I don’t think it was weed. It was hookah or something. I saw it and smelled it and just got out.”
Stories like this were common when students at a local East County high school participated in a focus group last month to discuss current drug trends on their campus, the Grossmont Union High School District reports.
On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness, by Dr. Dee L. Fabry (Ready or Not Press, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2012).
Book Review by Dennis Moore
January 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Dee L. Fabry, Ph.D, along with 18 eighteen high school teachers in a graduate level course on effective teaching practice, shares their journey of improving the cognitive skills of students in Fabry’s groundbreaking book; On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness.
The author, Associate Professor at National University, School of Education, Teacher Education Department in La Jolla, serves as the Master of Arts in Teaching Program Lead, teaching classroom teachers returning for their post graduate degrees. This makes her eminently qualified to lead these high school teachers in a graduate level course in effective teaching practice, which has resulted in this innovative book. Her research and scholarship is focused around improving teaching and student learning outcomes.
By Jake Christie
December 29, 2013 (San Diego)--As a courtesy to the thousands of San Diego State University students who use Malcolm A. Love Library, the library administration recently held an open house of sorts to describe their plans for modernizing the Nixon-era structure-- plans that may take 20 years to finish and cost somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million.
The presentation was held in the Leon Williams Room (fourth floor, Love Library) to an audience of 19 students and made by Stephanie Kingsnorth, an architect with Pfeiffer Partners Architects of Los Angeles.
Senator Joel Anderson Nominated Hill Creek Elementary School for Updated Technology
December 20, 2013 (Santee) – The Barona Band of Mission Indians is ending 2013 on a high note by awarding an education grant to a deserving local school. The program’s most recent $5,000 grant was presented by Councilwomen Beth Glasco and Bonnie LaChappa to Hill Creek Elementary in Santee, fulfilling important educational resources on both students’ and faculty’s holiday wish lists. Senator Joel Anderson nominated Hill Creek Elementary for the grant.
By Miriam Raftery
December 19, 2013 (Alpine) – The Alpine Union School Board voted unanimously to slash pay and benefits for teachers by an average of 30 percent. Teachers fear losing their homes with such deep cuts – and in January, the teachers’ union will vote on whether to go on strike.
By Janis Mork
December 15, 2013 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident and high school junior Alana Bianco has been attending Capistrano Connections Academy, an online public charter school, instead of a traditional high school. She is interested in learning more about programming and has also enjoyed acting on the side. ECM recently interviewed Bianco to find out more.
She is originally from Florida and had moved to Newport Beach, CA as she was going to start her freshman year of high school. She and her mother found out about Capistrano Connections by looking online. Capistrano Connections “got good reviews,” Bianco added. She tried out public high school in her sophomore year in Burbank, but she didn’t like it as much as she liked online school. So, she then went back to Capistrano. She’s also been homeschooled while living in East County.
December 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to expand access to Pre-K education. The EARLY Act (Expanded Access to Real Learning for our Young Act) would establish a competitive grant program where states could receive federal funding to make Pre-K education available to families with a combined income of up to 400% of the federal poverty line.
“The argument for universal Pre-K is not just a lofty moral imperative – it’s also good science and economics,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Kids who receive high-quality early education are more likely to achieve success in both school and life. The research shows they’re more likely to graduate high school, earn higher pay, and live more productive lives.”
"There is no good faith, no no intentions..." -- Priscilla Schreiber, Board Member, who asserts that the GUHSD response "in no way satisifies what, I believe, the Grand Jury recommended."
"...The statement to the Grand Jury is a complete fabrication. The facts demonstrate there is no “intent” to build the Alpine high school ..." -- Sal Casamassimo, Chair, Alpine High School Citizens Committee
By Miriam Raftery
December 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Back in May, the San Diego Grand Jury issued a report urging the Grossmont Union High School District to "declare unconditionally, by December 31, 2013, if they are or are not going to build the 12th high school using funds from Propositions H and U.” The report, titled “Fool Me Once, Fool Me Twice,” criticized the district Board for failing to build the school despite voters twice approving bond measures to fund the new school in Alpine, as ECM previously reported. The Grand Jury concluded, “Residents of the GUHSD and the greater Alpine area deserve clarity from the School Board regarding the proposed 12th high school."
Yesterday the Board issued the following brief media statement, which falls far short of the unconditional statement or clarity to district residents that the Grand Jury sought:
East County educators among those testifying
By Jordan Schaffner
December 11, 2013 (San Diego)--Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (photo, left, with staff) held a public hearing on access to San Diego higher education on November 21st in San Diego. Highlights from the hearing included statements from educators at both private and public institutions, identifying needs to be met for local students.
Among the issues discussed including diversity, overcrowding, and a need for a new higher education campus in our region.
December 10, 2013 (Boulevard) – Clover Flat Elementary School in Boulevard, CA was awarded $5,000 from the Barona Education Grant Program this morning. Representatives from the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Assemblyman Brian Jones will be presented the grant to Clover Flat School, which is comprised of students from the Boulevard and Jacumba communities. The grant was written by Alpine resident, Donna Burton. Mrs. Burton is a second grade teacher and assistant principal at Clover Flat Elementary School in the Mountain Empire Unified School District.
December 10, 2013 (Rancho San Diego)--It was his conquest over cancer the first time around and a changed perspective that led longtime mechanic Jake Konen to a new career teaching at Cuyamaca College.
Four years after he beat non-Hodgkins lymphoma, cancer has returned to wage another war, this time in the form of acute leukemia. And Konen (left, with family, before his illness) is determined to once again prevail.
Free workshops offered Dec. 14, Jan. 11 and Feb. 8, 2014
December 10, 2013 (San Diego) – Dr. Dee L. Fabry, Ph.D., author of On Teaching Well: Using Classroom Instructional Strategies to Increase Your Teaching Effectiveness will offer three workshops to provide teachers and educators with practical, comprehensive knowledge on how to transform the classroom into a thriving, engaged and energetic learning environment. Workshops are offered on December 14, 2013, January 11 or February 8, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Participants can receive a certificate and two hours of professional development credit at the free seminar, which will be held at National University Spectrum Academic Center’s theater, 9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123. To register, click here. For full details and flyer, click here.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED, COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION, AND SOLAR CONTRACTOR TEAM UP TO TRAIN "SOLAR CHAMPIONS"
December 4, 2013 (San Diego) – -Nearly 30 San Diego Unified School District teachers are becoming "Solar Champions." Earlier this week, the school district hosted a workshop for those teachers to help them incorporate the solar energy/technology they now have at their schools into their curriculum.
Main Street Power is a solar contractor that recently completed the installation of roof-top solar systems at 29 of the district's schools. As part of its contract with the district, Main Street Power is providing the teachers with training and classroom solar car kits, as well as materials on solar energy/technology that are aligned with the districts' science curriculum. The company is also giving each school a computer that will serve as an "energy portal."
By Janis Mork
November 30, 2013 (Alpine)- At the Alpine Union School District Board meeting on November 21st, many teachers and the community expressed their frustrations at the school board over fiscal issues, many asking why the Superintendent gets a raise when the district is facing a financial crisis and teachers are being asked to take more furloughs and cuts.
Everyone who spoke voiced anger at the school Board or criticized the Superintendent. In all, there were 22 speakers. Superintendent Tom Pellegrino responded, “I believe I’m the only person who makes less money,” noting that cuts have negated his raise, as he explained in detail in a later interview with ECM.” I do not have an overall raise.”
November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Elizabeth Perez-Halperin, an assistant instructor in the online Professional Certificate in Green Energy Management program through San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies, was recently honored at a White House Champion of Change event as a Veteran Advancing Clean Energy and Climate Security.
November 23, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The Grossmont Union High School District is seeking applications to fill a vacancy within the eleven-member Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC). The CBOC oversees the implementation of Proposition H, the $274 million general obligation bond measure passed in March 2004, and Proposition U, the $417 million general obligation bond measure passed in November 2008, to bring facility improvements and renovations to the district’s schools. The appointee will serve a two-year term beginning January 2014, in the capacity of “Community Member-at-Large” and will be eligible for up to three consecutive two-year terms total.
ASSEMBLY SELECT COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY SET TO HOLD ITS FIRST HEARING NOV. 21 DOWNTOWN
November 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) will convene the first hearing of the Assembly Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County on Thursday, November 21 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The hearing will be held at the State Building, 1350 Front Street, Room B-109 in San Diego.
This informational hearing will examine the state of education within the San Diego region. Specifically, the hearing will focus on assessing student access, and exploring what educational opportunities exist within the region. One issue the Committee will explore is why residents have so few public higher education options although the County is the third most populated in the state.
November 14, 2013 (El Cajon)--The only employee on the Grossmont campus who can remember military service during World War II is Bob Yochum, a graphic artist, who at age 86 still works two days a week.
November 7, 2013 (San Diego) – Members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity at San Diego State University want to combat the stereotype of fraternity men. The “Building a Better Man” program launched over a year ago, aimed at developing leadership, character development and professional training, along with mentoring and networking opportunities.
October 31, 2013 (Dehesa) -- The Dehesa Valley Community Council, Inc., on behalf of the residents of Dehesa, has completed construction of a County approved School Bus Stop at Dehesa Road and Dehesa Ranch Road.
Dedication of the bus stop will take place at the site, on Friday, November 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm.
Superintendent-Principal Janet Wilson, as well as School Board Member Derek Voth, will join the students and “ride the bus” on that day. Jacki Finch, school bus driver and advisor for the project, will deliver them safely to the destination.
Dehesa residents are invited to join your neighbors for this celebration of community commitment, caring and success.
October 22, 2013 (Sacramento) – School bus safety is a two-way street, a responsibility shared by professional school bus drivers and the rest of the motoring public. To help bring awareness to the safe transportation of students throughout the state, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is proud to observe National School Bus Safety Week, October 21–25, 2013.
Nearly one million California students ride on school buses every day and more than 25,000 certified drivers are dedicated to providing safe transportation for children in the state. These drivers go through 40 hours of intense training by the Department of Education, in addition to a rigorous certification process by the CHP, physical examinations, and drug tests. Drivers must also possess a valid first aid and medical card and obtain a background clearance from the California Department of Justice. Additionally, the CHP inspects and certifies every bus annually.
October 20, 2013 (El Cajon) -- Zack Gianino, who was installed Tuesday evening, Oct. 15, as a student trustee on the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board, describes himself as a man who is “strongly against apathy.”
“I do as much as I can to combat it,” said Gianino, 20, who also serves as vice president of the Associated Students of Grossmont College.
October 17, 2013 (El Cajon) -- A Box Full of Rocks: The El Cajon Years of Lester Bangs is a new documentary film about legendary music journalist and former San Diegan Lester Bangs. Grossmont College's Creative Writing Program will sponsor a special screening of the film at its annual Lester Bangs Memorial Reading, on Tuesday October 22, 2013 in Room 220 (Building 26). This event will be free and open to the public.
Measure targets school districts engaged in risky borrowing, including Poway Unified and Santee School District
By Cary Hyatt and Miriam Raftery
October 1, 2013 (Sacramento) – Assembly Bill 182 has been passed by the Legislature and is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk. Several local legislators coauthored the bill including Democrats Ben Hueso and Marty Block as well as Republicans Rocky Chavez and Mark Wyland.
The measure would create restrictions in California on capital appreciation bonds (CABs) used by school and college districts. CABs defer payments far into the future and can cost 10 to 20 times more than the original amount borrowed.
September 30, 2013 (El Cajon) – Marsha Edwards, a 22-year veteran in her field, has started her new post as vice chancellor for human resources for the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
Edwards, who was born in Oregon and spent much of her life there, said she was intrigued by the job posting for the top human resources job at the East County college district.
“When I looked into the position, it seemed like a good fit with my background and experience and would allow me the opportunity to work with two great colleges in a great climate – decision made!” she said.
September 11, 2013 (El Cajon) – With a vow to never forget the sacrifices made and the lives lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Cuyamaca College today held a ceremony and display of 2,977 small flags on the campus’ Grand Lawn, each representing a victim of the fateful day when two planes hit the Twin Towers in New York City and two other commandeered planes crashed into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
On a postcard-perfect summer morning with the San Miguel Fire Station’s massive 70-foot flag as a backdrop, the campus community and the public gathered to commemorate an event that even after a dozen years had spectators wiping away tears and speakers’ voices choking with emotion.
A few miles away, a similar ceremony took place at Grossmont College, where the morning began with the recitation of victims’ names interspersed with moments of silence corresponding with each horrifying incident that would forever leave an indelible mark on that historic day.
District Records an Overall Gain of 14 Points
On August 29, 2013, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the 2013 Growth API for schools and districts in California. For high schools, the API measures how well students are performing on both the California Standards Tests (CSTs) as well as the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).
The Grossmont District’s API increased by 14 points to 769, marking the tenth consecutive year of growth.
In addition to significant growth at the District level, two of GUHSD’s high schools demonstrated dramatic improvements. El Cajon Valley High School increased its API by 73 points and Monte Vista posted a gain of 29 points. Below are additional highlights.
September 4, 2013 (Sacramento) – A measure that would require all school modernization projects seeking state funding to include classroom doors that lock from the inside was held today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
State Senator Marty Block of San Diego (SD-39) who authored the legislation – SB 316 – said he was dismayed. “I’m deeply disappointed that SB 316 did not make it through the Assembly committee,” said State Senator Marty Block (SD-39). “It is a blow to school safety and common sense. We are beyond the point where inside door locks would be a nice thing to have, they are imperative if we want to protect children and teachers in the classroom.”