Education

CAN WE ALL GET ALONG? DIVERSITY DIALOGUES RETURN TO CUYAMACA COLLEGE







East County News Service

February 1, 2017 (El Cajon) - A Feb. 8 workshop tackling the mass incarceration of African-American males kicks off the spring edition of Diversity Dialogues, a series of Cuyamaca College conversations aimed at fostering a greater understanding of different cultures.

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD TO VOTE FEB. 21 ON PROTECTING IMMIGRANT STUDENTS

 

East County News Service

January 31, 2017 (El Cajon) -- The Chancellor and leaders at Grossmont-Community College District have sent a letter to students in the wake of  President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders regarding immigration, border security, and a travel ban on people from seven nations, as well as his threat to establish a Muslim registry.  The letter affirms that the district’s governing board will vote February 21 on whether to adopt the following policies:

  • Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges are open to all students who meet the minimum requirement for admission, regardless of background, culture, religion, or immigration status. 
  • The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will not release any personally identifiable student information, including data related to immigration status, without a judicial warrant or court order unless authorized by the student or required by law.
  • The District will not cooperate with any federal effort to create a registry of individuals based on any protected characteristics such as religion, national origin, race, or sexual orientation.
  • The District stands proudly for the heritage of American community colleges as hallmarks of a diverse, engaged, and healthy democracy.

Below is the letter in full:

GROSSMONT JOINS 70 OTHER DISTRICTS IN STATEWIDE CELEBRATION OF MADE-FROM-SCRATCH, LOCALLY-SOURCE FOODS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dr. Gary Woods, GUHSD school board member, tastes locally-sourced foods along with students at Grossmont College “California Thursdays” event.

January 26, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Nearly 20,000 students in the Grossmont Union High School District participated today in a novel approach to school food: healthy, freshly prepared meals made with California-grown produce and fresh ingredients.

TRUMP EDUCATION SECRETARY NOMINEE DE VOS SEEKS PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION, TELLS SENATORS SHE WON’T ENFORCE FEDERAL LAWS PROTECTING DISABLED, FEMALE, OR MINORITY STUDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 26, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – One of President Trump’s most controversial nominees is Betsy DeVos, proposed to head up the Department of Education.  The billionaire GOP donor has led a “school choice” PAC and led efforts to divert public funds to charter schools and vouchers in Detroit with largely failed results, where critics say more segregation and generally poor test scores resulted.  If confirmed, she would be an Education Secretary largely committed to dismantling public education despite no track record of success in helping students, particularly students of color.

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AT FOUNDATION FOR GROSSMONT & CUYAMACA COLLEGES







East County News Service

January 24, 2017 (El Cajon) - Erich Foeckler, a fundraising professional for 20 years, is the new executive director of development for the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges, the philanthropic partner for East County’s two community colleges.

STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF TOM TORLAKSON ANNOUNCES FUNDING RELIEF FOR SCHOOL CLOSURES DUE TO FLOODING, WINTER STORMS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2017 (Sacramento) - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today directed the California Department of Education to work with all schools and school districts forced to close as a result of flooding and other winter storm related issues so that they may qualify for relief from the loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding.

SCHOOLS CLOSED TODAY DUE TO STORMS

 

East County News Service

January 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) - Monday’s severe storm provided a day off to many students in East County.

Heavy rains, high winds, and mountain snow led to school closures in several districts, including Julian Union High School District, Julian Union School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, and Warner Springs Unified School District. 

STATE GRANT WILL FUND CUYAMACA COLLEGE VINEYARD AND GROW NEW VITICULTURE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

 

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District

January 18, 2017 (El Cajon) - Cuyamaca College has secured a grant of nearly $260,000 to bolster its new viticulture apprenticeship program and cover the cost of a planned two-acre vineyard on the Rancho San Diego campus.

CALIF. WATER SYSTEMS TO PROVIDE FREE LEAD TESTING FOR SCHOOLS

 

Source: State Water Resources Control Board

January 17, 2017 (Sacramento) -- In an effort to further safeguard California’s water quality, K-12 schools in the state can receive free testing for lead under a new initiative announced today by the State Water Resources Control Board.

HINDUS SEEK DIWALI HOLIDAY IN ALL CALIFORNIA PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS

 

East County News Service

January 3, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- Hindus are urging all 1,025 public school districts of California to declare official holiday on Diwali, the most popular of their festivals. They are also urging California’s all 1,222 charter schools, all about 3,170 private schools and all independent schools also to adopt Diwali as an official holiday on their 2017-2018 school year calendars.

Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up lives, symbolizing victory of good over evil. Besides Hindus; Sikhs,Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, which falls on October 19 in 2017.

TESLA MOTORS, POKÉMON GO AND HAIR-SPLITTING TALMUDIC ARGUMENTS

 

East County News Service

December 23, 2016 (San Diego) — You’re invited to engage in a brain-twisting, mind-wrestling, hair-splitting experience as you explore modern situations and the complex dilemmas they give rise to while you seek solutions by examining original Talmudic texts.

Beginning Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., Rabbi Rafi Andrusier of San Carlos will offer a fascinating new six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) called The Dilemma: Modern Conundrums. Talmudic Debates. Your Solutions.  Classes are located at Lomas Del Cerro Club Room (7255 Navajo Rd. San Diego).

SIMULATED CONGRESSIONAL HEARING AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE SET TO DRAW 400 MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS





Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca College District

December 15, 2016 (El Cajon) -- More than 400 middle and high school students from throughout San Diego and Riverside counties will converge at Grossmont College Dec. 15 and 16 to compete in a series of simulated congressional hearings testing how well they know the Constitution. Eleven middle and high schools are taking part in the innovative educational program titled We the People… The Citizen and the Constitution, which is now in its 29th year.

SDSU RESEARCHERS DISCOVER NEW PLANT SPECIES, NAME AFTER JIMI HENDRIX

 

The new, rare and endangered succulent is found only in Baja California

East County News Service

December 15, 2016 (San Diego) - Jimi Hendrix may have died more than 45 years ago, but his botanical legacy will live forever. In a new study, a team of researchers, including San Diego State University plant biologist Michael Simpson, identified a new and rare species of succulent and dubbed it Dudleya hendrixii, or “Hendrix’s liveforever,” in honor of the guitar virtuoso.

SDSU STUDY: HIGH PERCENTAGE OF COLLEGE STUDENTS STRUGGLE TO MEET BASIC NEEDS INSTEAD OF CLASSROOM SUCCESS

 

Source: Community College Equity Assessment Lab

December 12, 2016 (San Diego) -- A new study finds that approximately one-third of community college students experience the threat of homelessness and housing instability and twelve percent face the threat of hunger.  More than 70% of these students are in remedial math courses.

ADAMS PULLS AHEAD OF CARUTHERS IN GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE RACE

 

Update December 8, 2016: Adams has won by 124 votes.  The election was certified today.

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - In the race to fill an open seat on the Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District Board, Elena Adams has pulled ahead of Timothy Caruthers by a razor-thin margin of 69 votes.  Adams, a teacher backed by the American Federation of Teachers, has 50.1% with 18,136 votes, while Caruthers, who currently serves on the Alpine Union School District board, has 49.9% and 18,067 votes.

EDUCATORS RAISE CONCERNS OVER TRUMP’S EDUCATION SECRETARY NOMINEE

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – President-Elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education.  But the nomination has drawn sharp criticism from prominent educators due to her support of directing public funds into private and largely religious schools through vouchers, charters and other means.

TRUMP TO PAY $25 MILLION TO SETTLE LAWSUITS OVER TRUMP UNIVERSITY

 

East County News Service

November 19, 2016 (San Diego) — President-Elect Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits representing thousands of students alleging fraud and racketeering involving the now defunct Trump University, which was never an accredited school.

VETERANS ELECTED TO JAMUL-DULZURA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (Jamul-Dulzura) — Two military veterans have won seats on the Jamul-Dulzura Union School Board.  Running on a platform of giving back and continuing to serve their community, the pair won two open seats.

Sam Manis is an Army veteran once assigned to the White House communications agency. He is a farmer and cheesemaker, father of triplets  and has served as treasurer of the San Diego County 4H Club.   He stated on his Facebook  page, “I am running for the Jamul-Dulzura Union School Board because I have devoted my life to serving my community and children. As a long time Jamul resident I am deeply rooted in this community and want to support our local schools so every child is able to grow and learn to the best of their ability. As a US Army veteran, I firmly believe in giving back to this great nation that has been so generous to me.”

TIGHT RACE IN ALPINE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

Update December 1, 2016:  Lyon has pulled back ahead of Russo by 25 votes as the count contiunes.  The election will be certified  December 8th.

Update November 16, 2016:  Lou Russo has pulled ahead of Travis Lyon.

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2016 (Alpine) — With 100% of precincts counted but provisional and some mail-in ballots remaining to be counted, Joseph Perricone has won reelection to the Alpine Union School District board. But a second seat is still too close to call, with Travis Lyon leading Louis Russo by just 19 votes.

PADRE DAM WELCOMES GIRL SCOUTS FOR WATER DAY EVENT

 

More than 100 Girl Scouts learned about the future of water in East San Diego County

Source:  Padre Dam nes release

November 10, 2016 (Santee) - More than 100 Girl Scouts from San Diego County joined Padre Dam Municipal Water District on Sunday, November 6 to learn about water, conservation and the future of water in East San Diego County during Padre Dam’s Girl Scout San Diego Day at the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility.

KAREN CLARK-MEJIA AND JIM MILLER ELECTED TO CAJON VALLEY UNION SCHOOL BOARD

 

Bond measure narrowly losing

By Jonathan Goetz

November 9, 2016 (El Cajon) -Conservative Republicans have won election in the five-person race for Cajon Valley Union School Board. Both are  endorsed by the Republican Party though the race is nonpartisan.

Clark-Mejia serves as the lead marriage and family therapist intern at New Day Women’s Center and Counseling Services, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves women and their families.

OUTSIDERS WIN SEATS ON GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD

 

School bond measure also passes

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) –The Grossmont Union High School District has been rife with controversies including efforts to parents to split the district apart after the board ignored admonishments by the County Grand Jury  and refused to build an Alpine High School promised in two past bond measures—voting to instead fund a lawsuit defending the district’s stance.   

Yesterday,  voters cast out incumbent  Jim Stieringer, the newest Board member in a wave of anti-incumbency that swept the nation on a day that saw Donald Trump capture the presidency.  His replacement in trustee district 2, the La Mesa-Mt. Helix area, is a teacher.  Voters also elected a teacher in district 1 in Lemon Grove-Spring Valley-La Prensa, carved out through redistricting as a majority-minority district. Here's what the public can learn from these races.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: ODAY YOUSIF JR, GROSSMONT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD CANDIDATE

 

November 7,  2016  (San Diego’s East County) – Oday Yousif Jr. is a graduate of Valhalla High School in the Grossmont Union High School District and a current student at San Diego State University. Now he’s running for the Grossmont school board,  seeking to bring a student’s perspective to the board and serve the needs of multi-lingual and multi-cultural students.  You can hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio,  by clicking the orange link above. 

Yousif asked for an interview to clear up information on a  mailer with misleading information on candidates' party endorsements. He is the only candidate endorsed by the county Democratic Party in Grossmont’s  Trustee Area 2, which includes La Mesa, Mt. Helix,  and portions of surrounding neighborhoods. He also spoke out in support of Measure BB,  Grossmont's school bond measure, which he backs despite some flaws in the measure because he believes "our schools need more money" to better serve students.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NICK MARINOVICH, BOND OVERSIGHT EXPERT, ON PROBLEMS WITH GROSSMONT’S MEASURE BB

 

November 7, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Nick Marinovich chaired a school bond oversight committee in the Sweetwater Union High School District, where officials were convicted for illegal pay-to-play.  He resigned his position on the Grossmont Union High School District’s Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, contending Grossmont’s committee acted like a lapdog,  not a watchdog—failing in its oversight duties.

He reached out to us to share his concerns over Measure BB,  a $128 million school bond measure.  You can hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the orange audio link, and scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

DECEPTIVE MAILERS IN GUHSD CAMPAIGN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Multiple candidates in the Grossmont Union High School District Board race have complained of mailers containing false or misleading information on candidates' party endorsements or affiliations.

Below is information on which parties have endorsed candidates in the race,  as well as which candidates have teachers' union backing and which seem to be running stealth campaigns--offering little or no information for voters.

READER’S EDITORIAL: HOW CAN TAXPAYERS’ LAST LINE OF DEFENSE BE MISSING IN ACTION IN GROSSMONT’S MEASURE BB?

 

By Priscilla Schreiber, Trustee, Grossmont Union High School District

November 3, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- After reviewing statements made in the San Diego County Taxpayers Association's (SDCTA) campaign literature, "Yes on BB", I thought it would be helpful to the voters if I shared my perspective, as the Board member who did not vote to put this bond measure on the ballot.

My comments (not in bold) follow their statements (in boldface):

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Devorah Fox,  left,  and Ramona Irwin, right

October 31, 2016 (El  Cajon)—East County Magazine invited all five candidates running for the Cajon Valley Union School District to be interviewed on our radio show. Two responded.   Hear our interview with  Ramona Irwin and Devorah Fox by clicking the orange audio link, and scroll down for more information about the candidates.

Audio: 

SAFETY ALERT: VIRTUAL KIDNAPPERS TARGETING SAN DIEGO FAMILIES

 

Source: San Diego Community College District

October 27, 2016 (San Diego) – The San Diego Community College District has issued the following alert:  As many of you may already know, families across San Diego are receiving phone calls from “virtual kidnappers” claiming a loved one or family member has been kidnapped.  These criminals then demand a ransom amount (usually a few thousand dollars) that can be dropped off at a remote location (often in Tijuana) in exchange for the safe release and return of the “kidnapped” family member. The criminals’ phone numbers are often untraceable.

Please do not meet their demands!  This is a phone scam that local law enforcement and the FBI are investigating.  

What to do when you or your family member receives a similar phone call:

GROSSMONT COLLEGE ALUM RETURNS TO HOME FIELD TO HEAD ATHLETICS PROGRAM





Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

October 27, 2016 (El Cajon) - As a former student athlete and successful college coach, Thomas Armstrong knows a lot about executing winning game plans.

As Grossmont College’s new associate dean of athletics, Armstrong is now diagramming x’s and o’s for a program that has in the past three years twice won honors as the most successful intercollegiate athletic program in the 10-college Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

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