Education

PARKWAY MIDDLE SCHOOL WARNS OF MAN IN BLUE VAN APPROACHING STUDENTS

East County News Service

December 16, 2015 (La Mesa) – Parkway Middle School e-mailed a safety alert to parents advising that at 8:20 a.m. yesterday morning, two Parkway students were approached by a Hispanic man in his late 30s, wearing a gray beanie and driving a rusty blue work van. The students were walking on Dallas Street near the fire department.  According to the notice to parents, the man waved to students and wanted them to come over to the van, but the students ran to the school instead.

TOPPING OUT CEREMONY CELEBRATES $13 MILLION STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES AND ARTS BUILDINGS AT GROSSMONT HIGH

 
 
By Miriam Raftery 
 

December 16, 2015 (El Cajon)--Students and school officials held a “Topping Out” Ceremony Tuesday for the new student support services and arts classroom buildings under construction at Grossmont High School.

 

PRESIDENT SIGNS EVERY CHILD SUCCEEDS ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – Calling it a “Christmas miracle—a bipartisan bill signing”,  President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed Congress with strong support among both Republicans and Democrats.

The new law preserves the goals and spirit of the No Child Left Behind law enacted under the George W. Bush administration, but eliminates that measure’s unpopular  heavy testing and eases consequences for schools that underperform. The Every Student Succeeds Act offers a more flexible approach to student testing and school accountability, also shifting much of the responsibility for improving troubled schools back to the states.

NEW FILINGS IN ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL CASE

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2015 (Alpine) – A lawsuit over a high school for Alpine is slated to be back in Superior Court downtown on December 17at 9:30 a.m.

Alpine taxpayers and the Alpine Union School District have filed a  reconsideration request asking Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman to grant Alpine’s  motion for summary adjudication and deny Grossmont’s motion for summary judgment, in  light of a Court of Appeals decision that found  Propositions H and U contain a promise to build an Alpine High School. 

Grossmont filed a  response asking just the opposite – urging Judge Pressman to deny Alpine’s motion for reconsideration.

SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF THE CALIFORNIA SPECIAL DISTRICTS ASSOCIATION INITIATES NEW PUBLIC OUTREACH VIDEO CONTEST

 

 

December 2, 2015 (La Mesa)--The San Diego Chapter, an affiliate of the California Special Districts Association, is initiating a Video Contest for Middle and High School Students, in an effort to provide educational outreach and awareness of special districts and their role in local government. The one-minute entertaining and creative video will focus on educating the public about “What’s So Special About Special Districts?”

JUST IN TIME HELPS FOSTER YOUTHS TRANSITIONING TO ADULTHOOD

 

Part 2 in our series on foster youth programs.  Read Part 1 here.

By Tasha Matthews

November 25, 2015 (San Diego)--Just in Time (JIT) is an organization that helps foster youth receive necessary resources in finance, education, basic needs, and life skills.  Just in Time for foster youth was a part of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in 2003 (now known as Promises2Kids).  Since then, Just in Time has vastly expanded, dedicated to helping foster youths through their early adult years. Just in Time has eight programs and is growing more along the way:

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COLLEGE DISTRICT AWARDED $1.2 MILLION STATE GRANT TO HELP STUDENTS COMING OUT OF FOSTER SYSTEM

 

November 24, 2015 (El Cajon)--Students coming from foster-care backgrounds struggling to get through college will get much needed help, thanks to a $1.2 million grant the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District will receive from the state starting next year.

SDSU STUDENTS RALLY AGAINST ISLAMAPHOBIA

 

East County News Service

November 23, 2015 (San Diego) – In response to an assault on a Muslim woman at San Diego State University last week,, the Muslim Student Association  announced a rally against Islamaphobia at Hepner Hall held earlier at 12:30 p.m. today.

PARENTS, STUDENTS PROTEST GROSSMONT DISTRICT LAWSUIT TO CLOSE CHARTER SCHOOLS

 

Board also votes to incur debt to fight Alpine lawsuit—and gets legal warning of CA Voting Rights Act violations

By Miriam Raftery

“You should be proud that a school like this is helping students out. Are you thinking of the students and our futures, or just yourselves and your money?”—Jackie Ramirez, 16, young mother and student at Diego Valley Charter

November 19, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Wearing green shirts reading “Defend School Choice”,  over 100 parents, students and teachers turned out to protest the Grossmont Union High School District’s litigation that seeks to shut down multiple charter schools.  Speaker after speaker gave emotional testimony tonight, pleading with the GUHSD board to save their schools.

A lawsuit filed by the district seeks to shut down Diego Valley Public Charter, which serves at-risk  students including many Chaldeans and other minorities, drop-outs , pregnant students, and students who have aged out of the public high school system, as well as Julian Charter School-Alpine Academy. A hearing on the case is scheduled for June 10, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Joan M. Lewis in San Diego Superior Court.

GUHSD BOARD VOTES THURSDAY ON MORE MONEY FOR ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL LAWSUIT: CASE HEADS TO COURT DEC. 17

 

Board to vote Nov. 19 on whether to incur $550,000 in new debt to fund continuing legal battle

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2015 (Alpine)— Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman  has set a December 17th hearing date for a trial filed against the Grossmont Union High School District by supporters of an Alpine High School. The suit seeks to assure that a fair share of bond money approved by voters will be used to build the long-promised school.  

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Judge Pressman urged both sides to settle and even offered to help—after an appeals court ruled that Grossmont violated an obligation to voters by failing to build the Alpine high school and upheld Pressman’s decision to order funds set aside.

But far from seeking to settle, the GUHSD this week will be considering approval of $550,000 in additional legal fees to continue the battle. The GUHSD already has authorization to spend $1.8 million and had spent $1.4 million as of June on the case, board documents reveal.

UPDATE ON LOCAL STUDENTS IN FRANCE

 

Update November 15, 2015: SDSU now confirms that all 34 of its students in France are safe.

East County News Service

November 14, 2015 (San Diego) – San Diego State University confirms that at least 31 of its 34 students in France are safe, including all eight students studying in Paris.  “The other three are in southern France and we are actively reaching out to them, their coordinators and our partner universities,” a press release issued by SDSU today states.

However a student from Long Beach State University is among the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris yesterday.  “We are saddened by the tragic events…Our thoughts go out to the victims loved ones and the entire Long Beach community,” the SDSU statement adds.

OUR PLANET, OUR HOME WINNERS ANNOUNCED

East County News Service

November 14, 2015 (La Mesa)--Winners of La Mesa’s K-8 Our Planet, Our Home Environmental Literacy and Art Contest have been announced. Mayor Arapostathis has kindly agreed to hand out the awards at the Block Party on November 14 at 11:15 a.m. at the Farmer’s Market site on Allison Avenue near La Mesa Blvd, and the winning flat artwork will be exhibited for one month in the foyer of the La Mesa Library.

The contest is a cooperative effort of the City's Environmental Sustainability Commission, the La Mesa Urban Trails grant from the County, the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District and the La Mesa Library branch. Sponsorship and prizes for the contest were contributed by SDGE and the Water Conservation Garden.

HUNDREDS RALLY AT SDSU FOR MISSOURI STATE’S MINORITY STUDENTS

 

East County Magazine

November 13, 2015 (San Diego) – Hundreds of San Diego State students, white and black, joined together yesterday in a rally to support black students facing extreme racism and death threats at Missouri State University, which has been in lockdown amid racial strife.

WINTER SUPERHERO CAMP: CALLING ALL SUPERHEROES!

 

November 10, 2015 (La Mesa)—Kids ages 5 to 12 are invited to participate in Kwai Sun Studio’s 7th annual Winter Superhero Camp at the La Mesa Community Center’s cottage (4975 Memorial Drive.)   The camp includes martial arts, par kour, yoga, and creative soccer training for an inspiring winter break.

SAN DIEGO STATE OF MIND: SDSU CELEBRATES HOMECOMING 2015

Pep rally march, war memorial ceremony and homecoming carnival among events

SDSU Media Center

 

November 11, 2015 (San Diego)--San Diego State University will host several events this week, leading up to its nationally televised homecoming football game against the Wyoming Cowboys at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14 at Qualcomm Stadium.

 

Aztecs of all ages are invited back to campus to share in SDSU's Aztec pride with weeklong Homecoming 2015 events and are invited to follow the hashtag #SDSUHomecoming2015 on Twitter and Instagram.

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI PRESIDENT RESIGNS OVER RACIAL STRIFE

 

Students’ hunger strike, athletes’ threatened walk-out led to action

By Liz Alper

November 10, 2015 (Columbia, Mo.) -  Just one year after the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, the nation's collective eyes are again focused on Missouri. This week, students at the University of Missouri successfully pushed for resignation of the campus president following his failure to halt racial slurs on campus.

BARONA BAND OF MISSION INDIANS PRESENTS LINDO PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WITH $5,000 EDUCATION GRANT

November 9, 2015 (Lakeside)-- Lindo Park Elementary School, a K-5 school that has served the Lakeside community for over 60 years, received a $5,000 education grant earlier today from the Barona Band of Mission Indians. The Lakeside school teaches students to excel in a global society by integrating a research-based curriculum in a 21st century environment.

The grant, which was sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Jones, will be used to purchase Life, Earth and Physical Science materials for the school’s fourth and fifth grade science laboratories.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: PUNKIN CHUNKIN' IN ALPINE

 

November 9, 2015 (Alpine) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob launched the ceremonial first pumpkin off a catapult at the 2nd annual Alpine Pumpkin Chunkin' contest in Alpine on Sunday, November 8th -- all for a good cause. This innovative event raised $4,500 to benefit the Alpine Education Association.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS HOSTS COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY FORUM NOV. 10 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

 

 

November 9, 2015 (El Cajon)--As student loan debt is reaching record proportions, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D–San Diego) will host a forum on college affordability on Tuesday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m.  (Registration is at 6 p.m.) The forum will include representatives from the Department of Education and financial aid officers from local colleges, as well as a Legal Aid Society lawyer will discuss student consumer rights.

Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), other types of student aid for high school and college students, the applications process, as well as responsible loan ownership. Learn about recent changes announced to the FAFSA.

DEC. 17 HEARING DATE SET ON ALPINE SCHOOL LAWSUIT

 

East County News Service

November 9, 2016 (Alpine) – In the latest turn-around involving a suit filed against the Grossmont Union High School District over construction of an Alpine High School, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman has set a new hearing date for December 17th at 9:30 a.m.

EL CAJON ELKS LODGE HONORS CUYAMACA COLLEGE VETS

Source: Cuyamaca College

November 5, 2015 (El Cajon)--About 30 military veterans, now students at Cuyamaca College, enjoyed a barbecue and received school supplies at a Veterans Week commemoration hosted on campus Wednesday by the El Cajon Elks Lodge. The event, which also included a raffle for prizes including T-shirts, gift certificates from merchants and a pair of tickets to a Chargers’ football game, marked the second year that Elks Lodge 1812 joined the college in honoring student veterans.

ALPINE’S CASE AGAINST GROSSMONT REVIVED: JUDGE PRESSMAN RESCINDS DISMISSAL OF CASE

 

East County News Service

November 4, 2015 (Alpine)—Superior Court Joel Pressman today announced he will vacate his dismissal of a case filed by the Alpine  Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and set a status conference with counsel November 6th. 

The move comes on the heels of an appellate court ruling yesterday which found the Grossmont Union High School District violated its promise to build an Alpine High School and affirmed Pressman’s earlier order for the Grossmont district to set aside $42 million bond money sufficient to build the school, pending full adjudication of the claim’s merits at trial, as ECM reported.

Judge Pressman issued the following statement today, though his court reporter:

APPEALS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF ALPINE, AGAINST GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT—IN CONFLICT WITH TRIAL JUDGE’S ACTION

East County News Service

Updated November 4, 2015 with reactions and Judge Pressman's final ruling.

November 3, 2015 (Alpine) –California’s 4th district court of Appeal has handed down a ruling in favor of the Alpine Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers for Responsibility  against the Grossmont Union High School District– a ruling in apparent conflict with Superior Court Joel Pressman’s  most recent action.

The ruling comes just hours after Pressman announced a decision to throw out the lawsuit entirely (dismissing it with prejudice)  – reversing his earlier decision to set a December trial date and upholding his tentative ruling from last week.  In so doing, he contradicted his own earlier findings and instead, determined that Propositions H and U did not obligate the GUHSD to build a high school for Alpine.   

But the appellate court found just the opposite.The appellate court found the district violated its promise to build the Alpine High School and affirmed Pressman’s earlier order for the GUHSD to set aside bond moneys sufficient to build the school, pending full adjudication of the claim’s merits at trial.--a trial that may never occur, based on Pressman's latest action.

“SHOCKER”: JUDGE ISSUES TENTATIVE RULING TO DISMISS LAWSUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT DISTRICT OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2015 (Alpine) – For Alpine parents, it sounds like a Halloween horror story.  But it's an unexpected treat for the board majority at the Grossmont Union High School District.  Today, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman (photo) issued a tentative ruling granting Grossmont 's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Alpine parents and taxpayers. 

The suit sought to  force the district to turn over funds to build an Alpine high school, which voters twice voted to approve in Propositions H and U. The board's action drew scrutiny from the County Grand Jury, which issued a scathing report titled "Fool us once, fool us twice?"

The tentative ruling comes as a shock since Judge Pressman  previously denied an attempt by Grossmont to dismiss the case and set a trial date for early December, as ECM reported. In his earlier ruling, the judge rejected Grossmont’s arguments that it did not have a contract commitment with Alpine to build a high school and that the text of Prop U did not compel the district to build the long-promised school.

PRESIDENT ADVISES FEWER TESTS FOR STUDENTS

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The No Child Left Behind Act was adopted in 2001 under President George W. Bush and perpetuated by the Obama administration.  But after years of complaints from parents and students,  President Barack Obama has announced new guidelines aimed at reducing mandatory testing.

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD DELAYS PLA DECISION; HIEL TARGETED FOR RECALL

 

 

Updated October 24, 2015 with recall details from the Registrar of Voters

By Mike Allen

October 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--At a sometimes raucous Oct. 20 meeting attended by union and non-union construction workers, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board voted 3-2 to table a vote on a proposed project labor agreement, saying it needs to meet with a citizens committee that oversees spending of bond funds.

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