Setting high expectations for all students key to closing achievement gap | Board of Education honors community members | It's official: 2014-15 school year starts Sept. 2
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January 31, 2014
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Superintendent's Update: Vision 2020 as innovation, in the community, schools as community centers
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In her Board of Education report on Tuesday, Superintendent Cindy Marten discussed three key elements of the Vision 2020: Innovations in schools, which she saw at Millennial Tech Middle School; San Diego Unified as part of the community during the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast; and students quizzing the next San Diego mayor in a debate at Hoover High School. Watch video presentation.
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Setting high expectations for all students key to closing achievement gap
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District administrators believe that setting high expectations for all students is an important step in closing the achievement gap, one of Vision 2020's key indicators of a quality school. In an update to the Board of Education, Supt. Marten outlined specific ways this district goal is being implemented – and becoming a reality for our students. Watch video presentation.
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Board of Education honors community members
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Proclamations from the Board of Education at Tuesday's meeting included honors to: Pershing Middle School's 50th anniversary; recognition of the Chinese Historical Museum; the San Diego-Yantai Friendship Society; Frank Jao, CEO of Bridgecreek Group Inc.; recognizing the Taiwanese American Community Center's (TACC) Naruwan Taiko Drumming Group; and the Panda Express Panda Cares Program. Read more.
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It's official: 2014-15 school year starts Sept. 2
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The 2014-15 school year for all schools in the San Diego Unified School District begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, following the recommendation of Superintendent Cindy Marten and approval by the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday. The instructional-calendar days were fully restored so that students will be in class 180 days during the school year. In addition, work is beginning on creating a common calendar for all schools. Read more.
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Vision 2020 Forums: Working Together for Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood
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The Board of Education and Superintendent Cindy Marten invite all stakeholders to a series of neighborhood meetings to Dream Big together for the future of our schools. The "Vision 2020 Forums: Working Together for Quality Schools in Every Neighborhood" series offer parents, staff, students, and community members the opportunity to give input to the superintendent and the board members on priorities for our students and schools. Read more.
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School News
Classroom becomes coffee house for poetry reading
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If a Carson Elementary School student comes up to you and says "I'm from..." and then waxes poetic, don't be concerned. It's part of an innovative program at the Linda Vista neighborhood campus. The result of a grant from CoTA, Collaborations: Teachers and Artists, students have been learning about poetry through an intensive study of the elements that drive meaningful writing. Read more.
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Mobile hydroponic wagon brings the farm to Grant K-8 School
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Grant (K-8) School students experienced first-hand how their January Harvest of the Month has grown when the farm came to school. Using a mobile hydroponic wagon, Pierre Sleiman, Jr., owner and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, demonstrated how the organic Bloomsdale spinach grows hydroponically by having students pour water and nutrients into the tube where the spinach roots were suspended. Read more.
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International Studies students get the word from federal judge
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United States District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller visited with students at the School of International Studies at San Diego High School, sharing his views on law and stories from his career. In a format modeled after the TV series "Inside the Actors Studio," the event provided a unique opportunity for International Studies students to get a real sense of what it takes to become a federal judge and what the job is like every day. Read more.
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Bullying on the run at Mann Middle School
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Learning to get along is a part of growing up and Mann Middle School in City Heights works to teach its students about bullying -- how to avoid it, how to prevent it, and how to get along. The school's recent Anti-Bullying week brought staff from around the district to help students learn these important lessons. Read more.
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Major League Baseball players' numbers retired by Morse High
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Morse High School grads and current members of the Baltimore Orioles, Adam Jones and Quentin Berry, were welcomed back to campus and had their numbers retired. The pair played together at the Skyline school in the early 2000s before starting their career in Major League Baseball. The players credit the basics and work ethic they learned at Morse with helping them succeed. Read more.
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Barnard Language Academy kicks off Chinese New Year
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Students from Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy danced and sang songs in Chinese at the Jan. 28 Board of Education meeting in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Sixth-grader Serenity Johnson educated the audience on the Year of the Horse, even highlighting the fact that Supt. Marten was born during a Year of the Horse. The performance was a preview of Barnard's public celebration, scheduled for Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school. Watch the video.
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For Parents
Cash for College: FAFSA Workshops Feb. 1, 8, 22
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The California Student Opportunity and Access Program of San Diego (CalSOAP) is hosting several workshops in February to help students apply for financial aid and college scholarships, as well as complete Dream Act applications. Workshops will be held at Kearny and Hoover High schools on different Saturdays in February. One attendee from each event will win a $1,000 scholarship. It's recommended that parents accompany their children. Pre-registration is available online. Read more.
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Enrollment Options application period closes Feb. 15
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The enrollment period for 2014-15 school choice closes on Feb. 15. Families can apply for district programs, such as Magnet Schools, the Voluntary Enrollment Exchange Program and Open Enrollment. Visit the Enrollment Options web page for the online application and other helpful materials. Applications are given a computer-generated random number and are treated equally once received during the open enrollment period -- first come, first served does not apply. Read more.
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For Students
San Diego Foundation 2014-2015 common scholarship applications due Feb. 3
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The San Diego Foundation's Common Scholarship application uses one online application to access more than 100 scholarships, which include many opportunities for students with varying levels of academic success, financial need and community involvement. The majority of scholarships are open to high school seniors that live in San Diego County. The deadline to register in the Foundation’s online system is noon on Monday, Feb. 3; applications are due by noon on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Read more.
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Girls and Women in Sports Day March 1
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At Girls and Women in Sports Day, students will be able to get autographs, take pictures, hear powerful messages about academic achievement, and get playing and training tips from SDSU women athletes and coaches. The March 1 event includes activities for students to interact with and learn from SDSU women student-athletes and coaches. Pre-game activities are free but tickets are required to attend the basketball game and must be requested in advance through the San Diego County Office of Education. Read more.
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Student Voices
In the News
Educational News
Librarians become partners in schools' digital transitions
Schools and districts embarking on a digital transition would be well-served to tap the talent of their school librarians, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report outlines how three school districts have employed librarians as partners in the digital transition. In one North Carolina district, librarians are "focused on helping students conduct research, understand copyright laws, and apply digital citizenship," the district's chief technology coordinator, Scott Smith, states in the report. eSchool News (free registration) (1/29)
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6 STEM principles for a 21st-century education
In this blog post, science educator Anne Jolly introduces inventor Terry Lane and shares six principles based on Lane's journey that can be applied to the classroom. Principles include encouraging curiosity, learning how to ask questions and exposing students to a broad range of career opportunities within the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. "We must prepare our students today to be a viable part of the nation's 21st century workforce, and we can't just wait and hope they acquire that knowledge over years through trial and error," Jolly writes. MiddleWeb (1/26)
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How mindfulness, meditation are paying off in the classroom
Schools across the country are experimenting with the use of meditation to ease students' stress and anxiety and promote wellness, suggests former teacher and mindfulness enthusiast Amanda Machado. In this commentary, she shares responses from several students who said that while the poses were initially unfamiliar and embarrassing, the students ultimately benefited from taking care of themselves and managing stress. The Atlantic online (1/27)
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Other News
SmartQuote
Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them."
-- Chaim Weizmann,
First president of Israel
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