Superintendent message: Budget update | Reminder: Tdap booster required for all incoming seventh graders | Prop. S Update: Sessions Elementary School enhances student safety
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April 27, 2012
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Friday Notes
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From the District
Superintendent message: Budget update
It has been some time since I have updated the staff, parents and community on the budget and related staffing issues. I want to take the opportunity in this Friday Note to paint the current picture and to express my appreciation to our dedicated employees who continue to keep their focus and commitment on our students in the face of unprecedented layoffs and this financially turbulent time. Read more.
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Reminder: Tdap booster required for all incoming seventh graders
California law requires that all students going into seventh grade must be immunized with a pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine booster called Tdap. This includes current students, new students and transfer students in both public and private schools. Schools must receive proof of the Tdap booster before the student can attend class in the fall unless they have a documented exemption. Read more.
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Prop. S Update: Sessions Elementary School enhances student safety
Associated Student Body President Bethany Kepner and Principal Susan Devicariis joined students, parents and staff in celebrating the school's new student drop-off and pick-up zone. The official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held the day that students returned from spring break, the first day students and parents could use the new drop-off and pick-up zone. According to Principal Devicariis, this was a very important project for the school and community. Read more.
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Tiger Teams to meet May 5
The Operations and Efficiency Ad Hoc Committee has scheduled a status update meeting on Saturday, May 5, for all new Tiger Team members and anyone interested in serving on the committee. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Ballard Parent Center in Old Town. Board of Education Vice President Scott Barnett and Trustee Kevin Beiser lead the Operations and Efficiency Committee, which supervises the Tiger Teams.
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School News
ALBA students continue win streak in mock trial competition
ALBA High School at North Park participated in the recent bi-annual Street Law Mock Trial Competition. The Mock Trial Competition is a court role-playing activity wherein teams from area high schools prepare a case and conduct a trial, complete with a judge, jury, prosecutors, defendants and witnesses. The Honorable Judith F. Hayes, San Diego Superior Court Judge, presided over competition between ALBA and Hoover High School.
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Challenger Middle School students raise more than $2,700 for MDA
Student government members at Challenger Middle School in Mira Mesa have raised $2,732 this year for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Shamrock Drive, inspired by a staff member who has muscular dystrophy. This brings the total amount raised by students over the last six years to more than $12,000. Challenger was the first middle school in the county to participate in the Shamrock Drive. Read more.
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Madison High, Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary work to end bullying
Students from Madison High and Lindbergh-Schweitzer Elementary continue working together to prevent bullying. The iLEAD team from Madison recently visited nearby Lindbergh-Schweitzer, performing skits and playing games to demonstrate bullying and how to react to the behavior. The high school students engaged in a lively discussion with the fifth- and sixth-graders, with all students pledging to avoid bullying. Read more.
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Serra High students will be published scientists
More than 30 students at Serra High School will be skipping forward in their careers, becoming published scientists before they have even graduated from high school, something that usually does not happen until years after college. Students in the biotechnology program at Serra have helped advance a project that is researching how species are impacted by environmental decay. Read more.
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Help Standley Middle School artist win national contest
Savannah ter Veer, a Standley Middle School eighth-grader, is the entrant from California in the Sunwise Poster Contest, sponsored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Shade Foundation. The winner of the nationwide contest wins a sunshade for their school. Help Savannah with your vote. Read more.
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Vista Grande class wins $8,000 grant
There are now more than 50 new books in Abby Chambard's fourth-grade class at Vista Grande Elementary School in Tierrasanta, thanks to a lot of Real California Milk seals and $8,000 from the California Milk Advisory Board. Families saved 274 Real California Milk seals off dairy products, with two-thirds coming from student Sarah Gonzalez, her parents and friends.
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For Parents
SDSU Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory Open House is May 20
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience the facilities, research and activities at the Coastal and Marine Institute Laboratory. Read more.
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Nominations sought for People magazine's Teacher of the Year Award
Favorite teachers are remembered for a lifetime. People magazine wants to highlight those amazing teachers with the first People Teacher of the Year Award. Read more.
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For Students
What to expect on the SAT, ACT
Students in the class of 2013 and their parents or guardians are encouraged to attend two free workshops to prepare them for the SAT and ACT exams. Read more.

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Submit your Showcase Exhibit entries for SD County Fair
Entries are now being accepted for the student showcase at the 2012 San Diego County Fair. The theme for this year's fair is "Out of this World." Read more.
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Student Voices
In the News
Educational News
Calif. district sees success with teacher-led curriculum
The Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County, Calif., is known for its commitment to student achievement, with teachers given autonomy to create the most relevant lessons for students in the primarily low-income and Latino district. "We don't go buy something and impose it on them," said Colleen Hawkins, director of curriculum and instruction. "They are invested in it and created it. They own it and own the results." Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/22)
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How to meet the needs of diverse groups of learners in the classroom
Special-education teacher Laurie Wasserman in this article offers suggestions on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse groups of learners in a classroom. She advises teachers to collaborate with colleagues to ensure all educators are familiar with students' education plans and modifications. Maintaining consistency across classes, developing a student-centered mindset and using multiple types of assessments are among her other suggestions. Education Week Teacher (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (4/25)
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Calif. high school to scrap ASL program despite student complaints
Some students at Paso Robles High School in California are upset about their school's decision to eliminate a program in American Sign Language in an effort to cut costs. Student Marina Perry said the change will affect her plans to attend a four-year college and become a sign-language interpreter, while student David Oliver, who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, said ASL courses helped him focus and fulfill a language requirement. The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (4/25)
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Other News
SmartQuote
One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests."
-- John Stuart Mill,
British philosopher and political economist
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