Spotlight on success | New Chief Financial Officer joins district | District employees donate $6,000 to Children and Youth in Transition program
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December 7, 2012
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Spotlight on success
Schools throughout San Diego Unified continue to make significant progress in the area of student achievement, supporting the district's mission to make sure all students graduate with the skills, motivation, curiosity and resilience to succeed in their choice of college and career. A Board of Education workshop held Nov. 27 recognized and celebrated 13 schools representing all areas of the district for their increases in student achievement. Spotlighted schools demonstrated a combination of best practices, academic growth, steady progress over time and closing achievement gaps. Read more.
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New Chief Financial Officer joins district
Northern California school administrator and retired Navy commander Stanley Dobbs joined the district Dec. 3 as Chief Financial Officer. Dobbs was previously the assistant superintendent, business and CFO/COO/CTO at the 22,000-student Hayward Unified School District, where he created the "Fiscal Solvency Solution Strategies" model that is being implemented successfully across many California districts. As a Navy Commander, Dobbs was responsible for managing over 200,000 personnel and working with a $40 billion annual budget. Read more.
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District employees donate $6,000 to Children and Youth in Transition program
San Diego Unified's Community Service Association recently donated $6,000 to the Children and Youth in Transition Program to assist the homeless students in the district this holiday season. The organization selected the Children and Youth in Transition program when it learned that the student homeless population has continued to rise over the last several years. The funds will be used to support activities and services for homeless students, and to purchase filled backpacks, warm winter clothing, and other necessities.
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Prop. S Update: New Sustainable Technologies facility wows guests attending dedication
Board Trustee Kevin Beiser joined Principal Ann Menna, district and community leaders, as well as SRHS students, staff and parents in dedicating the new Sustainable Technologies facility at Scripps Ranch High School on Nov. 29. Before the presentation of the ceremonial groundbreaking shovel and ribbon cutting ceremony, students Alex Johnson and Shea Polansky told guests what a difference the facility and program have made in their education.
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District staff helps community give thanks
More than 400 San Diego Unified students and their families were recently treated to a Thanksgiving dinner, art-making activities, and artistic performances at the New San Diego Children's Museum. The opportunity was sponsored by the museum, Feeding America San Diego and the district's Children and Youth in Transition, and Food Services departments.
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Third grade visual, performing arts programs get $5,000 grant
The Kinder Morgan Foundation has donated $5,000 to fund a portion of the Grade 3 Exploratory Visual Art Project (EVAP3) serving 18 district classrooms. The program gives grade three students six weeks of basic visual art instruction, one hour per week, taught by trained visual art teaching artists. Read more.
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Free STAR Assessment Reports Booklet
The new STAR Enterprise Assessment Reports Booklet demonstrates the expanded scope of information now available to all educators who implement STAR assessments. These reports help teachers and administrators learn how to get answers to key questions that help improve instruction. Request your free booklet.
 
School News
Cabrillo, Dewey Elementary schools split half-million dollar grant
The Department of Defense has awarded a grant worth $503,000 to the San Diego Unified School District to fund language programs in Mandarin Chinese at Dewey Elementary School and German at Cabrillo Elementary. The schools will combine classroom instruction in the languages with cultural enrichment activities. Read more.
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Clairemont High students inspired by ex-NFL player
Former NFL linebacker Chris Washington inspired sophomores at Clairemont High's Academy of Business and Technology during the one of 15 motivational lectures scheduled at the school this year. Washington, who played with Tampa Bay and Arizona, shared his challenges growing up and the obstacles he overcame to compete in the NFL. Read more.
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Edison Elementary receives bikes from Bikes for Kids, San Diego Chargers
IN THE NEWS: Representatives from the Bikes for Kids program, spearheaded by local philanthropist Bill Pollakov, along with members of the San Diego Chargers made a surprise visit to Edison Elementary School where they gave away bicycles to a very excited student body. Watch video.
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Garfield High School's Thanksgiving program celebrates 15 successful years
Culinary arts students at Garfield High had a much deserved Thanksgiving break after serving nearly 400 diners at this year's Thanksgiving luncheon at The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. Students prepared the majority of the Thanksgiving meal, working out of Garfield High's culinary facility as well as on-site in the Prado's commercial kitchen. Read more.
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Madison, Lincoln take football league titles
Congratulations to Madison and Lincoln high schools for earning varsity football championships in their conference divisions this past Saturday. The players not only receive the honor for being champions, they also learn the value of teamwork, good nutrition and exercise. Read more.
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Mission Bay High, Ross Elementary receive grants from Chargers
Mission Bay High School will receive $75,000 for weight room improvements and Ross Elementary will receive $4,000 for its physical education programs from the San Diego Chargers "Chargers Champions" program. At Mission Bay High, the weight-room improvements will benefit about 900 students in physical education classes, where they'll have the opportunity to perform cardio, weight and conditioning training. Ross students will receive new physical education equipment for the expanded program. Read More.
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New Patrick Henry principal prepared to "Go The Distance"
IN THE NEWS: Anyone doubting the determination of Patrick Henry High School's new principal need look no further than last spring when Elizabeth "Listy" Gillingham was training for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. She recently moved from DePortola Middle School to her new post at Patrick Henry. Read more from Mission Times Courier.
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Perry Elementary students entertain at Board of Education meeting
More than 15 third graders from Perry Elementary performed three dance numbers to holiday songs during the Nov. 27 Board of Education meeting. Teacher Fred DeBerg led two choreographed dances while the third was an impromptu number in which students reacted to DeBerg's movements as music played. Students are invited by their board member to give a presentation at every Board meeting. Watch the video.
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Sustainable technologies in Scripps Ranch High curriculum
IN THE NEWS: A new classroom building has been dedicated at Scripps Ranch High School that will help students learn about renewable resources and explore career paths that help save the planet. The building was funded through local Prop. S and statewide Prop. 1D. Watch video from CBS.
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MET, SCPA students get Nordstrom scholarships
Students at the San Diego Met High School and the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts are among the 80 recipients nationwide of a $10,000 college scholarship from the Nordstrom department store. Hannah Brown of the MET and Mikayla Stern-Ellis of SCPA were recognized for their outstanding community involvement and scholastic achievement.
Read more.
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For Parents
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Center closes Dec. 14 for holidays
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) office at the Ballard Parent Center will close Dec. 14 for the holidays and reopen Jan. 9, 2013. The DACA Office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, in Room 1 at the Ballard Center, 2375 Congress St. (92110). Individuals requesting paperwork must make an appointment in person or by calling 619-209-4553. Read more.
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For Students
Join the high school ASB food drive challenge Jan. 19 - Feb. 2
All San Diego County high school ASB organizations are invited to participate in the San Diego Food Bank's MLK Freedom from Hunger Challenge. To enter the challenge, each school must host its own food drive anytime between Jan. 21 and Feb. 2, 2013. The top four schools win prizes, but all participating schools win just by helping provide food to about 500,000 San Diegans in need. Read more.
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Annual student "Writing for Literacy" library essay contest
Friends of the San Diego Public Library is once again sponsoring its essay contest. Prizes for winners include bookstore gift certificates, and all finalists receive a laptop computer. One special prize of $500 will also be awarded for the best overall essay.
Read more.
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Student Voices
In the News
Educational News
Educator offers ideas for using video games in STEM lessons
Professionals who work in science, technology, engineering and math often work in programming, so educator Shawn Cornally writes in this blog post that he incorporates games in his classroom as a segue into programming. Cornally offers lesson suggestions for two popular games, Mindcraft and Portal 2, as well as ideas for teaching students to write their own computer code. For example, Cornally writes, he has his students figure out if the actions in Portal 2 violate the laws of physics. Edutopia.org/Shawn Cornally's blog (11/30)
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Teachers need differentiation in professional development
The one-size-fits-all model of professional development available to most teachers does not work, veteran teacher Katrina Stevens writes in this blog post. Stevens suggests a learning community model with daily, ongoing PD focused on student learning. "In order to successfully implement new practices and improve student learning, a learning community needs to 1) focus its efforts, 2) work collaboratively, 3) be willing to reflect and examine what's working and 4) be willing to make adjustments when they aren't seeing the desired outcomes for students," she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (12/5)
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10 ideas for bringing geography into the classroom
Literacy in geography is an essential skill needed if students are going to understand the world, write Tom Marshall and Michael Gonchar. They offer what they call a "grab-bag" of 10 ideas for bringing the subject into the classroom, including geography bingo and lessons about maps, interconnected economies, weather and the environment. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Learning Network blog (12/4)
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Other News
SmartQuote
You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
-- Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator
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