Thanks and appreciation from Supt. Bill Kowba
As we close our schools and offices for the winter break, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you for your dedication to improving the lives of our students. The recent event in Connecticut has been a painful reminder of the importance of taking every opportunity to say thank you to those who have committed themselves to the education, safety and
well-being of our most precious resource: our children. Read more.
Community transformation grant goes to Food Services Department
The innovative "Farm To School" program in San Diego Unified's Food Services Department has received a $750,000, five-year grant to continue and expand local farm tours, farmer-in-the-classroom visits, nutrition education and cooking demonstrations. Part of an overall grant to the County of San Diego's Healthy Works program from the federal Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund, the 10-year Live Well San Diego! plan will work to make San Diego a healthier place. Read more.
"Friday Notes" goes on winter break
All schools and district offices will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 4, 2013, so Friday Notes will be taking a two-week break. Look for it in your email inbox on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Happy Holidays and New Year from the Friday Notes team!
Correia Middle 'Artist in Residency' makes sweet music
Students in Correia Middle School's Jazz Band were fortunate to benefit from the "Artist in Residency" program, which brought professional trumpeter and educator Derek Cannon to the school in November. The Correia students, in grades 8 and 9, worked with Cannon before performing for Correia students and parents. The highlight was a public performance at Sufi restaurant in Clairemont where Cannon, Glen Fisher and other professional musicians joined the young players. Read more.
Farb Middle keeps AVID demonstration site status
Farb Middle School has been validated for the second time as a National Demonstration Site for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a program for students in grades 6-12 that has turned thousands of academically average performers into confident, college-going scholars. Farb Middle received high honors from the reviewers who re-validated the school for an additional 3 years. Read more.
Kimbrough Elementary penny drive adds up to big cash
Kimbrough Elementary students have put together quite a collection on behalf of one of the school's partners, the Rachel Women's Center, a shelter in downtown San Diego. There were 14,922 pennies, 159 quarters, 394 dimes, 337 nickels, 5 plastic pennies, 2 Chinese coins, 7 Canadian coins, 8 Mexican pesos, $81 in cash and a tooth. It adds up to $302.22. Each year, the shelter gives its residents a new pair of shoes as a holiday gift; the Kimbrough students' donation will provide socks to go along with the shoes. Read more.
Congratulations to Madison High varsity football team
Congratulations to Madison High School's varsity football team on winning the California Division III High School Football Championship last Saturday, Dec. 15. The Warhawks beat Marin Catholic High School of Kentfield, Calif., 38-35, to bring home the state crown for the first time in the school's 50 years. This is the second time in three years the Warhawks have played in the State Bowl game. Read more.
Montgomery Middle students examine date abuse
Students from Montgomery Middle School have completed a video on teen dating violence for the Girls! Camera! Action! Youth Violence Prevention Program, a Linda Vista based non-profit project whose mission is to prevent teen dating violence through a Social and Film program. The short film was produced by 10 female students and is a clay and paper-cut stop motion animated short entitled "How to Break the Cycle of Emotional and Verbal Abuse." Read more and watch video.
Walker Elementary students lead eight schools on 'Dare to Reuse' calendar
Inquiring young minds want to know what to do with items others might throw away, and imagine the creativity of recycled art. With that in mind, Walker Elementary teacher Grace Nall entered her grade 4-5 class in the 2012 "Dare to Reuse" Art Contest. Her students took on the art challenge to find creative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials found in their homes. Esteban Contreras and Hannah Icban took top honors when their art work was selected for the 2013 "Dare to Reuse" Online Calendar. Read more.
Helping children cope with tragedy
Whenever a national tragedy occurs, such as the one in Connecticut, children, like many people, may be confused or frightened. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. As more information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions. Read more.
Free lunches available to kids during winter break
Free lunch is available to kids age 18 years and under during the winter break, Dec. 17 through Jan. 11 for year-round schools; Dec. 24 through Jan. 4 for traditional-schedule schools. Lunch will be served at city recreation centers and other locations around the district. At the scheduled time, students can receive a nutritious lunch, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. See schedule.
How many acts of kindness can you perform in one week?
Help create a culture of kindness on your campus by encouraging students, teachers and staff to participate in The Great Kindness Challenge-School Edition. It's one week, Jan. 14 to 18, devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible on campus. From smiling at 25 people to lending a pencil to a friend, small acts can go a long way to brightening someone’s day. Read more.
Compete in countywide "History Day" contest
History Day is a competition that encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history. Open to students in grades 4 to 12, students are encouraged to create display boards, websites, documentaries, exhibits, performances or write a research paper based on this year's theme, "Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events." Entries are submitted to the San Diego County Office of Education. Deadline: Feb. 8. Read more.
3 reasons why students may resist collaboration
There are many reasons students may be reluctant to collaborate with their peers, writes Robin Newton, an English education student at East Carolina University. There may be cultural differences or a lack of understanding, or the students may be shy or introverted. Newton writes that collaboration among students will not happen by chance. "Rather, a teacher must know his or her students well enough to understand the ways in which collaboration might be a struggle," Newton writes in this blog post. Edutopia.org/Robin Newton's blog
How will blended learning evolve?
Blended learning is likely to further evolve in 2013, write Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker, both of the Innosight Institute. In this article, they offer 10 predictions for the process, including more station rotations in elementary schools, additional self-blending in high schools, more virtual schools to begin offering an in-person component and software programs that offer options for small groups, among other things. T.H.E. Journal
Assessing students without grades
Narrative feedback has replaced grades in the classroom of Mark Barnes, a 20-year teacher and adjunct professor. Under the approach, Barnes provides feedback using a four-part system -- Summarize, Explain, Redirect and Resubmit. Narrative feedback is given daily and assessment is a continuous process, he writes in this blog post. Under the no-grades approach, students are driven to learn -- not discouraged by grades, he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education
Friday Notes will not publish Dec. 28 or Jan. 4
Friday Notes will resume regular publishing on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.
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