Blue jeans become band aides

Looking for some new designer jeans? Want to help the local band and choir programs at the same time?

Shop for your favorite designer brand jeans on Saturday, Oct. 4, at South Pointe Middle School in Walnut. Proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for the band and choir programs.

The school will get between $7 and $9 for each pair sold, depending on total sales for the event. Shop between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dressing rooms will be available. Cash or credit cards only.

South Pointe Middle School is at 20671 Larkstone Drive. For more information, call (909) 595-1261, Ext. 31204.

Put a song in your heart at Walnut High School

Make someone happy, enjoy a concert

The Walnut High School choirs will perform their first concert of the year at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4. The Cabaret Night features the Chamber Singers, Treble Choir, Mustang Singers and Rhapsody in Blue singers.

Director Lisa Lopez says the show will include such songs as “Pennies from Heaven,” “Cabaret,” “My Favorite Things,” “Make Someone Happy,” and many more.

The $5 admission covers the entertainment and dessert. The show will be held in the Walnut High School Multipurpose Room, 400 N. Pierre Road, Walnut.

Tickets may be bought at the door. For information, call Lopez at (909) 594-1333.

Tribune student panel

This week's question: "Do you agree with the new state mandate requiring all eighth-graders to take Algebra?"

These are the answers of the members of the Tribune student panel. If you're a student, tell us what you think. Post your answer in the comments field.

Derek Klena, 16, South Hills High School
"I do agree with this new mandate. I feel that all high school math classes require algebraic skills and that getting a head start on algebra while still in middle school would be beneficial to all students and their performance in further math courses and the California High School Exit Exam. Even if the student's previous performance level is below the grade standards, I believe all students should at least get the chance to better themselves and prepare for the future by getting a head start on algebra."

Katie Montemayor, 17, Glendora High School
"I agree that eighth-graders should have to take algebra. Math, especially algebra and calculus, are not among the favorite classes, but this is because they are extremely difficult for most people. If given more time to learn the fundamentals or given the same basics sooner with more practice, the courses will seem less challenging. This will result in higher test scores over all because there will be a better foundation to build upon, making the concepts easier to comprehend and retain."

Amanda McCraven, 14, La Verne Lutheran High School
"I do not agree that all eighth-graders should have to take algebra. I do not agree because some people work slower than others. I think that eighth-graders should take whatever math class fits their skill, whether that be pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, etc. They should not be forced to go a certain math class because some kids might be held back in math and others will be forced to algebra and not understand it."

Nicholas Kuche, 16, Covina High School
"I agree with the new state mandate requiring all eighth-graders to take algebra because taking algebra is required to exit high school. Taking it in middle school will help the students get the knowledge before they enter high school so they can move ahead easier and more efficiently than someone who did not take algebra in middle school. Knowing algebra will also help the students in passing the California High School Exit Exam, which will lead to improved state test scores."

Kasey Haas, 16, Glendora High School
"I don't agree with that. It shouldn't be expected for all eighth-graders to be at the algebra level. If they are forced to take that class without being ready for it, they will not be able to comprehend it. It would be very discouraging."

Taylor Moncrief, 15, Diamond Bar High School

"I have a hard time when anyone 'mandates' that all of any group must do something. Not all kids will benefit from taking Algebra. I think students and schools should establish programs that are good for each individual kid by emphasizing their strengths and interests while filling in areas that are life skills."

College application help

The Norwood Library in El Monte will offer a free workshop on how to apply for college from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Workshop speaker Wenli Jen, Ed.M., educational consultant and college counselor will touch on various subjects of the application process. Relevant books will also be available for check out.

Light refreshments will be offered, courtesy of the Friends of Norwood Library.

The library is located at 4550 N. Peck Road, El Monte. For more information, call John D. Ho at (626) 443-3147.


Benefit concert

The You-manitarians group at Walnut High School is sponsoring a concert this Saturday to help raise money for the people of Darfur. Student Maggie Chen sent us the following information about the concert:

  • Event: At “Play for Peace,” we will have music performances by
    local groups in addition to signed bands. The concert will also have refreshments, public
    speakers, interactive booths for kids, a silent auction, raffles, and
    merchandise for sell.
  • Date: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008
  • Time: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Creekside Park in Walnut
  • Cost: Free
  • Who’s organizing: You-manitarians, a non-profit organization funded and maintained by students of Walnut High School.
  • For more information, call: (626) 780-6057

CSU budget lacking $215 million

With the state budget finally getting an approval, schools and university’s now know how much funding they will receive.

The CSU system is still getting the same funding from the state but it’s not quite enough for its operational needs.

This just in from CSU:

“The new state budget provides the California State University system with essentially the same level of state support as last year. The final CSU budget consists of $2.97 billion from the state General Fund and $1.5 billion from student fee revenue. The budget is $215 million below CSU’s operational needs for 2008-09, according to the inflation and enrollment growth calculations by the Governor’s Department of Finance.

“We are appreciative of the Governor and Legislature for keeping intact our budget as presented in the May Revision, in spite of a worsened fiscal condition in the state,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “Although we still face a serious funding gap, the CSU is committed to preserving academic quality and academic programs that are of high priority for the social and economic well being of California.”

Continued Growth, Strained Funding
The budget provides no funding for enrollment growth intensifying a trend that began in 2005-06, in which student enrollment grows faster than state funding. In response, CSU campuses have increased class sizes when possible, and opened more course sections with temporary faculty appointments. To protect educational quality in the face of these funding challenges, CSU campuses will slow down enrollment growth by closing the freshmen application period for Fall 2009 earlier in the cycle.”

Meet the Tribune student panel*

We have picked the members of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s Student Panel and we have a very diverse group. The first panel will appear in the Student Life page on Monday, Sept. 29, and the answers will be posted here on this blog, too. We welcome other students’ input so feel free to add your comments each week.

Here is your panel:

Nicholas Kuche (Covina High School)
Hi, my name is Nicholas Kuche. I’m
a junior at Covina High School. I am
heavily involved in our school’s drama program and for the past two
years I have participated in two murder mysteries and one spotlight
performance. My interests include drama/acting, magic tricks, and just
hanging out with my friends. One of my short-term goals is to graduate
from high school and move to Cal State Fullerton, where I hope to earn
a degree in journalism/communication. After that I hope to someday
a TV journalist. Another one of my goals is to be in my school’s
production performance where we will be performing in front of a paying
audience. I also am one of our school’s mascots that perform at every
football game. GO CARDINAL & WHITE.

Katie Montemayor (Glendora High School)
My name is Katie
Montemayor. I am 17 years old and a senior at Glendora High School
[Class of 2009!]. I was born in Illinois, moved to California when I
was 3 and a half, and have lived in Glendora ever since. I am the
youngest of five children. I live with my parents, my father is an
accountant for an aerospace company and my mother, whom I look up to,
is a registered nurse and works for the Glendora Unified School
District. Personally, I enjoy
reading, writing, running, photography, spending time with friends
and family, teaching Sunday school and tutoring. On the other hand my
passions are music and volunteer work. I play the cello, piano, sing
and hope to learn guitar. At the moment my favorite artists are Jon
Foreman and Chris Botti. I am also a Glendora Police Explorer
Sergeant; I have been an Explorer for almost four years and love every
minute of it.
My goal is to be a Glendora police officer with a double major in
forensic science as well as become a member of the FSET, or regional
SWAT, team. My personal goals include traveling to Europe and South
America, to start a music program for those who do not have access to
musical education in addition to raising awareness of domestic
violence and the help for those who are victims.

Kasey Haas (Glendora High School)
name is Kasey Haas. I am 16 years old. I am currently a junior at
Glendora High School. I love playing tennis. I am a singles player on
my school’s tennis team. I also play at the Claremont club. I also am
on my school’s swim team. I love art. It’s one of my passions. I am in
the advanced placement art course. I am the most skilled at sketching
but I love all forms of art. Some of my favorite artists are Picasso,
Dali and a more contemporary one, Banksy. After high school I want to
enroll in an art school in Southern California. I also really enjoy
English because of the reading and writing. I mostly read new fiction
books or anything that’s recommended to me. I’m looking forward to my
junior year.

Derek Klena (South Hills High School)
I’m Derek Klena and I am a senior at South Hills High School. I am currently the senior class president and have been a member of ASB for
three years. I am a four-year letterman in baseball and also president of
the Baseball Club.I am looking forward to another great season in the
spring. I have been involved in musical theatre ventures within my school
and beyond, and can also be seen singing the National Anthem at school rallies
and events throughout the community. I am a member of the National Honors
Society and have high hopes of attending UCLA or another UC school in
the fall of 2009. I am proud to be representing South Hills
Huskies and honored to be apart of this panel of students.

Amanda McCraven (La Verne Lutheran High)
Hi. My name’s Amanda McCraven. I go to La Verne Lutheran High School and I am in the ninth grade. I am on the varsity cheer squad. I want to go to Azusa Pacific University (APU) and become a psychologist or a teacher. I love listening to music and hanging out with my friends. My all time favorite band is the Jonas Brothers.

Taylor Moncrief (Diamond Bar High School)
* My name is Taylor D. Moncrief. I was born in the city of La Habra and moved to Diamond Bar in 1996. I’m part Dutch, Indonesian and African American. I’ve traveled to Holland several times and I love heading to Mississippi for my Grandma’s cooking. I’m a junior attending Diamond Bar High. I play both football (linebacker) and baseball (outfielder). I just bought my first car (with my own money I’ve saved since I was seven), now I guess I should get my permit. I love music and I’ve become a text-aholic. My dream is to attend Cal State Fullerton on a baseball scholarship. My more realistic goal would be major in the culinary arts (I love to cook!). After college I would like to eventually settle down start a family and open my own restaurant.

Keeping lips sealed in Montebello

 Montebello Unified School District officials are mum over an article that came out today.

The district is suing Director of Classified Personnel Jeff Josserand claiming that he breached his contract when he became acting director of the personnel commission for the San Bernardino City Unified School District.

Employed by Montebello since May 2006, Josserand worked for San Bernardino from July 2007 through April 2008, according to the court documents.

Not only would the school district not share any information with me but the most interesting things about this is, it took officials days to tell me that there is a lawsuit pending that was filed in July!!

When I e-mailed the District Spokeswoman Alisha Rosas on Sept. 11 and asked if there was a lawsuit, I never received a response back from her.

When I asked School Board Member Gerri Guzman if there was a lawsuit she said, “We are still investigating but we might be considering a lawsuit.”

I can not imagine that a school board member and a district spokeswoman had no idea that the school district filed a lawsuit months ago.


Big night for schools in Hacienda La Puente

Baldwin – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 6:00 p.m.

California – Red Cross Blood Drive, East Cafeteria, 1:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Grandview Middle School – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Grazide – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 5:45-7:00 p.m.

La Puente High School – “Rachel’s Challenge” Parent Night, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Back-to-School Night, Classrooms, 6:30- 8:00 p.m.

Lassalette – Back-to-School Night, Classrooms, 6:00 p.m.

Los Robles Academy Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Mesa Robles – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria & Classrooms, Grades K-5, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Palm Back-to-School BBQ, Patio & Cafeteria, 5:30 p.m.; Back-to-School Night, Classrooms, 6:30 p.m.

Sparks Elementary – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria & Classrooms, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Sunset – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 5:30 p.m.

Wedgeworth – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria, 6:30- 7:30 p.m.

Wing Lane – Back-to-School Night, Classrooms, 5:30 p.m.

Workman Elementary – Back-to-School Night, Cafeteria & Classrooms, 6:00 p.m.