Mathapalooza rocks at Los Altos

The third annual Mathapalooza included 292 participants and more than 90 volunteers. The students came from Torrance, San Marino, Chino Hills, West Covina, Rowland Heights, La Puente and Hacienda Heights.

This competition took place at Los Altos High School and was sponsored
by the high school, the Chinese American Parents Advisory Council
(CAPAC) and the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District (HLPUSD).
Los Altos teachers Leo Lopez and Jeff Hess teamed up with CAPAC as
event hosts.

Mathapalooza is a math competition in algebra and pre-algebra for middle school students. It  included a 30-minute written test for individuals and buzzer rounds for team play.

Two Hacienda Heights middle schools earned the overall Grand trophy. Newton for pre-algebra and Mesa Robles for algebra. The Team Overall Gold went to Premier Academy of San Marino for pre-algebra and Mesa Robles for algebra.

Individual gold medals in pre-algebra were earned by Nancy Li, Vanessa Chou, Kimberly Wong, Jonathan Pena, Michael Peralta, Erik Gurrola and Humberto Tavira.

Individual gold medals in algebra went to Kevin Nguyen, Daniel Cheng, Daniel Lee, Nicholas Pung, Amy Tsou and Jesus Villegas.

The schools and their team advisers are: Cedarlane, Patrick Chang; Mesa Robles, Norm Gustafson, Jean Hamabe and May Chen; Newton, Cindy Rosa and Jennifer Su; Orange Grove, Brian Mahaffey; Premier, Jeffrey Chen.

The remaining schools and their coaches are Sierra Vista, Ana Zambrano and Veronica Jefferson; Sunset Elementary, Juliet Elder; Torrance Chinese School, Matthew Ting; and Workman Elementary, Dale Reyes.

Oswalt teachers line up to kiss a pig

Pucker up!

Teachers at Oswalt Academy in Walnut lined up to kiss a pig for Valentine’s Day.

The Rowland Unified staff were paying back students who voted $1 for their favorite teachers.
The elementary school decided to hold a fundraiser in an effort to offset state budget cuts.

About 40 teachers participated in an event in which the staff kissed a 3-year-old pig provided by Mt. San Antonio College’s agricultural department.


Healthy food: coming to a liquor store near you


At least, if you live in Baldwin Park.

Back in 2005, there was a
big push in the state legislature to make sure healthy food was being
sold in schools. SB965 is phasing out soda from campuses, while SB12 mandates that snacks for sale on campus – even
for fundraisers – doesn’t exceed a certain amount of sugar, fat or

The push for healthier food started in the schools,
but now there’s a task force in Baldwin Park taking it to the corners.

Participating corner stores and liquor stores (especially those near
schools) are now highlighting items for sale that meet the criteria of
SB12 and SB965. Healthier snacks and beverages at these stores will
sport the logo you see here that was designed by a local teen.

This is the first phase of the
Healthy Selection” campaign, according to Christina Cardenas, an
advocate coordinator based in Baldwin Park with the California Center
for Public Health Advocacy.

In the next phase, Cardenas
said that a consultant will be working with some of these store owners
to make it easier for them to keep fresh produce and other healthy fare
on hand.

stores include La Blanquita,
Mercado del Pueblo, El Mambi, J & J Liquor, Jay’s Liquor and
Vallarta. Smart & Final  and 7-Eleven are also participating. I’m
going to visit a few of these stores a little bit later to hear what store owners and customers have
to say.

all of this is a part of a broader campaign in Baldwin Park to battle
childhood obesity as a part of the Healthy Eating Active Communities

Look for more information about the campaign in upcoming editions of the La Puente, Baldwin Park and El Monte Highlander.

Internet safety and Ned Show in Hacienda Unified

Students and staff at Hacienda La Puente Unified had Monday, but everyone’s back for class on Tuesday.

Grandview Elementary in Valinda kicks off the day with an Parents’ Education Class
on “Internet Safety,” presented by Cortez Gonzales in the Cafeteria from 8:15-9:30 a.m.

A Math
Facts Assembly will follow at Lassalette in La Puente for Grades K-3 at 1 p.m. in the Cafeteria. Students will receive
a certificate if they pass.

Ned Show,” a Character Education Assembly will take centerstage at Palm Elementary in Hacienda Heights at 1:10 a.m.

San Gabriel Valley school districts facing massive budget cuts

Azusa Unified School District could be facing $16.8 million in budget cuts over the next three years, officials said in a statement today.

The district’s Board of Education met Thursday to discuss the looming budget cuts.

“There are no easy solutions,” said Brad Frick, assistant superintendent of business services for AUSD. “Under the governor’s current budget proposal, Azusa Unified would be required to make draconian cuts.”

Frick said the cuts would require reductions in staff, programs, services and supplies.

“When more than 80 percent of your budget goes to salaries, there is no way to balance the budget without reductions in staff,” he said. “Every program and service must go under the microscope for reductions.”

The longer the state Legislature stalls on the budget, the harder it will be for the district to make cuts, Frick said.

In a similar statement, the Temple City Unified School District said it is facing $4.2 million in budget cuts over the next two years. The cuts would have a drastic impact to educational programs and staffing levels, officials said.

Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith urged parents to voice their support for public education funding by writing to the governor’s office and to local representatives in the Legislature.

“It will not be possible to make up the budget shortfall without impacting our award-winning schools,” she wrote on the district’s Web site.

In Azusa, the Board of Education is already reviewing layoff procedures for certificated staff. Under the California Education Code, these staff must be notified by March 15 of possible layoffs, said Assistant Superintendent Corey James. That deadline does not apply to classified employees, who have a 45-day layoff notice period.

If the state budget isn’t resolved in the next two weeks, James said the district will need to send layoff notices.

AUSD Board President Rosemary Garcia also urged parents to write their legislators.

“When balancing the budget, we must insist on protecting our children and the future of our state,” Garcia said.

Click here for a report by Staff Writer Caroline An on the impact of the budget crisis on local schools.

Book fair, oratory and plays in Hacienda La Puente schools

It’s been a busy morning in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District.

Principal Amy Bauman began the day by reading aloud to the students at Mesa Robles School in Hacienda Heights as part of their book fair.

Del Valle Elementary in La Puente held an awards assembly for students in grades K-4.

An Oratorical Contest kicked off at Los Altos Elementary in Hacienda Heights at 8:15 a.m. The big event was held in the cafeteria.

And the first-graders at Wing Lane in Valinda performed the play “The Mitten” in the school cafeteria.

Azusa middle schoolers sending valentines to vets

Sixth graders at Center Middle School in Azusa are busy making valentines for veterans at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach.

Teacher Peggy Hill said the students are making the Valentine’s Day cards to express appreciation for all that the military does for the country.

Pictured: Students Vanessa Peralta and Karyssa Rodriguez work on their valentines. (Photo courtesy of the Azusa Unified School District)

Building bridges at Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights

The “Building Bridges – Closing the Gap” family breakfast workshop was a big success at Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights on Jan. 31.
A large crowd of 160 parents and students came in at 7:30 a.m. for a free hot breakfast, followed by 45-minute workshops. The workshops were presented by the Hacienda La Puente Adult Division, as well as the District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Workshop topics included: “Useful Online Educational Tools and Support for Parents,” “Drug Awareness and the Middle School Student,” “Parent/Teen Communications,” “Boys to Men: Your Best Image,” “Tackling the Homework Dilemma,” “Nutrition and Your Child,” and “Internet Safety.”
“The purpose of this Saturday breakfast/workshop is to bring parents and students and staff together to build successes in the ‘whole child,’ which is part of our school vision,” said Newton’s Principal Stephen Lee.
“It was great to see how many of our school parents attended the Building Bridges workshops; as well as how many staff members were there to support this event,” said School Board Member Rudy Chavarria said.

Family week at Kwis Elementary in Hacienda Heights

Going to school is a family affair at Kwis Elementary School in Hacienda Heights. It’s Bring Your
Family to School Week at the local school.

Tuesday will be Grandparents’ Day with many fun activities for the senior members of our families beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the cafeteria.

The action heats up on Wednesday with the annual Daddy Dodgeball Game. Will daddy dodge the ball this year. Find out on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. on the playing field.

Other family activities include Career Day and family collages that will be displayed in the Cafeteria.