Walnut boy wins regional spelling bee


Tin Kuo of Walnut wins Inland Valley Regional Spelling Bee, Staff Photo by Eric Reed

Dozens of family members Saturday packed into
the Feddersen Recital Hall at Mt. San Antonio College to cheer on a
group of spelling whiz kids who frequently asked one very important
question – “Can you use the word in a sentence?”

After more than four hours of spelling words ranging from
“anomaly” to “eocene” at the fourth annual Inland Valley Regional
Spelling Bee competition, 31 students were whittled down to two.

Tin Kuo of Walnut and Rebecca Norden-Bright of Upland sparred
back and forth for 25 rounds before Tin won the sixth championship round
after correctly spelling “paladin.”

Read about the big winners in Juliette Funes’ story at BEE

Rowland Unified kids adopt college in West Covina


Photo by Gina Ward, courtesy of Rowland Unified

Hollingworth Elementary School is teaching students it’s never too soon to start thinking about college.

As part of the “No Excuses University” college-readiness
program, teachers on the campus at 3003 E. Hollingworth St. have each
adopted a college for their classroom to learn about throughout the

Flags of the adopted universities hang in front of the
kindergarten through sixth-grade classrooms, representing the Rowland
Unified students’ spirit of their adopted schools.

Every classroom had a flag to hang, except Cynthia Alvarez’s kindergarten class.

Find out what college the kids adopted in Jessica Donnelly’s story at COLLEGE.

State bill could save students’ lives

AS promised, state Sen. Bob Huff is back with legislation to give epileptic children access to emergency medication at school.

It doesn’t sound on the surface like a controversial matter, but
it turned out to be one in the last legislative session and might well
be again this year.

Huff, R-Walnut, recently introduced Senate Bill 161, which
would authorize school districts to train nonmedical school employees to
administer fast-acting medication to a student having a seizure.

Children with epilepsy – nearly 94,000 of them in California’s
public schools – can suffer prolonged and dangerous seizures. Diastat, a
preparation of diazepam gel, is the standard emergency treatment for
those who suffer a seizure outside a hospital or doctor’s office.

Allowing school nurses, teachers or staff members to give
Diastat to a child having a seizure was “standard operating procedure”
until a couple of years ago, Huff said, when the Board of Registered
Nursing decided that school nurses were not authorized to train or
supervise anyone to administer it. As a result, he said, school nurses
are refusing to train other school personnel to administer Diastat, and
schools are no longer allowing staff members to do so even if they’ve
received the necessary training. Read about his bill in SEIZURE

Chaparral celebrates new gym in Walnut Valley Unified


It was a big day at Chaparral Middle School, when they opened the big new gym. The Diamond Bar campus dedicated the grand facility this month.

The $3.6 million project included $1 million for modernizing the school’s infrastructure. That work preps the site for a new science complex, performing arts wing and food service facility.

But right now, Walnut Valley Unified was celebrating the new 86,000-square-foot sports facility. And they have a lot to celebrate.

Read more about the wonderful new gym in Richard Irwin’s story at GYM.

Shades of The Jetsons, Sprockets team rules robotic contest


Sprockets, a robotics team at Diamond Bar High, is testing its robot for their FIRST
robotic competition. FIRST is an acronym For Inspiration and Recognition
of Science and Technology.

And the Sprockets seemed inspired as they continued to putter
around with their remarkable robot. The teens have six weeks to build it
from a kit of parts.

Read more about the local team in Richard Irwin’s story at Robot

Spending in the classroom declining despite 22 percent increase in overall spending

A report on K-12 education spending released
by Pepperdine University shows a wide disparity in per-student
expenditures as well as with the percentage of money spent directly on

The study period from the 2003-04 to the 2008-09 school year
found that overall spending increased by 22 percent, but that the
percentage of money spent on the classroom declined from 59 percent to
57.8 percent.

The latter figures have drawn considerable criticism, some of
which is deserved. But the study does offer valuable information and
raises important questions about the effectiveness and efficiency of how
California funds its schools. 

See more in Our View at classroom