Walnut Valley speller to compete at national spelling bee in Washington

Walnut Valley Unified had the three top winners of the Inland Valley Spelling Bee.

eighth- grader Justin Chuang, age 12, won 1st Place at the competition
held on March 21. The 2nd Place winner was William Widjaja, a
13-year-old eighth-grader from Suzanne Middle School, and the 3rd Place
finisher was 10-year-old Jordin Wang, a fifth-grader at Collegewood
Spelling champion Justin Chuang won
the competition’s Grand Prize – a trip to Washington, D.C. to compete
in the Scripps National Spelling Bee held May 27-June 1.
won after 15 rounds of competition when he spelled the final word,
“mordacious,” defined in Webster’s Dictionary as, “biting or given to
biting.” Thirty-one students from grades two to eight competed in the
competition held at the Sophia Clarke Theater at Mt. San Antonio
Justin said he practiced every day
since September using a software program called SpellQuizzer that
allowed him to spell the words on the computer.
“It was astonishing when I realized that I had won the competition!” he said. 

Kick off the weekend with sweet sounds of jazz at Nogales High

Kick-off your weekend with the sounds of jazz at Nogales High School.
Talented musicians from Nogales and  Rowland Highs, as well as Alvarado and Giano will perform. and special guest big band, Azusa Pacific University Jazz Band.

The show begins tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Nogales High School Gym. A $1 donation is being requested and refreshments will be sold. Give your ears a treat!

Schools start transitional kindergartens in Walnut, Diamond Bar, Rowland and Hacienda Heights


The 5-year-olds played with a farm, while others read their colorfully crayoned farm booklets aloud.

They certainly knew their horses from their cows, laughing
when someone got them reversed. And the tykes bubbled with energy as
recess grew near.

Welcome to the transitional kindergarten at Yorbita Elementary
School. The pilot program is helping Rowland Unified gear up for the
new classes expanding to every elementary school next year.

Under the new state plan, younger children will be allowed to
enroll in the special kindergartens. In fact, the Kindergarten Readiness
Act of 2010 will gradually change the birth dates for entry from Dec. 1
to Sept. 1

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story KINDER.

Bright Star Montessori Academy celebrates Earth Day in Walnut

<p>Bright Star Montessori Academy got into the spirit of Earth Day last Friday by planting a flower garden for the budding butterflies that the children are so carefully nurturing in Walnut.</p>
<p>The youngsters have been coddling caterpillars, waiting patiently for the bright, beautiful butterflies to emerge from their cottony cocoons.</p>
<p>”We wanted them to become involved in Earth Day,” explained director Tina Garcia. “So we thought showing them where butterflies come from would spark their interest.”</p>
<p>As indeed it has, the kids enjoy singing a butterfly song as well as creating crafts that celebrate the beauty and wonder of these singular creatures.</p>
<p>Garcia said the 2- to 6-year-olds all suggested ideas for nurturing our planet.</p>
<p>”Four-year-old Chloe thinks we need more trees and flowers, while Leiah, 4, hopes people will pick up their trash instead of throwing it in the parks,” Garcia said. “Thomas, 4, believes we need to recycle more, while classmate Joseph wants to plant more gardens.”</p>
<p>While they wait for the butterflies to burst from their cocoons, the school decided it better build a flower garden to feed the colorful creatures.</p>
<p>”We had 25 parents bring flowers to plant in our back yard. Some started with seeds, others with potted plants,” noted owner Lydia Xie. “Everyone worked hard to build our new flower garden.”</p>
<p>&mdash; Richard Irwin SGVN twitter.com/richirwinsgvn</p>

Teddy Bear Tea benefits Walnut Valley Unified


The Walnut Valley Educational Foundation was held
the 16th annual Teddy Bear Tea on Saturday, April 21. The event was at the Royal Vista Golf Course.

The Teddy Bear Tea funds teacher mini grants in the school district.
The nonprofit foundation has raised more than $1 million to support
programs, scholarships and grants in our schools.

This annual event included a tea and luncheon. Silent and live
auctions featured themed baskets and other items for purchase.
Delightfully dressed teddy bears decorated by community members were
raffled off.

Hacienda La Puente to discuss budget revisions

The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
has rescheduled an earlier meeting to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the district
office meeting room, 15959 Gale Ave., Industry.

On the agenda will be several closed session items, including an
evaluation of a principal and an assistant principal and a conference
with a labor negotiator.

During the open session, the board will consider revisions to its 2011-12 budget.

‘Nerd Girl’ opens at Suzanne Middle School in Walnut


Suzanne Middle School Drama Department will present a new play “Nerd Girls” on April 20 and 21 at 7 p.m.
“`Nerd Girls’ was written by Alan Sitomer, one of my fellow California Teachers of the Year from 2007,” said math and drama teacher Helen Papadopoulos. Sitomer wrote the book for Disney and then turned it into a play for Suzanne.
Read more in NERD.

Los Molinos named California Distinguished School in Hacienda Heights


Los Molinos Elementary in Hacienda Heights has
been awarded the designation of 2012 California Distinguished School by
the California Department of Education.

Principal Angela Lin credits the entire Los Molinos school
community including teachers, staff, administrators and parents for
earning this prestigious award.

“The ever-expanding parent involvement program at Los Molinos
has been a tremendous asset to our learning community, as evidenced by
our outstanding student achievement scores,” said Lin.

“The results of our parent involvement program can be observed
both in our positive school climate as well as in increased student
achievement outcomes,” she added.


Walnut Valley offers summer enrichment for elementary students

Walnut Valley Education Foundation will offer an Elementary Enrichment Program for students entering grades 1 to 5. The program will be taught at Westhoff Elementary School in Walnut from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, June 11 to July 19.

The six-week program will reinforce academic concepts in math, science, language arts and foreign language. The make-up class for the Fourth of July holiday will be Friday, July 6.

The cost is $495 per child, but parents can save $40 by enrolling by April 10. They can get $25 off each additional sibling. Registrations are due by May 23. 

Questions? Email walnutedfoundation@gmail.com or Call (909) 274-0601

Parents learn about transitional kindergarten classes in Rowland Unified

A Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Parent Information Meeting  will be held at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, at Northam elementary, 17800 E. Renault St., La Puente. 

Kindergarten (TK) will be implemented statewide this upcoming fall 2012
as part of the Kindergarten Readiness Act. This historic reform is to
ensure California’s young learners are better prepared to succeed in
Kindergarten and beyond. Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is the first
year of a two-year Kindergarten educational experience for students who
will be 5 years of age between the months of September through December

Rowland Unified School District will offer Transitional
Kindergarten classes for the 2012-13 school year at all school sites
(except Telesis Academy).

TK has huge benefits for children and families:
It offers a bridge between Preschool and Kindergarten, giving children more time for hands-on, interactive learning.
It provides children with the gift of time to learn important social,
emotional and academic skills for future success in elementary school.
It provides young 5 year olds the opportunity to start their
Kindergarten experience with children their own age, with
developmentally appropriate curriculum.
Children born after Sept. 1
can still be admitted to Kindergarten on a case-by-case basis, if
Parent and the District agrees it is in the best interest of the child.

are invited to learn more about this program at Parent Information
Meetings. Fliers are below or for more information, please call the TK
Specialist Beth Hodges at (626)935-8260.