Shelyn students build machines in Rowland Heights

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The room was packed as GATE 4th-6th grade students at Shelyn Elementary presented their projects to classmates that they built at home that demonstrated their learning about “simple machines” and physics.

Led by educator Pam Hessom, students learned about building and designing projects by watching videos from Bill Nye and researched video of Rube Goldberg machines (She invites everyone to check out the video at www.wimp.com/gomachine !)

After studying the many types of simple machines, students designed and built projects selected from different kits that were funded with grant money from the FOR US Foundation and The Shirley Kaufman Grant.

“The idea was to promote to our students to be creative as they can. Even though they are simple machines, they are not so simple – everything from catapults, roller coasters and windmills were presented and on display and we were all so very proud and impressed with their efforts,” said Shelyn Principal Sarah Opatkiewicz.

Rowland Unified readies holiday boutique on Dec. 4

The community is invited to shop at Rowland Unified’s annual holiday boutique on Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the board room at the district offices on Nogales Street.

Don’t forget if you want to order the popular Tamales, complete order form before Nov. 25 for pick-up at the boutique on Dec. 4.

Some of the many hand-made items you will find at the Boutique are: holiday decorations, country and Victorian gifts, jewelry, doll items, purses, hair items, hats, duct tape crafts, Tupperware, books, knitted and crocheted items, sports novelty items, candied apples, pottery and tamales!

Tables Still Left for Vendors!  

 

Nasouf named principal at Nogales High School

Yousef Nasouf is the new principal at Nogales High School. He comes from the Anaheim Union High School District, where he was Principal for Orangeview Junior High School since 2011.

Before that , he was an Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction for Cypress High School/Kennedy High School where he also coordinated the IB program.

Nasouf taught eight years at La Mirada High School and was a Basketball Coach at Santa Ana College, Mayfair High School and La Mirada High.

 He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from UCLA, and a Masters of Arts in Education from Cal State University, Dominquez Hills.

Rowland Unified raises money for holiday baskets

For the past 44 years, Rowland employees celebrate the holidays by supporting the HOLIDAY BASKET PROGRAM which helps nearly 250 RUSD families in need.

This donation is carried out through the joint efforts of the students of Nogales, Rowland and Santana High School’s Interact Clubs, ASB, employees of RUSD, members of the Walnut Valley Rotary Club, and other community volunteers.

Superintendent Dr. Julie Mitchell encourages every employee to support this worthwhile program by donating at least $2. *

Please make checks payable to HOLIDAY BASKETS. You may make your voluntary contribution directly to your immediate supervisor now until Friday, December 5.

All proceeds will be collected by Rita Garcia, Executive Secretary, Administrative Services in the District Office. (Letters with additional information were sent to all sites).

Canned Goods are being collected at school sites for the baskets now untilWednesday, December 10.

 

Pictured: Students and Rotary members assembling baskets at Alvarado Intermediate last year. This year basket assembly will take place on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7 a.m.

Pomona Unified superintendent joins White House Summit

Richard Martinez, superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit, on Wednesday at the White House.

Superintendent Martinez is among exemplary local school chiefs who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique conference will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one another and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classes.

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be invited to the White House to represent the Pomona Unified community and showcase the innovative ways our talented teachers are revolutionizing digital learning and education in the classroom,” PUSD Superintendent Richard Martinez said. “We are excited to be recognized for being trailblazers in the world of digital education and are proud to be a model of success that other schools can replicate.”

The Pomona Unified School District recently won two Golden Bell Awards from the California School Boards Association for its innovative use of technology in Early Childhood Education, and educational excellence at the Palomares Academy of Health Sciences. The school district offers its students career pathways in computer science in partnership with Harvey Mudd College and Microsoft Corp., and courses in robotics through Cal Poly Pomona. Village Academy High School offers career courses in Film Studies and Computer Science/Information Technology.

Every PUSD classroom has Internet access districtwide. Thirty-two Common Core/SBAC assessment-ready labs are being completed and campus-wide WiFi is expanding at all sites across the district. Mobile devices such as iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are available in PUSD’s K-12 schools, bringing educational technology into the classroom. Through community partnerships with EveryoneOn and Southeast Community Development Corp., PUSD is bridging the digital divide for Pomona USD families.

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress made possible by local school districts.  The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.

To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.

“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology.

Ryan Seacrest honors Diamond Bar teacher

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, left, celebrates with Diamond Bar High music director Steve Acciani.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, left, celebrates with Diamond Bar High music director Steve Acciani.

“American Idol” star Ryan Seacrest visited Diamond Bar High on Veteran’s Day to honor Music Director Steve Acciani, a semifinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

The event was hosted by KIIS FM, which kept the students and families entertained while they waited for the television star to arrive.

Seacrest is an honorary chairman for the Grammy Foundation. He took time from his hectic schedule to meet one of the 25 national semifinalists. Music Director Buddy Clements at Walnut High is also a semifinalist.

Photos: American Idol host Ryan Seacrest visits Diamond Bar High

The award recognizes outstanding music teachers who have made significant contributions to music education.

“I was surprised when they called me two weeks ago and said they wanted to come out to meet me,” Acciani said. “I think its great for them to help support our music program.”

The gregarious teacher had to fight his way through the crowds to get to the stage when Seacrest called out his name. It seemed like all 700 students in the Brahmas music program showed up for the event.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story IDOL.

Ryan Seacrest visits Diamond Bar High for Grammy semifinalist

Please join American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, The Grammy Foundation, KIIS FM, and the Ford Motor Company to celebrate Diamond Bar High School’ Steve Acciani being named a national semifinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award on Tuesday, November 11.

Come and help support the Diamond Bar High School Music Program!

Diamond Bar High School will be participating in the Ford Motor Company’s Drive 4 UR School national test drive program to help raise money for the school’s outstanding music program.

GRAMMY Foundation Honorary Chair Ryan Seacrest will be on hand to join members of the Diamond Bar community who participate and support DBHS by test-driving a new Ford vehicle.

For every person over 18 who test-drives at this one-day event, Ford Motor Company and Fairway Ford will donate $20, up to $6,000, to Diamond Bar’s music education program.

The event will also feature all 700 DBHS instrumental music students performing, and be hosted by KIIS FM.

The event will take place on Tuesday, November 11, from 11:00am until 5:00pm, with Ryan Seacrest expected to join the celebration from 1pm until 3pm.

Food trucks will be on hand, so come spend some time enjoying an afternoon out with the community.

Diamond Bar High School is located at 21400 E. Pathfinder Road in Diamond Bar.

Los Altos High choirs plan holiday concert in Hacienda Heights

Los Altos High choir performs at opening of Hacienda Heights Community Center.

Los Altos High choir performs at opening of Hacienda Heights Community Center.

The Los Altos High School Choirs are bursting with enthusiasm to announce the performance of their Holiday Concert in the sparkling new Hacienda Heights Community Center located at 1234 Valencia Ave. in Hacienda Heights. The concert will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m.

General admission is free but donations are appreciated. If you would like reserved seating for $7, contact Jeffrey Fahey, Director of Choirs via email: jfahey@hlpusd.k12.ca.us 

Visit www.losaltoschoir.org for more information. Come one and all to kick off the Holiday Season. See you there!

Pomona students explore health care professions

High School Biomedical Scholars explore guided displays of human anatomy as part of the Pomona Health Career Ladder’s Forensics Academy at the Western University of Health Sciences campus. (Photo Courtesy of Jeff Malet, WesternU)

High School Biomedical Scholars explore guided displays of human anatomy as part of the Pomona Health Career Ladder’s Forensics Academy at the Western University of Health Sciences campus. (Photo Courtesy of Jeff Malet, WesternU)

More than 400 students and their parents from Pomona Unified and throughout the region delved into the world of forensics and infectious diseases, explored an anatomy lab and learned investigative procedures from the Pomona Police Department as part of the Pomona Health Career Ladder, a pipeline that fosters Pomona youths’ education and aspirations to become medical and health care professionals.

Now in its sixth year, the Pomona Health Career Ladder is a partnership between PUSD, Cal Poly Pomona, California State University, Fullerton and Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU), which hosts monthly Saturday academies for sixth- through 12th-grade PUSD students.

The “Forensic Science and Infectious Disease” Saturday workshop, held Oct. 25, provided middle school students the opportunity to learn investigative procedures from WesternU health professions students while high school students explored real medical specimens in guided interactions. To wrap up the academy, all students learned about real-life crime scene investigation from the Pomona Police Department as they toured the Pomona CSI vehicle.

“The Health Career Ladder is an innovative partnership that provides our students the opportunity to be exposed to the variety of health care professions available at an early age, as well as develop the skills and gain the tools necessary to attain their full academic potential and pursue these careers,” said Fernando Meza, Administrative Director of Pupil and Community Services.

The family-oriented and academic enrichment event, the second in a series, included a performance by the Garey High School Choir, directed by Rafael Duran, and multiple hands-on workshops for students led by dozens of medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary student volunteers from the three universities.

The program also included presentations by Dr. Maryam Othman, Director of WesternU’s Division of Global and Community Health, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP); Dr. Vicki Wedel, Forensic Anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anatomy at COMP and the College of Dental Medicine.

To encourage family involvement and encouragement, the program included a component in which parents learned about WesternU’s many community outreach efforts and how to encourage their children to achieve their goals.

“Partnering with parents is critical to helping young students succeed,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rega, WesternU’s Associate Vice Provost for Academic Development. “Despite economic, educational and language obstacles, these parents have dedicated themselves to a better career for their children.”

According to WesternU’s Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, students who attend Health Career Ladder-sponsored events show significantly better school attendance, achieve higher scores on state standardized tests in English language arts and math, and earn higher GPAs compared with their peers.

With WesternU students serving as mentors and role models, the young medical scholars are able to develop a passion for science and health and learn about prospective careers, Superintendent Richard Martinez said.

“Through this pioneering partnership, we have been able to provide our students with engaging and academically stimulating programs that encourage their pursuit of higher education and allow them to explore the possibilities,” Martinez said. “It is my hope that these students, no matter what careers they choose, will return to invest in the Pomona community and be a voice for PUSD.”

Future workshops scheduled include: cardiovascular/diabetes (Nov. 15); disability (Dec. 13); disaster preparedness (Jan. 31); and emergency drills (March 7). An end-of-year awards ceremony and celebration will take place April 25, 2015.

Simultaneous Spanish translation for parents is provided at each event by Carlos Mendez, M.B.A.

More information on the program and workshops is available at: www.westernu.edu/ladder-pomona.

Mt SAC breaks ground for Student Success Center

Mt. San Antonio College will hold groundbreaking ceremonies for the campus’ new Student Success Center and Food Services Building on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 4 p.m., at the site of the new center, just south of the college’s Design Technology Center, building 13. 

The $13.6 million Student Success Center will house the Disabled Student Programs and Services High Tech Center and classrooms, the Veterans Resource Center, the Bridge Program, and a Student Health Center. 

“The new center shows an expansion of our programs to meet the needs of our students,” said Mt. SAC Student Services Vice President Audrey Yamagata-Noji. “It really addresses the growth of our programs and our support for student success.” 

The three-story building will afford 22,800 square feet for classrooms, study labs, offices, and lab. Construction on the project began in mid-September with a completion date slated for December 2015. 

The $12.7 million Food Services Building will replace the current Campus Café. The new 13,500-square-foot facility will seat approximately 90 people for interior dining and over 200 for outside dining on the east, west, and south terraces. The new building will house several food stations, including a deli, a grill station, Asian cuisine, and a coffee shop. 

The new Food Services Building is also expected to be completed by December 2015.