Wilson High hold arts showcase in Hacienda Heights

Wilson High School held its third annual Arts Showcase on Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. in Hacienda Heights.

The showcase offered performances from the band, drama department, choir and color guard. There was also a Fine Art and Photography display in the Den.

The local high school also had a dessert food truck, as well as other food vendors throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

Rowland Unified releases survey results about the district

By Rowland Unified
The Rowland Unified School District released the results of a recent survey that asked teachers, parents and residents to share their thoughts on district topics such as educational programs, career pathways and community relations.

The full report can be found on the “Your Voice” section of the District website www.RowlandSchools.org as well as school websites. The results were discussed at the school board meeting last night.

Designed by the independent firm K12 Insight, the survey will give the district important baseline data it can use to make improvements.

“We are committed to our continuous improvement efforts,” said Superintendent Ruben Frutos. “Hearing from our stakeholders ensures that our programs and services are effectively meeting student needs and allows us to fulfill our vision for success.”

The surveys were taken from Jan. 8-31 and 916 people responded. Overall, the district reported positive feedback.

Specifically, the survey found that nearly six out of 10 respondents feel the district is doing an excellent or good job of fulfilling its mission.

District officials said nearly seven out of 10 participants say the district is doing an excellent or good job of educating students.

Survey findings also indicate that 75 percent of participants think their local school is doing an excellent or good job of educating students. Additional results show that approximately seven out of 10 respondents are aware of the district’s International Baccalaureate Program.

The survey found that 83 percent of respondents feel welcome to participate in meetings or other activities at their local school. The district added that 57 percent understand that the district made difficult decisions in order to remain solvent.

“This survey helps ensure that we have a system defined by rigorous academics, the innovative use of technology, creative exploration and nurturing learning experiences,” Frutos said. “Together, we will create an optimal learning environment that enables all of our students to succeed in their chosen careers.”

Walnut High joins California schools in giving Smarter tests

This spring, in California and states across the nation, the usual barrage of standardized tests have been put on hold. California districts are getting at least a two-year reprieve from the ubiquitous Academic Performance Index scores used to track the quality of schools and districts over time.

Instead, educators are preparing for the next big thing: The new Smarter Balanced English-language arts and mathematics tests aligned to the new Common Core standards that school districts have already begun using in classrooms. Walnut High School is administering the test this week.

“It’s going well so far, but it’s quite a change for our students,” said Principal Jeff Jordan.

The new tests emphasize a deeper knowledge of subjects, displaying use of the reasoning process and the ability to give complex answers, and not just skill at choosing the correct answer out of four possible choices.

“They’re more critical-thinking skills, and we’ve been talking about that for a long time, but if you’re only asking A, B, C or D, you don’t get the chance to elaborate,” said Wendy Claflin, principal of Colin Powell Elementary School in Long Beach. “It’s kind of more true to life, because there’s not just one true answer.”

The nationwide field test started at the end of March and ends on June 6.

They need the ramp-up time: Unlike the familiar California Standards Tests, the new Smarter Balanced tests aren’t conducted by filling in little circles with a No. 2 pencil. Instead, they’re adaptive tests taken via computer, administered via the Internet.

Read more in Beau Yarbrough’s story TESTS. 


New FAA rules stop Mt SAC students from getting jobs

Veteran Chris Schneider worked as an air traffic controller in the Air Force. He went back to school and earned a degree in aviation science from Mt. San Antonio College, carrying a 3.48 GPA. He passed the government’s aptitude exam.

But even though he can guide an F-16 onto a dusty landing strip, he is not a good candidate for air traffic controller and his application was rejected, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and his teachers.

He will have to re-apply in 2015, they said.

Schneider is one of thousands of college students in the U.S. spending hours staring into airplane-control simulators who are being turned away from jobs as air traffic controllers because they can’t pass a biographical questionnaire.

Read more in CONTROLLER

Rowland Unified holding community meeting on April 30

The Rowland Unified School District will hold a community informational meeting on the Local Control Accountability Plan on April 30 at 6 p.m. at Telesis Academy of Science & Math in the Multipurpose Room.

Community members are encouraged to attend to learn  about the process and the development of the new Local Control Accountability Plan which ensures that funding is targeted to the needs of all students. Telesis Academy of Science & Math is located at 2800 E. Hollingworth Street in West Covina.

California school districts now have the flexibility to prioritize resources in order to meet the specific needs of its student populations with a new funding formula.

The new method — Local Control Funding Formula — has been passed by state legislation to allow local insight and meaningful conversations to take place between parents, employees and the community about their schools.

To view materials and information, visit the Rowland Unified School District website www.RowlandSchools.org under Local Control Funding Formula – Unified for Ed Excellence.

The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 16,000 students in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry, and West Covina.

More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information, download the free Rowland Unified School District Mobile App or visit www.RowlandSchools.org or call (626) 965-2541.

Nogales High Noble Regiment selected for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nogales High Noble Regiment picked for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Nogales High Noble Regiment picked for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Today in a surprise announcement inside the Nogales High School Gym, the Nogales High School Noble Regiment received the news that they have been selected to perform in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Noble Regiment will join the line of march and begin their performance to the sound of Let’s Have a Parade, the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.

They will join nine other marching bands from across the country as well as fantastic floats, sky high giant character balloons, wacky clowns and superstar performers on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

With more than 3.5 million live spectators and 50 million at-home viewers, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is considered the beginning of the holiday season and the ultimate Thanksgiving Day treat for fans of all ages.

“Macy’s Band Committee is thrilled to have Nogales High School Noble Regiment return to our event for the second time in 2015. Representing the fine bands of California, Nogales will bring a sleek and modern style to the streets of New York on Thanksgiving morning,” said Wesley Whatley, creative director, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Brad Pollock, band director, Nogales High School Noble Regiment said, “Amazing, stunned, excited are just a few words that can barely explain the honor that has bestowed upon the Noble Regiment to represent California in the Macy’s Parade in 2015. The students should get all of the credit. The memory of the event will last a lifetime. The opportunity to perform in the Parade once was incredible, but to be invited back really is something special. It is a true indication of consistent hard work, dedication, and a love to perform, paying off. We look forward to this event and can’t wait to get our groove on, down Broadway. Go Nobles!”

“I am proud of the dedicated effort of our students, parents and staff of the Noble Regiment. They have all invested valuable time into making our band a nationally recognized band; this honor of being invited back to the Macy’s Parade is indicative of this recognition.  The Noble Regiment will represent Nogales High School and the Rowland Unified School District, not to mention the West Coast, with great pride,” said Nogales Principal Sergio Canal.

For more than 86 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has given thanks to what Macy’s values most – its loyal fans.  More than 5,000 Macy’s employees and dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to create a spectacular event that entertains the cheerful crowds and provides joy to millions at home watching on Thanksgiving Day.

The Parade marches down a more than two-mile long New York City route gleaming with color, music and cheers that fill the autumn sky.

Nogales High School Marching Band was selected to be one of 10 marching ensembles to perform on Thursday, November 26, 2015 beating out of more than 175 applicants nationwide.

Each year, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee looks for bands that have the stage presence to captivate a national audience and bring cheers to millions watching along the Parade route.

Before the band marches down the streets of New York City, they will spend the next 18 months planning for their big debut. Rehearsals and creative fundraising events not only bring the school and the community closer, but prepare the students for the march of a lifetime.

For more information on the Nogales Noble Regiment visit www.nogalesnobleregiment.com.


About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and macys.com offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.


Mt SAC presents “Diviners” play in Walnut

The Mt. San Antonio College Theater Program will stage its production of Jim Leonard’s “The Diviners” on Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, at 8 p.m., in Mt. SAC’s Sophia B. Clarke Theater. 

“The Diviners” tells the story of a soul-searching ex-preacher who stumbles upon a small town in need of spiritual guidance.  Reluctant as he may be, he finds purpose with the townsfolk and, in particular, one unique boy.  Terrified of the water because of a childhood trauma, the boy trusts the preacher with his rehabilitation.  Together, they must work with the town to find their own individual salvation.  “The Diviners” is a beautiful and compelling story about forgiveness and faith—forgiveness in others, forgiveness in one’s self and faith in humanity.

        Theater Professor Matthew Burgos directs this Mt. SAC production. 

Tickets are $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors, students, and children under 12.

For tickets and more information, call the Performing Art Box Office at (909) 274-2050. Tickets may also be purchased online atwww.tickets.mtsac.edu.

Gourmet food trucks rolls in Walnut Valley Unified on Friday night

Gourmet food trucks will roll in to Walnut on Friday, April 11, for the WHEEL FOOD FEST sponsored by the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation. The family fun night will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The gourmet food trucks will donate a portion of their profits to the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation. The event will be held at the district office parking lot at 880 S. Lemon Ave. in Walnut.

The Family Food Fest event will now be held monthly. Confirmed trucks for the April 11 event include TSG, Trailer Park, Share Mii, and My Tornado Potato. Plus more gourmet trucks and variety, each month!

No outside food, beverages, alcohol or pets, are permitted.  For more information, visit www.wvef.educ.us  and follow the event on Twitter : WVEF FoodFest or Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Walnut-Valley-Educational-Foundation.

Los Altos High seeks panels for presentations in Hacienda Heights

Los Altos High School seniors need help in Hacienda Heights. Residents are invited to participate by sitting in on a senior project panel for the Class of 2014.

This year-long process is a tradition in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. It is a graduation requirement that provides local seniors with an opportunity to showcase their learning. They also gain experience in presenting to a panel of experts.

The panels will meet from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on May 1 and 2. The first 30 minutes is an introduction and review of the senior project. The panel will explain how it will assess the students’ presentations.

Each panel will evaluate students as they present a PowerPoint and portfolio. Students will then answer questions about their senior project.

This interaction provides real life experience for the students complete with feedback. Los Altos welcomes alumni, community members and businessmen to sit on the panels.

Interested residents should call 626-934-5418 and speak to Tina Banes or email cbanes@hlpusd.k12.ca.us or nmeylor@hlpusd.k12.ca.us.

Westhoff Elementary names Sandhu as Super Star Student in Walnut

Bhalpriya Sandhu named Westhoff Elementary School’s Super Star Student. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Bhalpriya Sandhu named Westhoff Elementary School’s Super Star Student. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Bhalpriya Sandhu was selected as Westhoff’s Super Star Student.

“Bhalpriya manages to be a standout student in a school filled with excellent students,” Principal Denise Rendon shared. The 5th grader serves as a Student Council Member and is an all-around star student who balances club soccer activities with academics.

“Bhalpriya demonstrates strong leadership skills, comes to school every day with a smile and ready to learn. She goes above and beyond to complete her assignments with pride and excellence,” Rendon said.

Bhalpriya also demonstrates great character.

“She models and exemplifies kindness, compassion, empathy, perseverance, and a great tolerance for others who are different. She is definitely a future leader and one who will impact the world positively.  You can be sure we will hear much more about Bhalpriya in the years to come!” Rendon said.