Applications open for Spotlight Program at the Music Center

The Music Center today announced that applications are open for The Music Center’s 27th Annual Spotlight Program.  Southern California high school students who are interested in the performing arts are encouraged to apply to participate in Spotlight, one of the nation’s premier arts education and scholarship programs for teens.  

The program, which provides arts training by professional artists and awards more than $100,000 in scholarships, is part of The Music Center’s commitment to helping all students receive outstanding arts learning experiences in their schools and in the community.  

More than 40,000 students have participated in Spotlight to date, and the program has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships to aspiring performers and artists.

Spotlight is free and open to all students who attend high school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.

 Students of all skill levels can apply in one of seven categories, including ballet, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental, jazz instrumental, and acting, a new category added this year.  

Those students applying to the acting category must apply by October 1, 2014.  Students interested in all other categories must apply by October 20, 2014.  Applications are available at musiccenter.org/spotlight.

Spotlight was developed by The Music Center to offer distinctive learning opportunities at every stage of artistic development.  According to Jeri Gaile, director of The Music Center’s Spotlight program, Spotlight provides invaluable professional guidance in the performing arts to thousands of Southern California high school students each year.

 “Spotlight is much more than a competition; it provides an opportunity not only for artistic growth, where young artists can improve their audition and performance skills, but also a pathway for personal growth as young performers gain confidence and self-esteem.  Those are skills that are critical for success in life,” she explained.

All students enrolled in the program work with professionals to develop audition skills and knowledge in their performance disciplines.  Those students selected by professional judges to advance as semifinalists participate in master classes, compete to perform at The Music Center and receive cash scholarships.  

Grand Prize Finalists in each category receive $5,000 scholarships.  Honorable Mentions receive $1,000 scholarships and semifinalists receive $300 scholarships.  In addition, selected preliminary students will receive $100 scholarships.

In addition to the new acting category, The Music Center announced several changes to The Spotlight program for 2014, including the discontinuation of the two-dimensional and photography categories in favor of a greater emphasis on the performing arts.  

More opportunities will be added for students to gain insights about preparing for college and careers in the arts and related fields.  This year, the culminating performance will be presented on stage at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Numerous Spotlight participants have gone on to successful professional careers.  Fifteen finalists are Presidential Scholars, and many more have joined or performed with professional companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others.  

They include Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American female in two decades to be appointed soloist at American Ballet Theatre; Adam Lambert and Josh Groban, pop recording artists; Erik Altemus currently starring in Pippin on Broadway; Yao Guan Zhai, associate principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony; Gerald Clayton, Grammy Award winning jazz recording artist; and many others.  Many alumni return to the program to participate as judges and class instructors.

 Fredric M. Roberts is founding chairman of The Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Walter Grauman is creator/executive producer.  For more information about The Music Center’s Spotlight program, visitmusiccenter.org/spotlight or join the conversation onfacebook.com/spotlightawards.

Rowland’s Family Resource Center offers fresh start for homeless

Rowland Unified’s Family Resource Center will join many community partners to make sure that our homeless students have backpacks, school supplies, shoes, uniforms and dental supplies.

More than 250 students from across the district will receive these supplies on on Thursday at Hurley Elementary in La Puente and on Friday at Jellick Elementary in Rowland Heights.

Special thanks to Kiwanis Shoes That Fit and Faith Community Church for their volunteers.

Would you like to volunteer to help? Call the Family Resource Center at (626) 854-2228

Tami Pearson named new superintendent of La Puente Valley ROP

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Tami Pearson hasn’t travelled far geographically, but the Hacienda Heights native has certainly gone a long way in her career.

The local educator was recently named the new superintendent of the La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program.

Board President Anthony Duarte says Pearson brings a wealth of experience with her to the new job.

“It was a tough selection, because we had so many good candidates,” the Hacienda La Puente School Board member said. “But, Tami served on the district’s coordinating committee and had an intimate knowledge of ROP, so we knew she could hit the ground running.”

Duarte said the unanimous selection was a step in the right direction to mend fences between the district and ROP.

In March of 2013, the district notified ROP that it wanted out of the cooperative. This angered the other two school districts, Rowland Unified and Bassett Unified.

At the time, Hacienda La Puente Unified contributed almost 60 percent of the ROP budget, while Rowland gave 30 percent and Bassett 10 percent.

Then Associate Superintendent Cindy Parulan-Colfer said Hacienda La Puente paid ROP nearly $3 million, but only received classes worth $1 million.

“It’s about being fair,” Parulan-Colfer said. “We have no intention of getting rid of career-tech education.”

Since then, the three districts have reached a new agreement with ROP. And relations have improved. For more, read ROP

New teachers receive orientation in Rowland Unified

New teachers pose for photo at Rowland Unified.

New teachers pose for photo at Rowland Unified.

New teachers from across the District participated this week in a two-day orientation to the Rowland Unified School District. Teachers engaged in collaborative learning around RUSD’s mission statement, efficacious instructional practices, Common Core standards, and ELD standards.

Rowland Unified launches new website

websiite

Fresh Look to District Website!

Today we launched the new District websitewww.RowlandSchools.org

RUSD Employees – You now have access to helpful staff services and resources under the Staff Services Directory: Find links to Outlook Web Access, Aeries.Net, Aesop Sub Management, RUSD Forms, Rowland Blogs and Wikis, the District Staff Only Section of the website and more!

 

Vejar Elementary raises $2,875 for ill student in Walnut

Teacher Jamie Highstreet with Vejar student Andrew Orsario.

Teacher Jamie Highstreet with Vejar student Andrew Orsario.

Vejar Elementary hosted a year-end “Have a Heart” fundraiser to help a young student in need of a new heart in Walnut.
The school and community campaign brought in $2875 to help with expenses for 3rd grader Andrew Osorio who is on the national heart transplant list.
“Thank you to the Vejar family and community for their support!” said Principal Jennifer De Anda.

Suzanne Middle students get trophies for Math Olympiad program

Suzanne 7th grade Math Olympiad winners with teacher Amy Erickson.

Suzanne 7th grade Math Olympiad winners with teacher Amy Erickson.

By Walnut Valley Unified

Suzanne Middle School students were among the 110,000 students worldwide to participate in the 2013-2014 Math Olympiad program.  The Math Olympiad contests challenged students to solve unusual and difficult problems and to think creatively.

The team participated in a series of five monthly contests of 5 problems each, from November to March, and weekly practice sessions with Suzanne math teachers and coaches Amy Erickson and Victor Lu.

“The students responded well to the challenge and were recognized for their achievements during an end of the year awards celebration,” Erickson said.

Students were awarded trophies for top scores in each grade level as well as pins and patches of recognition.

For the 6th grade, William Lin came in first with a total of 21 correct out of 25. William Lin, Darren Chen, Derek Wang, John Chou, Amber Tsao, Jennifer Zhang, Tyler Xu, and Melony Yu all received silver pins to signify a top 10% score.  An embroidered patch was also awarded to Liwen Xia, Nicole Chiang, Katherine Lee, Catherine Wang, Curtis Lin, Daniel Ahu, Marco Chan, Jeremy Hsiao, Louis Wong and Kevin Chen for placing in the top 50%.

In the 7th grade, Aaron Chang was awarded the 1st Place trophy along with a patch signifying a top 50% score. Alice Zhang, Ethan Lin, Oscar Chou, Sylvester Yue, Angela Zhu, Jordin Wang, Felianne Teng, Yi Chen, Jerry Guo, Sheldon Zhu, Derick Tseng, Phillip Leung and Jing Wong also received patches for their 50% scores.

In the 8th grade, Eugene Lo was awarded the 1st Place trophy along with a silver pin recognizing his top 10% score.  Christopher Wang was also awarded a silver pin. Kevin Jensen, Lydia Chan, Fabiola Delvillar, Charles Gu, Matthew Nguyen and Irene Zhou received patches for their 50% scores.

Suzanne students compete in AMC 8 math contest in Walnut

Fifty-three Suzanne Middle School students participated in the challenging AMC 8 math contest during the 2013-2014 school year.  One student, Colby Chang, earned the gold metal for his school.

The AMC 8 questions covered many different topics, which exceed the normal middle school curriculum.

It is a 40-minute timed competition with 25 multiple-choice questions. The top-ten middle school students will also be taking the AMC 10.

Colby Chang, grade 7, took home the gold medal with a top score of 23 out of 25. He was also awarded an Honor Roll of Distinction Certificate for scoring in the top 1% in the nation.

Aaron Chang, grade 7, was awarded a silver medal and an Honor Roll of Distinction Certificate for scoring in the top 1% nationally.

Tied for bronze medals were Eugene Lo, Christopher Wong, both 8th graders, and Angela Zhu, a 7th grader.

In addition to bronze medals they earned Honor Roll Certificates recognizing their top 5% placement in the nation.

Joining them with Honor roll Certificates were fellow 8th graders Kevin Jensen, Matthew Nguyen and Lydia Chan.  Honor Roll Certificates were also given to 7thgraders Oscar Cho, Ethan Lin and Derick Tseng.

Sixth graders earning Honor Roll Certificates were Darren Chen and William Lin. Darren, William and Jennifer Zhang were additionally awarded Certificates of Achievement for scores above 15 as sixth graders.

Hacienda La Puente Unified offers free and reduced price meals

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District has announced its policy for providing Free and Reduced price meals for children served under the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program.  Each school and/or the central office have a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by any interested party.

The household size and income criteria identified below will be used to determine eligibility for free, reduced-price, or full-price meal benefits.  Children from households whose income is at or below the levels shown on the “ Eligibility Scale” are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

Children who receive CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payments (Kin-GAP), or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits are automatically eligible for free meals regardless of the income of the household in which they reside. 

An application with the case number must be submitted for consideration. Foster child(ren) can be included on the household application. Eligibility determination for the household is still based on income and benefits are NOT automatically extended.

Application forms are being distributed to all households with a letter informing them of the availability of free and reduced-price meals for enrolled children.  Applications are also available at the front office of each school and at the Food Services Office.

To apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits, households must complete a meal benefit application at minimum EVERY SCHOOL YEAR and return it to the school or Food Services Office for processing.

While applications may be submitted at any time during the school year; they should be submitted in a timely manner so that benefits are extended as soon as possible avoiding being placed on PAID status.

The information households provide on the application will be used to determine meal eligibility and may be verified at any time during the school year by the program officials.  Applications can be completed online at www.schoollunchapp.com.

Requirements for school officials to determine eligibility for free and reduced-price benefits are as follows: For households receiving CalFresh/CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits – applications need only include the enrolled child(ren)’s name, CalFresh/CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, and the signature of an adult household member.

For households who do not list a CalFresh/CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR case number, the application must include the names of all household members including the enrolled child(ren),  the amount and source of the income received by each household member, and the signature and corresponding last four digits of the Social Security number of an adult household member.

If the household member who signs the application does not have a Social Security number, the household member must indicate on the application that a Social Security number is not available by checking the appropriate box on the application.

Under the provisions of the free and reduced price meal policy, the determining official(s), as designated by the Food Services Dept., shall review applications and determine eligibility.

Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the eligibility ruling may discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis.  Parents may also make a formal request for an appeal hearing of the decision and may do so verbally or in writing with: Food Services Office, Hacienda La Puente USD, 15959 E. Gale Ave. P.O. Box 60002, City of Industry, CA. 91716-0002, Telephone (626) 933-3901.

If a household’s meal benefit application was denied and the household status is PAID the household may re-apply at any time during the school year in the event that circumstances have changed possibly qualifying the household for free or reduce price meals.  For instant if a member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should

Submit a new application with Food Services directly.  Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the levels shown above.

CalFresh/CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households must complete a meal benefit application every year. While households that receive CalFresh/ CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR benefits typically have not had to complete anApplication for Free or Reduced-Price Meals or Free Milk it is now required so that there is no interruption or delay of meal benefits.

The Food Services Department will determine eligibility for free meals based on meal benefit application and/or documentation obtained directly from the CalFresh/ CalWORKs, Kin-GAP, or FDPIR office that a child is a member of a household currently receiving CalFresh or FDPIR benefits or an assistance unit receiving CalWORKs or Kin-GAP benefits.

Those who do not want their child(ren) to receive free meals must contact the Food Services Office and complete a form declining participation in the program.  CalFresh/CalWorks, Kin-GAP, and FDPIR households should complete an application if they are not notified of their eligibility.

 

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272(voice) or 202-720-6382(TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online athttp://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call(866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or by fax (202) 690-7442or by email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at(800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Note: The only protected classes covered under the Child Nutrition Programs are race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

 

Four Diamond Bar students earn rank of Eagle Scout

Four members of Diamond Bar High School’s Class of 2014 earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America organization. Congratulations! The new Eagle Scouts are Matthew Kim, Nathaniel Rodriguez, Darren Wijaya and Samuel Hwang.  All of them are members of Troop 730 that meet at Calvary Chapel in Diamond Bar.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men. The title of Eagle Scout is held for life, thus giving rise to the phrase “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle”.