We’ve all heard of the Grand Design, leaving us to wonder what kind of world we would design if we were given the opportunity.
Sophomores at Walnut High are taking the time to design their own domains in the school’s new Academic Design Program. It’s part and parcel of the program that asks students to learn through hands-on problem-solving.
The teens aren’t given the answers to their worldly problems, they have to uncover the answers on their own. And so it was with a little trepidation that we stepped into their domain last week.
School officials say 75 sophomores volunteered for the innovative program that has proven successful in other Walnut Valley schools such as Chaparral Middle School in Diamond Bar.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DESIGN
In what promises to be one of his most significant policy moves this year, Gov. Jerry Brown will pursue a sweeping overhaul of the way California schools are funded, changing the way money has been allocated for four decades.
Brown wants to simplify funding streams, giving more local control to school boards and more money to districts with low-income students and those who don’t speak English fluently.
Walnut Valley Unified, which is already suffering from a $4.7 million deficit and can’t afford to pay its bills, could face more funding shortages under the new proposal.
“Because Walnut Valley has relatively few low-income students or English learners, on the surface it would appear that the district would not benefit from the new formula proposal,” Superintendent Dean Conklin said.
“Because we are working with Los Angeles County to ensure that the district’s financial situation becomes much more solid in the next year or two, any reduction in dollars would make things more challenging for us.”
The spring session for Rowland Adult and Community Education begins Jan. 22. Registration for English as a second language or citizenship takes place in the classroom at the first class.
Registration for the community education classes begins Jan. 7. Some new classes offered are Internet basics and floral design. Other classes are real estate principles, international folkdance and line dancing. Learn to become a pharmacy or phlebotomy technician with Boston Reed College.
For information, visit its website at www.race.rowland.k12.ca.us or call 626-965-5975.
The Rowland Unified School District is hoping voters in November will approve
Measure R, a $158.8 million school bond that would fund a performing arts center
at Rowland High School and replace portable classrooms at Oswalt Academy, a
Supporters of the measure have been successful with two previous bonds – one
for $77 million in 2000 and one for $116 million in 2006. This is the third
facilities improvement bond the district has put on the ballot in 12 years.
But experience doesn’t always make the task easier.
“It is a little more difficult this time, you have Prop. 30 and Prop. 38
(statewide tax measures) and ballot fatigue. And it does take a lot more work
with today’s economy,” said school board member Robert Hidalgo.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story BOND.
Nogales High School
really is going “Back to the Future” as it celebrates its 50th
anniversary this week. The school, which opened in 1962, is undergoing a
massive renovation that will literally transform it into a high school
of the future.
Students and staff have been putting up with work crews who
are gutting old classroom wings to remodel them. Rowland Unified is
spending $8 million to refurbish Nogales High.
The special homecoming week begins with a “Back to the Future – Passport
Through the Decades” social at the school tonight.The evening will feature tours of the campus at 5:30 p.m. Visitors can see
the modernization funded by the last school bond.
A gala will follow from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Mack Pace Gymnasium. Guests
will enjoy music and refreshments while they celebrate five decades of memories
and traditions. There will be a special video and speeches by alumni.
The public is invited to attend the special gala. The cost is $15 at the
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story NOBLES.
While many poll watchers say Rep. Ed Royce has little to worry about in his
bid for reelection in a newly redrawn 39th Congressional District, his
challenger Jay Chen is mounting a feisty battle against the incumbent.
Royce, the conservative Republican from Fullerton, carried a 36-point lead in
the primary over Chen, a Democrat and Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
Board Member. Royce also enjoys a 7.8 percentage point lead in registered
Republican voters over registered Democrats – 39.9 percent to 32.1 percent.
But the newly drawn district includes several cities Royce has never
represented, including Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, Diamond Bar
and Chino Hills. The district also includes Buena Park, Fullerton and Placentia,
which Royce has long represented.
Still, the district is considered “safe” for Royce and though the David and
Goliath matchup is producing some fierce battles, most pundits predict Royce
will win the war.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story CHEN.
Los Angeles County has filed a lawsuit against Hacienda La Puente Unified
School District, saying the district owes it $4 million as part of a
jail-education program that went sour.
The lawsuit filed last week alleges that Hacienda La Puente has failed to
hold up its end of a bargain in which the county was paying the district to
educate inmates in county jails. The county is seeking a jury trial.
Hacienda La Puente officials say the district is holding onto the $4 million
because the county has refused to return $5 million worth of equipment the
school district supplied to the jails.
The agreement between the county and the district, which serves about 21,000
students in Hacienda Heights and La Puente, dates to 1973, according to the
suit. For decades, the district provided adult education classes to inmates,
including classes in computers, printing, sewing and cooking.
Read more in J.D. Velasco’s story LAWSUIT.
Rowland Unified Chief of Police, Don Fernald will be talk about Red Ribbon week at the Operation Safe Community meeting on Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m. in the school board room at District offices on Nogales Street.
California’s schools have continued a decade of improvement on test scores,
state officials announced Thursday.
For the first time, more than half of the state’s schools met or surpassed
the target score for academic achievement on the Academic Performance Index
(API), State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced at a news conference in
Locally, the majority of San Gabriel Valley school districts saw gains in
academic performance scores and more than half met state targets on the scale
meant to measure student achievement, according to data.
State officials use the scores, and how much they increase or decrease each
year, as an indicator of how schools and districts are performing academically.
Find out how your school is doing at API.
Sandra Davis teaches peer counseling at Diamond Bar High School. Now her
peers have selected Davis as one of 16 winners in the 2012-13 Los Angeles County
Teachers of the Year competition.
The English instructor was named “best of the best” in California’s largest
honors competition for K-12 educators.
The “Sweet 16″ were presented by Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools
Arturo Delgado. Each instructor received $1,000 from the California Credit
Union, the program’s main sponsor.
“These are dedicated women and men who everyday make the most of a precious
opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of their students,”
Judged as the top public school teachers, they represent more than 76,000
classroom colleagues countywide.
Davis is a veteran teacher with 25 years of experience. She has taught at
Diamond Bar High for more than a decade.
“For me there can be no greater professional accomplishment than to have made
a meaningful difference in my students’ lives,” Davis said.
The annual event that aims to spotlight excellence in teaching and recognize
highly effective and dedicated K-12 public school teachers.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DAVIS.