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!

Hacienda La Puente Unified holds finals cross country meet

Maya Rodriguez of Mesa Robles won gold medal  for sixth grade girl team.

Maya Rodriguez of Mesa Robles won gold medal for sixth grade girl team.

The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District held its annual finals cross country meet at Mesa Robles Middle School in Hacienda Heights.

The first top 3 runners were given a medal (gold, silver and bronze) and runners 4 through 10 were given ribbons. They all competed based on their gender and grade level.

 

Los Molinos Elementary gets National Blue Ribbon

Students learn in the computer lab at Los Molinos Elementary in Hacienda Heights.

Students learn in the computer lab at Los Molinos Elementary in Hacienda Heights.

By Sandra Molina, Staff Writer

A Hacienda La Puente Unified school has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for academic excellence and closing achievement gaps. Los Molinos Elementary School in Hacienda Heights received the honor.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education — that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative and challenging learning environments,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a press release. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

Twenty-four California schools from a total of 334 schools nationwide earned this distinction.

At Los Molinos, third-year principal, Erin Roderick, gave credit to students’ parents working with school officials for achieving the blue ribbon status.

“We have a cohesive community of teachers, parents and staff who work together for the success of our students,” Roderick said. “Parent involvement is key.”

Los Molinos’ blue ribbon was based on exemplary achievement gap closing.

“We never give up,” she said of overcoming obstacles — such as language, socioeconomic backgrounds, lack of technological advancements at home — to educate their students.

The recognition “is a validation of what we are doing here is working,” she said. “When your kids walk through the school’s door, know that we are setting them up for a positive future.”

Both public and non-public schools are eligible for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award.  All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.

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.

 

Youth Science Center offers summer classes in Hacienda Heights

The Youth Science Center has pulled up stakes and moved down the road to Bixby Elementary in Hacienda Heights this summer. But the science circus is still offering three rings of fun.

The summer session began June 9, with weekly courses spread over the next five weeks. Many of the classes were already full of inquisitive kids.

“It took a couple days to move all our equipment from Wedgeworth Elementary, but we’re up and running,” said Ron Chong, chairman of the board of directors.

Chong and his wife, Judy, were busy shuttling students to their new classes. Many kids return every year to study new subjects.

This year, the science center is teaching 3D printing with its new digital printer. The cool machine builds three-dimensional objects by building up layers of plastic.

“The 3D printers used to cost thousands of dollars, but now you can buy them for $600,” explained teacher Kim Bach.

Her 25 students were using a computer assisted design program to construct their own brightly-colored name tags. Bach’s son, Steven, had just finished building a tiny little billiards table that uses BBs as billiard balls.

The Bachs say 3D printers are the wave of the future in manufacturing. “They’ll probably land up in everyone’s home so they can make their own products,” the science teacher predicted.

Next door, young sleuths were investigating chromatography in their makeshift crime lab. They were learning how to discover whodunnit before their crime scene final on Friday.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story SCIENCE.

Los Altos High students perform transplants for final in Hacienda Heights

Forget Doogie Howser, these real-life teens were transplanting organs in preserved pigs as part of their final exam in anatomy and physiology at Los Altos High School.

The pressure was on as six surgical teams took turns performing kidney, heart and lung transplants. They only had 90 minutes to save their patients on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a second surgical team was experiencing a rapid rise in their pig’s heart rate. Once again, the young surgeons had to decide which drug to administer.

“We have a special program for their tablets that allows me to introduce emergency situations during their operations,” explained teacher Sean Kane, chairman of the science department.

The tablets simulated the EKG and other medical monitors found in a real hospital. But any mistakes the young doctors made wouldn’t be fatal.

The ROP medical academy at Los Altos High began four years ago. This year, the academy offered eight sections, serving hundreds of Hacienda La Puente Unified students.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story TRANSPLANT.

Los Altos High teen named Dell Scholar in Hacienda Heights

Jacqueline Alas is an AVID learner. And it has paid off for the 17-year-old senior at Los Altos High School, who has been named a Dell Scholarship recipient.

The Whittier resident will receive $20,000 over the next six years for college.

The student everyone calls Jackie credits the AVID program at Los Altos for helping her pursue her dream. The petite pupil wants to become a lawyer, then work as a public prosecutor.

She became interested in law when her sister began working for a law firm.

“I want to make a real difference in people’s lives,” Alas explained. “I’ve seen how the law can protect people and keep them safe.”

 

 

The teen takes several advanced placement courses at the Los Altos, in Hacienda Heights. She has a 3.9 grade point average and is a member of the dance team.

Alas is applying to Cal Poly Pomona and UC Santa Cruz. She plans to study criminal justice, before going on to law school. But right now, she’s enjoying the well wishes of students and staff.

“We’re all very proud of Jackie and what she’s accomplished,” said Principal Cheli McReynolds. “She’s a good indicator of what students can accomplish if they work hard.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story DELL.

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.

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.