Rainbow Preschool creates circus at Rowland High in Rowland Heights

This Thursday from 8:30 – 10 a.m., the Rainbow Preschool located at Rowland High School will have the high school students create a circus for the preschooler’s in Portable 33.

There is still space for the summer program that runs until July 11 for children ages 21/2 to 4 years old. (Hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

The preschool is also taking Fall enrollment now – fall semester begins on Aug.  19 for the cost of $385 per month. For more information, call Pat Hakim at (626) 965-3448.

John Roach named interim superintendent at Rowland Unified

Educational and leadership consultant John Roach, Ed.D., (John Roach & Associates) will be the Interim superintendent at Rowland Unified this summer while the superintendent search process continues.

John Roach

John Roach

Roach is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California teaching the courses “Leadership” and “Accountability.” He was superintendent of Carlsbad Unified from 2004-12 and at Charter Oak Unified 1998-2004, and is known for his leadership while also serving in Brea Olinda Unified and East Whittier City School Districts.

He serves on the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group of the University of Southern California. Roach has been active in the Association of California School Administrators Association, serving as charter president and on various state committees.

Roach received his Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Southern California and his M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University.

“The Board is delighted to have Dr. John A. Roach join the Rowland Unified School District.  Dr. Roach comes with a broad range of experiences to assist the district during this transition process,” said Board President Heidi L. Gallegos.

Roach will serve as Interim Superintendent on a part-time basis, approximately three days per work week, during the summer months pending completion of the current search for a permanent superintendent.

The timeline for the superintendent search process includes advertising and applications for the position concluding on July 11.  Interviews will take place in August with the hiring of the new leader expected in September.

Rowland Basketball Camp has spots open for June 16-20

Looking for a fun summer program for your kids? Rowland Basketball Camp held at Rowland High School  is seeking boys/girls ages 7-14 interested in developing a solid foundation in the fundamentals of basketball for players of all levels.

There is still space left for the second session, June 16 – 20, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Early drop-off at 8 a.m. and late pick-up at 1 p.m. available free of charge.) The cost is $100 for the week.

Beginners will be given an opportunity to grow in a positive environment, while advanced players will be challenged to improve their skills in a more competitive environment.

Camp Directors are Jason Villanueva, the new head basketball coach at Rowland High School, along with Lindsey Brewer and Matthew Tumambing. They will provide instruction in the areas of Ball Handling, Passing, Shooting, Individual Moves, Footwork, Defense, and Rebounding.

In addition to on court skills, an emphasis will be put on Team Work, the importance of Positive Interaction, and Work Ethic. Shooting Contests, Free Throw Contests, Team Games, and 1 on 1 Championships will also be conducted. Players are asked to bring basketball shoes, white T-Shirt, blue or black shorts (preferably, bottled water and a great attitude!

Registration forms are available at www.RowlandBasketball.com or please email  jasonzvillanueva@gmail.com

Rowland High School is located at 2000 S. Otterbein Ave. in Rowland Heights. (626)965-3448

Rowland Unified superintendent resigns

Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Ruben Frutos resigned his position Tuesday night, hours after the board fired Ajay Mohindra, the interim assistant superintendent of business who was hired by Frutos.

Frutos will end a 20-month term in the top spot on June 30, according to district board members. Mohindra also will leave at that time.

His tenure as interim superintendent and then as superintendent was marked with tension that included hundreds of people regularly attending board meetings and picketing of district headquarters by teachers and classified workers demanding his resignation.

In March, the board initiated a search for a new superintendent. But in attempt to keep him on, the board amended his contract to allow him to become deputy superintendent of administrative services. However, last month, the board pulled an item that would’ve approved the down-ladder move.

Some say the resignation was a way for Frutos to bow out gracefully after new board members Lynne Ebenkamp and Angelena Pride pushed for him to leave. Both were elected in November with teacher support on a platform to consider a new superintendent and increase board transparency.

“We finally have closure on the whole issue of Ruben. Now we also have the challenge of finding the right person to lead the district,” said John Petersen, president of the Association of Rowland Educators.

Frutos, in a summarized statement released by Gina Ward, district spokesperson, said he assured the board he was not interested in applying for the superintendent position but did say he hoped to serve RUSD in another capacity. He declined to be interviewed Wednesday.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story FRUTOS.

Rowland Unified dismisses interim assistant superintendent

Ajay Mohindra was dismissed from his job by a unanimous vote of the five-member school board, announced Board President Heidi Gallegos

“The board unanimously decided to not re-employ the district’s interim assistant superintendent of business,” Gallegos announced to a board room packed with teachers, parents and community members.

Mohindra, listed as the interim chief financial officer on the district’s website, sat at the table in front of the board after the announcement. When asked by a reporter if he still had a job at the district, he remained silent.

Mohindra’s name was confirmed by Gina Ward, RUSD spokesperson, who also attended the board meeting.

Mohindra was participating in negotiations with the district’s teachers represented by the Association of Rowland Educators. The two sides are in impasse and is now working with a mediator.

He was put into the spot last year by Superintendent Ruben Frutos, who previously occupied the position.

The district is in the process of looking for a new superintendent. Frutos’ contract ends June 30. There was no word on whether he would become the assistant superintendent of business.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story DISMISSED.

Rowland Unified offers bus transportation to town hall meeting tonight

Rowland Unified will offer bus transportation to the Town Hall meeting tonight from selected school sites. The Rowland Board of Education invites the community to share their input on the characteristics desired in the next superintendent. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Telesis Academy, 2800 E. Hollingworth Street, West Covina.


(Transportation for Adults Only Due to Limited Space.)

Hurley             4:45 p.m. 

Northam        5:00 p.m.

Yorbita            5:15 p.m.

La Seda/Santana HS   5:20 p.m.

Rorimer          5:30 p.m.

After Meeting Buses will Return to Schools.

*ONLINE SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH SURVEY: The Board of Education also invites all RUSD employees and community members to provide their feedback by taking part in the Online Superintendent Search survey through May 25. It is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. **Click HERE.**


Summer Arts Academy announced in Rowland Unified

 Students in the community who crave the arts – who wish to sing, dance, paint and perform drama – can enroll now in two unique summer arts programs offered by the Rowland Unified School District.

The Summer Arts Academy is June 9 – June 27, for students entering grades 1 through 6 with Monday – Friday classes from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students will experience daily hands-on art projects, singing and dancing and will present an arts showcase of their work at Gallery Night on June 26. The cost for three weeks of instruction, all art supplies and a Summer Arts T-Shirt is only $200 per child.

 Students who want to experience putting on a musical production can take part in the Summer Theater program, with this year’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” offeredJune 9 – July 3 for students entering grades 4 through 8.

Everyone gets a part! Classes are held Monday – Friday from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Performances of “The Little Mermaid” will be on Tuesday, July 1 and Wednesday, July 2 at 6 p.m. The cost is only $200 per child and includes all costumes and props!

The Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater are under the direction of Rowland Unified Educator Karoll Joson. The Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater programs are both held at Hollingworth Elementary School, located at 3003 E. Hollingworth in West Covina www.hollingworthschool.org

Students do not have to be part of the Rowland Unified School District to enroll. There is also a discount for students who enroll in both programs.  To register for the Summer Arts Academy and Summer Theater, please download forms atwww.RowlandSchools.org or they are available at the Educational Services Office, Rowland Unified School District, 1830 S. Nogales Street in Rowland Heights. For more information you can call (626) 854-8348.

Blandford Elementary students learn water conservation in Rowland Heights

From Rowland Unified

The sixth grade at Blandford Elementary is experimenting with water conservation today in Rowland Heights. The students joined The LivingWise Program sponsored by Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas to learn the importance of natural resources and how to reduce their usage.

This program includes reading material and experiments.  In today’s exercise, the sixth graders will experiment with the  school’s sprinkler system.  They want to find out if the sprinklers are wasting water when the school waters the fields and grassy areas.

After students collect the data, they hope to have the opportunity to present this information to our district, so changes can be made.

Rowland Unified meets Thursday to discuss superintendent search

By Rowland Unified

The Rowland Unified School District Board of Education held a special session on April 17 at 6 p.m. in an open, public process to interview three qualified executive search firms to assist the board with a superintendent search.

Each executive firm was rated using a numeric rubric formula created by the Board with the assistance of District staff and legal counsel. The Board of Trustees unanimously selected and appointed Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA & Associates) as the firm to conduct the executive search for a new superintendent.

“As a Board, we understand the importance the community has placed in the selection process for a new superintendent,” said Board President Heidi L. Gallegos.

“The Board is committed to an open process and looks forward to the support and contributions from our parents, staff, students and community. To aid in the process and comprehensive communications of the search, we have created a new webpage under the Board of Education website where updates will be shared,” she said.

“We have called for a special Board meeting this Thursday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. for an initial planning meeting with HYA & Associates where the timeline and next steps will be discussed.”

The meeting will be held in the Board Room, at 1830 S. Nogales Street in Rowland Heights. For more information, visit www.RowlandSchools.org.

Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA & Associates) is the nation’s largest executive search firm serving public school districts. They have successfully completed more than 1,000 searches and utilize research-based and community engagement tools to recruit executives that align to an organization’s vision, mission, values and goals. For more information, visit www.ecragroup.com.

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.”