Chinese Program Celebrates Five Years at Saugus
Five students and a teacher from Saugus High School’s sister school - Gao Xin No. 1 High School - have arrived from X’ian, China. The three Chinese boys and two girls are accompanied by their teacher, Yanjun Wu, who will be on campus all semester helping with the Chinese classes, assisting her students, and visiting classrooms to learn about the U.S. educational system and teaching methods. The students and their teacher will spend one semester at Saugus. Patty Stephenson, World Language Department chair, is at the helm of the Chinese program which is in its fifth year at Saugus. All of the students as well as Mrs. Wu are being hosted by Saugus families.
Student Creativity Directs Robots
Students enrolled in the Robotics Camp at Placerita Junior High School, directed by math teacher Paul Kass, spent an exciting two weeks this summer learning how to build and program Lego-made robots to complete specific missions. Tasks included tossing a ball, pulling various objects and conducting an “open floor activity” in which students creatively program their robots to complete a number of sequential tasks. A typical day at camp included direct instruction, demonstrations, team building activities (such as group water balloon toss games) and collaborative work opportunities. Peer coaching and critiquing are encouraged, and former Placerita students mentor the fifth-eighth grade participants as they design their robots.
Hart District on SCVTV
Information on attendance boundary meetings, school modernization projects, career-oriented Regional Occupational Program classes–it’s all highlighted in the new “Education Today” program currently running daily on SCVTV. The program features Hart District administrators and teachers talking about today’s hot topics in local education. It can be seen on Channel 20 for those with Time Warner Cable, on AT&T U-Verse 99/Santa Clarita, or on the Web at http://www.SCVTV.com. The program changes weekly and features topics of interest to Hart District parents and the community.
Sierra Vista Moves Into New Offices
Students and staff dealing with the impact of modernization construction on the campus of Sierra Vista Junior High can take heart from the beautiful new administration building, which opened just in time for the start of the new school year. A classroom building is scheduled to reopen in early September, and there is a flurry of construction activity on campus as additional classrooms and the campus library are being gutted for modernization.
Parent Communication Gets a Boost
Parent communications got a major boost at Placerita Junior High when the school launched its third year with the SnapGrades online grading program. Parents registered during summer check-in to access the system, which enables parents and teachers to be in constant communication. Teachers update grades periodically, send announcements about upcoming tests and projects, and can e-mail groups or individual parents about progress and concerns. Parents can log in to check grade status, homework assignments and missing work. Parents can also e-mail teachers through SnapGrades for questions or clarification on work assigned. SnapGrades has opened the doors of communication for both teachers and parents, enabling a team effort for student learning. Eddie Carr, one of Placerita’s two technology coordinators, helped parents register for the online service at summer check-in.
Parents register to receive SnapGrades school-to-home communications
as part of Placerita’s summer check-in.
Panel Urges Respect, Safety for All
A panel of counselors, parents of gay children and members of local support groups talked with the Hart High School staff at the year’s first faculty meeting about equitable treatment of adults and students who are lesbian, bi-sexual, gay or transgendered (LBGT). The training is a state mandate, but the panel discussion brought the issue into sharper focus for Hart staff members. The program deals with issues of both LBGT students and adults, including social exclusion and isolation, clinical depression, low productivity and poor morale. The goal is to ensure that LBGT staff and students are safe and respected in the school and Hart District community. Based on the positive reception at Hart High, the district Office of Diversity hopes to schedule a similar panel at other district sites.
Teens Take Advantage of Summer Employment
Some 270 Hart District teens took advantage of the City of Santa Clarita’s Youth Employment Services (YES) program this summer, which offers job training and employment to at-risk, special needs and low-income teens. The program included a job skills workshops where teens learned how to fill out a job application, interviewing techniques and professional work etiquette. Seven teens from the summer session have been hired by their employers at the program’s end. Bowman High School graduate Yesenia Aguilar was one of the guest speakers at the YES award ceremony which concluded this year’s program.
Modernized Classrooms Greet Returning Hart Students
Students and staff at Hart High School were please to find nearly 20 modernized classrooms ready and waiting for them on the first day of school. Contractors and administrators worked hard to get the classrooms up and functioning before teachers and students returned, although some finish work remains. Newly modernized classrooms have up-to-date technology, lighting and storage/preparation space. The “summer sprint” of accelerated construction also saw the school’s southern access road expanded from one lane to two and underground site work done in preparation for pouring foundations on the school’s new science building. Some new restroom facilities are still under construction and some additional classroom buildings have been emptied so modernization can continue.
Program Encourages Summer Reading
Sierra Vista Junior High School took its Summer Reading Program to the community in a joint effort between the junior high school’s library and the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library. The program utilized volunteers in period costume, bringing to life books which Sierra Vista students were required to read over the summer. Danielle Haberman, a former Sierra Vista student currently studying advanced history and drama at Canyon High, dressed in medieval costume to illustrate that period in history for seventh grade students. Carol Hyland, wearing a summer kimono, presented an insightful look into the Japanese culture for eighth grade required reading. A standing-room-only group of some 95 students and parents attended the summer program.
Building Teams Through Towers
Students in Sandy Geyer’s classroom at Bowman High School built more than towers when they participated in a team-building activity to kick off the new school year. Using a bag of marshmallows and 100 spaghetti noodles, student teams pooled their resources to create the highest free-standing tower, which could stand for at least one minute without collapsing. The highest tower of the day was approximately 40 inches high. Students had fun working together and making connections that will serve them throughout the school year.
Viking Football Ranks 25th in State
The season hasn’t even started yet, and the Valencia Vikings are already ranked the number 25 football team in the state by MaxPreps, self-described “America’s Source for High School Sports.” the e-publication ranked 1056 high school football teams in the state for its pre-season poll, and the Vikings were the only team in the Foothill League to make the top 100. Saugus Centurians came in at 108, with Hart Indians following at 226.
AOC Moves Into University Center
Aug. 13 marked a very special back-to-school date for Academy of the Canyons, which moved into its new facilities at College of the Canyons’ University Center in time to celebrate the opening of its 10th year in spacious new facilities. Principal Jill shenberger worked hard to add the “finishing touches” that made opening day successful and a great experience for both students and staff alike. The Hart District’s Learning Post independent study program also is housed in the new facility.
Alliance Director Honored in 40 Under 40 List
Congratulations to Adriana Estrada, executive director of the SCV School & Business Alliance, who is one of 40 young leaders named to the 40 Under 40 list of honorees by the SCV Jaycees. The list celebrates community leaders under 40 years of age, who were selected from a list of 63 nominees. The 40 finalists will be honored at a reception Sept. 17 at the Tournament Players Club.