Bowman Celebrates Artists, Poets
Bowman High School’s best and brightest artists and poets took center stage at the 18th annual Day of the Artist and Poetry Festival to showcase their hard work and creative talents. Bowman has a strong history of promoting the arts and writing as a means for students to process their feelings and to better connect with their educational process. The day included a gallery of student artwork and photographs, student poetry reading and musical performance by student musicians who performed their own original songs during the event. All student art, photography and writing can be enjoyed on Bowman’s Web page at www.hartdistrict.org/bowman.
Hart District Saluted for Mix It Up Day Activities
The Teaching Tolerance organization has tabbed all of the Hart District schools as model programs for their Mix It Up Day activities. Model programs embrace respect and inclusiveness as core values of their learning communities. In order to be named a model program, a school must organize a Mix It Up at Lunch day and complete at least two additional projects that promote collaboration across social boundaries. Out of more than 2800 schools which conduct Mix It Up Day activities, only 29 are awarded the model program designation and 15 of those are Hart District schools. The list is currently posted at http://www.tolerance.org/mix-it-up/model-schools, where a broader description of model programs is expected to be published in September.
Architectural Drafting Students Win Awards
Eighteen students in the Architectural Drafting career pathway at Valencia High School got some practical experience and competed for awards while designing a retirement home in Washington State for Terri Seifried, Valencia’s culinary arts teacher. The students created a floor plan, elevation and section for a raised foundation, which were judged by six professionals from the local community and College of the Canyons. Maddy Badaracco earned first place and the Owner’s Choice Award, followed by Logan Smith in second place and Kyle Cunliffe in third.
Saugus High Reaches Out to Future Students
Students at Highlands Elementary School spent months reading, writing, editing, revising and finally “publishing” their own books. They were then able to share their finished products on Young Author’s Day with relatives, friends and students visiting from Saugus High School’s Yes I Can and ASB classes. Each Saugus High student mentored a small group of elementary students–listening, asking questions and guiding the discussion as the books were read aloud. “It was a trip down memory lane for me,” said ASB President Jordan Morgenstern, “as I remember creating my own book for Young Author’s Day 10 years ago.” Saugus Principal Bill Bolde also made a surprise visit, delighting students in several classes by reading one of his daughter’s favorite books aloud.
District Teams Support Campaign to Fight Cancer
A record seven teams from Hart District schools participated in the American Cancer Society’s SCV Relay For Life, raising more than $11,500 to help fight cancer in all of its forms. Teams which participated in the 24-hour walking event included Saugus High School Girls Basketball and ASB, West Ranch Wildcats Against Cancer, Placerita Junior High ASB and Robotics teams, Canyon Cancer Crushers from Canyon High School, and Golden Valley High School. Both Saugus and Placerita had two teams participating. In addition to advance fund-raising, team members sold items and offered games, prize drawings and competitions at their Relay booths to help raise additional funds.
Wildcats Against Cancer Earn $5,000-Plus
Wildcats Against Cancer from West Ranch High School earned a silver award from the American Cancer Society for the team’s fund-raising efforts in this Year’s Relay For life. The team raised $4,491 even before the actual Relay weekend, then earned an additional $660 at their Relay booth, pushing their total to over $5,000. During Relay, West Ranch students held birthday parties at their booth, each with a different theme. Children were able to decorate a craft, get a goody bag and cupcake and get their faces painted–all for a donation, of course! The team also earned second place for their Fight Back message.
Placerita Organizes Two Relay Teams
Placerita Junior High School students in both ASB student government and Robotics participated in Relay For Life, an overnight fundraising effort benefiting the American Cancer Society. Together the two groups of students raised over $800 through the sale of tie-dye T-shirts, bracelets and games. Robotics facilitated a Master Builder’s Challenge in which attendees used Legos to build models based on a theme. There were over 4,000 participants this year and Placerita was the only junior high in the district to participate in this event. Chaperones Paul Kass and Michele Tait were excited to observe the support of Placerita students families, and staff. Next year, they hope to raise money in the thousands.
Canyon Choirs Perform in Sacramento
The Canyon High School choirs recently were selected to perform at the California Music Educators Convention in Sacramento. Part of the choirs’ presentation included Director Mary Purdy speaking on the subject of “How to Build a Comprehensive Choral Program.” Principal Bob Messina and Choir President Adam Alonsagay also addressed the crowd. While in Sacramento, the choirs sang in the rotunda of the Capitol building to the delight of visitors and government workers.
Concert Raises Excitement for Summer Meltdown
Students at Bowman High School got a sneak preview of this year’s Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness Concert when the local Kounterfeit Change band performed in the Bowman quad. Students and staff enjoyed listening to the reggae beats and taking pictures with the band, who also signed autographs. The Summer Meltdown Concert, held at Golden Valley High School in early May, unites students from all Hart District campuses to support a common cause.
AOC Shows Off New Campus at Open House
Many parents got their first look at Academy of the Canyons’ modern new campus in the University Center at College of the Canyons when they attended the school’s annual Open House this spring. In addition to touring the facility, guests were able to view student work and achievements accomplished through the year. The evening included poetry readings, lab demonstrations, a Virtual Enterprise “trade fair,” student debates, “student teachers,” games, videos and exhibitions of student work.
Rio Norte Musicians Receive High Ratings
Band musicians from Rio Norte Junior High School have completed a banner year, earning high ratings for group performances as well as for individual band members. Rio Norte’s intermediate and advanced bands participated in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association’s festival at West Ranch High School, performing three selections each and trying their hand at some musical sight reading. Even though the intermediate band did not compete for a score, they played well and received excellent reviews. Their sight reading earned a superior rating. The advanced band earned superior ratings in all areas of their performance as well as their sight reading. Eight Rio Norte band members also earned superior ratings when they participated in a subsequent solo and ensemble festival sponsored by SCSBOA.
‘Yes I Can’ Students Volunteer at Carousel Ranch
The Yes I Can class at Saugus High School teaches interested students to work together to ensure that young people with disabilities are included in recreational and social activities within the community. Students participating in the program recently volunteered at Carousel Ranch, a facility that offers therapeutic horseback riding for physically and mentally disabled children and adults. Students helped with cleaning the stalls, grooming the horses and serving as “spotters” in the horse arena during the therapy sessions. Teacher Joel Stehle said the day allowed the students to see first-hand how different ways of teaching can be effective when working with a variety of students with disabilities.
Students Receive Improved Attendance Awards
The Hart District’s Child Welfare and Attendance Department has awarded three incentives for improved attendance this school year. Movie ticket incentives were presented to Deven Simpson, Sierra Vista Junior High; Sean Perry, Arroyo Seco Junior High; and Terrence Carlton, Golden Valley High School. Department personnel use their expertise and resources to diagnose the factors that lead to absenteeism and collaborate with the student and family to remedy the problem. Movie ticket incentives are just one resource in the department’s tool box.
Bowman Principal Presents Dropout Strategies
Robin Geissler, principal of Bowman High School and past president of the Education Council for the Association of California School Administrators, was in Sacramento recently as a featured presenter during the Assembly Select Committee on Lowering California’s High School Dropout Rates. Geissler’s work at Bowman was shared with the Assembly to exemplify strategies to prevent at-risk students from dropping out. She also told lawmakers of programs at Bowman which invite students to return to school when they have recently dropped out or even thought of dropping out. Bowman, the Hart District’s continuation high school, has a 95 percent graduation rate.
Students Visit Convalescent Hospital
Members of the SiViCS service club at Sierra Vista Junior High School hosted their annual Spring Fling at Santa Clarita Convalescent Hospital as the group’s last community service activity of this school year. Students sang, danced, played musical instruments and read poetry to the patients. Afterward, the students handed out homemade cards and went room by room talking to the patients who were unable to attend the performance. Some of the students had never been to a convalescent hospital, and after the visit the group talked about how good it felt to bring some happiness into the lives of others.
Wildcat to Attend Youth Leadership Forum
Colin Danahy, a student in the Asperger’s program at West Ranch High School, has been accepted to the California Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities. Colin is one of 60 students in the state who will attend a five day leadership camp in Sacramento this summer that will cover resource agencies and creating a Personal Leadership Plan to help students reach their educational and career goals. Participants also will have an opportunity to interact with state and national leaders.