William S. Hart Union High School District

Santa Clarita, CA

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Archive for February, 2011

Feb. 16, 2011 Vol. XI, No. 12

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Castaic Community Learns About Planned Castaic Area High School
The Hart School District provided up-to-date information on the status of plans to build a high school in Castaic at an information meeting held Feb. 15. District administrators provided an overview of the progress of building the school on the preferred Romero Canyon site and shared plans for instructional, academic, sports and other extra-curricular activities. Flo Lawrence, Castaic Town Council member and chair of the Council’s ad hoc committee for Castaic area high school, provided the welcome. James Gibson, Superintendent of Castaic Union School District acted as the moderator to a panel composed of Robert Challinor, Hart District Superintendent; Thomas Cole, Chief Operations Officer; Bob Vincent, Principal, West Ranch High School and Paul Priesz, Principal, Valencia High School. Nearly 200 local residents attended, some with children in tow who will be future students at the school. Following the presentation, questions from the audience were answered. Projected opening of the school: August, 2014 to 9th graders. For further updates, please sign up for eNotify:

http://www.hartdistrict.org/index.php/community/enotify. (Photo left to right, Flo Lawrence, Thomas Cole, Robert Challinor, James Gibson, Bob Vincent, Paul Priesz.)


Principals and Administrators Participate in Principal for a Day Event
Principals and administrators from throughout the five local school districts participated in the 19th annual Principal for a Day event, sponsored by the SCV Education Foundation. Local business and community leaders, as well as a few involved parents, had the unique opportunity to spend a few hours shadowing a school administrator to learn about the challenges and accomplishments faced at each school today. The purpose of this annual event is to create and enhance partnerships between the community and educators. Funds raised are used for various programs at local traditional public schools, including Student Enrichment Awards for classroom materials requested by teachers, student scholarships and other programs. Following the shadowing portion of the event, all participants and educators gathered at the City of Santa Clarita Activities Center for a luncheon, featuring a panel of all five local district superintendents. (Photo: Superintendents: Top row, left to right, Marc Winger, Newhall School District, Robert Nolet, Sulphur Springs School District. Seated, left to right, Judy Fish, Saugus School District, Robert Challinor, Hart School District, James Gibson, Castaic School District) For more info on this program visit: www.scveducationfoundation.org.


La Mesa Celebrates Chinese New Year 2011 - Year of the Rabbit
La Mesa Junior High students continued to celebrate diversity on campus, by enjoying a special program that taught them about the Chinese New Year, 2011, Year of the Rabbit. Mrs. Maria Chee, a Chinese-American bilingual instructional assistant at La Mesa taught students the many traditions and celebrations that this festivity brings to the Chinese community in the United States. This activity was sponsored by Panda Express, Corp.


Sierra Vista Students Enjoy Special Japanese Tea Ceremony
Madame Fumi Akutagawa, teacher and professional consultant of Japanese culture, performed an interactive Japanese Tea Ceremony at Sierra Vista Junior High, in early February. This marks the 10th year that she has come to Sierra Vista with this program that provides students the opportunity to participate in Japanese traditions that they read about in their history class. Students learn about the culture and enjoy tasting the tea and sweets that are part of the tradition. To celebrate this special visit, Mr. Julian Ely, Information and Culture Advisor of the Japanese Consul of Los Angeles, attended. This event is part of Sierra Vista’s monthly “Brown Bag Presentations,” where once a month during lunch, a guest speaker presents a topic that pertains to curriculum in an entertaining or hands-on way. Lorraine Fulleman is the school’s teacher librarian who coordinates this successful program. “The goal of this program is to enrich the curriculum and encourage library book circulation,” Fulleman said. Seventy-five tickets are given to students by their teacher of the appropriate topic i.e., science, social studies, etc. These students and the staff are invited to attend. Teachers may offer the incentive of extra credit to encourage attendance. Students work hard to be selected as participants in the various presentations each month and look forward to the interactive aspect of the presentations.


West Ranch Music Students Selected for Prestigious Jazz Band
Two West Ranch High School students have been selected as members of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra (SCSBOA) Jazz All-Stars. Rachel Cantrell was chosen to be the piano player in the band, and Brandon Canada has been selected for the second year as the bassist. This band is chosen by a competitive audition process with students from all high schools from Santa Barbara to San Diego eligible to try out. Of the two honor jazz bands sponsored by SCSBOA, this 19-member group is the highest level, and this year 16 different schools will be represented. According to West Ranch jazz director Bob Babko, to be selected as a member of this all-star band is one of the most prestigious honors to which a Southern California high school jazz musician can aspire. The band plays at various venues, including Disneyland and the Grove in Anaheim.


Bowman Students, Teachers and Staff Hold Annual Blood Drive
Sixty Bowman High School students, staff members and Hart District employees donated blood earlier this month for the annual UCLA Blood Drive. Some Bowman students were nervous about donating blood for their first time, but the knowledge that their donation could save lives helped them to overcome their fears. A special thank you goes out to all the Bowman students who donated, for making this the highest percentage of students who have ever donated blood for UCLA Medical. Student Wendy Escalante was hesitant to donate but was determined to overcome her fears. “I know that my donation will save lives and even though I’m scared, I know that this is something I should do.” Students who asked the medical personnel where their blood would go were gratified by the answers. Their blood will go to anyone who needs it: from preemie babies needing heart transplants to adults needing full blood transfusions and to cancer patients. Many students had such a positive experience that they are committed to donating blood more regularly. “This is my first time donating blood, and it went so well that I will definitely donate again,” said student Jonathan Garcia.


Rio Norte Special Guest Teaches Students the Art of Poetry Writing
The College of the Canyons SCV Arts Education Consortium Outreach are partners and members of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partnership, which assists partnership teams from local school districts in developing arts education programs, provides information, and classroom demonstrations as part of the ongoing partnership program. As part of this arts education program, Glenis Gale Redmond author of Writing: Poetry Off The Page visited an eighth grade classroom at Rio Norte Junior High School and challenged students to complete a poem full of imagery, rhythm, and feelings. Together Ms. Redmond and students brainstormed such subjects as favorite animal, favorite gem, favorite bird, favorite item in nature outside of the animal kingdom and favorite flower to create a poem. Students then went on to create their own personal poems entitled “Daybreak Poem.”


Career Visions Offers “Reaching Hire” Program to Special Ed Students
Hart District’s Career Visions announced plans to continue offering the successful Reaching Hire employment readiness program to any special education student seeking a community-based work experience. Each of the two sessions currently planned will specifically target the steps and methods involved with finding a job, working successfully, and retaining employment. In addition the workshop offers participants a “Certificate of Employment Readiness” which can be submitted with job applications to give participants an edge in the selection process. Instructor and program founder Lesa Evans is a staffing/recruiting professional with more than 15 years of recruiting experience from small entrepreneurial shops to large corporate enterprises including Disney, ABC, Wells Fargo, Citysearch, Safeway Stores, Countrywide/Bank of America and Pixar. Visit www.cvworks.org, or call the Career Visions Office at 661-259-0033 X 525 for details.


Sierra Vista Teachers Treated to Special ASB Brunch and Activities
Sierra Vista Junior High ASB students hosted a brunch activity that focused on teacher participation, in January. All teachers were invited to come out and show their school spirit and promote their academic subjects during a relay obstacle race and a look-a-like contest. In the race, teachers had to balance a book from their subject on their heads while hopping through tires and weaving in and out of cones. In the look-a-like contest, students dressed like teachers to see who could look the most alike, which fostered stronger student-teacher relationships. The activities definitely brought the school spirit out in all the students and teachers who participated.


“Jewel Rio” Designed by Rio Norte Students an Instant Success
The Visual Arts program at Rio Norte Junior High is creating and designing jewelry and it is being branded as “Jewel Rio.” A special line of earrings and bracelets were designed and created by Megan Schneider for Valentine’s Day. The sale took place as a fundraiser from February 9th through the 11th for the Visual Arts department at Rio Norte and was an instant success. Students getting involved with this aspect of the Visual Arts program will receive professional quality training in designing and creating high-end fashionable craft jewelry.


West Ranch Welcomes Speaker Keith Hawkins
Nationally known student speaker Keith Hawkins came to West Ranch to speak to students and parents about the challenges that students face in their lives. He spoke to students about comparing themselves to other peers and “knowing who you are.” One students commented that “This is the best day ever at West Ranch.” Later that night Keith spoke to over 100 West Ranch parents about building stronger relations with their teens.


Students Set Sights on LA Marathon XXVI
Nineteen students successfully completed the 13.1 mile Surf City Half Marathon on Super Bowl Sunday as a second qualifying stage in their quest to take on the 26.2 mile “Stadium to Sea” Los Angeles Marathon slated for March 20, 2011. Now, more than 18 weeks and 250 miles into their training season, students participating in Students Off And Running (SOAR), a Santa Clarita Track Club program, have transformed into running machines. Recent results continued to lend testament to the power of the SOAR program, with each of the team’s participants placing high in their respective divisions in a field of more than 20,000 runners. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned high school athletes; the program seeks any high school aged student who is willing to commit to a truly life changing experience. Join the team Saturday March 5th as the Santa Clarita Track Club and Bridgeport Marketplace present “Mardi Gras Madness” at Bridgeport Marketplace in Santa Clarita. This flat, fast, fun 5K and Mini 1K will be a family favorite! All proceeds from the event benefit the students of SOAR. Visit www.soar-sc.org or contact Event Chair Alan Bingham at 661-755-6197 for more information. (Photos: Sequoia Charter’s Alex Mendez kicks in the afterburners at Mile 12. AOC’s Carolyn Thio and Jazmin Gonzalez celebrate victory with the finish line in sight.)


La Mesa Students Experience a Powerful Assembly with a Strong Message
La Mesa Junior High students and faculty witnessed the incredible presentation of Teen Truth Live. Teen Truth Live is a unique student assembly that tackles issues such as bullying, school violence, drugs and alcohol and body image and self esteem. The program is an interactive multi-media assembly experience that combines motivational presentations with a 22-minute film that was created by students. The award winning film, focuses on social issues that can lead to serious consequences while the presentation challenges students to think about how their reactions to these issues impact the lives of those around them. Using storytelling, humor, real world examples and audience participation, Teen Truth Live teaches students to identify the different forms of bullying, understand how bullying can lead to serious consequences, and motivate students to stop bullying from happening in their school.