Sophomores and juniors: Bring your PSAT score report to SCUSD’s free workshop and learn how you can use the results to capitalize on your skills and support your areas of weakness to better prepare for the SAT.
Through My College Quickstart, a free online planning tool, students and families will receive suggestions for ways to improve test performance, as well as other online college and career planning tools.
Interpretation services will be available. Please call Stephanie Shaughnessy with any questions at (916) 643-2348.
Attention students: Register today for the annual College — Making it Happen fair, to be held this year on March 29 at Sacramento State.
Aimed at fifth through ninth graders and their parents, the fair is designed to communicate the importance of early academic and financial planning to assure that all children have choices after high school.
Alice Birney Waldorf Inspired eK-8 School held its fourth annual Knit-A-Thon Cast Off Event on January 25 with live music performances by teachers and students.
The Knit-A-Thon is a key Alice Birney fundraiser that directly supports the children’s handwork program. All grade levels and family members can contribute squares that are turned into blankets for children through Project Linus.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 from 5 – 6 pm, 136 musicians gathered at Fern Bacon Middle School to fill the air with music. The Band students from Fern Bacon Middle School, Leonardo da Vinci K-8 School and guests from Rosa Parks Middle School gathered together to perform for friends and family at their first performance of the year, their Winter Concert. Holiday classics, like “Good King Wenceslas” and “Jingle Bells” were played along with music to celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Students also remembered and dedicated a song to our beloved Fern Bacon/Rosa Parks Drum-Line Instructor, Ms. Katoya Moore, who passed away in the Fall. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” the same can be said about a Band performance: it takes the support of our principals, families and schools for such an event to take place. Kudos to all of the talented musicians and those who support them every day!
The Youth Development Support Services Department in conjunction with Beutler Heating and Air is sponsoring a contest for youth grades kinder – 12th challenging them to come up with a unique and creative way to conserve and keep water clean. The contest is open to all youth attending a SCUSD school. Please see attached flyer for more information.
Cal Middle School’s annual Spring Thing, which takes place on Saturday, March 1, from 6:30 – 9:30 PM at the Congregation B’Nai Israel, features small plates by Sacramento chefs, tasting of local wines, beers and other beverages.
Highlights of the event include a silent auction, Wall of Wine, balloon popper prizes and student artwork for sale. Proceeds go to supporting programs at Cal Middle School. Tickets are available through calmiddle.com or on the Cal Middle Spring Thing Facebook page!
Open Enrollment is an opportunity for families that live within SCUSD boundaries to apply for spots in schools beyond their neighborhood school or to apply for enrollment in specialty programs and schools.
The Open Enrollment period for children who will be in kindergarten through sixth grade next fall began Tuesday and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 7.
The Open Enrollment period for students who will be in grades 7-12 next fall is already closed.
Last year Governor Brown announced the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), a new formula for determining the level of state funding provided to districts across California. The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is LCFF’s vehicle for transparency and engagement. It is the way that school districts are expected to share data, needs, actions and anticipated outcomes that guide the use of available funding. At its core, the LCAP is designed to ensure that everyone has a voice in determining how funds can best support students.
I Got Caught Attending School is a joint effort with SCUSD, KSFM 102.5, and Natomas Walmart to increase attendance rates in our elementary schools. This month, students at Tahoe and Harkness were “caught” attending school! Congratulations!
Phoebe Hearst Elementary School teachers and staff surprised students and parents with a spirited “flash mob” dance rendition of “Holding on for a Hero” from the “Footloose” soundtrack during the school’s morning announcements today.
The performance was orchestrated to promote Phoebe Hearst’s upcoming Air Rock Junior show on April 4.
In her Kevin Bacon sunglasses and “Footloose”-inspired plaid lumberjack shirt, Principal Andrea Egan led teachers through the dance routine, which featured some staff in super hero costumes “battling” the school’s dragon mascot.
The Sacramento Cash for College Coalition is sponsoring a variety of workshops in the region for seniors who need information on Cal Grants, FAFSA, California’s new Middle Class Scholarship, The Dream Act and more.
Students at Harkness Elementary School made presentations and engaged in discussions about what they learned this fall at the school’s Annual Winter Showcase.
Topics studied include: The world of disabilities; the human body; cells; and survival as it related to California Missions.
During the evening guests were treated to a lively debate between students representing missionaries and Native Americans. Guests also enjoyed presentations and discussions on other topics. Fifth grade students created T-shirts to serve as a visual aide to their presentations.
Mingle with Sutter Middle School parents, faculty and staff at the Sutter Miners Social from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on February 8 in McKinley Park’s Clunie Clubhouse.
This 21-and-over event will feature a silent auction and food from local eateries. Funds raised will go towards updating the school’s technology lab and building a much-needed shade/rain structure over the tables in the campus quad.
Open Enrollment is an opportunity for families that live within SCUSD boundaries to apply for spots in schools beyond their neighborhood school or to apply for enrollment in specialty programs and schools.
SCUSD will be offering two Open Enrollment periods starting in January 2014. One for students who will be entering middle and high school (Grades 7 – 12) next fall and one for students who will be entering an elementary school (Grades K- 6) school next fall.
Click here for more information about Open Enrollment.
Susan B. Anthony Elementary School students went home for Winter Break with holiday presents courtesy the emergency staff of South Sacramento’s Kaiser Permanente, the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization and Arms of Love World Ministry.
In addition, members of the Asian Real Estate Association of America and Sacramento City Councilman Darrel Fong’s staff delivered presents to the homes of Susan B. Anthony families following the December 20 event at school.
After a highly competitive selection process that included written, oral and physical testing, Hiram Johnson High School senior Jacob Pendleton was selected to receive one of three full-ride Navy/Marine college scholarships.
Pendleton is an outstanding student in Hiram Johnson’s Law Academy, who maintains a 4.0 grade point average. Pendleton was also a starting player on the football team, cross country team, wrestling team and captain of the swim team.
Two Matsuyama students, Julianne Perrin and Cole Rodriguez represented SCUSD and Matsuyama in the California Music Educator’s Association 2014 Capitol Section Sixth Grade Honor Band on Saturday, January 11.
The concert was held at Sheldon High School and featured more than 100 sixth grade students from districts as far away as South Lake Tahoe. Julianne played the clarinet and Cole played the trumpet in the band. Both students are members of the Matsuyama band, taught after school by fifth grade teacher, Lynnette Chertorisky.
Students, staff and parents at Crocker/Riverside Elementary School had a busy holiday season.
The Crocker/Riverside Singing Cubs were invited to perform at the state Capitol as part of the holiday music series. The choir, which includes more than 50 children under the direction of Chigusa Saotome, sang in the rotunda on Friday, December 20.
For KCRA 3’s Food Drive, the school collected nearly one ton of food.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg held a press conference on Tuesday at H.W. Harkness Elementary School, giving the school a chance to highlight its Early Kinder program.
Harkness Principal Dr. Tiffany Smith-Simmons led a tour of the Early Kinder classroom and teacher Michelle Cazel-Mayo spoke with reporters about the value of the transitional program for young learners.
I Got Caught Attending School is a joint effort with SCUSD, KSFM 102.5, and Natomas Walmart to increase attendance rates in our elementary schools. Last month, students at Father Keith B. Kenny and Ethel I. Baker were “caught” attending school! Congratulations!
Members of Sacramento State’s Alpha Pi Sigma sorority visited the STEM Club at Fern Bacon Middle School last month to discuss college life.
STEM Club is an after-school club for girls aimed at inspiring more young women to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professions.
Alpha Pi Sigma is a sorority focused on academics, giving back to the community and helping students similar to them. All of Alpha Pi Sigma students who visited Fern Bacon were Latinas from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many said they never thought they would go to college.
The Get Schooled Foundation announced last month that Will C. Wood Middle School is the Sacramento regional winner of the Get Schooled Graduate for Más Attendance Challenge.
As a prize, the school will receive a $5,000 award and a school-wide celebration event.
Get Schooled is a national initiative in partnership with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. The Graduate for Más Attendance Challenge is aimed at helping schools improve attendance, reducing drop-outs and encouraging students to go to college.
When schools come together to benefit children, amazing things can happen!
Thanks to the efforts of Sutterville Elementary Principal Lori Aoun, Harkness Elementary Principal Dr. Tiffany Smith-Simmons, Sutterville fourth grade teacher Cindy Bertacchi and Harkness fourth grade teacher Shaun Peters, students recently enjoyed a field trip to Sonoma State Historic Park to explore both Mission San Francisco Solano and the former home of General Mariano Vallejo.
The experience is expected to help students who will be participating in Harkness’ upcoming Project Showcase.
Students throughout SCUSD will be able to prepare for the upcoming state online field test on new laptops purchased with Measure Q bond funds and federal E-Rate funds.
So far, 4,300 Apple MacBook Air laptops have been distributed to SCUSD schools, said Terry Kritsepis, Assistant Superintendent of Information Education Technology. The laptops are housed in secure carts that can be rolled into classrooms when needed. The carts are also charging stations.
Another 49 carts containing another 1,800 laptops will be distributed to schools next month, Kritsepis said.
The California Department of Education notified K-12 districts last month that it is expanding an upcoming field test of modern, computer-based student assessments aligned with the new Common Core State Standards.
All students in grades 3 through 8 will be eligible to take the Cal-MAPP online field tests this spring, according to CDE. The 3.5-hour tests combine math and English language arts questions.
The holidays are a busy time of year – especially for vandals, thieves and arsonists looking to take advantage of empty school campuses.
SCUSD is asking the community for help in keeping schools safe and secure over winter break (December 23 through January 3 – school resumes Monday, January 6).
“Most of our schools are surrounded by homes, and we need those neighbors to join us in protecting these valuable and sometimes vulnerable community centers,” said Sacramento Police Lt. Lisa Hinz, who heads SCUSD security services.
SCUSD will hold a third public forum to discuss creation of a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) — a state requirement tied to new funding rules — on January 22 at the Serna Center.
During the 2014-15 budget cycle, SCUSD — like all public K-12 districts — is required to create a plan that shows how spending is aligned to the state’s eight priorities for public education and what measurements SCUSD will use to hold itself accountable for addressing those priorities.
Michael Holt is a former SCUSD “Teacher of the Year” and Urban Scholar at Harvard University, which he attended on a full tuition scholarship. He now serves as Assistant Principal at Albert Einstein Middle School. His answers below kick off a new occasional feature “10 Questions With…”
Name: Michael Holt
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Education: BA, History, UC Davis, 1994; Cred., UC Davis, 1995; Ed. M., School Leadership, Harvard, 2010
Students at Caleb Greenwood International Baccalaureate (IB) Candidate School commemorated Human Rights Day on December 10 by creating a quilt expressing values such as fairness, honesty and respect.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 10 as Human Rights Day in 1950 to bring to the attention to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written after World War II to become the standard of achievement for all people and nations.
Thanks to the Sacramento District Dental Society, SCUDS’s Youth & Family Resource Centers and school nurses, 5,020 students received preventative dental screenings in the months of October and November.
Of those students, 1,536 received individual, targeted follow-up contact regarding high-priority oral health issues along with references to dental health services and insurance enrollment as needed.
To get ready for the upcoming Student Educational Video Awards contest sponsored by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, students in Fern Bacon Middle School’s media class visited the set of News 10’s Sac & Co. show.
The visit was hosted by News 10’s Nick Monacelli, who discussed filming and editing. After the training with Monacelli, students were visited by News 10 anchors Cristina Mendonsa and Dale Schornack.
Ethel I. Baker Elementary School students in grades 4-6 recently were treated to a performance of “Peace Signs,” part of a bullying prevention assembly sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.
The interactive drama helps children learn about conflict resolution and how to be empathetic towards others.
This program provided students with:
• A conflict resolution model
• Skills to respond to bullying
• Demonstrations of empathy and respect for others
• Information about how to seek help from trusted adults when faced with bullying and violence
About 185 SCUSD students participated last week in physical fitness and team-building sessions instructed by a team of elite Navy SEALs from a training base in Coronado near San Diego.
The students participated in several physical drills that built confidence, team work and character. They were tested to a point where they learned to depend on each other to obtain a successful environment and achieve completion of the task at hand.
West Campus High School’s Class of 2014 partnered with the non-profit organization Alpha K9 to train service dogs for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Participating seniors were assigned dogs compatible with their lifestyles and made the dogs a part of their families for eight weeks. Training for the dogs and the students was held three times weekly.
The dogs that were provided were from shelters throughout the Sacramento area.
If you would like to make a donation to Alpha K9, call (916) 400-4337.
Hiram Johnson High School held a Challenge Day program on Thursday for 125 students.
Challenge Day is designed to sensitize students to issues related to oppression with particular emphasis on ending bullying, harassment, racism and homophobia.
Through a combination of fun, team-building activities for the larger group and intensely personal sharing exercises in small “family” discussion groups, Hiram Johnson students built connections with each other and with the nearly 30 adults that supported the event.
Please join us as we engage in dialogue regarding SCUSD’s Strategic Plan 2010-2014, specifically looking at Pillar 1: Career and College Ready Students which states:
Provide students with a relevant, rigorous and well-rounded education that includes 21st Century career exploration, visual and performing arts and that meets four-year College and university requirements.
Young artists from George Washington Carver School of Arts and Science were honored Tuesday by the California Lottery, which will display Carver student work in its headquarters north of downtown.
Lottery Director Paula LaBrie awarded the artists with certificates of appreciation. Advanced Placement (AP) Art students submitted pencil drawings and pen and ink drawings. Additionally, the display includes pin-hole cameras made from paint cans. Displayed are architectural photos from around the campus.
On November 6, SCUSD hosted its first meeting to discuss the development of a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), a requirement of California’s new school funding law. The LCAP is aimed at helping districts around the state review needs and set priorities moving forward.
The next LCAP Advisory Committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 16, at the Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave. (Please note that this meeting was originally scheduled for December 10 but has been changed due to a scheduling conflict).
Students from Albert Einstein Middle School participated in the Sacramento Area Science Project’s “Dinner with a Scientist” on Tuesday, December 3.
The students gained insight into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers and college pathways. Einstein students conversed during dinner with Dr. Kathleen Reynolds, a marine ecologist from UC Davis.
Later, they enjoyed dessert while talking to a pediatrician. Their GATE Science teacher Judy Caccamo was proud and impressed with the level of engagement shown by the young women.
I Got Caught Attending School is a joint effort with SCUSD, KSFM 102.5, and Natomas Walmart to increase attendance rates in our elementary schools. So far elementary students from Pacific, Theodore Judah, Parkway, Rosa Parks, John Still, Hollywood Park, Golden Empire and James Marshall have been caught!
A committee charged with making recommendations to the Board of Education on the disposition of seven closed elementary schools will hear proposals for the sites at its meeting on Thursday (December 5) at the Serna Center.
Sacramento City Councilman Steve Cohn visited fourth graders at Caleb Greenwood last month to talk about the role of local government.
The fourth graders’ current International Baccalaureate unit is focused on how societies organize through systems of government. Students had many thoughtful questions for Cohn about city issues and how various government systems operate at the local level compared to the state and federal levels.
Thanks to the hard work of dedicated teachers, parents and tournament volunteers, the year is off to a great start for SCUSD schools participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL), a robotics program for grades 5 through 8.
Last year, the district fielded seven FLL teams. This year, there are 17.
Across the Sacramento City Unified School District, students and staff are pitching in to help both victims of the typhoon in the Philippines and less fortunate families at home.
For example, in just four days students at California Middle School raised $550 for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The money will be donated to the Red Cross.
At nearby C.K. McClatchy High School, the Associated Student Body voted to give a $1,500 award won in a distracted driving awareness contest to typhoon relief efforts. The ASB’s ultimate goal is to raise $5,000 for the Philippines.
SCUSD was honored recently with a Leadership Award at the Green California Schools Summit in Pasadena. The award is in recognition of the district’s achievements in green building and energy efficiency. The awards were established by the Summit’s Advisory Board to honor individuals and school districts on the leading edge of school sustainability.
A committee charged with making recommendations to the Board of Education on the disposition of seven closed elementary schools will hear proposals for the sites at its meeting on Thursday (December 5) at the Serna Center.
The 7-11 Committee, so named because state law directs such groups to have between seven and 11 members representing specific constituencies, has been meeting weekly since September to learn about the sites, neighborhood needs and concerns and community priorities.
Infinite Campus, a state-of-the-art student information system used by more than 2,000 school districts in 43 states, will replace Zangle this spring, greatly improving SCUSD’s data collection, storage and management services.
Parents and students who currently use Zangle to check attendance and track grades will be informed of an Infinite Campus registration process in coming weeks.
The Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education voted 5-2 on November 21 to appoint former teacher and principal Sara Noguchi, Ed.D., as interim superintendent and to begin the process of finding a permanent replacement for outgoing Superintendent Jonathan Raymond.
Superintendent Raymond announced last month that he will be leaving his post as of December 31 to return to his native Boston, where he plans to spend more time with his immediate and extended family.
Sacramento City Unified School District is applying for 21st Century High School ASSETs/21st Century Community Learning Centers Elementary and Middle/Junior High Students Cohort 9 Fiscal Year 2014-15 grants.
21st Century Community Learning Centers Program provides funding for five years to establish or expand before- and after-school programs that provide disadvantaged kindergarten through 12th-grade students with academic enrichment opportunities and supportive services to help the students meet state and local standards in core content areas.
Eight Sacramento New Technology High School students in teacher Christine Baker’s English class performed a scene from William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” at the Vanderhoef Studio Theater (part of UC Davis’ Mondavi Center) on November 19.
Baker was one of 12 area English and drama teachers who participated in the 2013 Globe Education Academy, a professional development opportunity provided by UC Davis, the Los Rios Community College District and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England.
Albert Einstein Middle School hosted its Medieval Faire on the Friday before Thanksgiving break to allow students to explore and discover the perils and tribulations of the Middle Ages.
Teachers and students participated in “jousting,” “sheep” tossing, sack races and a costume contest. There was an art area, live performances and a place for teachers to be placed in stocks and pummeled with pudding.
SCUSD schools will be closed from Monday, November 25 through Friday, November 29.
All campuses will be locked and alarmed during the break, and all security cameras will be monitored. If you see suspicious activity at a school during this time, please call the Sacramento Police Department at 264-5471. Residents outside city boundaries should call the county Sheriff’s Department at 874-5115. School security can also be called 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 643-7444.
Three referees from the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) read to sixth-grade students at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School on November 13, part of the group’s new “Time Out for Reading” program.
Time Out is a mentoring program and joint partnership between Scholastic Inc. and the NBRA. Referees from the NBRA commit one hour of their time, once a month, to read to sixth-grade students in NBA cities.The program is designed to deepen literacy and to instill a love of reading in students.
Juniors from Sacramento New Technology High School wrote historical fiction stories set during the time of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. The stories were an assignment for American History/English 11.
The stories were written in groups and a few of the teams illustrated their text. The stories highlighted trials and tribulations of their fictional characters as a way to learn about the time period.
The unit culminated with a reception at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library where the top six stories will be on display for the next month.
Staff from the Institute of Writing and Thinking at Bard College will present three winter workshops for teachers on January 6 and 7.
The workshops will provide teachers an opportunity to write as a student, think as a learner and plan as a teacher. Participants will leave with lesson plans and ideas that translate into classroom work.
The 2013-14 school year is the first official year of the Sacramento City Unified Volleyball League for Middle Schools.
Seven middle schools across the district participated in the league and championship tournament this year, including California, Albert Einstein, John Still, Kit Carson, Rosa Parks, Sutter and Will C. Wood.
The championship tournament took place on October 26 at Albert Einstein. No.1 seeded Sutter team defeated the No. 8 seeded Kit Carson team to win.
SCUSD middle and high schools are hosting open houses, visitation days and campus tours for families to learn about our many options for college- and career-bound ‘tweens and teens.
Tours and “shadow days” are a great way to get to know a campus before Open Enrollment begins. For students who will be in middle school or high school next year (2014-15), Open Enrollment starts on Monday, January 27 and runs through February 11.
Camellia Basic School celebrated Red Ribbon Week (October 23-31) with themed spirit days and assemblies focused on healthy living, making good choices, good nutrition and goal-setting.
The week culminated in a campus visit by a cadre of superheroes from the faculty. Each teacher wore a letter from their name on their cape (Robert Lundstorm, Lisa Guzzi, Diane Hocking, Julie Walters and Liz Nakagawa).
Batman also made a surprise visit, showing up on the roof.
John F. Kennedy High School recently won $3,000 in the 2013 “Got Milk? Breakfast Challenge.”
Each fall, students at SCUSD’s comprehensive high schools engage in a friendly competition to see which school can increase breakfast participation on campus the most.
Kennedy increased breakfast consumption by a whopping 80 percent this year. Winning schools typically continue to have more breakfast consumers as a result of the competition, according to SCUSD’s Nutrition Services.
National Bullying Prevention Month may have ended, but SCUSD’s work to make schools safer and healthier places for students to learn continues.
October saw a flurry of activities, from an anti-bullying rally at the Capitol to staff and parent training workshops at schools. As part of Ethel Phillips Elementary’s anti-bullying efforts, students created a unity chain that reached around the entire cafeteria.
Bullying Prevention Specialist Jessica Wharton also was a panelist at the second annual BRAVE Society “See Something, Say Something” conference.
Ninth-grade students at Sacramento New Technology High School presented their storytelling projects to friends and family at an after-school showcase on October 29.
The theme of the first semester in New Tech’s English 9/Current Global Issues course is empathy. Students examined this topic through reading Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the major lesson of which revolves around empathy and the ability to “climb into someone’s skin and walk around in it.”
Regional Transit is asking students to explore the significant role public transportation has played in the civil rights movement by entering RT’s sixth annual art and poetry contest.
The “I Am the Dream and the Dream is Now” contest is open to students in grades 3 through 12 who attend a school in RT’s service area. Twelve winners will be selected, and each will receive a $25 bookstore gift card and “The Rosa Parks Story” on DVD.
This fall, SCUSD is busy gearing up to meet the accountability and planning goals set for all California K-12 districts by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), passed into law in June. These goals are aimed at ensuring that affected stakeholders participate in setting educational priorities aligned to resources so all students receive the quality education they deserve.
The Luther Burbank High School Navy JROTC cadets had the honor of providing a Color Guard for the current Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, in San Francisco on September 25.
Additionally, the cadets mingled with General Tony Zinni (USMC Retired), and former Secretary of State George Shultz.
The speaker series was presented by the Marines’ Memorial Association in partnership with the Commonwealth Club of California. Admiral Greenert spoke to an audience of approximately 400 guests at the Marines Memorial Club.
Students at Pacific Elementary and Theodore Judah Elementary were surprised by KSFM 102.5 staff on Tuesday who awarded the children certificates and T-shirts from the “I Got Caught Attending School” campaign.
The campaign is a partnership between SCUSD and the radio station to honor students who are working toward a goal of excellent attendance.
Four schools will be visited each month with three winning students chosen at each site. Students will get a certificate, T-shirt and a group photo with district and school site staff and radio station personalities.
Sacramento New Technology High School and Rosemont High School represented SCUSD in the 2013 El Dorado California Forestry Challenge competition October 23-26.
Ten students from New Tech participated in the competition, coached by teachers Senna Davis and Christine Baker.
Juniors Nohely Alcala, Natalie Perez, Oscar Cruz, Sarah Rafanan and Deseray Hendrickson won second place in the competition. Juniors Tracie Indrieri, Joelin Nordine, Fatima Abdel-Gwad, Lidia Lara Del Rio and sophomore Chase Miranda placed eighth out of 15 teams.
The Harkness Elementary School PTO helped bring an impromptu pumpkin patch to the campus recently.
The PTO enlisted the aid of Jim Durst of Durst Organic Growers, SCUSD Grounds Specialist Tommy Greer and volunteers Bruce Brummet and Rudy Smith to turn a portion of the Harkness Elementary School campus into a pumpkin patch complete with scarecrows and bails of hay.
Every student was able to take home one of the 450 pumpkins donated by Durst Organic Growers.
The new Rosa Parks K-8 School and its Youth & Family Resource Center hosted a first-ever Family Math Night on October 22.
Fun and engaging math games for all ages were provided by Adult Education. Families played with shapes and numbers through games, puzzles and math challenges, finding new and inventive ways math affects life.
After an hour of math challenges, families enjoyed a free hot dog dinner provided by Rosa Parks and prepared by City Year.
The evening wrapped up with a raffle of backpacks and school supplies.
In the spirit of a community harvest, several teachers and staff at Ethel Phillips Elementary school worked with parents to plan and present the school’s first Annual OctoberFest event on Friday, October 11.
Hundreds of students, families and community members turned out for the event, which brought local businesses, middle and high school volunteers and the community onto the campus.
The event also raised more than $1,500 for class field trips. Said kindergarten teacher Benerisa Perez, “the event was a win-win for all of us.”
SCUSD’s GATE Advisory Council will meet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Monday, October 28, at Matsuyama Elementary School, 7680 Windbridge Drive.
Following the meeting, there will be an information session for parents with GATE expert Kari Hanson-Smith on “Guiding the Gifted Child.” Hanson-Smith will discuss the social implications and emotional dimensions of gifted youth.
Grade-level advisory classes at Sacramento New Technology High School competed against each other in the recent “Advisory Olympics,” a team-building exercise aimed at strengthening the school’s collaborative culture.
Students competed to achieve the fastest time in activities that demand teamwork, such as a group “ski” race on the field (the skis are 6-foot wooden planks with ropes for students to hold on to as they move in unison), a blindfolded obstacle course and the Golf Ball PVC Pipe Relay.
Is college admittance a mystery? Find out how to get into Sacramento City College at its Preview Night for high school juniors, seniors and their families from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30.
Preview Night gives those in attendance an opportunity to see the campus and get information in preparation for coming to college.
SCC faculty and staff will showcase its academic and student services departments and host “Getting In” and Financial Aid workshops in English and Spanish for prospective students and their parents.
Margo Gunn from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London visited Sacramento New Technology High School on Monday, October 21, to work with eight students participating in the Globe Education Academy’s production of the Bard’s 1590s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Gunn helped students polish and refine their acting in preparation for their final performance at the UC Davis Mondavi Center on November 19.
SCUSD’s Child Development Department is offering free playgroups for children ages 3 and under and their parents at two locations: C.P. Huntington Elementary (5917 26th St.) and Leataata Floyd Elementary (401 McClatchy Way).
Every student at Parkway Elementary School received a bag filled with $65 worth of school supplies recently courtesy of K to College, a nonprofit organization that distributes school and dental supplies, and Target.
Employees of the organizations came to Parkway to pass out the school supplies and talk to students about the importance of doing their personal best everyday.
A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has generously agreed to match every dollar that is raised by Sacramento Unified Education Foundation to pay the costs of replacing playground structures damaged by arson this summer at Caroline Wenzel and John Sloat elementary schools.
So far, $13,000 has been raised. However, the district’s insurance deductible is $25,000 for each structure.
Fifteen members of the California Conservation Corps spent “Volunteer Day” — Saturday, October 19 — working to prep the grounds at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School for a large native plant garden.
Phoebe Hearst received a grant last spring from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department to transform a large, unused area on campus into an extension of the school’s outdoor learning area with a variety of native plants which will attract insects and birds.
The native garden should be planted within the next few weeks by students and parent volunteers.
Superintendent Jonathan Raymond today formally announced his plans to resign from Sacramento City Unified School District effective December 31. The Superintendent said he plans to return to his native Boston to spend more time with his immediate and extended family.
“I love my work and I love my job,” the Superintendent told reporters at a morning press conference. “But my family comes first.”
Superintendent Raymond was appointed to his post in July 2009 and has served for four and half years as head of the 12th largest public K-12 district in California.
When Governor Brown signed the historic Local Control Funding Formula at California Middle School on July 1, wheels were set in motion for changes to the way the state funds schools and for the creation of new accountability rules for districts.
The SCUSD Board of Education has appointed a 7/11 Committee — a committee with at least seven and no more than 11 members — to make recommendations on the potential reuses, re-purposing or disposition of elementary school sites that were closed this fall due to chronic under-enrollment.
The committee’s next meeting will be on Monday, November 18, at 4:30 p.m. at Washington Elementary School, 520 18th St. Meetings are open to the public.
Click here to learn more about the 7/11 Committee.
Filmmaker Sascha Rice will screen her Emmy-nominated documentary “California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown” at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, at the California Museum,1020 O St.
The screening is sponsored by the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State and the California Council for History Education. Rice is the granddaughter of Brown and niece of current Governor Jerry Brown.
Albert Einstein Middle School, with its motto of “Explore. Discover. Create,” is reaching out to elementary schools with booths and demonstrations at fall festivals. Principal Garrett Kirkland and Assistant Principal Michael Holt attended recent carnivals at Sequoia Elementary and Phoebe Hearst Elementary.
Students have also participated, showing a video about Einstein produced by the media class and demonstrating robots made by the robotics team. Einstein will attend three more in the coming weeks: James Marshall, O.W. Erlewine and Isador Cohen.
On October 17, STEM education will come alive at SCUSD’s School of Engineering and Sciences.
The school will host Chevron’s Sacramento STEM Education Event, beginning with the delivery of some special materials to teacher Dylan Besk’s classroom.
Besk posted her project to DonorsChoose.org that would use real, working rockets to teach her seventh graders about engineering and flight paths. Together with DonorsChoose, Chevron will present the rockets to Ms. Besk and watch them immediately be put to use.
Editor’s note: The folllowing eConnection story was written by Fern Bacon Middle School student Jerrid Bland.
Lights! Camera! Action!
These are the words you will hear from the media students at Fern Bacon Middle School during their elective media class.
Thanks to the help of Doug Niva of the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium, FBMS received a $30,000 grant, which is allowing students in Julie DelAgua’s media class to continue creating amazing media productions.
Across the country, school districts are exploring Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) as a key to increasing student academic performance and preparing children for college and the workplace.
SCUSD is one of eight districts at the forefront of this work through at NoVo Foundation grant. SCUSD is working with the Collaborative for Social, Academic and Emotional Learning to bring SEL strategies to 20 pilot schools.
Looking for best practices, ideas and strategies for implementing the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards?
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson invites California teachers and administrators to the first annual California STEM Symposium on November 18 and 19 at the Sacramento Convention Center.
Special presenters include 2013 TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra, Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis and NASA astronaut and Reaching for the Stars! Foundation founder José Hernández.
Safe Kids Greater Sacramento celebrated International Walk to School Day at Camellia Basic Elementary this morning.
Volunteers from Federal Express, Sacramento Police Department and the California Highway Patrol staffed tables at the two school entrances to give out prizes and cheer students on as they walked to school.
The school community then joined students and parents on the blacktop during “Walking Wednesdays” walking time, which was followed by a short parent meeting to explain the upcoming “Paving the Way for Safe Routes to School” grant.
As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, SCUSD’s Bullying Prevention Specialist Jessica Wharton will speak at the BRAVE (Bullies Really Are Violating Everyone) Society’s second annual Say Something, Do Something Peer Abuse Prevention and Intervention Conference on Saturday, October 12, at Capitol Christian Center, 9470 Micron Ave., Sacramento.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. The conference will open at 10 a.m. and run until 5 p.m.
SCUSD staff and students participated in a rally at the Capitol yesterday to kick off National Bullying Prevention Month.
The Stand Up! Speak Out! Youth Rally Against Bullying was sponsored by the Sacramento Regional Coalition for Tolerance. National Bullying Prevention Month was created in 2006 by PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights). To learn how you can get involved in anti-bullying activities, visit the PACER website by clicking here.
A bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown today suspends most California Standards Tests (CSTs) this spring and allows school districts to pilot new online assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
As a result, SCUSD is accelerating its work to implement the standards and gearing up its technology infrastructure to accommodate the new computer-based assessments.
SCUSD’s plan is to pilot the tests in English Language Arts and math for all students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 this spring. CSTs will still be given in science.
John Sloat Elementary School’s Back to School Night and Resource Fair attracted a great turnout of families. Parents received valuable information from their classroom teachers in a resource fair format.
Stationed at a tent, teachers disseminated pertinent information on the Common Core State Standards, balanced literacy, student data portfolios and other valuable classroom information.
Parents also had the opportunity to learn about many resources in the community.
Back to School Night was a win-win for the Sloat community!
SCUSD is staging a series of workshops to give parents hands-on experience with the new Common Core State Standards. The workshops begin on October 8.
Parents attending the sessions will be challenged to write to essay prompts, annotate informational texts, flex their speaking and listening skills and solve math problems — all strategies associated with the new standards. By the end of a three-part series, parents will have a clear picture of how Common Core standards are changing SCUSD classrooms.
This year, 10 SCUSD schools and 17 teams are participating in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics program, a record high for the school district.
FLL introduces students in grades 4 through 8 to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robotics to complete certain prescribed tasks and compete in tournaments against robots from other teams.
California Middle School’s PTSA is hosting its second-annual Multi-Cultural Fair on Saturday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Land Park campus (1600 Vallejo Drive).
This special event, which celebrates the cultural diversity of Cal Middle and the entire Sacramento Region, will feature food trucks, arts, entertainment, dance, music, crafts and artisans representing various cultures from around the world.
The event is a fundraiser for Cal Middle School’s art, music and field trip programs.
The “School Success Express,” a series of statewide workshops on the Fair School Funding law, is coming to Will C. Wood Middle School on Wednesday, October 9.
The workshop will provide an opportunity for the SCUSD community to learn how the Fair School Funding law, also known as the Local Control Funding Formula, will change the way school funding is allocated in California.
The 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. workshop is sponsored by Building Healthy Communities, a nonprofit that supports schools in South Sacramento.
More than 400 students and family members attended SCUSD’s annual College Fair held last weekend at Hiram Johnson High School. The event was hosted, in part, by the Hiram Johnson Law Academy (pictured above).
Attendees met with representatives of more than 60 colleges, including most of the CSUs and UCs and colleges as far away as Illinois and Arkansas.
Students and family members seized the opportunity to engage in lively discussions about college cost vs. benefits, the application process and entrance essays (called “personal statements” by the UCs).
Applications are now being accepted for the fall School, Family & Community Partnership Leadership Academy.
The academy is open to parents, SCUSD staff and community members interested in gaining greater skills in leadership and deepening their understanding of the issues, policies and functions in K-12 education.
Albert Einstein Middle School is offering a range of tutoring support this year for students who need help, enrichment or just a quiet place to study.
For students who are struggling with their classes, Einstein offers an intensive tutoring program with a one adult to six student ratio Monday through Thursday. The focus is on remediation and accountability. The ultimate goal of this program is to get students qualified for the Homework Club.
Staff from SCUSD’s Integrated Support Services (ISS) provided resources, information and outreach to hundreds of families and community members at a “Back to School Block Party” held at the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Fruitridge Road on September 14.
Put on collaboratively by the Fruitridge Manor Neighborhood Association and the Sacramento Building Healthy Communities initiative, the event attracted a large crowd and is set to be an annual gathering of the south Sacramento community.
Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and SCUSD are sponsoring a Facebook Safety Program at Rosemont High School from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, September 23.
The program is designed to help students, parents and others understand online safety principles and privacy controls. Topics will include account security settings, safety resources for teens and parents and Facebook’s social reporting tools.
Rosemont High School is located at 9594 Kiefer Blvd. For more information, call Steinberg’s office at (916) 651-1958.
On January 2, 2014, GED Testing Service will unveil a new assessment that ensures the GED® testing program is not an endpoint for adults, but a springboard for more education, training and better-paying jobs.
The new assessment will continue to provide adults the opportunity to earn a high school credential, but it goes further by measuring career- and college-readiness skills that are the focus of today’s curriculum and tomorrow’s success.
Summer is over – but are all students starting the new school year with success?
Research shows that students who have access to a high-quality summer learning program return to school more prepared and motivated to learn as a result of their exposure to engaging and enriching summer programming.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, the cost to school districts of re-teaching material that students forget due to summer learning loss is four to six weeks of school time, or $1,500 per student.
SCUSD is sponsoring two great events for families and students to learn what teens need to do now to prepare for college.
The annual SCUSD College Fair will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, at Hiram Johnson High School (6879 14th Ave.)
Representatives of more than 70 colleges and universities — including UCs, CSUs, out-of-state and private institutions — will be on hand to answer questions, provide information and examine seniors’ transcripts.
Success in school depends on more than just the ability to bubble in blanks with a No. 2 pencil.
To be prepared for college and 21st century careers, students need 21st century skills. They need to be able to think critically, solve problems, communicate well, work with a team, persevere and create.
SCUSD and City of Sacramento officials announced today that they have joined forces to install a traffic signal at a Fruitridge Road crossing where a West Campus High School student lost her life 20 months ago.
Michelle Murigi, 16, was hit by a car in the crosswalk at 58th Street at Fruitridge Road on January 19, 2012, and died from her injuries. Subsequent to her death, five of Michelle’s friends and classmates started a petition to demand a traffic signal at the intersection (www.facebook.com/58thAndFruitridge).
High school seniors returned to campuses early on Tuesday — really early — to carry on SCUSD’s long-standing “Senior Sunrise” tradition.
At high school campuses throughout the district, students in the class of 2014 gathered just before 6:30 a.m. to watch the sun rise on the first day of their last year together, a poignant start to the new school year. They will also gather on the last day of school to watch the sun set.
Donuts and coffee helped many survive the pre-dawn activity.
John F. Kennedy High School graduate Charlie Hammitt (class of 2013) started Sacramento State this week confident that when he graduates he will land a high-paying job in a field he loves.
In fact, he already has a job he loves — as an apprentice machinist at Tecma Industries, where he is learning to make parts for the aerospace industry. Hammitt credits the opportunity to earn while he learns to JFK’s Manufacturing and Design Linked Learning Academy.
Students who have the best attendance perform better than their peers who miss days of learning and have to play catch up.
Students with regular attendance also enjoy school more, which makes it easier for parents to get them up, ready and out the door in the morning.
Because regular attendance is vitally important to learning, California has designated September “Attendance Awareness Month.” Learn more about the importance of good attendance and how to build this healthy habit by clicking here.
Last November, Sacramento voters approved Measures Q and R, facilities bonds that will allow Sacramento City Unified School District to upgrade technology, renovate classrooms and make campuses healthier and more sustainable learning environments for students and staff.
The first sale of the bonds is now complete, and SCUSD staff has been working hard this summer on a variety of improvements across the district that will make schools safer and healthier in the upcoming 2013-14 school year.
Three East Sacramento area elementary schools will have their First LEGO League Robotics teams this year thanks to a donation from the GenCorp Foundation and support from SCUSD.
The teams will compete at a First LEGO League Tournament in November.
Select students from Caleb Greenwood International Baccalaureate PYP Candidate School, David Lubin Elementary School and Theodore Judah Elementary School attended a district summer camp at Will C. Wood Middle School to learn basic robotics and programming that will help prepare them for the fall competition.
Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, an associate professor at San Francisco State University who has lectured around the world about the elements of effective teaching in schools serving poor and working class children, is the keynote speaker for the Social Emotional Learning Summit at C.K. McClatchy High School on August 27.
Duncan-Andrade specializes in working with school staffs to help them develop classroom practices and school cultures that foster self-confidence, esteem and academic success among all students.
SCUSD is holding “town hall”-type forums on budget issues. Parents, staff and community members are invited to ask questions and get important information about the district’s finances during the two-hour meetings.
The meetings will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following dates:
Wednesday, October 23 at Genevieve Didion K-8 School
Wednesday, December 4 at Albert Einstein Middle School
Wednesday, February 26 at California Middle School
Albert Einstein Middle School’s language arts faculty spent a week in July at a small liberal arts college in New York participating in the renowned Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking.
Giovanni Boone, Peggie Clapper, Scott Combrink and Cynthia Leriche immersed themselves in inventive writing strategies that help students gain a better understanding of complex ideas, historical documents, literary texts and mathematical problems.
Sacramento City Unified School District’s nonprofit foundation is kicking off a fundraising campaign to cover the costs of replacing two playground structures damaged by arson fires earlier this summer.
Sacramento Unified Education Foundation, SCUSD’s official nonprofit fundraising organization, is seeking donations to help offset the district’s costs associated with playground structure fires at Caroline Wenzel Elementary School and John Sloat Elementary School. Both structures were badly damaged and removed for safety reasons.
The quarterly Reading Rally at Oak Ridge Elementary School last month came to a sweet ending: Every student received a cupcake courtesy of Icing on the Cupcake.
The multipurpose room boomed as students chanted “We love books.” The Mighty Oaks cheered for their classmates as they participated in games such as “pin the pigeon on the school bus.” Students were awarded with prizes that included books, art supplies, gift cards, movie passes and bikes.The Oak Ridge students earned nearly 8,000 Accelerated Reader points, which is double the 4,000-point goal set last year.
The Education Foundation of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate honored four SCUSD teachers recently for outstanding service, awarding each a $600 check.
Teachers honored were: Shannon Bliss of Hollywood Park Elementary School; Tim Griffin and Jorge Munoz of C.K. McClatchy High School; and Victoria Thomas of Crocker/Riverside Elementary School. Congratulations!
Through a partnership with UC Davis Health System, Health Professions High School is now offering an Allied Health Careers Pathway Program, a comprehensive, year-long curriculum that will provide hands-on experience and mentoring in a variety of allied health careers.
Many of these careers only require a certificate or associates degree from community college. They include: Registered dietician; respiratory therapist; pharmacy technician; medical assistant; and occupational therapy assistant.
The program is for 12th grade students with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Third graders in Kathy Bowling’s class at H.W. Harkness Elementary School were among the winners of the Sacramento Bee’s “Be Water Smart” pledge contest. Students received T-shirts and a visit from the Bee’s mascot, Scoopy.
The Leataata Floyd Elementary School community honored Nancy Tennyson, outreach director for Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, at its first annual Leataata Floyd Community School Service Award Presentation held on Tuesday, June 4.
Tennyson has been instrumental in creating and leading a partnership between Trinity Cathedral and the school. Over the past decade, Tennyson helped start the school’s Clothes Closet and Weekend Snack Packet program, which provides nutritious food for students.
Second graders from Leataata Floyd and Crocker/Riverside elementary schools walked to California Middle School on June 6 for the annual Second Grade Read-Around.
Small groups of second graders were assigned to pairs of Cal students, who read them books in the quad. A group picture and popsicles finished out the morning.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Crocker/Riverside PTA, all students were sent home with a reading book of their choice. The second graders were excited to see the campus and have some “play time” with the middle school students!
SCUSD’s Family and Community Engagement Office honored 180 parents from 17 schools at its annual Parent Recognition Celebration held May 30 at the Serna Center.
The C.K.McClatchy High School Air Force Junior ROTC began the ceremony with the Presentation of Colors and Pledge of Allegiance.Parent honorees were then led into the ceremony by their school principals.
Rosa Parks Middle School held its first annual Career Week from May 28 through May 31.Various professionals visited the campus to explain their careers to students.
On Friday, the week culminated with a fabulous fashion show in the main quad during lunch. The student acappella group “The Poly Boys” sang a song and the girls dance crew “Original” performed a routine that mixed traditional and hip-hop styles.
Five student journalists from C.K. McClatchy High School and a photographer from Hiram Johnson High School won awards at the Sacramento High School Journalism Network’s second annual awards dinner on May 30.
Monica Chan, Editor-in-Chief of CKM’s The Prospector, won first place in the Best Editorial Writing category for her editorial on college.Reporter Lizzie Robinson won first place in Best Column for her opinion piece on faux Christmas Trees.
The 2013 John F. Kennedy High School yearbook staff has won the Herff Jones Excellence Award in recognition of Outstanding Execution of Concept and Theme for this year’s Reflections yearbook, which is titled “Beyond Measure.”
This is a regional award given by the Herff Jones yearbook representatives from the Sacramento area and the honor was presented to the class by Herff Jones’ Kelly Gentry.The Kennedy Annual will now be considered for the inclusion in the Herff Jones national publication, “Ideas That Fly.”
Phoebe Hearst Elementary School partnered with 916 Ink this year to provide an 11-week creative writing workshop for fourth through sixth grade students.
916 Ink is a non-profit literacy organization that transforms everyday kids into published authors. They are dedicated to promoting literacy by empowering youth in the Sacramento region to engage in literary arts.916 Ink’s mission to to get youngsters excited about the joy, wisdom, wit and whimsy that written language can provide.
One example of artwork from every Leonardo da Vinci eK-8 School student was on display at the school’s annual Spring Art Show. Also, the VI Class won first place for its wheelbarrow at the Sacramento County Fair.
Five Sacramento City Unified students and two classrooms won awards in contests designed to reinforce water conservation.
Laura Escobar, a sixth grader at Washington Elementary School, won a $25 gift card in the “Let Your Imagination Flow” poetry contest sponsored by the Sacramento Area Sewer District and the Sacramento Bee.
Honorable Mention winners in that contest included Zander Moos-LaFranco, a fourth grader at Hubert Bancroft, and Keir Keenan, a sixth grader at O.W. Erlewine.
Twelve student “green teams” showcased projects to make their campuses greener and more sustainable at SCUSD’s second annual Project Green Showcase last Thursday (May 23) at Phoebe Hearst Elementary School.
Viable projects are in line for $1 million in Measure Q bond money set aside for green school initiatives. Measure Q was approved by Sacramento voters in November.
Of the 123 graduating seniors in C.K. McClatchy’s Humanities and International Studies Program, a full third — 42 — are headed to UCs in the fall.
Of those 42 students, 14 will join the freshman class at prestigious UC Berkeley, nine will attend UC Davis and seven will attend UC Santa Barbara. Others are headed to UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz and UC Riverside.
In all, students in the HISP class of 2013 were accepted at 497 colleges.Twenty-four students have chosen California State Universities and nine will attend community colleges.
UC Davis’ School of Engineering celebrated and rewarded Sacramento City Unified’s efforts in C-STEM (computing, science, technology, engineering and math) education at its fourth annual Conference on Integrated Computing and STEM Education held May 18.
Peter Milam, an eighth grader at SCUSD’s School of Engineering and Sciences (SES), was honored as C-STEM Student of the Year.
The Rosemont High School winter percussion unit won the Intermediate division championship at the Northern California Band Association’s Tournament of Champions held at Las Plumas High School in Oroville on April 6.
This championship competition pits schools from all over Northern California and western Nevada. It is the culmination of a 10-week long season of competitions.
The works of 65 of Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School’s young authors are being published by Sacramento Public Library’s I Street Press.
The stories and prose are being compiled into three volumes. Student authors and their families will have an opportunity to see their books rolling off the press in person when they visit the I Street Press at the Central Library today (May 21) at 6:15 p.m.