Sacramento City Unified School District’s school principals and leadership teams spent a week this summer in an intensive series of professional development workshops to get ready for the 2015-16 school year.
Areas of focus included SCUSD’s ongoing transition to the academically rigorous Common Core State Standards, plans to implement Social Emotional Learning district-wide, equity initiatives and improved instruction for English language learners.
To kick off the week, Superintendent José L. Banda announced several school leadership appointments:
Oak Ridge Elementary School teacher Stephanie Smith is one of two area educators selected as Sacramento County Teachers of the Year 2016.
The Sacramento County Office of Education announced the selection of Smith and Jennifer Ruby of the Robla School District during a recognition dinner earlier this month.
Smith teaches a third and fourth grade loop at Oak Ridge Elementary. She is a teacher consultant with the Area 3 Writing Project at UC Davis, a teacher presenter with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and a member of Oak Ridge’s School Garden Team.
Whooping cough — or pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Children infected with pertussis develop a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like “whoop.”
Before a vaccine was developed, whooping cough was a common childhood disease. Now whooping cough primarily affects children too young to have completed the full course of vaccinations and teenagers and adults whose immunity has faded.
The California Department of Education has indicated that it will release results from the state’s new online testing program sometime next month.
All public school students in grades 3-8 and 11 participated in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests in English and Math last spring. The tests are very different from the old paper-and-pencil exams of the past.
The Board of Education next week is expected to approve a budget for next year that includes a $45 million increase in state funding due to Proposition 30, the Local Control Funding Formula and California’s improved economy.
“This gives us a rare opportunity to make some long overdue investments in the future financial stability and sustainability of our organization,” said Superintendent José L. Banda.
The Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) has named 10 SCUSD schools to its 2014 Honor Roll.
“After an extensive analysis of student data for every public school and district in California, your school stood above the rest in getting your students to grade level proficiency and beyond,” CBEE President James S. Lanich wrote in letters to each school. “This is a testament to you, your staff and your students’ relentless focus on academic success.”
SCUSD’s Board of Education honored two Teachers of the Year and 10 Classified Champions at its meeting on June 4.
Teachers of the Year are: Stephanie Smith, who teaches third grade at Oak Ridge Elementary School; and Elizabeth Villanueva, who teaches Spanish at Luther Burbank High School. Both teachers will now represent SCUSD in the Sacramento County Teachers of the Year process.
Golden Empire Elementary School received a $5,000 grant from RedRover, a national nonprofit animal protection agency, during an after-school ceremony on Friday.
The check is Golden Empire’s prize for winning RedRover’s Impact contest in which schools that participate in RedRover’s Readers program were asked to explain how the program impacted children’s attitude toward animals and “the human-animal bond.”
As Sacramento City Unified School District does its part to conserve water, neighbors can expect to see fewer green stretches around the district.
SCUSD’s water use has decreased by more than 25 percent since 2013 – far more than the 20 percent cutback required. The district’s efforts have played an integral part in the city’s overall water conservation statistics. In a letter from the Sacramento City Department of Utilities, SCUSD was thanked for “doing your part to help the city of Sacramento achieve 20 percent reduction in its total water use.”
The annual District Athletics Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, July 6, at Serrano Country Club in El Dorado Hills.
Money raised by the tournament goes directly to schools to fund sports throughout the year. Entry fee is $150 per person and includes golf, a cart, tee prizes and dinner following the tournament. Check-in starts at 9 a.m. and shotgun start begins at 11 a.m.
The Board of Education is holding a special meeting tonight to discuss the district’s 2015-16 budget.
The meeting will begin with a closed session at 5 p.m. in the Serna Center Community Rooms (5735 47th Ave.). The open session is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.
After years of cuts triggered by the recession, SCUSD is anticipating an increase in funding for next year — extra funds made available through the passage of Proposition 30 and the state’s Local Control Funding Formula.
Rosa Parks K-8 School hosted its first ever Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Showcase and Family Night last week.
The evening celebrated the Social and Emotional Learning taking place at Rosa Parks. Student artwork was displayed and primary grade students recited “The Pride Creed.” Students in grades 4-6 sang “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Luther Burbank High School’s Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) Mentor team won Best Architectural Design at this year’s ACE Mentor Program Banquet. This is the second year in a row that the Burbank team has won this honor.
“This is a big deal for a rookie team only in their second year of competition,” said Joseph Stymeist, SCUSD’s Career Technical Education Coordinator.
After months of planning and training, Caleb Greenwood School has won International Baccalaureate authorization, making it SCUSD’s first IB World School, Primary Years Program (PYP).
“This is major accomplishment for Caleb Greenwood and our district,” said SCUSD Superintendent José L. Banda. “It’s not easy to meet IB’s high standards for curriculum, instruction and school climate. I congratulate the Caleb community for working so hard to bring this program to our students and families.”
SCUSD’s Summer of Service (SOS) gives incoming seventh, eighth and ninth graders an opportunity to work together to improve their community through service projects aimed at addressing neighborhood issues and concerns.
SOS also serves as a great opportunity for students to get to know their new campus and make new friends. Additionally, studies have shown that participation in the SOS Program can lead to better grades, better behavior and improved attendance in addition to a deeper school connection.
Sutterville Elementary School fifth- and sixth-graders worked together to raise nearly $11,500 for Family Promise, a nonprofit association of churches committed to helping homeless families achieve lasting independence.
Through Family Promise, homeless families are given a warm, safe place to start over and are helped in developing skills to achieve their goals.
For 200 students, good school attendance was rewarded with Sacramento Kings game attendance.
Recognizing the critical role that attendance plays in education, the Kings donated tickets to SCUSD to help reduce absenteeism. The opportunity to go to a Kings game resulted in immediate improvement in attendance for students at four schools in the district that are testing intervention strategies.
Community members of all ages are invited to support the 20th Annual Matsuyama Elementary School Fun Run/Walk on July 4. Proceeds will be used to send the school’s sixth-grade students to a week-long camp at Sly Park.
Registration is $15 before May 15; $20 up to the day of the race.
The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities is looking for excited and motivated high school students to become a part of its summer Utility Worker Program.
Students can earn $9.50 or more per hour and learn about career opportunities in the city while participating in a variety of activities that help build valuable skills.
Work may be in the office or in the field, allowing you to learn about everything from how we get our drinking water to water conservation and the maintenance of the storm drainage and wastewater systems.
The Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC) honored Luther Burbank High School digital media instructor John Hull with the 2015 Allan Hinderstein Award at its Student Educational Video Award Night last week.
The Hinderstein Award was created in remembrance of a visionary educator who collaborated with the consortium to create a variety of innovative teaching and learning projects.
Hull was given the honor in recognition of his “passion for using video and multimedia as a learning tool to engage students.”
Drop by Consumnes River College today or tomorrow and lend support to Luther Burbank High School construction students competing in the annual Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange Design/Build Competition.
Using criteria provided by the exchange, each team will build a 96-square-foot structure of its own design.
Local high schools have long participated in the tradition of athletic signing days to celebrate sports stars as they commit to a college. On Friday, May 1 – National College Decision Day – other seniors enjoyed their day of celebration, too.
The Sacramento Pathways to Success program – a partnership between Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento State and Sacramento City College – hosted a Reach Higher College Signing Day event at Luther Burbank High School.
The works of more than 200 Sutter Middle School student artists will be on display at the school’s second annual Mini Masterpiece Show this Saturday (May 9) at the Arthouse gallery (1021 R St., upstairs).
The young artists are students in Kelly O’Neill and Paula Turner’s art and photography classes.
Student work will be for sale between 5-9 p.m., with proceeds going directly to our young artists. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work this year!,” says O’Neill.
Cien Amigos is accepting scholarship applications from Northern California’s high school juniors and seniors.
Cien Amigos is dedicated to encouraging the educational success of local Latino and Mexican-origin students. The organization will award 150 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school seniors and college students to support their financial needs in the beginning of their college journey.
Camellia Basic Elementary School partnered with Safe Kids of Greater Sacramento and WALKSacramento to hold a bike rodeo — a way to raise awareness of safety rules before today’s National Bike to School Day.
All Camellia students experienced a series of activities to learn about bike safety, bike handling, pedestrian safety and safe routes to the South Sacramento campus.
Parents and volunteers helped repair bikes, fit helmets and run the activity stations for the kids.
The H.W. Harkness Elementary School Parent Resource Room is taking an active role in getting a message out to parents on anti-bullying. “It is vital that parents know the signs of what to look for and to know the difference of what is considered bullying vs. just bad behavior,” says Officer Frank Ley of the Sacramento Police Department.
The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is an opportunity for everyone with an interest in the success of our schools — parents, students, teachers, staff, community partners and neighbors — to join a conversation about district goals and resources.
Local high schools have long participated in the tradition of athletic signing days to celebrate sports stars as they commit to a college. On Friday, May 1 – National College Decision Day – other seniors will get their day of celebration, too.
On Friday, graduating seniors across the country will participate in the Reach Higher social media campaign, an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama designed to give college-bound teens an opportunity to celebrate their academic achievements.
The West Campus Percussion Ensemble, which competes in the Northern California Band Association (NCBA) intermediate class, recently completed their winter season and the students placed first in all six of the competitions.
On March 28, the group won the NCBA Championship Trophy at Rosemont High School.
The West Campus Ensemble is led by band teacher John Ousley with assistance from Noah Clark, Joseph Baldridge-Drill and Tom Reilly and help from parents Maria Sullivan, Lou and Sandy Correia and Noly Batalla.
The College Board will launch a redesign of the SAT and PSAT — college entrance and readiness exams — in 2015-16.
SCUSD’s GATE Office is sponsoring an informational session on the changes featuring College Board Representative Steve McCue, who will share the key updates and provide guidance on how students can prepare for the redesigned assessments.
This informational session will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, at West Campus High School, 5022 58th St., Sacramento, CA 95820.
Questions? Please call the GATE Office at (916) 643-9427.
Join the students, families and staff of Hiram Johnson High School at the campus’ annual Warrior Palooza Open House on May 21.
The showcase event is an opportunity for incoming freshmen and their families to learn what HJHS has to offer. Meet teachers, counselors, athletic coaches and student government representatives. Learn how Johnson puts students on the track to college and careers through its Small Learning Communities, Linked Learning pathways, after-school programs and clubs.
Three SCUSD seniors were awarded scholarships at the annual Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility banquet on April 26.
The students were winners of the organization’s essay contest. The Sacramento Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility received 170 entries this year from high school seniors in Sacramento and surrounding counties describing their thoughts on the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who said, ”The world is over-armed, and peace is under-funded.”
SCUSD’s Child Development Department is currently enrolling children in its free five-week Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy, available at 10 elementary schools.
The Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy program provides kindergarten readiness learning opportunities for youngsters with limited or no preschool experience, English Language Learners and children with a range of developmental abilities.
Programs will operate Monday through Thursday (July 1 to July 30) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
UCLA grads Elizabeth Case and Rachel Woods-Robins pedaled onto the California Middle School campus Monday to promote their cross-country journey that they hope will spark conversations about diversity in the science field.
While at Cal, the women taught Maria Aguilar’s eighth grade class a lesson in alternative energy using a miniature, solar-powered bicycle. Their work was filmed by a crew from NBC News Los Angeles bureau that is documenting the San Francisco-to-New York bike journey.
The Sacramento Unified Education Foundation is hosting a “Countdown Fundraising Campaign” to support John F. Kennedy High School’s robotics team — the only high school team selected to represent the City of Sacramento in the prestigious 2015 FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis this week (April 22- 25).
The FIRST Robotics Championship is considered to be the World Series of robotics competitions.
The Parent Teacher Organization at H.W. Harkness Elementary School has an usual fundraising campaign.
The school’s PTO put out flyers asking for parents/community members to volunteer to have their yards decorated with flamingos.
Families paid $20 to get the flamingos. “They make the yards look so cute that parents have been getting on a waiting list to get the flamingos,” says Principal Isabel Govea. “Some community members have been so generous that they simply donate larger amounts of money because they know the money is going to computers for the kids.”
Learn about Restorative Justice from the lens of culture and healing at a La Cultura Cura training on April 29 at the Serna Center.
La Cultura Cura is a transformative health and healing philosophy that recognizes that within individuals, families and communities are authentic cultural values, traditions and indigenous practices that can lead to healthy development.
The training is sponsored by SCUSD in collaboration with The National Compadres Network. It will be led by Jerry Tello.
Summer Matters @SCUSD continues registration for ALL 2015 Summer Learning programs including SummerQuest (incoming grades 1-6), Summer of Service (incoming grades 7-9), and Summer at City Hall (incoming grades 10-12).
Summer programming will begin June 22 and end on July 30. ALL programs are FREE and provide students with breakfast and lunch daily.
Attention families: Research shows that children who attend a high-quality preschool program are more successful in school and more likely to graduate from college.
Please help SCUSD spread the word about its programs for the young learners. Preschool helps children prepare for kindergarten and for life by putting them on the path to college and careers.
Preschool enrollment in SCUSD begins Monday, April 27, at two locations: Capital City (7220 24th St.), and Hiram Johnson (3535 65th St.). Free and low-cost options are available for qualified families.
De’Jon January, a student at The Met Sacramento High School, is featured in the April issue of Comstock’s. The magazine highlighted January’s internship with Stafford King Wiese, the architectural firm that redesigned The Met in 2011-12.
The Rosemont High School debate team of Kaitlin Raymond and Kaylee Silber — coached by teacher Chris Nelson — captured first place in the Junior Varsity Division at the Santa Clara University Invitational Tournament on March 28.
“In this case, the last debate did not conclude until after midnight, so Mr. Nelson, the parents, and the students arrived home after 3 a.m.,” says Principal Elizabeth Vigil. “We really treasure staff like Chris, who are willing to support these kinds of enrichment experiences for kids. You rock, Mr. Nelson!”
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is urging motorists to avoid using eastbound Interstate 80 between U.S. Highway 50 and Interstate 5 this weekend due to lane closures on I-80 east of the Sacramento River.
Caltrans will reduce eastbound I-80 traffic to one lane for 55 hours just east of the Sacramento River from 10 p.m. Friday, April 17 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 20. The West El Camino off-ramp will be closed as well. These lane and ramp closures are necessary in order to pave the eastbound #2 and #3 lanes just east of the Bryte Bend Bridge.
Testing season is underway, giving students opportunities to show what they know and for schools to identify learning needs.
Students in grades three through eight and eleven will take the online Smarter Balanced Assessments in math and English language arts and paper-and-pencil science tests.
These tests are tied to the new Common Core State Standards, which are learning goals for students at every grade. The Common Core challenges students to think independently, use technology, solve tough problems, analyze information and construct well-researched arguments.
Tributes have been pouring in for the 2015 State Champion Lady Lions basketball team of C.K. McClatchy High School.
On Tuesday, the team and coach Jessica Kunisaki were honored by the Sacramento City Council and then feted during a time out at the Kings game.
The team will receive Stellar Students recognition at Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting. On Friday, the girls will ride on a firetruck through Land Park in a community parade beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The Lady Lions are the first girls team in SCUSD history to win a state championship.
Attention young artist between the ages of 5 and 18: Get your work noticed by participating in the California State Fair Youth Art Competition.
The California State Parks Foundation participates in the competition to encourage youth ages 5 to 18 to seek inspiration for art in California’s state parks.This year the foundation will once again present its Youth Art Special Awards, which will be presented to outstanding depictions of California’s natural environment.
There are four classes divided by ages, and there are many categories of competition, including:
Health Professions High School students recently competed in the 2015 State Leadership Conference sponsored by HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America).
The competition was fierce: More than 2,000 students participated from across California. Health Professions students displayed networking and empathy skills, attended workshops and completed Courtesy Corps volunteer work during the conference.
Six students were named finalists in two competition categories:
H.W. Harkness Elementary School students collect items and write letters to military troops in Afghanistan to give them a little piece of home in a box.
The project started six years ago and has been an exciting way to connect with and thank those serving overseas. The soldiers are always very appreciative and have written letters back to the school, along with pictures of them receiving the packages.
Phoebe Hearst’s basketball team celebrated its second straight elementary league championship last Thursday evening, defeating Lincoln Elementary 43-40 in an extremely competitive game in the Albert Einstein Middle School gymnasium.
The Dragons, coached by teacher Todd Meyer, have won 20 straight games dating back to the beginning of last season. Coach Meyer commented that it was great to “watch such talented kids selflessly work as a team and have fun at the same time.”
Help send Sacramento’s hard-working future engineers and scientists to the 2015 FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis next month.
John F. Kennedy High School’s robotics team has been selected to compete in the prestigious competition — the first Sacramento City Unified School District robotics team to ever make it. School of Engineering and Sciences’ team may qualify for the championships as well, depending on the outcome of its next bout.
Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School students performed the song “The World Would Be Better” — composed by MLK student Karina Morales — at the Third District PTA’s 23rd Annual PTA Reflections Ceremony on March 13 at the California Automobile Museum.
Karina received an Award of Excellence for the composition.
The theme of this year’s Reflections art competition was “The World Would Be a Better Place If…” Students from Matsuyama, Sequoia and Sutterville also performed at the ceremony.
City Year, a nonprofit organization that provides “near-peer” mentors to five SCUSD schools — Fern Bacon, Oak Ridge, Father Keith B. Kenny, Rosa Parks and Leataata Floyd — was recognized on March 18 by the Sacramento City Council.
During the City Council presentation, City Year shared that 70 percent of Fern Bacon students receiving targeted interventions from a City Year member improved to a 2.0 GPA or better. In comparison to 24 sister sites across the country, City Year Sacramento at Fern Bacon ranks highest in literacy academic results.
Several Sacramento City Unified School District high school and middle school students won high honors at the Synopsys Sacramento Regional STEM Fair in Folsom on March 14.
Leonardo da Vinci K-8 School first place finisher Will Gaudreau has been nominated to move on to the California State Science Fair Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African-American Civil Rights activist, whom the United States Congress called “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.”
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake’s order to give up her seat in the colored section to a white passenger, after the white section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation.
Parents, students, partners: Join the conversation about the district’s current and future budget and how resources align to goals at the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Community Meeting on March 26.
At the previous community meeting, participants met in small groups to review the impact of stakeholder input on the LCAP. The community was also asked to provide feedback on LCAP goals and actions.
At this meeting, participants will look at data and expenditures to date. SCUSD staff will also present information on the 2015-16 budget.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui and Hiram Johnson High School student Lena Chao cut the ribbon to officially open Johnson’s new WellSpace Health Community Health Center on Thursday, March 12.
The Community Health Center – the first of its kind in the Sacramento City Unified School District – will serve students and the neighborhood. The space includes examination rooms for wellness checkups and dental exams to be provided by WellSpace Health staff.
The Health Center is funded through a $500,000 federal grant secured with the help of Congresswoman Matsui.
This year, Sutter Middle School is offering its first Advanced Photography class.
This class is designed to be a more in-depth photography class created for students who want to explore the skills introduced in the Beginning Digital Photography class. The curriculum covers the history and the science of photography, important photographers and works of art and art movements. Students gain a deeper understanding of composition and have the opportunity to create an extensive body of work.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla and SCUSD Board Member Jay Hansen dropped by The Met Sacramento High School’s voter registration drive on Monday.
The drive was organized by Met students Shyanne Fair, 17 and Zelia Gonzales, 16, to raise awareness of a new law that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote. The law, SB 113, became effective January 1.
Join us on March 26 at the Serna Center for a brief presentation on the projected budget for the 2015-2016 school year. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has changed the way that school districts are funded, eliminating many categorical expenditures, encouraging transparency in reporting, and requiring input from the community.
Hear a brief update on the district’s work to date. We will share the data available that supports the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), as the district prepares its Annual Update and the next draft LCAP.
Phoebe Elizabeth Apperson Hearst (December 3, 1842 – April 13, 1919) was an American philanthropist, feminist and women’s rights suffragist. She was the mother of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst.
Along with Alice Birney, Phoebe Hearst contributed to the establishment of the National Congress of Mothers, which evolved eventually into the National Parent-Teacher Association.
The alarm sounded for the Health Professions High School campus to evacuate due to a fictitious explosion.
The 11th grade Health Professions students rushed to apply their Red Cross First Aid skills at this mock disaster.They treated the pretend injuries of “victims” from Sutter Middle School’s MESA program.
These “victims” displayed pretend blood and injuries professionally applied by the Sacramento Medical Reserve Corps. Jennifer Young, who is an alumna of Sutter, did an outstanding job as the Incident Commander of the HPHS Mock Disaster response team.
John Still K-8 School celebrated African American History Month by hosting a Black Heritage Celebration on February 25 featuring keynote speaker Ruthie Bolton, who competed in two Olympics and played in the WNBA for the Sacramento Monarchs.
More than 350 students, families, faculty and staff came out to enjoy the great night of entertainment, education and soul food.
Performers included John Still students, class performances, local artists including the Phoenix Park Choir, Godamma African Dance Group, and the Old Tyme Religion a’cappella gospel group.
State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced the start of statewide spring testing during a press event at Sutter Middle School on Tuesday.
Beginning this month, students in grades 3-8 and 11 will take the online Smarter Balanced Assessments in math and English. The assessments are online tests aligned with California’s new rigorous standards for learning. Students will also take paper-and-pencil science exams.
All California public school students in grades 3-8 and 11 participated in new online tests in English and Math that are very different from the old paper-and-pencil exams of the past. These interactive tests require students to analyze information, use technology, solve challenging problems, write explanations and defend their answers. The tests were designed to help schools identify learning gaps and better support students.
Join the Hiram Johnson High School community on Friday as they celebrate healthy living with the school’s annual Health Fair.
The Disney-themed celebration will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the campus cafeteria and surrounding courtyard Friday. The fair will feature booths staffed by students and community partners with information about nutrition, fitness, health and mental resilience.
Highlights include health screenings provided by the school’s WellSpace Health clinic, therapy dogs, many fun fitness activities and food samples.
Students in teacher Tiffany Chandler’s second-grade class at Sequoia Elementary School recently participated in Read-to-a-Dog, a literacy event supported by the Sacramento Public Library and the Lend-a-Heart, Lend-a-Hand organization.
The event took place in the Albert Einstein Middle School Library and was coordinated by Einstein’s book club and librarian Amanda Turkie.
“The purpose of our program is to encourage literacy in the broader community as well as giving our middle school students the opportunity to exhibit their leadership skills,” Turkie says.
Students at American Legion High School hosted a celebration of Black History Month coordinated by Target: Excellence, the school’s after-school program provider, and HealthCorps.
The February 26 celebration included musical performances, spoken word poetry and a fashion show by the Legion students and staff. The evening concluded with dinner provided by student’s in Legion’s culinary arts program.
Leonardo da Vinci eK-8 School sixth grader Aidan Fong will journey to Antarctica next month with famed polar explorer Robert Swan, founder of 2041, an organization dedicated to educating future leaders about environmental issues.
Fong, 12, will participate in Swan’s International Antarctic Expedition 2015 as an Antarctic Youth Ambassador. He will be accompanied by his teacher, Kim Williams, who journeyed with Swan to the frozen continent in 2012, and about 80 other people interested in learning more about the melting polar ice caps and environmental sustainability.
Students in Elder Creek Elementary School’s language immersion program performed traditional Chinese dances at the campus’ annual Chinese New Year celebration.
Children in the program are taught in both Cantonese and English and learn about the culture and customs of China. By the time immersion students finish sixth grade, they will be cultural ambassadors who can read and write in both English and Chinese.
Sacramento Police Department and SCUSD are working to strengthen community relationships through a new Adopt-a-School initiative.
Under the program, Sacramento police officers will routinely visit elementary and middle schools to build friendly ties with staff, parents and students. As a result, parents will begin to see patrol cars more often on campuses as uniformed officers introduce themselves to the community.
Rosemont High School’s wrestling team was the top scorer at last weekend’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Division IV playoff tournament held at Foothill High School. The victory marks the first section championship in wrestling for the Wolverines and their coach Rick Wanlin.
Four of Rosemont’s six wrestlers placed first in their weight divisions: Anthony Sosa, Kyle Jensen, Bryan Knowles and Darrion Taylor. Marcus Hudson and Nicholas Ruddock placed third in their weight classes.
Thirty-eight Albert Einstein Middle School students traveled to the Monterey Bay Aquarium last month to explore exhibits, talk to naturalists and investigate current marine issues.
The students were particularly moved by the aquarium’s current exhibit that demonstrates how plastics impact the ocean and marine life. Einstein students were impressed with the art work created from collected plastics.
Children who are the best prepared for school perform the best academically. To help get kids ready for the rigors of today’s classrooms, the Sacramento City Unified School District is sponsoring a School Readiness Fair on Saturday, February 28.
Hundreds of families are expected to attend the fair to take advantage of such free services as health screenings and dental exams. Parents will also be offered information on kindergarten enrollment, pre-school enrollment, pre-kindergarten summer camp and community resources. Free books to encourage reading will be distributed.
SCUSD is partnering with Soil Born Farms on a first-ever school garden symposium March 14-15 at The Met Sacramento High School, 810 V St.
The Garden in Every School Symposium will feature workshops, success stories, panel discussions, information booths and food catered by Magpie Cafe, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op and Chipotle. It is an opportunity for teachers, parents, garden designers and others to network and learn about the many benefits of school gardens.
The Met Sacramento High School senior Abbie Kizer learned this month that she has been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The process for admittance to one of the U.S. military academies is extremely difficult to navigate: Students must be nominated for consideration by the President, the Vice President, a Congressional Representative or a U.S. Senator. Only one student per Congressional district can be nominated.
SCUSD’s 2014-15 Teachers of the Year – Jennifer Clemens from Health Professions High School and Arlette Garcia from Earl Warren Elementary School – will be among those honored by the Sacramento County Office of Education at the Sacramento Kings’ Teacher Appreciation Day on Sunday, March 1.
Clemens and Garcia will be recognized during a half-time celebration. Special group pricing is available for tickets to the 3 p.m. game (the Kings play the Portland Trailblazers).
SCUSD’s online Open Enrollment for students who will be in kindergarten through sixth grade next fall begins on Tuesday, February 17.
To help students and parents make the right choice, many campuses are holding school tours. Click here for a schedule of tours and visitations.
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 and the Gender Health Center will present the fourth annual No Time to Lose professional conference to activate change for LGBTQ youth on Friday, March 6 at the Serna Center.
This all-day conference will include more than a dozen presentations, guest speakers, a youth panel, book fair and resource tables.
This conference offers the critical resources that helping professionals need to provide culturally appropriate services to LGBTQ youth in our region. Please consider attending and/or sponsoring this valuable conference.
An impressive 17 students from Sam Brannan Middle School’s music program were accepted into the Sacramento City Unified School District Honor Band. The students competed for slots through an audition process and all who tried out were accepted.
Fern Bacon Middle School hosted its second of three Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) meetings last week.
English teachers Jessica Ghalambor and Lysette Lemay and math teachers Myra Licon and Tatiana Sanchez presented lessons to parents based on the Common Core State Standards. Each parent was given tools to use to practice with their child at home.
Sacramento City Unified officials cut the ribbon on C.K. McClatchy High School’s newly renovated gym at a ceremony on Friday.
McClatchy’s gym, opened with the school in 1937, lacked air conditioning until the $2.2 million renovation, which began last summer. In addition to a new HVAC system, the gym was upgraded with new bleachers, new energy-efficient lighting, refinished flooring and remodeled locker rooms and restrooms. The gym is home to the Lions’ winning basketball and wrestling programs.
Students at Susan B. Anthony Elementary School in South Sacramento received $18,000 in school supplies and dental kits on January 28 courtesy of K to College, a nonprofit focused on the needs of disadvantaged children.
K to College operates the largest charitable school supply and dental supply program in California. They presented every Susan B. Anthony student – about 270 – with school supplies and a dental kit. The kits were assembled by volunteers at K to College’s December volunteer event in the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento.
Congratulations to the eighth grade boys basketball team of Sam Brannan Middle School.
For the second year in a row, Coach Brian Barrick led the Wolfpack to the city championship. The team, which was undefeated in regular league games, focused on fundamental skills and defense.
Despite spectacular offensive play featuring slam dunks and three-point shots, the team’s relentless emphasis on perfecting defense yielded great results. Coach Barrick is confident the students on his eighth grade team will go on to success on high school teams.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center came to Parkway Elementary School along with snakes, owls and other creatures to give the students an opportunity to go face-to-face with nature in their classrooms.
As part of a grant provided by Teichert Foundation, Loveall Foundation for Children, Soroptimist International of Greater Sacramento and other donors, the students were able to handle and examine, skulls, animal skin and other fascinating nature phenomena.
The name of the program was Beaks, Claws and Jaws.
California Middle School students on Monday laughed and enjoyed a theatrical performance presented by the B Street Theatre and sponsored by City Councilman Steve Hansen.
The small local touring group enthusiastically captured the attention of 200 eighth graders with their rendition of “Kings and Queens, Jokers and Jacks.”
The short play in four acts is a compilation of play submissions from elementary and middle school-age students from throughout Northern California. Cal students were encouraged to submit entries for a shot at seeing their play performed next year!
Children and youth from 17 SCUSD schools — a total of 750 students –gathered on January 22 for the I Can Do That! Arts For All Festival.
The event, held at Sam Pannell Community Center, showcased the artwork and performances students have worked on this school year. Every child participating studies with a professional community artist for four months and was either part of a performance or had artwork on display.
Teachers at Camellia Basic Elementary School recently hosted the second Academic Parent Teacher Team (APTT) meeting of the school year, an event that left parents feeling empowered.
Academic Parent Teacher Teams are a model of parent engagement brought to Sacramento City Unified by the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project, a national nonprofit focused on building trust between schools and families.
Middle schoolers: Mark your calendars for National No One Eats Alone Day on February 13, an opportunity for students to make a difference on their campuses.
No One Eats Alone Day is sponsored by Beyond Differences, a non-profit founded by the parents of Lili Smith, who was born with a cranial facial syndrome and was socially isolated during her middle school years.
After Lili died at the age of 15 from medical complications associated with her syndrome, a group of her former classmates from the local community banded together to bring change to their schools.
HealthCorps students from local high schools, including Hiram Johnson, Health Professions and American Legion, joined representatives of the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services for a Taste the Rainbow food demonstration on January 22.
Taste the Rainbow was one of several Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events nationwide coordinated by HealthCorps, a nonprofit co-founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa.
Hiram Johnson High School senior Adriana Herrera knew she wanted to work with children and “teach them something,” for her Senior Project, a graduation requirement.
After meeting with staff from the Student Support Center at Bret Harte Elementary School, Herrera realized that she wanted to use her senior project as a way to spark the next generation of helpers, all while learning new skills such as group planning and facilitation, and public speaking.
The Cougar Circuit Breakerz from Caleb Greenwood Elementary School and the Robo Raptors from David Lubin Elementary School took home awards at the FIRST LEGO League Capital District Championship tournament at Inderkum High School on January 24.
Both teams represented their schools with enthusiasm and team work. Fifty teams competed — many from private schools — and the Robo Raptors had an exceptional showing with a second place Robot Game Award and a first place Project Award.
Students and staff from the School of Engineering and Science and Rosemont High School’s Energy, Science and Engineering Academy visited with state legislators, including Senator Richard Pan and Assemblyman Ken Cooley, during California State University Community Partnerships Advocacy Day at the Capitol.
The focus of the day was to discuss the work of the partnership to increase college access and success, especially for underrepresented students, and build a pipeline of students from high school through the university in the energy, science and engineering pathways.
Kindergarten registration for the 2015-16 school year began on Tuesday.
To be eligible for kindergarten next fall, students must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2015.
“In kindergarten, students are taught the building blocks that are the foundation for success in school and life,” says Superintendent José L. Banda. “Our kindergarten classrooms are nurturing places of early learning where students take those beginning steps toward career and college readiness.”
Comedian Jack Gallagher, who will give the keynote address at the upcoming SCUSD-Sac State sponsored Social Emotional Learning Summit, was featured in a Sacramento Bee profile on January 15.
The Bee story focused on Gallagher’s upcoming show “5 Songs” at the B Street Theatre. His keynote address at the February 13 “The Power of Relationships: An SEL Summit” will touch on his experiences as a parent of a child with autism.
Congratulations to Sutter Middle School students Tuyet Bach and Kasper Vue, who have been selected to represent Sacramento City Unified on the 2015 Capitol Section Middle School Honor Band.
The Honor Band includes middle school students from five counties — Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado and South Lake Tahoe. The students participated in a two-day intensive rehearsal with guest conductor Don Werskey and presented a final concert at the Sheldon High School Performing Arts Center.
Pacific Elementary School is gearing up for its second annual Clothing and Household Items Donation Drive Fundraiser.
From Monday, February 2, through Sunday, February 15, donations of clothes, shoes, bedding, linens, purses and other items will be accepted at the ReUseIt Donation Center at Thrift Town, 5005 Stockton Blvd. Tax-deductible donations will be recycled and money raised will go toward Pacific Elementary.
More than 400 students attended the city-wide Self Advocacy Conference, held at Sacramento State on Tuesday.
The event, hosted by SCUSD, addressed challenges that students with emotional or learning disabilities have when transitioning into adulthood. Keynote speaker Jordana Steinberg, daughter of former Senate pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, shared her story about overcoming a long battle with a childhood mood disorder.
She was joined by Yasmin Abner and Skyla Coffer, two successful young adults who have also dealt with learning disabilities.
Famed polar explorer and motivational speaker Robert Swan drew gasps and applause from Leonardo da Vinci K-8 students last Friday with his riveting tales of trekking to desolate arctic regions.
Swan holds the distinction of being the first person ever to walk unsupported – meaning without GPS, food drops or radio communications – to both the North and South Poles. His observations of the environment during these treks led him to found 2041, an organization dedicated to educating future leaders about environmental issues.
David Lubin Elementary School’s full-time librarian Jeannie Kane organized a book distribution to students last semester.
Kane develops the library’s collection to meet the varied academic needs and literary interests of all K-6 students. Every week, each class visits the library for story time, to check out books for the week or to conduct research for class projects.
Child Development’s annual School Readiness Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, at the Serna Center, 5735 47th Ave., Sacramento.
This event caters to SCUSD families with children 0-5 years. Parents will be offered health screenings and information on kindergarten transitioning, the Kindergarten Readiness Summer Academy and preschool enrollment.
There also will be hands-on activities for children.
Chef and healthy eating advocate Jamie Oliver was treated to a cooking demonstration by “kid chefs” at Pacific Elementary School today.
With TV cameras and reporters following, students also led Oliver on a tour of the Pacific garden and fruit orchard. Oliver was in Sacramento to launch a national food education awareness campaign with fellow chef-activists Alice Waters (Berkeley’s Chez Panisse; the Edible Schoolyard Project) and Anne Cooper (author of “Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Children”).
California Middle School students released their annual Art Department calendar. This year’s calendar includes watercolor renderings of works from the Great Masters including Renoir, Van Gogh and Monet.
Each calendar page features one to three student submitted art pieces skillfully painted under the tutelage of art teacher Sue Jansen. The calendars are now available for purchase for $10 with all proceeds benefiting the art department at Cal. The cover art selection this year was painted by 8th grade Advanced Art student, Roxana Peralta Rawson.
David Lubin Elementary School students who participate in a unique after-school program learned such skills as knitting, hula dancing and martial arts last semester.
DLASA (David Lubin After-School Academy) is funded by the school’s Parent Teacher Group and offers two six-week sessions each year with a variety of educational classes at a highly reduced tuition (around $20 per course).
In the fall semester, DLASA offered martial arts, fine arts, Zumbatomic, chess, hula fitness, Early Engineers, soccer, knitting, and Spanish.
American Legion High School students participated in a blood drive and a fashion show on December 18. Thirty-one units of blood were collected from faculty, staff and students.Teachers Charles Rosemeyer and Pedro Garibay organized the blood drive with Legion’s Student Government.
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 to help keep our schools safe and secure over the Winter Break (December 22-January 4) by reporting suspicious activity on any of our 75 campuses.
“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 Safe School Office Manager Nina Delgadillo.
One hundred Sacramento students — including Camellia Elementary School teacher Diane Hocking’s fifth grade class — participated in a shopping spree hosted by Sacramento Kings DeMarcus Cousins on Sunday.
Each child was given $200 to spend at Walmart in Natomas.
For the 12th year, Blood Source teamed with Luther Burbank High School health teacher Cary Farley to bring a resourceful team of phlebotomists and nurses to campus for the school’s annual blood drive, held December 12.
Blood Source arrived early in the day and set up in the auditorium, creating a network of stations for donors to rotate through.They bring a small army of workers bearing lights, wireless routers, food, furniture and medical supplies in a well-choreographed traveling show.
Thanks to Jennifer Kimsey and Project Linus, kindergarten and first grade students at John Bidwell, John Sloat and Caroline Wenzel elementary schools received stuffed animal “reading buddies” and hand-knit hats.
Students promised to read to their buddies every night, keep them warm and learned the importance of staying warm as we transition from fall to winter.
Cadets from Hiram Johnson High School’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) served color guard duty before thousands of football fans at the December 7 “Battle of the Bay” between the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers.
December 7 was also on the 73rd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which brought America into World War II. Pearl Harbor survivors participated with JROTC cadets in a commemorative ceremony before the playing of the National Anthem.
Due to the expected severe weather conditions, the community meeting with Superintendent Banda on Thursday, December 11, at Luther Burbank High School, will be rescheduled to a date after the Winter Break. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Leonardo da Vinci’s ARTLinks students have been creating paintings in the style of Hunderwasser, Pollack and Miro, as well as ceramic gnomes and “gnome ghomes” in anticipation of their upcoming Second Saturday Show & Sale at Track 7.
Everyone is invited to see the show and do a little shopping on Saturday, December 13 from noon to 6 pm and Sunday, December 14 from noon to 4 pm. Track 7 is a family friendly neighborhood “hang out” located at 3747 W. Pacific Ave, Sacramento 95820.
Sacramento City Unified School District is paying close attention to the expected storm to move through our area late tonight through Friday. The storm is expected to bring a wind driven heavy rain with winds at 20 to 60 mph with 2 to 3 inches of rain.
Athlete Kim Conley, who represented the United States in the 2012 London Summer Olympics, asked students at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School on Wednesday morning to guess how many miles she ran in the previous week.
Hands shot up. “Nine?” one student guessed. “Ten?” offered another.
When Conley told them the answer — she ran 105 miles in one week — the gasps could be heard throughout the multi-purpose room. Then applause broke out.
Students from Health Professions High School recently participated in UC Davis Medical Center’s annual disaster drill, which was focused on Ebola virus preparedness.
Students portrayed patients and were given a patient profile tag with their symptoms and background stories. Some students were assigned to play patients who worried about Ebola because they had recently traveled out of the country.
One student, who was placed in isolation, portrayed a patient diagnosed with Ebola.