Happy Holidays to all our students, parents, and staff, from the Hart District!
District Students Help SCV Senior Center on Thanksgiving
More than 60 Hart District students, representing nearly all junior high and high schools, spent time on Thanksgiving at the SCV Senior Center, entertaining more than 200 seniors while they enjoyed a spectacular holiday meal. Hart District students helped set up and decorate the facility the evening before, and on the day of the event, served food, provided musical entertainment and spent time chatting with visiting seniors. Spearheaded by Flo Lawrence and Sue Updegraft, of the District Advisory Committee, and supported by the Castaic and SCV Lions Clubs, and many local businesses, local seniors enjoyed a great day of traditional holiday food and great company. Golden Valley High School’s Grizzly Bistro, student culinary arts program, baked and donated 20 pumpkin pies for the event, while the Valencia High School football team was on hand to share and trade stories with the seniors!
Bowman High Students Arrange Every 15 Minutes Program for their School
Bowman High students waged a campaign to bring the Every 15 Minutes program to their school for the first time. The event is a partnership between the City of Santa Clarita, the SCV Sheriff’s Station and school officials. Other Hart District schools see this program on an every other year rotation, however, due to Bowman’s small size, they had not been previously included in the rotation. Students felt strongly that this emotionally charged program designed to instill teenagers with the consequences associated with drinking alcohol, reckless driving, texting while driving and life choices, was important to bring to their campus. Their efforts were realized last week, when the two-day program was staged at their school. A simulated drunk driving accident and real emergency response was witnessed on the first day, followed by an assembly, on day two, that featured parent speakers of local youth who lost their lives at the hands of a drunk driver. Bowman students learned about the consequences first hand and were admonished to make good choices. Funding for this powerful program is through a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant.
Arroyo Seco Safe School Ambassadors Lead By Example
Arroyo Seco Safe School Ambassadors work diligently to create a positive campus environment by being friendly to everyone and available to their peers for support and encouragement. Currently, the program has 90 students, both 7th and 8th grade boys and girls and is supported by 23 adults consisting of teachers, counselors, campus supervisors and instructional assistants, led by Marissa Clegg and Robin Williams. Students are trained to recognize and act when they see any form of bullying occurring on campus, and they also recognize students being kind on campus. All SSA students have taken a quarter exploratory choices class, and then made the commitment to be part of the SSA program. The SSA program supports the ongoing efforts of Arroyo Seco’s Anti-Bullying campaign. Currently, 11 Hart District schools have the Safe School Ambassador program in place.
Canyon High Seniors Participate in International Economic Summit
Canyon High School Seniors enrolled in Economics this semester participated in an International Economic Summit, in November, through a program provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Under the direction of economics and government teacher, Maria Cooper, approximately 140 students have been part of a 13-lesson program designed around core high school economic content that focuses on the complexities of trade and globalization. The students were in groups of three or four for this world trade simulation and each had stations with a poster depicting the country they were representing for this event, cultural items and some had traditional food displayed, as well. Students dressed in customary dress of their country and spent time trading and buying resources for their country, making bank loans and participating in other interactive business activities. Students won prizes for costume and display. The students had a wonderful time and learned a great deal about the global world in which we live. This program is sponsored in part by local businesses and community supporters. For more information on the program, please visit:
or contact Maria Cooper at Canyon High.
Photo: 2nd place winners for costume and display representing Jamaica.
Golden Valley Science Students Benefit from Donated Lights
Golden Valley High School science students are seeing things in a new light, following the recent acceptance of a donation from the SCV Sheriff’s Department that included lights, ballasts, bulbs and lighting systems. AP Environmental Science / Biology teacher, Danielle Werts, who coordinated the donation, and her students, are excited about the new opportunities for experimentation made possible by this generous donation. The lighting systems will give students the opportunity to observe and collect data on changes that occur in closed systems, an exercise that would otherwise not be available in an indoor lab environment.
Sequoia Students Race Toward Their Goals
Sequoia Charter School was proud to take 14 students to MB2 go-cart racing facility as part of the reward trip program, last October. Participating students worked diligently to reach academic goals, have positive attendance, and follow the structured behavioral system. The students had a wonderful time racing carts and eating pizza for their great accomplishment. The students were happy to have the participation of their former principal, Kathy Hunter, who won the race for the second year in a row!
Sierra Vista Students Support “Run Against Hunger” Event
For the second community service event of this school year, Sierra Vista Junior High School’s SiViCS Club participated in the SCV Food Pantry’s “Run Against Hunger” event on Halloween. Sixty-two student runners participated, raising more than $900 to help feed the hungry in the Santa Clarita Valley. This is the 10th year that Sierra Vista has supported this charity event. This year, SiViCS won the 1st place trophy for the most participants, and La Mesa Junior High students earned 2nd place. Every April, the club participates in the Assistance League’s 5K race, and Sierra Vista is encouraging all Hart District junior high schools to join them in support of a great cause. The Assistance League provides clothing and school supplies to needy children.
Hart High Students Fundraise for Cancer Patients
Hart High Honors Anatomy and Physiology students designed and implemented projects that would benefit a cancer patient or an organization that services cancer patients. Under the direction of teacher Paula Bae, 26 students raised more than $3,700 and collected clothing as part of the project. Efforts included bake sales, “donation stations”, a Frisbee® tournament, a golf drive-a-thon, and a rock concert. In addition, 20 students volunteered a total of 102 hours at fundraising events such as the annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “Light the Night” walk. Other organizations that benefited from student efforts included: Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Circle of Hope, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Koman Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Placerita Students Earn Awards at Robotics Competition
Four teams from Placerita Junior High robotics completed their 8th season in the FIRST Lego League. This year’s theme was Body Forward - Where Engineering Meets Medicine. Through the 2010 Body Forward Challenge, the teams explored the cutting-edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries, overcome genetic predispositions, and maximize the body’s potential, with the intended purpose of leading happier and healthier lives. Two tournaments were held in early December, with two Placerita teams competing at each tournament, both held at Legoland, California in Carlsbad. At the Championship, the entire program was recognized when one Placerita teacher/coach, Paul Kass, was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Volunteer award, and two of the program’s mentors, Robbie McCarthy and Spencer Solomon, were awarded with the 2010 Outstanding Young Mentor Awards. The team of Tyler Marg, Jared Silva, Lukas Stern and Matthew Voice were awarded 1st place in Mechanical Design, in one of the competitions. Overall, all four teams did very well.
Saugus Band and Color Guard March into Award Winning Season
Saugus High School Marching Band and Color Guard have completed another award winning season where they claimed multiple first place titles in Division 2A. With 58 band members and 26 color guard members under the direction of Robert M. Gibson, Saugus earned 1st place in the following competitions this season: West Ranch Competition, Hart Competition, Simi Valley Competition, Oxnard Competition and Moorpark Competition. They earned their 9th consecutive invitation to the Southern California Marching Band Championships last week, where they took home the 3rd place Bronze Medal. This is the 4th consecutive year of medal placement in this prestigious tournament. Saugus student participants were cheered on by an entire section of Saugus Boosters comprised of family members and supporters.
Bowman Students Enjoy Breakfast of Champions Prior to State Exit Exam
More than 150 Bowman students were served a pre-California High School Exit Exam “Breakfast of Champions” on Nov. 9 and 10. Bowman ASB students worked hard for weeks coordinating donations for this special event. Keyes Toyota was very generous with their donation to help feed hungry students taking the high stakes test. Additionally, Western Bagel donated two large bags of bagels, and Albertsons in Saugus donated a gift card. Due to the generosity of Bowman families and businesses, ASB purchased an array of nutritious breakfast food and supplies at Sam’s Club. Students expressed their gratitude for the nutritious breakfast through smiles and heart-felt “thank you” comments to the ASB students serving them, under the direction of ASB Advisor, Jenny Dermody. Feeding students a healthy breakfast before taking the test was just one of the ways Bowman High School hoped to prepare students to do their best. For months, students have been working to hone their skills in math and English in their CAHSEE core classes and interventions built into the regular school day. The testing mood on campus was focused and serious.
La Mesa Heart to Heart Group Provides Support On and Off Campus
Heart To Heart is a girls’ group for 8th graders that meets once a week at lunch, under the direction of Kathy Gorlick, for discussions on all topics - school, friends, and family. It’s an open forum, and every meeting can be different. Gorlick started Heart to Heart at La Mesa nine years ago, and this year has 15-18 active participants. The community service group has planned other activities including writing “letters to Santa” for the Post Office, celebrating Thanksgiving with a luncheon and taking an end of the year trip. Over the years, the group has gone to Santa Barbara, Catalina, Hollywood and the El Capital. Recently, Gorlick and three students delivered handmade picture frames to the Home Instead Center in Newhall, pleasing the women at the center so much that the Heart to Heart group was given a special “thank you” certificate.
Golden Oak Adult School Holds Successful Fundraiser
Golden Oak Adult School’s first ever Holiday Boutique, held at Placerita Junior High School on November 14, was a resounding hit thanks to generous contributions and support from staff, students, and community members. A wide variety of vendors and volunteers donated their time and resources to ensure the fundraiser’s success. Retired Golden Oak Principal Lynda Rick, shown with current Principal Ron Rudzinski, personally donated all proceeds generated from the sale of her eclectic collection of vintage jewelry and clothing to benefit the Friends of Golden Oak.
West Ranch Drama Students Enjoying New Theatre Facility
While the West Ranch High School Theatre Department is in its sixth year, the beautiful theatre facility is just one year old. With 535 seats and state of the art technology, West Ranch students are producing two main stage productions each year, and other Hart District schools are utilizing it for their productions as well. Under the guidance of Christopher Cook, the department has been successful at various competitions, including receiving top honors the past two years at the annual Chapman University Shakespeare Festival. The students also actively participate in District-wide events and the annual District Theatre Festival. Students involved in the Drama Club also support and produce theatre programs for local children.
Learning Post Students Support Local Food Pantry
Students at Learning Post High School held a food drive to benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. The 63 students enrolled at Learning Post donated over 250 items to the Food Pantry. Students and staff enjoyed watching their empty boxes become full and finally overflow, requiring additional boxes. The goal at Learning Post is to continue the spirit of giving throughout the year. Learning Post offers self-motivated students the pportunity to work at their own pace in an independent study environment. Concurrent enrollment options with COC are available, and the Learning Post prepares students to meet the challenges of the future as lifelong learners and responsible citizens. The Learning Post High School is a fully WASC accredited Independent Study High School recognized by the State of California. The Learning Post grants a high school diploma. Students must meet all State and District requirements to obtain their diploma.
Placerita Science Students Overcome Squeamishness to Dissect Frogs
Placerita Junior High Science class students, under teachers Kelly Soto and Wendy Mathis, endured a lesson involving frog dissection and learned that some body parts on all life forms are similar. The students will never see Kermit the same way again. It is not easy being green!
Rio Norte Students Bring Out their Inner Rock Star
Students at Rio Norte are enjoying the cool weather while practicing guitar, led by music teacher Jeff Gilbert. Students start with simple notes and work up to chords and riffs. They learn to recognize proper pitch and tone. Practice is the key to mastering the guitar, and Mr. Gilbert encourages this.
Golden Valley Holds Military Day for Interested Students
Golden Valley High School held a Military Day, with representatives from the Army, Navy and Marines, on campus. During lunch, students were given the opportunity to stop by and get information, pamphlets, and meet with representatives from each sector. Students had opportunities to sign up for mailers in order to gather information on how to enlist after high school.
Canyon High Spanish Honor Society Reaches Out to Feeder Schools
Spanish Honor Society is an exclusive club at Canyon High School that is offered to advanced level Spanish students. In this club, students learn about the customs and culture of the Latino community by visiting sites, tasting different Latino dishes and experiencing different traditions. To give back to the community, it is necessary that the members complete a specific amount of Spanish tutoring. The program offers English tutoring to ELD students at different schools, such as Sierra Vista Junior High and Cedar Creek Elementary school. In addition, Spanish tutoring is offered at Canyon High School during the lunch hour and also on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the after school tutoring sessions. Members of the Spanish Honor Society not only work their hardest to contribute to the community, but have fun learning and experiencing the Spanish culture as well!
Regional Occupation Program (ROP) Students Learn Valuable Career Skills
More than 80 ROP students had the opportunity to interact one-one-one with business people to learn skills that employers are looking for while thinking about their future careers, at two, three-hour workshops, held in November. Keynote Speakers Dan Williams, founder of DESTINY Leadership Foundation, and Michael Costigan, youth speaker and teen CEO, kicked off the event with a motivating welcome. Costigan was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Financial Literacy council. He challenges teens to live their own lives and not someone else’s plans for them. Business people volunteering their time led breakout sessions on topics such as: Budgeting Basics - Making The Most of your Money, Making the Most of your Personality Type in the Workplace, Becoming an Entrepreneur, Resume Writing, Interview Skills, and Education Exploration. Student mentors from the Future Educators Club TEACH program at COC also participated, leading workshops on the importance of networking. Students from the ROP Virtual Enterprise class led a workshop on creating Digital Portfolios, and ROP Business Office students managed the registration desk. The SCV Activities Center hosted the events.
Hart Marching Band Wins 9th Straight State Champion Title
For the ninth year in a row, Hart High’s award-winning marching band and color guard took home the state champion title in its division at the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association championships held in Downey, earlier this month. Hart Regiment’s performance of “Rise of the Phoenix”, under the direction of Anthony Bailey, received a score of 93.95 out of 100 points in the competition among Division 4A bands, which was the highest score awarded in any of the six divisions. Each year, SCSBOA adjudicates more than 60 competitive field tournaments and over 40 competitive band reviews throughout Southern California. Each December, the SCSBOA Field Championships feature performances by the 12 highest-scoring marching bands, in six divisions, from throughout the fall season.
Special Mayor’s Committee Assists Hart District Adult Students
The SCV Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities promotes employment opportunities for people with disabilities by providing leadership and support to employers for successful long-term placement and strives to increase the number of people with disabilities in the local workforce. Hart District students with disabilities can obtain assistance through this committee and apply for scholarships that can be used for special training, tuition and materials, clothing for job interviews and job-related equipment. A luncheon was held in October recognizing local businesses that have strong hiring initiatives. The Employer of the Year Award was presented to Vons Market in the Bouquet Center in Saugus. Other companies that were recognized included: Home Goods, Megha Vending, Six Flags and Turbine Industries. Councilman Bob Keller and former Hart District Governing Board member and president, Bill Disenbacher, were on hand for the presentations, as was Ron Rudzinski, Golden Oak Adult School principal and committee board member.
Arroyo Seco and La Mesa Students Team Up at Literacy Festival
Junior High students from both Arroyo Seco and La Mesa spent the day running an art booth at the annual Santa Clarita Arts & Literacy Festival, co-sponsored by the SCV Education Foundation and the City of Santa Clarita. The cold December day didn’t stop the students from their determination to help children in attendance sculpt their favorite character from air dry clay. Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” came by the booth to show her support of the art and ceramic students who volunteered at this community event that attracts thousands. Sequoia Charter School students also demonstrated their rock balancing talents at the festival, while several performing arts groups entertained on stage. Students from throughout the District enjoyed other event programs, as well as volunteering to read to children and man various booths.
Golden Valley Drama Students Perform Classic to Full House
Golden Valley High School Theatre’s production of “Jane Eyre” was presented on Nov. 17, 18 and 19 at the Golden Valley Theatre. Audiences were treated to the Victorian literary classic which provided mystery, romance and thrills. Isabella Riso and Connor Pratt led a cast and crew of 35 students in this successful cross-curricular endeavor.
Canyon High Hosts Program Teaching Drug and Alcohol Prevention
Canyon High students attended an assembly on the negative consequences of substance abuse, coordinated by ACTION, a local nonprofit parent and teen support group. The program featured young adults – some former Canyon students — who are now sober, telling stories of what drug abuse did to them, in the hopes that their peers will never make the same mistakes and poor choices they did. Krissy McAfee added her personal story of losing her 23-year-old son, a former Canyon student, to a drug overdose in March. Canyon administrators are stepping up their efforts with programs encouraging students to make good choices and avoid the addictiveness of drugs by not taking them at all.
Bowman Families Observe National Parent Involvement Day
Bowman’s fourth observance of National Parent Involvement Day on Nov. 23 was a resounding success. Bowman parents were invited to attend school for a portion of their student’s third class of the day. A light snack was provided, and students and parents were asked to share their experiences since coming to Bowman. On hand for the morning session was Hart District Superintendent, Robert Challinor. Heartfelt words about Bowman High School came from students, parents, and the Superintendent. Parents then headed off to their student’s fourth period class. It was interesting going from classroom to classroom and seeing students interacting with their parents. National Parent Involvement Day provides the school with an additional opportunity for parents to see firsthand the learning environment that exists at Bowman High School.
Arroyo Seco Students Tap into Water Choices
Arroyo Seco Junior High art classes participated in a Castaic Lake Water Agency presentation about bottled water versus tap water. Students discussed how water is marketed through product names, bottle design and label images. They then participated in a blind taste test of two bottled waters and local municipal tap water. Students were surprised to find that the majority of the class preferred the taste of the tap water. They are now working on an ad campaign to promote saving time, money and reducing the carbon footprint of plastic bottles, by bringing their own water from home.
Placerita Drama Students Act Out at Community Event
Placerita Drama club students spent a day performing at the Santa Clarita Arts & Lieteracy Festival in Newhall Park on Dec. 4. The drama students ran mini performances, a preview of their winter musical “Into to the Woods, Jr.” which will be performed in its entirety on Feb. 22 and 23 in Tanner Hall at Placerita Junior High. Throughout the day, the drama students included elementary school students in the audience in their activities to teach the younger children a little about theatre and one of the kids’ favorite things to do, “improv”. This was the fourth year the Placerita Drama Club had been involved with this event, which is co-sponsored by the SCV Educational Foundation and the City of Santa Clarita.
Hart District Teachers Participate in Educators in Industry Program
Nearly 80 teachers from Hart District schools participated in Educators in Industry, a collaborative program designed to provide teachers and staff with a view of how classroom curriculum can be used in real world applications. This event, held on Fri. Nov. 19, was coordinated jointly by the Hart District and College of the Canyons. It provided the opportunity for teachers to spend time visiting local business and industry and to learn first hand about the skills students will need to be successful in our global economy. Four teachers from each Hart District school started the morning with a welcome and opening remarks. Then they were assigned to shuttle buses in groups, for two visits each, to local participating businesses. This rigorous program will require the teachers to discuss their findings and create an action plan to share with their department when back at their school site, so that teaching strategies can be developed which incorporate skills and training that are necessary for the future workforce to master. This program is made possible through a collaborative community college district grant awarded to COC for Career and Technical Education training programs. Local companies and agencies that trained the teachers and provided workplace tours included: AMS Fulfillment, B&B Manufacturing, City of Santa Clarita, Valencia Acura, Boston Scientific, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, WayForward Technologies and Hyatt Valencia.