District Site Administrators Learn About New State Standards
Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace. Hart District site administrators came together to learn about the Common Core State Standards, which will replace the current content standards beginning in the 2014-15 school year. District administrators studied the new standards and compared them to the current content standards. These leaders participated in discussions on the implications for classrooms and the changes teachers will need to be prepared for in the coming months. Teams of teachers and administrators working together have created a plan on implementing these changes at all Hart District schools by the launch date. For more information on the Common Core State Standards, visit the California Department of Education website at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/cc/
Bowman Student Artwork Displayed at Valencia Mall
Bowman High School student art is part of a new exhibit at the Westfield Valencia Town Center, which was unveiled to the public during a special reception last weekend. The art is on display on the second floor of the mall, just off The Patios, on the Sears side of the mall. Under the direction of art teacher, Mary Gaskin, 34 art students at Bowman High School created a beautiful display of original charcoal drawings of their hands. The lessons used to instruct this visual presentation came from the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” by Betty Edwards. The contents of the lessons in the book are based on the five perceptual skills of drawing which are: The Perception of Edges, The Perception of Spaces, The Perception of Relationships, the Perception of Lights and Shadows and finally The Perception of the Gestalt. The displayed hand drawings are exercises under the Perception of Edges. The exhibit was arranged in conjunction with the City of Santa Clarita’s Arts and Events Department, and City Councilwoman Marsha Mclean welcomed the guests to the reception. Bowman Principal Robin Geissler and Gaskin spoke to the students, parents and community members in attendance about the success of the art program at Bowman and the high talent level of their students. Teachers and other Bowman and Hart District administrators turned out to celebrate the art exhibit and congratulate the student artists.
Two Hart District Teachers Win California Credit Union Grants
Bowman High School teacher Michael Mansfield and Golden Valley High School teacher Janie Prucha are two recipients of the California Credit Union teacher grant program this year. Each won $500 and competed against hundreds of applicants from throughout Los Angeles. Mansfield (photo on left) will use his grant for publishing the Bowman High School literary magazine featuring the poetry of his creative writing students. The 2013 edition will mark the 21st year of this award-winning publication. Prucha (photo on right) will use her grant in her theatre arts program at Golden Valley to connect her high school students with elementary students in nearby neighborhoods to share the joy of theater and to expose them to opportunities at the high school level. California Credit Union, with a branch in Valencia, was chartered in 1933 by a group of teachers in Los Angeles. CCU locally is a strong supporter of teachers through this grant program, as well as through the SCV Education Foundation and the WiSH Education Foundation, where CCU frequently sponsors events and programs and contribute to the success of public school education in the SCV. More information about future teacher grant opportunities are posted on their website: www.californiacreditunion.org or visit Michele Wagemaker-Dawdy at the Valencia Branch located in the Barnes & Noble shopping center at Valencia Blvd and Magic Mountain Pkwy.
Canyon ROP Automotive Students Win First Place in County Contest
Congratulations to Canyon High School Regional Occupation Program (ROP) students Ryan Gregory and Joe Gezahegn, under the guidance of Pete Ciccone, ROP auto technology instructor, for taking first place overall in the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association’s (GLANCDA) competition at Whittier College in December. These young men will be one team of 30 teams advancing to compete for the National Championship in New York City in early April. The National Automotive Technology Competition challenges hundreds of high school students from throughout the United States and Canada by testing their skills and automotive knowledge in a hands-on setting. The challenge of the Auto Tech Competition is to identify the finest two-person high school technician team in Los Angeles County. The competition is designed to encourage young talented individuals with an aptitude for technology to pursue a career at a retail automotive dealership. Each two-student team rotates through 10 work-stations or “bugged” vehicles, using a repair order with actual customer complaints. The student teams must diagnose and repair the problem within the allotted time. Each “bug” correctly diagnosed and repaired is worth a number of points, depending on the level of difficulty. In addition, the students’ knowledge of emissions control systems, alignment, electrical test equipment, airbag components, oscilloscope usage and mechanical measurement equipment is tested during a series of intensive work station sessions. The high-volume of vehicle sales in Los Angeles County and the advancement of automotive technology creates a demand for dealers to hire highly trained personnel. This competition promotes the industry need and availability of quality jobs for future technicians. For more information on this ROP program and others through the Hart District visit: www.hartrop.com.
Girl’s Empowerment Conference for Sequoia Students a Big Success
Nearly 20 female students of Sequoia Charter School spent the day at a Girl’s Empowerment Conference held at the Child and Family Center’s Education Center last fall. The purpose of the event was to give the students a day of empowerment through self-esteem, self-advocacy and motivational workshops, and activities and speakers. The event was coordinated by Dr. Karla Arraiaran-Rodrigues, MSW and counselor in the Hart School District, who worked tirelessly to bring special speakers to the program and sponsors for donations to “swag bags.” Donations were made by many businesses including College of the Canyons, Paul Mitchell, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Starbucks, Juice It Up and the generosity of several staff members who believed in the importance of this event.
West Ranch Choir Students Perform at Carnegie Hall
Fifteen students and four chaperones representing the West Ranch High School Choir boarded a red eye flight to New York City to participate in a 200+ person choral experience at Carnegie Hall last week. The singers in the choir ranged from high school age to adult. The work was called “A Great and Glorious Victory” and tells the story of Lord Horatio Nelson’s military victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. It was composed by Jonathan Willcocks, a contemporary British composer (his father is Sir David Willcocks, who composed music for the Royal Wedding). He was also the conductor of the piece, which was a great experience for the students to have the rare opportunity to sing for the composer! It was also the Carnegie Hall premiere of the work, which led to a standing ovation at the end which was reported as “incredible,” by Molly Peters, choir director. Also, the names of the students appeared in the program, which the students enjoyed immensely. The action-packed weekend schedule included two four-hour rehearsals in NYC before the performance on Sunday, January 20th. The rehearsals were great, too, which isn’t always the case! “Jonathan Willcocks is a DELIGHT to sing for,” Peters said. “He was funny, and quick, and really kept all of the singers engaged.” Peters sang with the choir as well. In addition to the rehearsals, the group did a lot of sight-seeing including visits to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island cruise, Rockefeller Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and Times Square, which was walking distance from the hotel. They also visited the 9/11 Memorial which was very beautifully done. On Friday night they went to a Broadway show, “Newsies,” which is a great show for high school students. Students held a variety of fundraisers to pay for this trip including candle sales, a holiday boutique, sponsorships, program advertising, ticket revenue from concerts and car washes. “All singers came back exhausted but feeling incredibly accomplished,” Peters exclaimed. “It was a fantastic weekend!”
Hart District Students Participate in Human Rights Watch Event
Members of the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (STF) from Academy of the Canyons, Canyon, Golden Valley, Hart and Valencia High Schools attended the Human Rights Watch annual dinner last November at the Beverly Hills Hilton to meet with other like-minded human rights activists. The student guests joined members of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) California Committee South in honoring the 2012 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism recipient Fr. Abbe Benoit Kinalegu from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). STF hosted a reception for students and teachers to have a private meeting with Fr. Kinalegu and learn about his work to protect children who have been victims of the Lords Resistance Army by providing rehabilitation services for these former child soldiers. Additionally, Fr. Kinalegu explained how he developed an early warning system for villages to be notified of LRA sightings and thus protect themselves from attack. The reception inspired students to continue working to protect children’s rights and Fr. Kinalegu congratulated their efforts in raising awareness about their right to education and to be the voice of youth who demand equitable access to education in the state of California. He encouraged them to continue working saying, “human rights begins at the school desk…Thank you for your work.” The students joined some 800 dinner guests in celebrating the work of other courageous human rights activists. Highlighting the students’ work in campaigning to reform sentencing of youth offenders in California, STF was invited to speak during the program. Canyon High senior, Jose Ruiz, joined a Santa Monica High School student in providing guests an overview of the role STF plays in advocating for children’s rights. Both students welcomed special guest, actor Ben Affleck, to the stage. Affleck shared the work he does in the DRC with his organization, the East Congo Initiative, which provides grants to start up organizations within the DRC to provide services and business opportunities to the Congolese people. The evening closed with the students meeting Affleck and taking photos with him and Fr. Kinalegu. The HRW Student Task Force is a leadership training program for high school students interested in global human rights issues. To learn more about the STF program, visit www.hrwstf.org or contact Nancy Nazarian-Medina, STF Program Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Vista Announces 18th Annual 8th Grade Poster Contest Winners
Eighth grade students from Sierra Junior High recently competed in the 18th annual 8th grade poster contest, requiring students to create a poster, depicting a book. This project is a mandatory English class assignment that started when teachers were looking for a fun, creative way to inspire reading and make sure students are reading their selected book. Teacher Librarian Lorraine Fulleman has kept the tradition going over the years, since students really enjoy it and hear about it from students who participated in previous years. Part of the project is for students to share their poster in class and persuade other students to read their book. All selected books must be available in the Sierra Vista library. The grand prize winner for this year’s poster contest is Joyce Kim. She made a poster for the popular book Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The first runner up is Lucas Avila for Twice Upon a Time. The second runner up is Eliana Nivon for the Lightning Thief. The third runner up is Sagar Bhandari for Warriors — Into the Wild. The five honorable mentions are Victoria Causey, Troy Kecxon, Jonathan Sanabria, Tyler Moore, and Rayanne Munoz. Winners receive prizes and the top 40 selected also received a party to celebrate their fine art accomplishment!
Generosity of Students Throughout the District is “Hart”-felt
Students from schools across the Hart District have busy lives that include academics, studying, extracurricular activities, social activities and family obligations. These involved and engaged students still find time throughout the year to support a cause, volunteer their time to community efforts and raise funds for medical research and people less fortunate.
Here is a sampling of recent programs on Hart School District campuses:
Placerita Junior High School
“Get Your Pink On!” was the theme for both students and staff at Placerita Junior High School throughout the month of October. Club H.O.T. (Help Our Town) hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in which the student body was encouraged to wear pink every Friday to show their support for those battling breast cancer. ASB got in on the act and awarded spirit points to the team that had the most students in pink. In addition, Club H.O.T. manned a booth each Friday in which students could donate money for breast cancer research and/or write a message to be displayed on a large cancer ribbon. Club H.O.T. was pleased to collect over $600 for breast cancer research from Placerita’s generous student body! The funds were donated to the Lee Demin Day organization raising funds to cure breast cancer.
Golden Valley High School
Golden Valley High School ASB students, staff and administrators hosted The Michael Hoefflin Foundation annual Christmas Party for children with cancer. Despite the cold and wet weather, a few hundred people attended and were entertained with holiday music, singing and story telling, enjoying food and visiting with Santa Claus. Principal Sal Frias personally interviewed and selected ASB students to be elves. Students started the day early and helped set up and spent the day bringing joy to children and families. Student elves accompanied the children to a vast toy selection and helped them pick out a special holiday gift. “Everyone had a great time,” Frias said. “This was a very special first year event and we look forward to hosting again and also involving more of the Golden Valley community.”
Transitional Learning Charter (TLC)
TLC students, family and staff kicked off their 1st annual Walk-A-Thon for Breast Cancer Awareness during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month in October and raised more than $1,500. Funds were donated to the American Cancer Society.
Sierra Vista Junior High School
Sierra Vista Junior High School students had a terrific surprise when teachers and staff broke out in a “Gangnam Style” Flash Mob in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Teachers and staff were dressed in pink clothes and unique accessories and entertained students during a drizzly morning in October. A Sierra Vista staff member is a breast cancer survivor and she was featured in the dance and honored and applauded by students and staff. English teacher Robert Isquierdo coordinated the “mob,” and he hopes to raise awareness of many issues with students and the community. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month activities, Sierra Vista participated in Lee National Denim Day to raise money to help find a cure for Breast Cancer. Students, staff, and parents donated $5 and wore their jeans to school or work to show their support for those who have been affected by this terrible disease. Sierra Vista raised $1,600 this year and over the past six years of involvement has contributed more than $8,000 to this organization. Visit the Signal for a video of the FlashMob event: http://www.signalscv.com/multimedia/archives/887/
Bowman High School
Students at Bowman High School came together to raise awareness for breast cancer with their Think Pink! Campaign in October. A number of students have relatives who are fighting breast cancer and are very familiar with the way this disease affects the entire family.
West Ranch High School
West Ranch High School was busy raising funds for Breast Cancer Awareness in October. Two student clubs, Wildcats Against Cancer and Stand Up To Cancer, along with cheerleaders and choir classes joined together to raise funds for Stand Up To Cancer and SCV Circle of Hope. The campus was decorated with pink ribbons, posters and pledges. The students sponsored class donations and sold pink ribbons, buttons, headbands and shoelaces. The cheerleaders sold pink balloons for a beautiful balloon release after a moment of silence honoring breast cancer victims at a football game in October. Thousands of dollars were raised. In November, Wildcats Against Cancer focused on Lung Cancer Awareness, the most deadliest cancer of all.
Valencia High School
Each semester seniors in Valencia High’s government class taught by Greg Hayes are required to raise money for a charitable project. This past semester the students raised money to build a home for a poor family in Haiti. Hayes said the students must come up with a fundraising project, individually or working in groups, to fund the donation. Through the international aid organization Food for the Poor, $3,732 will build a family a brick house with sanitation, food for a year, clothing, school supplies and a start-up business so the family can be self-sustaining. “This is the sixth house we’ve raised money for and last year we raised money for a well,” Hayes said. “We raised $5,270 last spring for a well that provides water for thousands.” Each home has been donated in honor of a SCV resident; however, the students chose to honor Victoria Soto this year, one of the Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers who was killed in the Newtown, Connecticut rampage in December. The teacher was considered a hero for protecting her students. Hayes inspires students to get involved with philanthropy through this project and feels that learning how to raise funds for charity is a valuable life lesson.
Rancho Pico Junior High
Students at Rancho Pico Junior High create a giant pink student ribbon in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month last October.
Hart High School
Hart High School student groups involved with multiple cancer projects through the school year.
Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Public Relations Officer,
email@example.com, 661.259.0033 x. 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org