Friday, March 13, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

GUHSD Bus Drivers and Dispatcher receive commendations from Lakeside Superintendent Dr. David Lorden and Superintendent Swenson
Student safety is a top priority in the Grossmont Union High School District. Under the watchful eye of deputies from the Lemon Grove and Santee Sheriff’s Stations, as well as police officers from the El Cajon and La Mesa Police Departments, our students attend schools that emphasize safety first.

Earlier this month, it was widely reported that law enforcement officials called for a Lockdown at El Capitan and several schools in the Lakeside District, due to a threat against one of their schools.

Anticipating the need for a possible evacuation of El Capitan, three of our buses were staged nearby. One of the waiting GUHSD bus drivers was approached by a representative from the Lakeside School District requesting assistance in the safe evacuation of their most threatened school site, Lindo Park Elementary School. The driver acted swiftly to connect Lakeside Director of Maintenance, Operations & Transportation Todd Owens with Alison Troxler, a Dispatcher in our Transportation Department.

Ms. Troxler worked in cooperation with the three drivers, David Hall, Ramon Sanchez and Jesus Guerrero, to assist the Lakeside School District with the safe evacuation of its students. Bus Aide Beverly Weeks, was instrumental in comforting these very scared young students with her calm demeanor.

The expertise of Alison Troxler, David Hall, Ramon Sanchez, Jesus Guerrero and Beverly Weeks in assessing and effectively addressing this situation helped to de-escalate a very tense situation for these young students and their families. 

Lakeside School District Superintendent, Dr. David Lorden, joined me on Thursday, March 12, to personally thank our Transportation Department for the collective effort that ensured the safety of his students from Lindo Park Elementary School on that day. On behalf of the entire LUSD community, he commended them for their efforts on behalf of his district and its students. It was a very proud moment for me as Superintendent to herald the work of these very deserving, unsung heroes who daily oversee the safe transport of students across the district.

BurnBook App Threats Disrupting Teaching and Learning 

I've been reaching out through various forums to make parents aware of a mobile app called BurnBook that is causing serious disruption at high schools throughout San Diego County and nationwide.

There has been a recent dramatic increase in the number of students using social media to engage in cyberbullying and make threats against schools. Many students believe, incorrectly, that they can anonymously bully, harass, threaten, and hurt other students and staff – they are wrong, and they will be made known.

When students post threatening or inappropriate messages for purposes of harassment or bullying, they can and will face serious consequences at their school and may face arrest and prosecution by local law enforcement. Threats are not jokes, and the perpetrators will not remain anonymous. Their identities are indeed discoverable, and BurnBook’s developer is now warning that vulgar and threatening posts will not remain anonymous and that an individual’s IP address can and will be tracked down and shared with legal authorities.

We are encouraging students to delete the BurnBook app, and we need your help to reinforce this message. In addition to periodically reviewing the content on your students’ phones, including apps and photos, please talk with them about the need to guard their online reputations because privacy is an illusion, and it is wrong to assume that you will remain anonymous in the digital realm.

In our schools, we have blocked the access to BurnBook and other similar applications on our district internet.  The responsibility to monitor students’ inappropriate use of social media use rests on all of us – parents, teachers, and school administrators alike. While our district is blocking these apps on our network, students are primarily accessing BurnBook and similar apps on their cell phones, using their family’s phone/internet service provider – outside of District control.

Thank you for your assistance in helping us to stop the disruption these behaviors are causing on our campuses. Parents with questions should contact school administrators with additional concerns.

Working together we can keep our students and schools safe and focused on learning.

Grossmont Middle College Information Night on Saturday

Grossmont Middle College is currently recruiting for next year's 11th grade class. They are hosting a one-hour information session in Griffin Gate, located in the new Griffin Student Center on the Grossmont College campus on Saturday, March 14, at 11:00 a.m. The application deadline is Friday, April 3.

Located on the Grossmont College campus, Grossmont Middle College High School (GMCHS) is a WASC accredited alternative high school designed for 11th and 12th grade students who are college capable. Its mission is to assist students in the successful completion of high school graduation requirements while concurrently completing college coursework that meets college entrance requirements and also earns college credit.

Save the Date: Latina Women’s Empowerment Conference on 3/21

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Mount Miguel High School will host its 9th Annual Girl's Empowerment Conference in the school cafeteria. Girls ages 14-18 of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to attend the event which will focus on breaking through the cultural barriers that prevent girls from reaching their educational dreams. The keynote speaker for the one-day conference is Carol LeBeau.

For reservations or questions, please contact Sylvia Sposato at (619) 667-6451.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson