Friday, May 29, 2015

What's New in GUHSD

The Grossmont Union High School District Announces New School for the 2015-16 School Year

In an effort to expand educational options that meet the needs of our East County youth, the Grossmont Union High School District is launching the IDEA Center, a small high school of choice, open to students grades 9-12 next school year. The IDEA Center will focus on college and career readiness through a college preparatory curriculum linked to career and technical education pathways.

Characterized by small class sizes and an integrated curriculum infused with technology, students at The IDEA Center will each receive a Chromebook for student use at school and home. Students will choose an individualized learning plan that leads to career exploration, internship opportunities and demonstrations of their learning prior to graduation. The IDEA Center teachers are content experts who are highly skilled in Linked Learning collaboration and technology use in the classroom. Staff members will serve as mentors/advisors to each student working to support their academic needs and personal growth.

The school is located at 1600 N. Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon and will operate on a 4 X 4 quarter system with teachers teaching three classes and an advisory period each day. Teachers work in Linked Learning interdisciplinary teams, with whom they meet during common prep periods to collaborate. Teachers support and advise students in preparation for ongoing demonstrations of learning, internships, and projects.

For more information click Open Houses will be held at the school on June 3 and June 10 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1600 N. Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

We are pleased to provide you with yet another valuable option to help maximize your student’s academic and personal success.

GUHSD included in CA Career Pathways Trust Grant Awards

This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson awarded $244 million in grants to 40 programs that blend academic and career technical education, connect employers with schools, and train students for jobs in high-demand fields.

The San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium was awarded a California Career Pathways Trust Grant of $13.1 million. As one of over 15 districts participating in this grant, the Grossmont Union High School District expects to receive approximately $1.4 million over the two-year scope of the grant. This project aims to support career pathway programming county-wide through professional development for teachers and counselors, curriculum development and industry engagement, with facilitation from the United Way of San Diego County. The project features career pathways in the following industries: advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information and communications technology.

 California Career Pathways Trust grant recipients are tasked with creating sustained career pathways programs that link businesses, K–12 schools, and community colleges to prepare students for the 21st century workplace.

Steele Canyon Twins Named 2015 Grossmont Healthcare District Healthcare Heroes

Veronika and Anjelika Cannon, 2015 Healthcare Hero Award Recipients
Two Steele Canyon High School twin sisters were recently honored by the Grossmont Healthcare District with 2015 Healthcare Hero awards. Seniors Veronika and Anjelika Cannon were recognized for their volunteer service at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. Since the end of their ninth grade year in June 2012, the two sisters have volunteered about 1,500 hours.

Their volunteer service (700 hours for Anjelika and 800 hours for Veronika) has included spending time in different hospital areas, such as the Women’s Center, Rehabilitation Unit, pharmacy, Medical Intensive Care Unit, East Tower and the Thrift Korral. Since they are among the more experienced Junior Volunteers, both girls have become involved in training new junior volunteers. They were named Junior Volunteers of the Month, Anjelika in January 2014 and Veronika in March 2014.

In addition to volunteering at the hospital, the girls have participated at the American Heart Association’s San Diego Heart & Stroke Walk. They have also volunteered as aides in classes for students with disabilities at Fuerte Elementary School, Lexington Elementary School and Hillsdale Middle School. They spent several weeks last summer volunteering at Camp Harmon, a residential camp for children and adults with disabilities that’s operated by Easter Seals. They also have served the past two years at Noah Homes, assisting the residents with bingo games, dances and other activities. Anjelika also is mentoring a girl attending Bostonia Elementary School in El Cajon as part of the Big Sisters program.

My hat’s off to these two inspirational sisters for their diverse and valuable volunteer service to our community.

Monte Vista Receives Grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Monte Vista High School has been selected to receive a $7,000 library grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. The foundation's mission is to help encourage a love of reading and learning for students. This foundation provides library grants to schools in order to expand, update, and diversify book and print collections.

“No matter what you want to be when you grow up – a doctor or a lawyer, a senator, an artist, or a teacher, reading will help you reach your goal…By providing more schools with better reading materials, the Laura Bush Foundation helps students understand more of the world around them and its limitless possibilities,” said Mrs. Laura Bush.

Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has awarded over $12.5 million to almost 2,500 schools across the country. In addition to the annual grants, the “Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative” in 2006 provided more than $6.3 million to school libraries affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita so that they could rebuild book collections lost or destroyed in the storms.

Save the Date: Student-run Twelfth Night Production on June 4 & 5

Upstart Theatre Company is proud to present its inaugural production, William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, hosted by the Valhalla Theatre Arts Department. Upstart, founded in 2015, is comprised of and run entirely by students from schools throughout the Grossmont Union High School District, and is dedicated to keeping classical works of theatre alive on the modern educational stage.

This is the first time ever that a fully student-run play has been produced at Valhalla and the first time students from multiple schools have collaborated to perform a play. Directed by Christopher Torborg (Valhalla), and starring Ashley Brown (Monte Vista) as Viola and Joseph Chavez (Valhalla) as Orsino, this rollicking comedy takes us on a hysterical romp through 1930s Illyria, featuring mistaken identity and found love. Two nights only: June 4 and 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Valhalla High School Theater, located at 1725 Hillsdale Road in El Cajon. Tickets $10 for adults, $8 for students, $5 for children five and under/senior/military; available here or by calling (619) 593-5454.

Superintendent Ralf Swenson