Friday, March 11, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

GUHSD School Board Elections Update

At a Special Board meeting on February 25, the Governing Board of the Grossmont Union High School District adopted Map Option #1, as the next step toward changing the trustee election process from an at large system to the establishment of trustee areas. This responds to the changing demographics of East County and reduces our legal exposure. 

The Governing Board also voted unanimously to seek a waiver from the California Department of Education of the formal requirement that the change of a school district’s electoral system be submitted to the voters for approval before it may be implemented. The election requirement, if not waived, would prevent GUHSD from implementing new trustee areas for November 2016, thereby subjecting the District to the very litigation we seek to avoid by making these changes. The State Board has granted hundreds of waivers of this requirement over the past few years for this very reason. 

The San Diego County Committee on School District Organization will now consider the GUHSD plan, including Map Option #1, after conducting Public Hearings in four locations throughout our District. Hearings will be held at 6:00 p.m. on March 17 (La Mesa/Spring Valley School District Board Room); March 28 (East County Regional Education Center - GUHSD Board Room); April 5 (Jamul Intermediate School Library) & April 11 (Lakeside Union School District - Administration Center). The hearing notice with more detailed information is available here.

Additional information regarding this ongoing process (including Map Option #1) is available on the GUHSD website here.

Mount Miguel JROTC Instructor Receives Leadership Award

First Sergeant Brian Bennett Receives Ashford Leadership Award
At the Governing Board meeting last night, Mount Miguel High School’s JROTC Color Guard presented the colors. Following a presentation of school highlights by Principal Dr. Kimberlee Hedrick, JROTC Instructor First Sergeant Brian Bennett was presented with the Ashford Leadership Award for his service to the program. He was nominated for the award by me and was presented with a $1,000 check from Jim Bernet of the San Diego Army Advisory Council.

Annual Academic League Spaghetti Dinner

Santana High School Captures Varsity Academic League Championship
Helix Charter High School hosted the 2016 Annual Academic League Awards Dinner on Monday, March 7. The evening included an awards banquet and meal for nearly 300 players and their parents.

The dinner event was held to honor and thank the students, parents, organizers and moderators, as well as the coaches of the Academic League program.

Santana High School’s Varsity and JV teams both completed undefeated seasons, winning their respective League Championships. 

Coaching recognitions went to Valhalla’s Lisa Collins for her years of extraordinary service. Santana’s Brooke Crocker and Becky Short shared Coach of the Year honors. 

Special thanks are extended to Helix Charter for hosting the event, which was enjoyed by so many students and their families that evening.

GUHSD Staff Represented at Educating for Careers Conference

Educating for Careers Conference
GUHSD was well represented at the annual statewide Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento earlier this week. Superintendent Ralf Swenson joined 54 GUHSD teachers and administrators from eight sites, including a team from Adult Education. GUHSD teams had the opportunity to connect with 2,500 educators, presenters and professionals to share best practices in Career Technical Education, college and career readiness, and Linked Learning.  

Participation was funded through a combination of Carl Perkins grant monies and private funding. The conference included dozens of high-quality breakout sessions covering topics including: Assessment & Accountability, California Partnership Academies Model, Career Pathways Development, Curriculum & Instructional Strategies, Employer & Community Partnerships, Mentor & Internship Programs, Marketing Activities, and Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Students. 

The event conference highlights came from keynote speakers Dr. Eric Mazur and teacher Fredi Lajvardi. Dr. Mazur is an internationally recognized Professor of Applied Physics at Harvard University, and Fredi Lajvardi is the inspiration behind the documentary Underwater Dreams and the feature film, Spare Parts.  Both films focus on Fredi's work with a group of at-risk students as they competed against top universities in the area of underwater robotics.

After CTE, Adult Education, Special Education, administrators and academic teachers participated in a variety of workshops, they then came together as a GUHSD team to share insights and discuss next steps for promoting college and career readiness for all students. The major concepts discussed by those at the conference included the use of digital portfolios, how to better market CTE pathways at school sites and in the community, and how to ensure students are truly college ready and career focused. Teams were energized to bring back specific ideas and innovations as CTE pathways continue to gain momentum districtwide.

With major funding increases for CTE from the California Department of Education, and a growing demand for college and career-ready students, the Educating for Career Conference was a unique opportunity for GUHSD teams to connect, collaborate and challenge themselves to meet the diverse needs of students today and be prepared for the changing needs of the GUHSD students of tomorrow.

Dave Langston Named Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee

Dave Langston Honored as 4th Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee
At the Governing Board meeting on Thursday, March 10, Dave Langston was recognized as the Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee of 2015-2016. Dave has served the Grossmont District as a Swimming Pool Technician for over 34 years. He is recognized for his expertise in repairing and maintaining the District's pools, troubleshooting mechanical problems and mentoring new technicians.  

Classified employees provide critical support to our educational mission and programs. Congratulations, Dave Langston, on being selected as the Fourth Quarter Outstanding Classified Employee of 2015-2016!

Superintendent Ralf Swenson