Friday, October 14, 2016

What's New in GUHSD

Celebrating Valhalla Modernization with an Open House

School, District and Community Officials Celebrate Modernization at Valhalla
On Tuesday, October 11, we held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house with building tours to view the newly modernized main building at Valhalla High School. Elected officials and community stakeholders joined students and staff for the event.

The Main Building, which is over 40 years old, and the theater at Valhalla High School have been dramatically modernized. The 14-month project has completely transformed the building while preserving some historical elements. The modernization work included new technology upgrades, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, fire alarm and much more. 

The round, four-story main building provides academic classrooms and teaching spaces. Level 200 features the renovated Theater, Choral room, Food Services, CTE classrooms, and Special Education Suites.  Level 300 includes Student Support Services, consisting of Administration, Guidance, and Health Services. The District also installed LED lighting, solar carports over the student parking, and other energy-saving measures, which are expected to offset 90% of the main building’s anticipated electricity usage.

Construction on these projects concluded in time for students’ arrival on the first day of school. I thank our taxpayers, board members and district staff who support our efforts to provide quality instruction and modern facilities for our students.

The modernization work at Valhalla High School was part of the Proposition U bond passed in November 2008 by East County voters.

IDEA Center Student Showcase/Senior Humanities' Mock Election 2016

R: Presidential Candidate Jose Aranda wins Mock Election Aided by Campaign Manager Caitlyn Morris & Speech Writer Noah Larive
On Tuesday, October 11, IDEA Center High School held a well-attended open house to showcase student presentations in a station format on an exciting range of topics from Cool Chemical Reactions, Ecology and Human Impact Projects, Art and Construction, and a Humanities Political Party Campaign project to name a few.

IDEA Center seniors have been hard at work on a presidential campaign for the showcase. Senior English and Government/Economics students explored the question, “What do you stand for?” Groups created their own political parties, selected a candidate, developed campaign staff roles and researched and developed issues-based campaign platforms. The seven-week project included the creation of websites, commercials and argumentative papers from an individual and group platform.

The presentations were followed by a 12th grade Humanities Presidential Candidate Panel Discussion in the main quad.

You may review the candidate websites here. This link will give you access to each political party's website, candidate profile, and campaign commercials.  The information was shared with all students so that they could begin to think about who they were going to vote for on Tuesday after the panel presentation.

Santana’s Brooke Crocker Named California Teacher of the Year Finalist

Santana Teacher Brooke Crocker with Principal Tim Schwuchow
L. Brooke Crocker, a history and geography teacher at Santana High School was one of eight finalists for the California Teacher of the Year Program, which began in 1972 to honor outstanding teachers and encourage new teachers to enter the profession.

County offices of education nominate teachers for the California Teachers of the Year competitions through their county-level contests. A state selection committee reviews candidates' applications and conducts site visits to evaluate the teachers' rapport with students, classroom environment, presentation skills, and teaching methods.

The teachers are interviewed by the California Department of Education. The State Superintendent then selects the five awardees.

The 2017 California Teachers of the Year, finalists, and semifinalists will be honored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at a gala in Sacramento.
Congratulations to Ms. Crocker on achieving this high honor!

Industry Reinforces Skills Taught in CTE

Manufacturing Panel Featuring Representatives from Chuao Chocolatier, Dr. Bronner's Soap and Calbiotech 
The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) at San Diego City College hosted a San Diego Manufacturing Elected Representative Reception on October 7 at the Liberty Station Conference Center.  The legislative reception was an opportunity for Teri Sprecco, Director II of College and Career Readiness, Frank Luera, Work-Based Learning Specialist, and Eileen Bagg-Rizzo, CTE Curriculum Specialist, to interact with San Diego manufacturers and elected officials to open a dialogue about the importance of manufacturing.  

In addition, the CTE team attended the 2016 San Diego Manufacturing Day Breakfast immediately following the reception, which included a panel of leaders who discussed manufacturing trends in San Diego County.  

All of the members of the panel stated that they struggle to find skilled labor and expressed an interest in promoting work-based learning in community colleges and high schools. They also expressed the need for skilled workers who understand the importance of the soft skills needed in the workplace. The trends in manufacturing reflect the goals in the GUHSD career technical education pathways.

GUHSD has Manufacturing pathways at El Cajon Valley, Monte Vista, West Hills, and Santana High Schools as well as Engineering at Grossmont and Santana.

Parent Safety Forum on Oct. 27

East County school districts are partnering with local law enforcement and the San Diego County Office of Education to host a Parent Safety Forum on October 27, 2016, at Greenfield Middle School, 1495 Greenfield Drive in El Cajon. Presentations will begin at 6:00 p.m. Food trucks will be available from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Topics discussed in brief presentations include School Safety, Internet/Social Media Safety, Current Drug Trends, and Pedestrian Safety.

There will also be representatives from various community agencies to provide information to parents.

Childcare and translation services will be available.

Dr. Tim Glover