December 2, 2011

Posted by Geoff Smith at 12/2/2011 4:30:00 PM

Friday Notes Header
  From Superintendent Bill Kowba
December 2, 2011 
In This Issue...
Children in Transition Joins with Community for Thanksgiving

Need Volunteers?

Help Us to Reach 2,000 Facebook English Fans and Twitter

Prop. S Update: Morse HS CDC Project Reaches Construction Milestone

School News

Student Voices

In The News

Educational News

Friday Quote

Upcoming Events

Mission Statement

All San Diego students will Graduate with the Skills, Motivation, Curiosity and Resilience to Succeed in their choice of College and Career in order to Lead and Participate in the society of Tomorrow.

Children in Transition Joins with Community for Thanksgiving
Thank you from childrenFeeding America San Diego, House of Blues® San Diego and San Diego Unified hosted meals for hundreds of local children and their families on Thanksgiving Day. The meal included live entertainment by gospel choir Eddie Baltrip & Fulfillment, singer/songwriter Alex Woodard and a special performance by the Mission Bay High School band. More than 600 low-income and homeless San Diego Unified children and their families attended the event. Read more.
Need Volunteers?
United Way San DiegoThe United Way of San Diego County and the U-T Volunteer for Education Campaign have teamed up to recruit volunteers to help our schools. Volunteers will serve as readers, tutors and mentors for students. Schools that want to request volunteers can simply fill out a Request for Volunteers Form and e-mail the completed form to . For more information, visit and click on the “Volunteer” banner or call 858-492-2000 and ask for the Volunteer Coordinator.
Help Us to Reach 2,000 Facebook English Fans and Twitter

Here's a reminder that you can get news about San Diego Unified schools, programs and events almost every day through the district's Facebook (in English and Spanish) and Twitter pages. Our English Facebook page had 1,950 as of this week's Friday Notes, so if you have not "liked" the page yet and use Facebook, help us reach 2,000 fans. The site en Español carries the same content, translated for those whose primary language is Spanish. For anyone wanting instant information, join the 3,751 followers on Twitter. Facebook and Twitter followers will also receive timely updates in the event of a district-wide crisis, such as the recent blackout.
Prop. S Update: Morse HS CDC Project Reaches Construction Milestone
Morse High CDCMorse High School’s new Child Development Center (CDC) is more than 50 percent complete. The $2.8 million project is funded by Proposition S and a $1.8 million Career Technical Education/Prop 1D grant that was received last year. Features of the new facility will include an ROP classroom, child development center laboratory, observation room, infant room, instructor’s office, restrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. Read more.
Whitman Elementary Students Skype Author Sharon Creech
Whitman Skypes with authorWhat inspires a writer? Whitman Elementary School fourth graders found out that for author Sharon Creech, it's things that have happened in her own life. Creech, author of popular novels The Wanderer, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Replay, and Heartbeat, recently “met” with students in Denise Maggard's class via Skype, the internet-video service. Read more.

De Portola Again a "Middle School to Watch"
De Portola is a school to watch - Marching BandDe Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta has been re-designated a model middle school by the California Department of Education's Schools to Watch™−Taking Center Stage (STW™−TCS) program. The school's academic excellence and responsiveness to student needs were lauded by Tom Torlakson, state Superintendent of Schools, in an announcement from Sacramento. Read more.

Chinese Educators Visit PB Middle School
Chinese Educators visit districtA delegation of principals from China toured Pacific Beach Middle School on Nov. 18. The visitors were hosted by district Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson, PB Middle Principal Dr. Julie Martel, and Eddie Park, principal of Barnard Elementary, San Diego Unified's only Mandarin Chinese language immersion school. The educators were fascinated at the hands-on and student-led approach to teaching that is a specialty of the highly-trained Pacific Beach Middle School International Baccalaureate teachers. The purpose for their visit was to learn about the many differences that exist between our two education systems. They were specifically interested in the San Diego Unified organizational structure, administrator and teacher recruiting and training, curriculum design, and student assessment.

Extra Brains at Wangenheim
Wangenheim experiments with brainsDr. Arielle Borovsky, a researcher in cognitive science at UCSD, recently visited Wangenheim Middle School to give the seventh graders a lesson in neurology. Students compared the preserved brains of various animals, using their knowledge of brain function to match the brains to the animals. They were also able to touch and examine sheep brains to identify the various anatomical parts.


“It is amazing how much people can get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit."

-- author Sandra Swinney

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San Diego Unified School District
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