Artwork from more than 500 students at Baldwin Park Unified’s Geddes and Margaret Heath elementary schools filled the cafeteria at Heath on April 12 in an art gallery celebrating a yearlong pilot program to integrate visual art into core curriculum. The event included student interpretations of artists from Vincent van Gogh to Frieda Kahlo, from sculpture to mixed-media collages. One class even provided performance art, reciting poems to drumbeats.
News & Announcements
A teacher at Baldwin Park Unified’s Margaret Heath Elementary School has been honored for her commitment to diversity, the arts, student development and her community by Dual Language Schools, a group that promotes dual-language instruction. Laura Reyes, who teaches a fifth-/sixth-grade Spanish dual-language class, received the group’s Teacher of the Month award for February.
Baldwin Park Unified's Geddes Elementary School, which offers a dual-language immersion program, will receive a 2017 Seal of Excellence School from the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) on Friday, March 31 at the CABE annual conference in Anaheim. The honor recognizes the school's commitment to graduate students who are bilingual and culturally diverse. Geddes is the fourth Baldwin Park Unified school to be honored.
Baldwin Park Unified’s Tracy Elementary drew more than 200 parents for its annual Colonial Festival on March 30, when the school’s fifth-graders gave presentations, sang and danced – all while dressed in Revolutionary Era outfits. Guests enjoyed servings of tea and cookies, a reference to the Boston Tea Party, while observing what their children had learned about the birth of the U.S.
Community leaders joined students at Baldwin Park Unified schools for reading adventures during the annual Read Across America celebration, held Feb. 27 to March 3. Parent volunteers Martha Cardenas and Eloisa Jimenez posed as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat” to greet guest readers at Santa Fe Elementary. Those invited were asked to bring a personally significant childhood book to share with a classroom of their choice. A total of 18 readers participated in Santa Fe’s Read-in event, including Baldwin Park Unified staff, former students, former employees, parents and community members. Baldwin Park Unified police dispatcher Issac Salazar read to a class of sixth-graders. At Kenmore Elementary School, eager kindergarteners donned hats to honor the Cat in the Hat as Baldwin Park police Officer Martin Herrera read them “Green Eggs and Ham.”
Diana E. Dzib, a high school coordinator at Mt. San Antonio College, took the oath of office on Feb. 14 as the newest member of the Baldwin Park Unified Board of Education. At Mt. SAC, Dzib assists with accreditation activities, serves as a classified staff senator and is a member of the Adult Education Block Grant consortia, which includes representatives from Baldwin Park Unified. She has lived in the district for 30 years; her son attended Baldwin Park schools. Dzib fills a vacancy created when Board Member Blanca Estela Rubio resigned in December 2016 to take a seat in the California Assembly. Dzib will serve until the board’s November 2017 election.
About 130 educators from 18 Baldwin Park Unified schools participated in an intensive, two-day workshop in January on ways to effectively connect with all students and ensure they understand the high standards built into the District’s rigorous curriculum. The workshop, which explored the Response to Intervention (RTI) program’s multi-tiered system of instruction, was provided by internationally known educator Mike Mattos, one of the founding leaders of RTI and professional learning communities, a system fostering collaboration among teachers to improve student performance.
About 200 fathers and daughters attended Foster Elementary School’s second annual Father Daughter Dance on Friday, Feb. 3, an evening of dining and dancing at the Julia McNeill Senior Center. The event helped build community connections and strengthen family bonds.
Clad in whimsical costumes and reciting the works of esteemed writers like J.K. Rowling and Shel Silverstein, 29 Margaret Heath Elementary School students entertained classmates during the school’s annual Poetry Festival on Feb. 23. Students from transitional kindergarten to sixth grade recited short poems, including some in Spanish, on topics ranging from video games to Walt Disney characters. The recitals included five students who read their original compositions. The festival, inspired by a retired school teacher, has been a Heath tradition for 20 years.
Baldwin Park Unified’s Walnut Elementary School on Jan. 27 became the District’s 11th campus to kick off a new discipline system designed to reinforce positive behaviors and boost academic success. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) emphasizes ways of teaching students behavioral expectations and reinforces those lessons with praise and incentives. Walnut teachers trained for the launch for more than a year. The school held six kick-off assemblies – one for each grade – starting at 8:15 a.m. Examples of behavior expectations were demonstrated through videos followed by school tours with mini-lessons on expected behaviors around school, such as picking up after lunch.