Baldwin Park Unified’s Central Elementary School once again topped all city schools in collecting canned goods for the City of Baldwin Park’s annual Christmas Food Basket Program, which provided the food to residents. Central collected 5,260 cans during the effort. The figure – nearly double the number raised in 2015 – may stem from a competition created by student leaders that awarded the top class in each grade with playground equipment and the top students with a special lunch with the principal. Other participating schools are De Anza, Elwin, Foster, Geddes, Heath and Walnut elementary schools, Holland and Olive middle schools, and Jones and Sierra Vista junior high schools.
News & Announcements
Seven Baldwin Park Unified students received certificates and a teddy bears at the Board of Education meeting on Nov. 8 for winning the District’s 2016 Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest. The winners are Josiah Fabian, a first-grader at Elwin Elementary School; Dominic Garcia, a Pre-K student at Walnut Elementary Head Start; Samantha Rodriguez, a second-grader from Elwin Elementary; Kailey Tapia Vilches, a fifth-grader at Tracy Elementary School; Dulce Herrera, a sixth-grader at Margaret Health Elementary School; David Soto Garcia, a sixth-grader at Santa Fe Elementary School; and Caitlyn Miras, a sophomore at Sierra Vista High School.
Baldwin Park Unified educators on Thursday unveiled a $175,000 transformation of Sierra Vista High School’s library that features five tech-infused project centers and other upgrades that foster student collaboration. Already, the changes have prompted a surge in library use, with an expanded cadre of librarians regularly hosting as many as 80 students until the facility closes at 5 p.m. The project is designed to be the first in a series of library makeovers that will provide students with state-of-the-art tools. Foremost among the changes are the project centers, including two located in private study chambers. Each center includes a flat-screen TV that can link to laptops via Bluetooth, wheeled chairs and upgraded Wi-Fi. The private rooms feature stereo sound systems.
Leaders of the No Excuses University (NEU) movement are hailing Kenmore Elementary School as sterling example of success, specifically lauding the school’s approach to helping English learners become fluent. The Baldwin Park Unified campus is cited as one of six stellar schools in the college-readiness program’s 2016 annual report, released in conjunction with an annual convention held Oct. 20-21. Kenmore, part of NEU’s network since 2009, runs a literacy integration program that draws on a tool called Thinking Maps and a companion writing program called Write from the Beginning and Beyond. The tools also were instrumental in the school’s recognition as a 2016 California Gold Ribbon School.
Baldwin Park Unified’s Tracy Elementary held a Día de los Muertos celebration Nov. 2 hosted by Dual Language students, with a focus on the multiculturalism emphasized in the English-Spanish program. Students assembled altars in 12 classrooms. Parents joined in the celebration, creating their own altar in front of the school.
Baldwin Park High School celebrated Día de los Muertos with community members, music, traditional dancing, food and a display of 20 altars crafted along social justice themes by students in the school’s Dual Language program. Altars at the school’s sixth annual celebration on Oct. 28 addressed such issues as immigration, domestic violence, discrimination and breast cancer, using traditional objects such as skulls, flowers and items that honored loved ones. The high school orchestra played traditional music selections in the courtyard, community members performed ballet folklorico and students danced.
Students in the Elwin Elementary School Cornerstone program took home a first-place ribbon at the second annual East San Gabriel SELPA CAC Festival of the Arts for a poster titled “Our Future Is So Bright We Need to Wear Shades.” The students were among 150 Baldwin Park special education students to take part in the daylong celebration of the arts organized by the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of the East San Gabriel Valley Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), a consortium of 10 school districts and five charter schools.
Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza on Oct. 13 shared the District’s vision for student achievement, goals for securing its vision and recent program expansions with members of the Baldwin Park Business Association. The breakfast gathering, held at the Baldwin Park Unified District Office, drew representatives of Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center, SCE First Federal Credit Union, Wells Fargo, the Boys & Girls Club, the City of Baldwin Park, Baldwin Park Historical Society and the American Cancer Society. Mendoza stressed the importance of partnerships as a key element of the District’s focus on helping students achieve their greatest potential, an effort that requires a combination of academic and social/emotional support.
Sierra Vista High School students, staff and faculty shared their reflections Friday about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during the school’s regular Friday Flashback activity. Individuals shared thank-you messages to first responders and military personnel, their thoughts about the event and personal memories on three posters displayed in different areas of the campus.
Roughly 1,000 students and parents mingled with alumni and representatives of top universities and career programs at Baldwin Park Unified’s 10th annual College Fair, which targeted college and career guidance at students in grades five to 12. The event, held Sept. 24 at Sierra High School, included a keynote address from the president of No Excuses University, workshops on college preparation, panels of alumni and parents, entertainment by student musical groups and, of course, dozens of college booths.