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.
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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.
Baldwin Park Unified students improved their performance in English language arts (ELA) and math on the state’s second round of testing on the California Standards for English language arts and math, according to data released Aug. 24. Overall, student performance climbed by 5 percentage points in ELA and 3 percentage points in math on the two computer-based exams, the centerpiece of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. The tests are administered in spring to students in grades three through eight and 11.
Baldwin Park Unified has released a new smartphone app that will allow families to keep up with District news, check school calendars, bus routes and lunch menus and tap into a host of student and parent resources. The free app, developed over the summer, is available via Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The District will customize it in the next few months to include school-specific content.
Thirty-eight members of Baldwin Park Unified’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) team came together this summer for three days of intensive training to strengthen the college-readiness program’s offerings at two District high schools, two junior high schools and one middle school. The teachers and administrators attended the AVID Summer Institute at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim from June 28-30, splitting their days between learning essential curriculum and developing Baldwin Park AVID action plans for the upcoming year. The training represents the second year of increased investment in the AVID Program by Baldwin Park Unified, which had been forced by recession-era budget cuts to reduce its annual training efforts.
Baldwin Park Unified welcomed 14,000 students for the start of the 2016-17 school year on Aug. 11 with new and expanded programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), new classroom digital tools, expanded college-preparatory programs, and a smartphone app that will provide parents with a new channel for school information.
Baldwin Park Unified educators and Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center staff on Aug. 10 handed out scores of backpacks loaded with school supplies to students from Heath, Tracy and Vineland elementary schools. Excited students got to choose from a wide array of designs, ranging from flying hamburgers to Star Wars. This is the seventh year Kaiser Permanente doctors, nurses and staff have donated the backpacks. This year, about 100 packs were available at each school.