A newsletter published for the California High School Community
Inside this Issue
Dates to Note:
PTSA President’s Message
By Rachel Hurd
Thank you for the terrific attendance at the April PTSA meeting for teachers Robert Pitts and Dean Dillman’s presentation about the changes coming in math courses at Cal High as the transition is made to the Common Core Standards. While much is yet to be determined, the purpose of the presentation was to make parents aware of the changes and to get the conversation going. Parents asked lots of thoughtful questions which tells me it was valuable. If you missed it or would like to refer back to it, the PowerPoint slides are available in the Locker on the PTSA webpage, www.calhigh.net/ptsa.
Continuing this conversation but related to the English Language Arts/Literacy Common Core Standards, we will host teachers Catie Hawkins and Donna Montague at our May meeting on Monday, May 13 at 7pm in the Library. As we heard in March, a key aspect of the ELA/Literacy standards is that students will be expected to read an increasing percentage of informational text as they move up through the grade levels, which will better prepare them for college level reading. This emphasis is shifting responsibility for teaching literacy to teachers in all subject areas, not just the English department. I encourage you to join us to learn more about these important changes.
We also heard an exciting proposal from the Celebrating Campus Arts Committee, which includes chair Susanna Ordway and teachers Michelle Stephanos and Kathy Tussy. Their plans for creating a piece of mosaic art that will cover the front of the outdoor stage in the quad were approved. The project will be done in two phases – a center section to be completed first and the two side sections later in the school year. They are holding a student design contest with submissions due by May 15. The plan is to have the artist/design selected by June 1.
The Celebrating Campus Arts program is a Cal High PTSA program to support the visual arts as well as other technical arts electives that don’t have a dedicated booster club. We raise the funds for the program by selling memory bricks that are set in the courtyard bounded by the counseling, administration and gym buildings. To date the program has supported the construction of the campus garden which supports the culinary arts program and the participation of Cal High art students for a few years in a philanthropic portraits project for orphan children in South America. We are taking orders for Memory Bricks through May 24. Please see the article on this topic later in the newsletter or go to the order form.
We also conducted our election for the 2013-14 PTSA Officers. Please join me in congratulating:
1st VP – Parent Engagement
2nd VP – Legislative Advocacy
Thanks to the continued work of the nominating committee, candidates were identified for many of the appointed positions, which Lynn will appoint at her first board-elect meeting. If you have any interest in any of the opening positions or getting involved on a committee, I encourage you to contact Lynn at email@example.com. I’m sure she would welcome hearing from you!
By Mark Corti
The months of April and May are always a busy time of year for our students and staff. We began five days of STAR testing on April 23 and end on May 1. Students in the 9th-11th grades were assessed in the following areas: English, Math, Science, Social Studies and College Readiness. The results from these tests will be used to determine class placement, target intervention, and also in many cases to look at additional programs designed to support academic success. I would especially like to thank, Dayna Taylor, Kathy Frey, Mary Church, and Sue Romoser for coordinating the testing. On May 6 a large number of students begin taking Advanced Placement tests.
We would also like to recognize 1,483 students for their commitment to academics (3.55 or better). The numbers of student award recipients by grade level are:
9th Grade 343
10th Grade 375
11th Grade 383
12th Grade 382
Two students were recognized by the Contra Costa County Regional Occupational Program for their enthusiasm, work ethic, and dedication to their specific vocational area by their teachers. I would like to congratulate the following winners:
Jenna McNaughton Sports Medicine (Shane Borchert, Teacher)
Allison Winter Play Production (Laura Woods, Teacher)
California High School was recently recognized as a member of the California Business for Education Excellence Honor Roll. This award is based on demonstrating a consistently high level of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. Another indicator included in the criteria is College Readiness.
Our leadership students were commended for their support of the “It Happens” transportation safety campaign. The students made giant signs, facilitated school-wide communication, and volunteered for the lunch activities. April 2nd focused on the dangers of texting and driving. On April 3rd, 91 students used a green form of transportation (walk, bike, and skateboard) to school. Participating students won prizes and gift cards.
Lastly, I would like to encourage our senior parents to have a discussion with their student about the importance of continuing to follow school rules and striving for excellence in the classroom. As the weather gets better and senior excitement grows for graduation, sometimes inappropriate decisions are made that can impact those goals. This is a great opportunity for you to communicate the importance of finishing strong before entering the next exciting phase of their life.
By Cheryl Youngberg, Counselor
The end of the school year is quickly approaching as we plan for award ceremonies and finish up meeting with students regarding next year’s plans. Counselors are working closely with seniors and making sure they are keeping up their grades as we near the end of their high school careers. Also, we will be visiting junior classes to discuss important items and handing out a very helpful Senior Survival Guide that will detail important senior dates and information beyond graduation (i.e. college applications, scholarship information, and other pertinent events). Please review this important guide with your student and create a timeline to stay on track. Senior year is a busy year!
- Students interested in taking DVC courses over the summer are encouraged to register now. Students must have the concurrent (Special Admission Recommendation) form signed by their counselor and administrator prior to registration.
- Many colleges and universities have summer programs and internship opportunities for high school students. Information is available in the Career/College Center.
- Students who hope to take a math or science course over the summer to advance must also fill out our district advancement form. This may be downloaded from our counseling website and returned to the counseling office prior to summer break. The district is currently deciding on the process for assessment and moving forward. Please keep an eye out for information regarding this pending decision.
- Summer School forms are being handed out on a priority needs basis. If your child comes home with one, please make sure to complete the application and return it to counseling ASAP. Thank you!
- If you are planning to attend DVC in the fall, don’t forget to sign up for Counseling 105 and take your placement test. If you have not completed the placement test, please contact DVC to find out drop-in hours or set up an appointment to take the placement test.
- Counselors will be visiting senior classes to gather data on student’s future plans. We use this information for our school profile and also use the scholarship information for our Senior Awards Night.
- Do NOT allow your grades to drop due to “senioritis”. Remember, the college you hope to attend in the fall will see your final transcript and have the right to rescind your acceptance if your grades have dropped dramatically.
Athletic Boosters News
By Shekhar Battu, President
As we begin to wind down the current school year, I’d like to take a moment to thank all the people who have supported Academic Boosters this year, including the parents, board members & committee chairpersons, faculty, administration, and most importantly our CHS families who generously donated to Academic Boosters. Academic Boosters’ ability to support California High School and our students is directly related to the donations we receive.
- Our donation drive brought in over $132,000.
- Through Matching Funds, eScrip, SAT Practice, and Nob Hill Quality of Life, we brought in an additional $20,000.
- Our online store for donations continued to be very popular. Over 50% of our families donated via credit card.
- Class Sections – We were able to fund 15 Semester class sections to help reduce class size. Each semester section costs over $8,900.
- Teacher Grants and Other school related activities – We contributed over $5,500 through our Teacher Grant program and funding of other school-wide programs such as Computer Leases, Academic Awards, Academic Teams, and College Night.
- Administration – We continue to keep our administration costs very low - printing and mailing letters, registration material, bank charges, filing fees, etc. accounted for less than $2,500.
- Academic Boosters completed its first year as an affiliate to San Ramon Valley Ed Fund (SRVEF). We successfully completed all official paperwork and formalities. SRVEF contributed an amount close to $15,000, and Academic Boosters provided a matching amount. The entire amount was given to our school and spent towards purchasing computers and other necessary equipment. Thank you to all board members for making this happen.
2013-2014 Donation Drive coming soon
In the continued effort to reach out to all Cal High parents (including incoming freshmen parents) we will be sending out our early donation requests via snail mail, including a prepaid return envelope. Thus, making it very easy for you to make the contributions. We want to make sure that you have a hard copy of the form so you can write a check, and mail, or go on our web site and do it online. Please provide the name of the company you work for, if applicable, for company matching funds.
Your early donation allows us to gauge our ability to commit to class section funding. The Administration is able to build a more accurate master schedule with the commitment from Academic Boosters. This also enables teacher staffing plans to be developed and classroom utilization to be better forecast.
Your early donation is also a real time saver at registration. You may donate online via credit card by going to http://CHSAcademicBoosters.revtrak.net.
Our last meeting of the school year will be held Monday, May 20, at 7pm in the Admin Lounge. We will be holding elections for the new board. It isn’t too late to consider joining the team! We have a few open positions – Vice President, Teacher Grant Coordinator, Testing Coordinator, and College Night Coordinator. A few parents have already come forward for a few positions. The nomination slate is posted on our website at www.chsacademicboosters.com. Please check our website for job descriptions. If you have any questions please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is nothing more rewarding than giving a few hours of you time per month to Academic Boosters. There are no special qualifications or skills required, just a willingness to jump in and do your best. Join us!
No June Meeting – Due to the crazy schedule during the last few weeks of school we will not have a June meeting.
Enjoy the remaining weeks of the school year. It’s hard to believe it is almost over.
Thank you, and Good Bye
This is my last year on the board. I really enjoyed last few years working as part of Academic Boosters, in various capacities. During my tenure at AB, I worked very closely with Cal High administration, teachers, counselors, and various staff members. Everybody is so nice to work with, very helpful, and highly cooperative. I started with Academic Boosters when my older son, Tarun, started at Cal High, and he is now completing his 3rd year at college. Now my younger son, Varun, is a Senior, and he is ready to go to college. It has been a very interesting ride. I want to thank our Principal Mr. Mark Corti, the entire Cal high staff, teachers and others for supporting me through my volunteer work at Academic Boosters. I would not have managed to do this job without their help.
I want to thank two awesome board members who are also retiring from AB, Henry He, and Marcy Williams. Henry’s contributions as Teacher Grants Coordinator have been marvelous. Working with all the teachers, tracking their grants and keeping up the communications is not easy. Marcy Williams has done an excellent job managing 2 volunteer duties, one as SAT/ACT Testing Coordinator and the other as a College Night Coordinator. It is not easy doing all this plus a full time job. On behalf of the entire Academic Boosters board, I thank them for all their contributions, and for taking time away from their families to perform their duties as AB board members.
Athletic Boosters News
By Julie Sword, CAB Communications
Grizzly Madness 2013 Huge Success!
Thank you Cal High community for supporting the Athletic Booster's Grizzly Madness fund raiser. The event and online auction raised over $35, 000! The participating sports teams alone raised $28,800 to put toward their operating budgets, and CAB raised $8,000 to put toward general athletic funding and facility improvements.
Athletic Boosters Board Members Needed
Several of our current CAB board members are retiring, and we need a few volunteers to join us in raising funds for Cal High Athletics. The time commitment varies by role, and there are multiple roles available. If you would like to learn more, please join send us an email at email@example.com.
Upcoming Meeting Schedule
Meetings are the first Monday of every month at 7pm in the 1st floor teachers lounge. Our next meeting is Monday, May 6th. Parents and Coaches are always encouraged to attend!
Spring 2013 Memory Brick Fundraising Drive
Leave your son or daughter's mark on Cal High forever! Buy a Memory Brick to be placed in the patio between the counseling building, administration building and renovated gym for all to see. What a great way to honor a graduating senior! The funds raised benefit the Celebrating Campus Arts Program, a program of Cal High PTSA to fund the creation and installation of student art at Cal High. The cost is $75 per brick. Each brick will be engraved with a maximum of 3 lines. To order, complete the online form and drop off a check, payable to Cal High PTSA for the amount of $75 per brick, in the office or mail it to CHS PTSA Memory Brick Fundraiser, 9870 Broadmoor Dr., San Ramon, CA 94583. The deadline for this ordering cycle is Friday, May 24, 2013.
Celebrating Campus Arts
By Susanna Ordway, Art Programs Chair
Campus Art in the Quad – Design a mosaic and win $50!
Leave your legacy to CHS by creating an original design for the stage front in the quad area. Pick up a Mosaic Contest Design Form for your design in the office, Library, or all Art rooms. Turn it in to Mrs. Stephanos (FA104) by May 15, 2013. The winner of this contest will win $50! The winning design will be selected by students, teachers, staff, and parents, and it will be installed in mosaics in the next year. Contest details may be found on the Mosaic Contest Design Form.
By Teresa DeHope, Hospitality Chair
PTSA will be providing one last function for Cal High's staff this school year. We are planning a summer theme based luncheon to be held the week of May 20th. We will be offering a wide variety of salads and some deserts to celebrate and thank our wonderful staff and teachers for all their hard work and efforts this year. If you would like to help out and/or contribute a food item, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will see to it that you are included in the Sign-up Genius that will be generated shortly. Thank you!
TRAFFIX Bus Service to Cal High
The TRAFFIX bus program has made a huge improvement in the traffic congestion at California High School. The service has been consistently on time, the kids love riding the bus, and parents are saving a lot of time and money. Passes for the 2013-2014 school year are on sale now at the TRAFFIX website www.RideTRAFFIX.com. A map of the route can be found at CA17 - San Ramon. For more information, visit www.RideTRAFFIX.com or call 925-866-TRFX (8739).
Grad Night 2013
By Lori Di Dio, Grad Night Co-Chair
Grad Night Registration: Graduation is quickly approaching, and we are preparing a huge celebration for our seniors following the graduation ceremonies on Friday June 14th. We have a lot of great food and entertainment planned including Fuddruckers Grill, a casino, numerous games, tattoos, and a hypnotist - just to name a few. There will also be a DJ with music and dancing, and there will be drawings for prizes going on the entire night, including chances for everyone to win!
Parents, please talk to your senior and encourage them to sign up for our Grad Night Celebration. It's a great way to end their high school years at Cal High and to celebrate with their friends in a safe and drug-free environment.
Please be sure you turn in your registration form as soon as possible. We are getting ready to order the senior gifts and want to make sure that we include you in our numbers!
If you need to purchase your ticket, print out the Registration Form and the Behavior Contract, fill them out, and return them to the office with your check for $175 made out to "Grad Night 2013". There are also registration forms available in the school office.
If you have already signed up for Grad Night, please take the time to fill out the behavioral contract and turn it in at the office for our records.
Not sure if you've already registered or need more information? Please send an email to GrizzliesGrad2013@att.net, and they can answer your questions.
Volunteers: We need lots of help getting ready for this event and would love your help during construction and painting NOW! We will also need a lot of help setting up several days prior to the event. Please contact me if you can offer any help at all - WE NEED YOU! We are also looking for any gift donations that can be used as raffle prizes or any contacts you may have with food vendors - mostly chips and other prepackaged snack foods. Please contact me at email@example.com to let me know if you have any information.
Cal High Photography
By Paul Fortayon, Photography Teacher
The Cal High Photo department is looking for donations of old film cameras and photo equipment. If you have an old camera collecting dust, please donate it so Cal High photography students can put it to good use. Please contact Paul Fortayon at firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks for your support.
City of San Ramon Acoustic Night for High School Students
By Steve Cox, City of San Ramon Recreation Coordinator
The San Ramon Parks and Community Services Department is hosting Acoustic Night for high school students on Friday, May 10th, at the Front Row Theater, in the Dougherty Station Community Center (17011 Bollinger Canyon Road). The event starts at 7:30 pm and costs $5 to attend. Come hang out with friends and support your favorite local performers! Lineup includes: Nicolas Kauffman and Bryce Woodward, My Own Confusion, Members of the Audience, Mekaleya Tilahun, Nicky Moriarty, ExMiss, Courtney Glickman and Minute 2 Midnight. Visit www.SRTeen.org or call 925-973-3200 for more information.