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News from South Bay Union School District, School District Community Update

Dec 15, 2015 09:54PM ● By Paul Spear
News from South Bay Union School District, School District Community Update. Winter 2015-2016


South Bay Union School District

Community Update

 Winter 2015-2016
In This Issue
Superintendent's Message
Professional Learning
School Highlight - IB Charter
School Highlight - Oneonta
School Highlight - Bayside
Hour of Code
Helping Others
District Organizations
Technology for Families
Quick Notes

12 Great Schools Serving Students in South San Diego and Imperial Beach


VIP Village Preschool


Bayside (K-6)

Berry (K-6)

Central (TK-6)

Emory (K-6)

Mendoza (K-6)

Nicoloff (TK-6)

Oneonta (TK-6)

Pence (K-6)

Sunnyslope (K-6)


Imperial Beach

Charter School (K-8)


Nestor Language Academy Charter School (K-8)

Pre-K - 8 Enrollment -8,066
Important Dates:
December 21-January 8
Winter Break

January 8
School Resumes - Minimum Day

January 18
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

January 21
Board Meeting

February 11
Board Meeting

February 12
Lincoln's Day

February 15
Washington's Day

February 26
Report Cards

March 10
Board Meeting

March 21 - April 1
Spring Break

Focus on Attendance


The South Bay Union School District recognizes the positive impact that regular school attendance has on student achievement.


When students are not in class they miss important information and instruction.


For students to have a great school experience and an increased chance of educational success, they need to be in school, and ready to learn, every day.


Regular attendance benefits the student, the class, the school and the community.


For information on attendance laws, how to report an absence, types of absences, and the School Attendance Review Board, please visit Every Day Counts!


Board of Trustees:

Barbara Elliott-Sanders, President

Elvia Aguilar, Vice President

Thomas Schaaf, Clerk

Melanie Ellsworth, Member

Chris Brown, Member 


Important Documents

Quote of the Month
Follow us on Twitter
Superintendent's Message 
Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members,
Recently the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Advisory Committee met to discuss the LCAP (the District's strategic plan), the associated budget, and the implementation of the plan. The LCAP Advisory Committee is comprised of community members, parents, administrators, teachers, and other certificated and classified employees. The LCAP is the plan that guides the work of the District and specifically sets goals and priorities for the work of all teams. In addition, the LCAP articulates goals and priorities for the District budget as there is complete transparency in how all funds are allocated and planned to be spent. At the most recent meeting, a summary of progress for all four District goals was shared. This article focuses on Goals 1 and 2. There is so much to celebrate! In future articles, we will highlight accomplishments for Goal 3 - Parent and Community Engagement to Support Student Achievement and Goal 4 - Basic Services to Support Student Achievement.

Goal 1 - Learning and Achievement for All
Implement and assess a rigorous, standards-aligned, 21st Century educational program that promotes the development of the whole child.

Action: Promote 21st Century Skills
This year, we provided Chromebooks to all 3rd grade students for the first time, which completes our goal to provide 1:1 mobile devices to all 3rd-8th grade students. We are proud of this accomplishment and know that it will be important to continue to support technology replacement and infrastructure, and to consider the technology needs of Kindergarten through second grade students.
Action: Provide Grade Level Collaboration
In 2014-2015, site budgets, in particular "one-time" use or carryover funds, provided teachers with weekly collaborative planning time to plan great lessons for students. It became clear that more than half of our school sites would lose planning time completely as carryover funds became depleted.

In addition to the site carryover accounts becoming depleted, the District carry-over account became depleted at the same time. $2.1 million supplemented the District budget annually and last year that fund was exhausted. We had a need to allocate $900,000 of District-level funding to maintain weekly collaborative planning time as it was identified as one of the most important priorities by teachers. Thankfully, the State economy had improved and we were able to make that allocation without cutting District programs or services to students.

Action: Provide Instructional Materials
You may already be noticing there are more books in the hands of students! As children are learning to read they need lots of books at their fingertips. We have made a strong commitment to adding high quality books to every classroom library for independent reading. In addition, schools are adding leveled book sets to their shared bookrooms to support small group instruction in all classrooms.
Action: Provide Professional Development
This year, the Educational Services team provided professional development opportunities for English Language Arts, English Language Development, Mathematics, Next Generation Science Standards, Technology Integration and Digital Literacy, Instructional Practices and Pedagogy, and Combination Class Management and Planning.
Goal 2 - Positive School Culture for All
Provide safe, nurturing and purposeful environments which support the social, emotional and physical well-being of all individuals in order for them to thrive.
Action: Overall School Culture
In order to support school culture, we hosted Dr. Anthony Muhammad at our District Kick-off Event in July. He inspired all staff about positive school culture and organizational climate. We were fortunate to have him remain after the event to work with a smaller group of school leadership teams. Dr. Muhammad will be returning to the District for follow-up professional development. In addition, school culture has been an area of focus for all schools and the leadership team. Dr. Muhammad has written outstanding books about this topic if you are interested in learning more about what we are learning together.
Action: Positive Behavior Supports
We have made a commitment to students receiving small group and 1:1 counseling support by adding three fulltime highly qualified psychologists. Additionally, a Student Services Coordinator is working directly with site teams to create and implement positive behavior support for students. We have created a Behavior Intervention Team, including a social worker and behavior intervention specialists to assist with this work. Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) training has also been conducted across the District.
Action: Nutrition and Wellness
We have established a District Wellness Committee to promote fitness, health, and wellness. The Child Nutrition team continues to analyze and refine meal choices. New menus have just come out!

Action: Welcoming Environments
All sites have established goals to focus on improving school environments to make them more welcoming and attractive for students, families, and the community. Our Facilities team is continuing the installation of electronic marquees at all sites, and several of our schools are in the process of improving playground areas with new equipment, shade structures, and benches. The drought in California has caused us to have to reconsider approaches to landscaping. We appreciate your patience as we make the transition to landscaping that requires less water.
Happy Holidays!
Katie McNamara 
Katie McNamara, Ed.D.
District Superintendent
Professional Learning  
During the summer, teachers at South Bay Union School District attended professional learning around the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework. The Framework was adopted in July of 2014 to support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and the California English Language Development Standards. Because we have gone through change in our new standards and students are engaging in collaborative conversations, reading challenging texts and writing for different purposes, the ELA/ELD provides guidance in supporting all students.

California is the only state in the Union that has adopted a framework that integrates ELA/Literacy and ELD standards. In doing so, it has helped California educators to support students in learning to read, write, and articulate with confidence at a competent level. The students will be college and career ready when they graduate from high school.

The California Department of Education states:

The ELA/ELD Framework is like a "roadmap" for curriculum and instruction, assessment, and professional learning and leadership. It offers direction to teachers and instructional specialists on meeting students' diverse instructional needs, and it provides concrete ideas for how educators can work collaboratively to create learning environments where all students thrive.

Teachers in South Bay have been using the ELA/ELD Framework during their Professional Learning Communities by planning lessons that meet the needs of all students.  
School Highlight - IB Charter
For the second year in a row, the Imperial Beach Charter School PTA has chosen to say goodbye to the traditional "cookie dough" fundraiser and hello to alternatives that encourage family involvement and healthier lifestyles. Product sales in previous years had been solid, but the PTA Board took this "leap of faith" last year to make changes because they realized the health and well-being of their school community was more valuable than any amount of money.
To jumpstart the new 2015-2016 school year, students participated in an amped-up version of a jog-a-thon called the APEX Fun Run. It was an extremely fun and simple way to raise money while building strong leaders through meaningful character education and exercise. It was exciting to see twice as many parents join in on the fun and volunteer the day of the event! 

For the next healthy fundraiser, just a few weeks ago, Inflatable World was invited to the campus on a Friday afternoon. Students and their families happily jumped for several hours, not only getting some wonderful cardiovascular exercise, but also raising money for their school in the process. The smiles plastered across the hundreds of students and their siblings' faces were proof positive that the once difficult decision was the right one. For the second year, it is clear that the families of IBCS support and enjoy healthy activities as much, if not more, than those involving cheesecake and chocolate chips. The IBCS PTA is excited about the future of their fundraising efforts and proud of the healthy changes occurring for all members of their school's community.
School Highlight - Oneonta   
On October 28, Oneonta School was awarded a Barona Education Grant from the Barona Band of Mission Indians at an event at the school. The $5,000 grant will be used to purchase books for classroom libraries.
Oneonta School was nominated for the Barona Education Grant by California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. The grant award ceremony included remarks by Speaker Atkins, Tribal Council members Vice Chairman Raymond Welch and Councilwoman Beth Glasco, and Oneonta Principal Marla Fernandez. Also present at the ceremony were South Bay Union School District Board of Trustees Elvia Aguilar and Barbara Elliott-Sanders. The grant check was presented to 5th and 6th grade students who participate in the school's tutoring program.
Principal Fernandez is grateful for the generosity of the Barona Band of Mission Indians. She stated, "This grant will enable Oneonta to promote the joy of reading through additional resources. One of our top goals is to build the literacy skills of our students. This grant will assist us in reaching that goal."
School Highlight - Bayside
On November 12, the Bayside Dads Club hosted a "dads come to school to have lunch with their child day." Over 110 dads, granddads, and uncles attended, filling up the school's outside cafeteria and indoor auditorium. The energy was amazing and the students were beaming with pride to have their dads at school.  Thanks to the Bayside team and to all the attendees!

Hour of Code   
We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.
That's why our District is joining in on the largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code, during Computer Science Education Week (December 7-13). More than 100 million students worldwide have already tried an Hour of Code.
Our Hour of Code is a statement that SBUSD is ready to teach these foundational 21st Century skills. Anyone can participate in Hour of Code at any time of the year, as long as you have Internet access.  The programming sites listed below can develop problem solving skills, provide creative opportunities for students and connects directly to content standards.
Check out some of these sites with your kids:
Helping Others

VIP Village Preschool and the Reachout to Families Resource Center provided meal baskets to over 60 deserving families in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thank you to our staff of volunteers and our generous community partners, including Vons, Mission Federal Credit Union, and North Island Credit Union!
District Organizations
The SBUSD Education Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 corporation organized and operated for the benefit of the students of the South Bay Union School District. The Board of Directors is comprised of parents, educators, and community leaders who volunteer their time, energy, and knowledge. The Foundation provides you with a way to support excellence in our schools on a tax-deductible basis. You can do this by making direct contributions, memorials, gifts, or by attending/and or helping with our events (Casino Night, bowling fundraisers, Sun & Sea Festival parking, etc.). For more information, please visit the Foundation website.

The South Bay PTA Councilwill sponsor the SBUSD Unity Games/Field Day event onSaturday, May 21, from 9:00-12:00 at Mar Vista High School.  The event will include sporting competitions, food, music, and resources for families.  Please check with your school on details.
The PTA Council is also currently sponsoring a new attendance incentive program.  Students with outstanding attendance will receive a certificate and have the opportunity to purchase specially priced tickets to the April 23, 2016  San Diego Padres game.  The PTA Council will draw winners from each school monthly to be recognized at a School Board meeting.  Students will also have the opportunity to be on the field at the April 23 Padres game to be honored for their attendance.  At the end of the year, the school with the most improved attendance will receive a celebration party sponsored by the PTA Council.  Every day counts! 
Technology for Families
On Thursday, November 19, our District worked with Computers 2 San Diego Kids (C2SDK) to provide affordable technology to our South Bay families.  C2SDK is a non-profit organization that recycles desktops and laptops from various companies then refurbishes the hard drive, providing Microsoft Office, Adobe and a one year warranty for each device.  C2SDK provides training at Otay Mesa/Nestor Branch Library on the fourthSaturday of each month and technical support to each beneficiary.  

We had over two hundred applicants approved in the process and over one hundred attended on the day of the event.  Families were provided with the opportunity to select from three styles of refurbished computers ranging between $50 and $150 with Cox Communications present offering internet service at a nominal cost.  Families unable to attend the distribution event will receive a letter from C2SDK and will have 30 days to pick up their device.  We were excited with the participation and will host another event in March 2016 for our SBUSD families.

Thank you to the Educational Services team for organizing this event.  Congratulations to all the students and their families on receiving this important educational tool!   
Quick Notes 
  • We are announcing the 2015-2016 Optimist International Oratorical Contest!  The topic for this year is, "How my best brings out the best in others."  Students under the age of 18 (as of October 1, 2015) may enter.  The deadline for entries is February 2016 and the event is scheduled for March 2016.  For more information, please see theapplication.
  • Mission Federal Credit Union sponsors Mission for Our Schools, a program that rewards schools when you open a new account.  Click here for more details.

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