News about and from the San Diego Unified School District.
San Carlos adults have 40-year reunion with elementary teachers
It's been a couple of decades since Forward Elementary School closed in the San Carlos neighborhood, but not only is the school remembered but three special teachers are still in the minds and hearts of school alumni.
Now-retired teachers James Baker, Bill Knapp and Ralph Graves were honored by the group San Carlos Survivors for their inspiration to their students, now adults aged 40+.
"These teachers were just so fantastic that the group wanted to see if we could find them," said Tamra Mendoza-Mode, who had the teachers in sixth grade. The trio were found, but not in time for the group's annual picnic, so a special breakfast was held later in the year.
In addition to a story in the local online newspaper, the trio also guested on KUSI-TV's Good Morning San Diego (watch video via Facebook, where there are more photos and comments.)
"You always wonder what happened to these people," said Baker. "Well, today we'll be able to meet some of them. It's a unique and honorable experience."
Baker was a teacher from 1961 to 1989 at Forward and Spreckels elementary schools. Graves was a teacher from 1956-94 at Forward, Hardy and Gage, retiring from San Diego Unified in 1988. He taught six more years at a private school after leaving the district. Knapp taught at Sessions, Fletcher and Forward elementary schools from 1958-91.
Baker told Mendoza-Mode, the organizer of the event, that he also wondered if he "did any good."
"Mr. Baker, I am here to tell you: Yes, you did a lot of good. We all want to say, thank you!" said Mendoza-Mode.
Students get hospitality lesson from local industry executives
More than 300 students from San Diego Unified’s Culinary Arts and Management courses got the opportunity to tour local hotels and restaurants and hear from industry executives as part of the 16th annual High School Hospitality Conference at the Convention Center.
Organized by San Diego State University’s Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism with help from San Diego Unified, the conference was designed to prepare students who are already enrolled in the hospitality and culinary programs for careers they can expect post-graduation.
Superintendent Cindy Marten kicked off the conference by addressing the students. A panel discussion followed and then students departed for tours of downtown hotels, restaurants and the Convention Center.
Students from Mira Mesa, Morse, Madison, Scripps Ranch, Hoover, and Garfield high schools attended the conference.
Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Program Director Carl Winston called the event a win-win-win.
“When we first started, we expected it to become a ‘feeder’ for our school,” Winston said. “And, while we do get students enrolled, it has become far more important for our current students who act as mentors to the high school students. This helps our students develop their leadership skills which in turn makes them even better future leaders for the local industry.”
For more information, please contact Angela Croce, CCTE Program Specialist, at email@example.com.
Information for this article was courtesy of the San Diego Convention Center.
'Birney Bees' looking out for their namesakes
At Birney Elementary International Studies Magnet, students, teachers, and parents are showing some love for their school's mascot, the bee, by asking local stores to help save the honeybee.
As part of Birney's innovative Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Program, students have been studying the detrimental effects of neonic pesticides on bees. The program incorporates not only plant propagation and organic horticulture, but environmental and ecological awareness.
“From the first day, we teach students to say, ‘Thank you, bees,’" said Mindy Swanson, a Birney parent who also is an instructor in the environmental program. "Their first impulse is to be scared of bees when we see them, but then we talk about how 80 percent of the food in the grocery store is there because of the bees, because of bees’ pollination.
“After that, when we see bees in the garden, the students say, ‘Thank you, bees!’”
Students composed letters to Lowes and Home Depot, large hardware stores, asking them to remove neonic pesticides from their shelves as part of the Friends of the Earth U.S. campaign. Students delivered the notes on Valentine's Day.
As students of an International Baccalaureate World School, Birney students are encouraged to reflect upon how people affect their environments and take action respectfully to make the world a better place. Birney's garden program ties into the IB PYP's six transdisciplinary themes and reflects the specific units of inquiry for each grade level. The program has been so successful it has spun off a non-profit, Dig Down Deep, to teach others how to bring urban garden education to their schools. Contact Mindy Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 522-0687.
Vision 2020 Forum scheduled tonight
The final meeting of this round of "Dream Big" forums on the future direction of the San Diego Unified School District forums is scheduled from 7-9 p.m, tonight, March 10, at Crawford High, 4191Colts Way (92115). Board of Education Vice President Marne Foster, the representative from Sub-District E, is the host.
The "Vision 2020 Forums: What Kinds of Schools Do We Want" series offer parents, staff, students, and community members an opportunity to give input to the superintendent and the board members on priorities for our students and schools. The forums will focus on three guiding questions:
- What do we believe is working on our path to accomplishing Vision 2020?
- What do we feel and/or think should be improved upon in order to accomplish our Vision 2020?
- How will we work together to accomplish our Vision 2020?
Superintendent Cindy Marten said that the forums provide important guidance from the public.
"We look forward to continued stakeholder engagement beyond these forums as we work together to create quality schools in every neighborhood," said Marten.
Childcare and translation services are provided. To reserve your spot and for more information, visit the Vision 2020 Forums webpages.