Monday, March 07, 2005 | San Diego Unified Approves Four More Charter Schools

At their March 1 meeting, trustees for San Diego City Schools approved four new charter schools: Gompers, Keiller, Memorial, and King/Chavez. Gompers and Keiller are middle schools in trustee Shelia Jackson’s district, and Memorial Middle School and King/Chavez elementary schools are located in trustee Luis Acle’s district.

San Diego City Schools to Hold Board Meetings

San Diego City Schools has scheduled a Board of Education meeting at 4:00 p.m. on March 7 at the Eugene Brucker Education Center at 4100 Normal Street in San Diego (619-725-5550). The board will review plans for the restructuring of the following four under-performing schools: Wilson Middle, Mann Middle, Kennedy Elementary, and Balboa Elementary. Another board meeting is scheduled for March 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the same location. A number of items are on the agenda. Check the district’s web site for more information (

Curriculum Workshops March 10 and 17

San Diego City Schools will sponsor a workshop on curriculum and instruction content for Social Studies on March 10, and for English Language Learners on March 17. All community members, parents, and district staff are invited to attend. The meetings will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Eugene Brucker Education Center at 4100 Normal Street in San Diego (619-725-5550).

New School Library Buildings Dedicated

The San Diego Unified School District used the occasion of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2 to dedicate two new library buildings at Adams Elementary and Wegeforth Elementary schools. The libraries were paid for with money provided by voter-approved Proposition MM, which is funding more than 100 new libraries throughout the school district.

Students Caught Skipping School

Police rounded up 53 underage students in the mid-city area who skipped school on Feb. 24, as part of a periodic truancy sweep conducted by the San Diego Police Dept., San Diego Unified School District police, Juvenile Probation, and San Diego City Schools administrators. Detainees will have to pay fines for violating daytime-loitering laws that require students to be in school during regular school hours, authorities said.

New UCSD Chancellor

On March 3, Marye Anne Fox was inaugurated to be the seventh UCSD chancellor. In her inaugural remarks, Fox, a physical organic chemist who was previously chancellor at North Carolina State University, said she was honored to accept the position and recognized that, as the first permanent female chancellor of UCSD, “I may be regarded as a role model for young women and members of under-represented groups. It is a responsibility that I take seriously. I am reminded of a comment by my former Texas colleague Barbara Jordan, who said that her position as an African-American Congresswoman was but ‘one additional piece of evidence that the American Dream need not forever be denied.’ If we can inspire even a single student today to think this way, then this inaugural event will have been fully worthwhile.”

Gallaudet Selects UCSD Scholar for Board

Tom Humphries, associate professor in UCSD’s communications dept. and associate director of UCSD’s teacher education program, was named to the board of trustees at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. Gallaudet is the only university in the world in which all programs are designed to accommodate students with hearing disabilities. Humphries is a Gallaudet graduate.

California Lieutenant Governor Speaks to Sweetwater Students

Calif. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante addressed students at Southwest High School, in the Sweetwater Union High School District, on Feb. 24. The topic was financial aid for college. Bustamante also recognized students at the school for academic achievement.

Air Let Out of 76 School Buses

The morning of Feb. 28, bus-riding students in the San Dieguito Union High School District were up to two hours late getting to school after it was discovered that the air had been let out of the tires of 76 school buses. Called a senior prank, the incident was first reported as a tire-slashing but was later modified. The incident is under investigation.

Four Principals Needed

Due to retirements and transfers, the San Dieguito Union High School District will have principal positions available for this fall at four of its eight schools – Carmel Valley Middle School, Earl Warren Middle School, La Costa Canyon High School, and San Deiguito Academy High School.

Teacher Job Fair to be Held

The University of San Diego will hold a teacher job fair on Sat., March 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Jenny Craig Pavilion at 5998 Alcala Park. This is the 11th annual job fair for secondary and special education teachers in grades K-12. Contact the San Diego County Office of Education ( for more information.

Summit on Student Nutrition

“Improving Student Nutrition in San Diego County” is the topic of a County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency summit that will bring together education leaders and health/nutrition experts to address the issue of childhood obesity. The event will include Pam Slater-Price, a Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, Dr. Rudy Castruita, Superintendent of County Schools, and 200 other school board members, superintendents, principals, food service directors, and health professionals. The summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 9, at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive. Check

La Jolla High Wins in Ocean Science Surf Bowl

La Jolla High School took first place on Feb. 26 in the La Jolla Surf Bowl 2005, a one-day regional ocean science competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB).

Convening at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD in La Jolla, 17 high school teams were tested on their marine science knowledge with rapid-fire questions in biology, chemistry, geography, geology, navigation, physics, and related history and literature.

The La Jolla High School team will represent the southern California region in April in the NOSB 2005 finals in Biloxi, Mississippi, where the students will compete against 24 other teams from across the country for the national title.

The NOSB is an educational program designed to stimulate high school students’ interest in ocean sciences, broaden public awareness of the value of ocean research, and foster the next generation of marine scientists, educators, and policy makers.

Impasse Between Grossmont School District and Union Could Result in Layoffs

The Grossmont Union High School District has reduced, from 100 to 50, the number of teachers that may be laid off this fall. The reduction is a result of updated financial and enrollment data. Preliminary layoff notices have to be mailed to teachers by March 15, and actual layoffs by May 15. The district and its teachers’ union are at an impasse primarily over pay raises, but also health benefits and class sizes. The union wants a four percent salary increase, while the district says it can only afford one percent. District superintendent Terry Ryan said that layoffs are possible as long as the union remains inflexible over salaries.

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