Education

EL CAPITAN HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES OPENING OF EVENTS CENTER

East County News Service

Photo courtesy GUHSD

December 2, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Grossmont Union High School District celebrated the grand opening of the El Capitan High School’s new Event Center (@ECHSVaqueros) in November. The new 15,886 SF multi-purpose facility at the Lakeside campus will support the instrumental, choral and dramatic arts programs.

CAJON VALLEY PROVIDES BACKGROUND ON DRIVER TRAINING IN RESPONSE TO RECORDS REQUEST AFTER INJURY ACCIDENT

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – Cajon Valley Union School District has provided information on training and qualifications of its drivers, in response to a California Public Records Act request submitted by ECM after an October 4, 2019 injury accident at which the district’s driver was found at fault.
 
According to the California Highway Patrol, a district employee made an “unsafe turning movement” and lost control of the district pickup truck he was driving, which was towing a trailer.  The vehicle veered into the path of a sedan on Avocado Blvd. near Mt. Helix, causing a head-on collision that caused serious injury to both drivers, also causing minor injuries to an infant. The vehicles also careened into the front yard of a home. Alcohol was not a factor, according to CHP officer Jeff Christy.

CAJON VALLEY TRUSTEE JILL BARTO FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DISTRICT, SUPERINTENDENT, AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

November 28, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Longtime Cajon Valley Union School District Board member Jill Barto on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the district, Superintendent David Miyashiro and four trustees over what her attorney, Mike Aguirre, alleges are violations of her civil and First Amendment rights.

The suit alleges that since she was re-elected to her seat on the Board of Trustees in November 2018, she experienced retaliation and had her civil rights violated by Miyashiro and others after she questioned Miyashiro’s use of district funds and his travel at district expense.

“The School District Board Superintendent and four other board members have retaliated against Plaintiff and conspired against her in violation of her First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution,” the suit alleges. “Defendant’s retaliatory conduct has repeatedly tried to prevent Plaintiff from fully representing the constituents that elected her to the Board,” it continues. The suit lists does 1-50, leaving open the possibility of adding other defendants.

LYNN NEAULT NAMED NEW CHANCELLOR OF GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

 
November 25, 2019 (El Caon) -- Lynn Neault, longtime Vice Chancellor of Student Services at the San Diego Community College District, is the governing board’s pick as the next chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.
 
Neault replaces Cindy L. Miles, who is retiring at the end of the year after a record term of almost 11 years at the district’s helm. Governing Board President Linda Cartwright announced Neault’s selection at the board meeting on Tuesday. Neault starts her new job in January.
 
“Dr. Neault brings decades of knowledge and experience in local community college administration and is well-versed in the statewide issues of student outcomes and enrollment and their impact on state funding,” Cartwright said. “She also brings a strong commitment to participatory governance and decision-making that comes after many years of working and consulting with varying constituency groups from a multi-college district.”
 
Neault has served 25 years at her current post with the San Diego Community College District, one of the largest in California. She began working there in 1983 as an administrative analyst in Institutional Research, and later served as director, associate director and coordinator of Student Services. From 2013-2014, she served as interim president of San Diego City College.

PACK THE PANTRY RAISES OVER 50,000 MEALS FOR LOCAL STUDENTS

50% of area college students face food insecurity

Source: Calif. Coast Credit Union and San Diego Food Bank

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) – The first-ever Pack the Pantry food drive to fight student hunger on local college campuses exceeded all expectations, raising enough food and financial donations to provide over 50,000 meals to area students. Results of the two-week food drive were announced on the San Diego Continuing Education campus.

GOVERNOR PROPOSES BOND TO FUND BACKUP GENERATORS AND SOLAR PANELS TO KEEP SCHOOLS OPEN DURING POWER OUTAGE

East County News Service

November 21, 2019 (Sacramento) – Schools have been hard hit statewide by utility companies’ repeated power outages intended to prevent lines from sparking wildfires—including rural and mountain school districts in San Diego’s East County. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed steps to remedy the problems, including calling for a $15 billion bond to fund back-up generators and solar panels to keep schools open during unforeseen power outages, as well as other steps.

 

Future proposals may include rethinking the traditional school calendar and building in makeup days to deal with not only natural disasters but unplanned power outages, according to a press release issued today by the Calif. Dept. of Education.

STEELE CANYON CHARTER RENEWAL REJECTED BY GUHSD; PRINCIPAL GRILLED BY BOARD

 

By Ana Nita

View video including interview with Mark Robak and GUHSD board hearing on the Steele Canyon charter issues: click image at left or visit  https://youtu.be/9cZj0ZmsKzY

November 18, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School encountered a set back last week, when the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) board decided not to accept the charter’s application for reauthorization, following allegations that school’s governing board and charter committee violated the law and acted undemocratically. 

The charter school in Spring Valley landed in hot water with the district and the parents after a newly elected board member discovered significant discrepancies between the old and the new bylaws up for vote two weeks ago in the governing board. Mark Robak, a local businessman, joined the board on October 9 and by the end of the month, he was sending petitions to the school principal and the district objecting to irregularities with the authorization process and the bylaws.

RIBBON CUTTING OF NEW CUYAMACA COLLEGE VETERANS CENTER

East County News Service

November 13, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Student veterans at Cuyamaca College will receive a belated Veterans Day gift in the form of a new veterans center inside Cuyamaca College’s Student Center, Building I.  A ribbon-cutting to officially open the center, in addition to marking the grand reopening of the Student Center after nearly a year’s remodeling, is set for 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Nov 14.

STEELE CANYON HIGH SCHOOL COMPARED TO VENEZUELA AMID ALLEGED UNDEMOCRATIC CHARTER RENEWAL AND BYLAWS UPDATES

GUHSD to hold hearing tonight at 6 p.m. on Steele Canyon's charter renewal

By Ana Nita

View video of Nov. 6 Steele Canyon governing board meeting:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByIxjGKYLUI 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Steele Canyon High School is yet another charter that landed in hot water recently, following allegations of violating the law and acting undemocratically to undermine parents’ rights. The accusations are signed by two of its governing board members – Vice-Chair Timothy Abbott and newly installed board member Mark Robak. Both are both accusing the charter committee of excluding parents from decisional power during the process of renewing the charter’s authorization with Grossmont Union School District, the school’s sponsor. 

Abbott and Robak are also battling with the school’s governing board about new changes in the bylaws that were allegedly included without proper notification and which are  “undemocratic,” according to Robak. “Similar examples may be found in Venezuela and Cuba,” wrote Robak in a letter of protest sent on October 30 to Scott Parr, CEO of the governing board and Principal at Steele Canyon High School (SCHS).

SDSU FRESHMAN DIES AFTER FRATERNITY EVENT; CAMPUS SUSPENDS 14 FRATS

Several campus fraternities were under investigation for alleged misconduct before the frat event that Hernandez attended

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo: Dylan Hernandez, via GoFundMe page

 

November 12, 2019 (San Diego) – A student hospitalized the morning after a fraternity party has died, prompting a police investigation and shutdown of 14 fraternities.

 

Dylan Hernandez, 19, was found by his roommate in his dorm room on Montezuma Road without a pulse and not breathing on the morning of Nov. 7. He had reportedly fallen out of his upper bunk bed earlier during the night and his roommate helped him back into the bed.. He was taken to Alvarado Hospital and pronounced dead on Nov. 8, the Medical Examiner reports. He had attended  a fraternity party the night before. 

GUHSD BOARD TO CHOOSE BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE MEMBERS, RATIFY LABOR AGREEMENTS AND WEIGH FUTURE OF TWO CHARTERS AT NOV. 13 MEETING

East County News Service

November 12, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The Grossmont Union High School District Board will hold a special meeting Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. to interview applicants for the Citizens Board Oversight Committee. The regular meeting will follow at 6 p.m.

The regular meeting agenda will include a discussion of charter renewals for Steele Canyon and Helix High schools, ratification of  tentative agreements with the Classified School Employees Association and with Service Employees International, and more.

OPENING A PATH TO EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

New Department of Education grants help SDSU address need for qualified vocational rehabilitation counselors.

By Michael Klitzing, SDSU News Center

November 11, 2019 (San Diego) - For people with disabilities, a job often can provide dignity, community and independence in addition to a paycheck.

To that end, faculty in SDSU’s Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling program—ranked No. 4 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report—have received two training grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration that will prepare students to help transition individuals with disabilities into the workforce.

MT. MIGUEL HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION PRESENTS A “HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR” DEC. 14

East County News Service

November 8, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Mt. Miguel High School Foundation will present “Holiday Craft fair”, taking place at the Mt. Miguel Multicultural Events Center, 8585 Blossom Lane, Spring Valley, CA 91977 on Saturday December 14 from 10a.m.-3:00 p.m.

KUMEYAAY LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT ACCEPTED

Source:  SDSU News Team

Photo:  SDSU Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement formally acknowledges Native and Indigenous people and to take specific action in support of the Kumeyaay.

November 6, 2019 (San Diego) - The SDSU Kumeyaay Land Acknowledgement has been formally approved and will be adopted as part of ceremonial introductions at key campus events, as written statements on university web pages, and to encourage initiatives that bolster academic, professional and other support for students, faculty and staff. 

EIGHT SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CLOSE THURSDAY DUE TO POWER OUTAGES

Source: County News Service

 

October 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- The San Diego County Office of Education reports that because San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has activated a public safety power shutoff in certain parts of the county, schools in the following school districts will be closed on Halloween this Thursday, October 31: 

 

  • Dehesa School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Vallecitos School District 
  • Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District

SCHOOL CLOSURES ON WEDNESDAY DUE TO OUTAGES

October 29, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- Because SDG&E has announced planned power outages due to high fire danger, the County Board of Education announced that the following school districts will be closed on Wednesday, October 30:

  • Dehesa School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District
  • Mountain Empire Unified School District
  • Rancho Santa Fe School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Warner Unified School District

CVUSD ADMITS IT HAS NO DOCUMENTATION OF ANY FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO DISTRICT FROM HALF-MILLION DOLLARS SPENT ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

October 23, 2019 (El Cajon) -- As part of East County Magazine's investigation of the Cajon Valley Union School District, ECM asked Superintendent David Miyashiro, EdD and school board President Tamara Otero to back up their often repeated claim that the district has reaped great benefits with its more than half-million dollars in expenditures on  videos over the five years. Both ignored multiple requests for verifiable benefits and for interviews.

On Friday, at 1:45 p.m., however, ECM received a response to our California Public Records Act request from Naomi Rodrigues, the district’s Executive Coordinator. Our request asked for any verifiable financial and enrollment benefits from the district’s paid marketing and promotional videos published on YouTube from July 2014 through Sept. 24, 2019.

“NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST” wrote Rodrigues (photo, left) in her e-mail to ECM.  It is unclear if she was aware of our article published shortly before her response was received.

Although the district could not document any financial benefits or increased enrollment tied to its videos, less tangible benefits may include increasing student morale and boosting the district’s image elsewhere. Consistent with the latter point, Rodrigues listed four videos which she indicated have been featured and showcased by the San Diego County Board of Education.  (View full e-mail response from Rodrigues.)

Audio: 

CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT SPENDS OVER A HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

Superintendent and school board president refuse to answer questions on videos; recent flash mob video cost over $21,500

Update:  Shortly after publication of this report, the CVUSD responded  to our California Public Records Act requst for documentation of any financial or enrollment benefits received by the district due to its promotional videos on YouTube.  Naomie Rodrigues advised us that that "NO SUCH DOCUMENTS EXIST" but noted that some videos were published on the County Department of Education's website.  View our article on her response and the district's lagging responses to numerous other records requests. 

Photo: Superintendent David Miyashiro in CVUSD flash mob video

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, also contributed to this report.

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The internet has revolutionized video marketing. From small businesses to government agencies, organizations can now harness resources at YouTube and other online portals to directly market messages to a target audience.

The Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) has utilized its Youtube channel and other social media portals to disseminate professionally produced video marketing and promotional messages for its school projects and World of Work career path program.

Utilizing taxpayer money, the district has produced and promoted impressive videos such as “A Day in the Life of a Cajon Valley Bus Driver,” “Education and business leaders from Vista and Colorado tour Cajon Valley,” an invitation to a Grandparents Day event, Fall Festivals, Madison Avenue Elementary Lemonade Fundraiser, and numerous WoW (World of Work) videos. The District also produces a monthly “broadcast” with news and events directed to school personnel and staff.

Hefty costs

But critics say the CVUSD is making too much of a good thing, since these videos produced by the district have come with a high price tag.

According to information provided to East County Magazine by the CVUSD in response to a public records request, from July 2014 (when David Miyashiro became Superintendent) through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

GROSSMONT COLLEGE RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROGRAM CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

October 21, 2019 (El Cajon) - Neil Armstrong had become the first man to set foot on the moon just one month earlier, the minimum wage was just $1.60 per hour, and 50 years ago this fall, Grossmont College launched its renowned Respiratory Therapy program with an initial cohort of 20 students.

 

SDSU SCHOOL OF THEATRE, TELEVISION, AND FILM PRESENTS A NATIVE PLAY BY BLACKFEET PLAYWRIGHT JASON GRASL: LYING WITH BADGERS

Directed by Randy Reinholz (Choctaw) in SDSU’s Experimental Theatre; production is a collaboration with LA theatre company, Native Voices at the Autry

Source: SDSU

October 20, 2019 (San Diego) -- The SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film presents Lying with Badgers, a timeless story of hope, loss, identity, and wonder, from Friday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 10 in SDSU’s Experimental Theatre.  

GOVERNOR NEWSOM SIGNS BILL TO PROTECT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES IN NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Source: Calif. State Council on Developmental Disabilities

October 20, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1172 last Wednesday authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier. In 2018, a student in El Dorado Hills died after he reportedly stopped breathing after being placed in a prone restraint for over an hour. The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities testified in support of the bill that takes important steps forward to protecting students attending non-public schools.

TWO FINALISTS NAMED FOR GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT CHANCELLORSHIP

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

October 16, 2019 (El Cajon) - Two finalists have been named for the position of chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

The finalists announced by the Governing Board Tuesday are Lynn Ceresino Neault, vice chancellor of Student Services at the San Diego Community College District, and David Potash, president of Wilbur Wright College, a community college on the northwest side of Chicago,

KUMEYAAY ANCIENT ROCK ART BOOKS DONATED TO SCHOOLS

East County News Service

October 15, 2019 (San Diego, CA) -- For the past two years the Mountain Empire Unified School District’s Teachers and Native students received a gift of 500 full-color books including the photography and research of historical Kumeyaay rock art. Much of the rock art located along the U.S./Mexico border is within the school district’s boundaries. 

NEW LAW REQUIRES LATER SCHOOL START TIMES, BUT NOT FOR RURAL KIDS

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2019 (San Diego’s East County)  Middle and high school students in urban and surburban areas will soon get to sleep in later due to Senate Bill 328 signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.  The bill requires that middle schools start no earlier than 8 a.m. and high school at 8:30 a.m. or later, but rural districts are exempted. 

CONSTRUCTION WORKER DIES AFTER FALL AT MONTE VISTA HIGH SCHOOL

East County News Service

Photo: 10 News

October 9, 2019 (Spring Valley) – A construction worker has died after an industrial accident this afternoon at Monte Vista High School in Spring Valley, says Sergeant Matt Cook with the San Diego Sheriff’s department.  According to ECM news partner 10 News, the accident occurred just hours after the topping off of the new multi-use facility at the school.

Sheriff’s deputies and the school’s resource office responded at 2 p.m. to the accident at a construction site on campus, where the 30-year-old man had fallen from a beam attached to a 30-foot-high platform.

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO ”PLAN, PRACTICE AND ESCAPE” DURING NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION WEEK

East County News Service

October 7, 2019 (Alpine) -- The Alpine Fire Protection District in collaboration with the National Fire Protection Agency is spreading the word about Fire Prevention Week October 6-12The district also hosts its annual Open House at the fire station (1364 Tavern Rd.) on October 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  All are invited to come and visit the fire station, see the equipment up close and meet your firefighters. 

 

This year’s theme is “Plan and Practice your Escape!”

PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE: THE ART OF CONVERSATION

Play continues through Oct. 12 at Grossmont College’s Stagehouse Theatre 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

October 7, 2019 (El Cajon) - Grossmont College presents Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Stagehouse Theatre, the opening show for the 2019 - 2020 season. Picasso and the Lapin Agile takes place at a bar in Paris in 1904. The play is the exploration of the creative process, centered around a discussion between two geniuses when they meet at a bar--Pablo Picasso, man of art and Albert Einstein, man of science.

WHAT WILDFIRES DID TO ONE CALIFORNIA TOWN'S SCHOOLS IN FOUR YEARS

By Ricardo Cano | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

September 18, 2019 (Middletown, Calif.) - Catherine Stone pulled into a packed parking lot at Middletown High School on the hot and excessively windy Saturday of September 12, 2015. A small but fast-growing fire had erupted hours earlier, a dozen miles away on Cobb Mountain. First responders needed an evacuation center and wanted to use Middletown High.

GROSSMONT HIGH FOOTHILLERS CELEBRATE 99TH ANNIVERSARY AND HOMECOMING SEPT. 19-20

East County News Service

September 15, 2019 (El Cajon) – Grossmont High School invites all Foothillers and friends to the school's 99th anniversary celebration and homecoming activities next weekend including:

Grossmont High School Museum open Thursday, September 19th from 4-6 p.m.

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