Education

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

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 through June 30, 2019, the district has spent over half a million dollars -- $576,289.60 to be exact -- on marketing and promotional videos.

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. 

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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.

MOUNT MIGUEL HIGH FOUNDATION HOSTS “QUARTERMANIA” FUNDRAISER OCT. 5

East County News Service

September 3, 2019 (Spring Valley) – Mt. Miguel High School Foundation will present “QUARTERMANIA” on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mt. Miguel High School Multicultural Event Center (8568 Blossom Lane, Spring Valley).

“Bring a roll of quarters and have some fun,” the invitation states. Quartermania is a cross between an auction, a raffle and Bingo. Vendors put an item up for auction; if you are interested in it you bid 1 to 4 quarters, then raise your paddle. If the Vendor draws your paddle number, you win. 

GLOBAL CLIMATE WALKOUT SEPT. 20 AT SCHOOLS AND WORKPLACES INCLUDING SDSU

East County News Service

 

August 22, 2019 (San Diego) – On Friday, September 20th, events in multiple San Diego locations are planned as part of the Global Climate Walkout from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. including San Diego State University.

ECM PRESENTS: EAST COUNTY MOVERS, SHAKERS AND NEWSMAKERS AUGUST 29

 

                    

Join us at our exciting new event, which we hope will be the first in a series.  Come be in the know about news shakinng up East County, and meet movers and shakers in our region! Just $16 in advance ($20 at the door).

EAST COUNTY MOVERS, SHAKERS & NEWSMAKERS

Thursday, August 29

  • Reception (wine & foods from local restaurants*)  5 p.m.
  • Program with our newsmakers/speakers  6 p.m.
  • Plus prize drawings galore, museum tours, silent auction
  • Musical entertainment by  Paul Nichols and Cindy Burnham

Heritage of the Americas Museum at Cuyamaca College

12110 Cuyamaca College Drive West, El Cajon

                                          (Museum entry is between the Water Conservation Garden's two driveways)

Speakers:

Jim Price, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum:  See a sneak preview of the railway’s Centennial Celebration coming up this fall , hear tales of the railroad's colorful past, and learn why it's called San Diego’s “Impossible Railway.”

Taylor O’Sullivan, Sullivan Solar Power: Sullivan’s project developer and NABCEP Certified Energy Practitioner will share info on the latest and greatest local solar trends including solar & storage technology, how to profit from new SDG&E time-of-use rates, and what residents can do to avoid missing out on the last year of a 30% federal tax credit.  Plus see a solar system on display.

Christina Whipple:  Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member on fire insurance options for property owners who receive nonrenewal notices

Barry Jantz, Stop Cottonwood Sand Mine: Hear the latest updates on a controversial proposal for a sand mine on the Sweetwater River at the site of the Cottonwood Golf Course, adjacent to homes and a federal wildlife preserve, also near schools and businesses.

Historical reenactor Victor Contreras will bring to life Bonifacio Lopez, cattle “king” from the 1800s, and speak on efforts to outreach to local schools and community groups with historical reenactments as we commemorate San Diego’s 250th birthday

Miriam Raftery and Paul Kruze,  Editor and Contributing Editor, East County Magazine: Hear the latest on breaking news stories & exciting events coming up, includng the opening of the Magnolia Performing Arts Center in East County.

Prize drawings with prizes galore, a silent auction, museum tours and more!

Buy tickets:  https://www.eastcountymedia.org/east-county-moversshakers#

General Admission: $16 in advance ($20 at the door); Students: $12.

Reserve early – seating is limited!

Questions? (619)698-7617 or editor@eastcountymagazine.org

Special thanks to our event's undewriter: Sullivan Solar Power

 

 

SAFETY A PRIORITY AS SAN DIEGO’S NEW SCHOOL YEAR NEARS

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

Photo:  San Diego School Superintendent Cindy Marten shares a moment with former school board member Sue Braun, who introduced her at Tifereth Israel Synagogue on August 18.

August 19, 2019 (San Diego) - With more than 100,000 students preparing to return to city schools on August 26, their safety is uppermost in the minds of those in charge of their education, San Diego City School Superintendent Cindy Marten told a small but animated gathering Sunday night at Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE STUDENT RECEIVES LIFE-CHANGING SCHOLARSHIP FROM MANA DE SAN DIEGO

East County News Service

August 15, 2019 (El Cajon) - El Cajon resident Pamela Gallardo has received the Lolita Lizarraga Scholarship from local nonprofit MANA de San Diego. She was just one of 25 local Latina students to chosen for the honor.

SCHOOL SUP'T MARTEN DISCUSSES SCHOOL SAFETY AUG. 18

By Donald H. Harrison

Originally published at San Diego Jewish World, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

August 14, 2019 (San Diego) -  Cindy Marten, the superintendent of city schools, will address a dessert reception of the Tifereth Israel Synagogue Men’s Club at 7 p.m., Sunday, August 18.

The public is invited to attend Marten’s talk in which she has been asked to discuss security at the city’s schools as well as any recent educational innovations.

CAJON VALLEY BOARD TO CONSIDER CIVILITY STANDARDS FOR BOARD MEMBERS, ADMINISTRATORS AND EMPLOYEES—WITH STIFF PENALTIES

 

Update: The board adopted both sets of civility standards 3-0, with members Jill Barto and Jo Alegria absent.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by NC-ND

August 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – At tonight’s Cajon Valley Union School District board meeting, the agenda includes proposed governance standards of civility for board members that would allow the district to ask a Grand Jury to remove a board member from office under Government Code section 3060 for engaging in repeated abusive conduct toward other board members, administrators, employees, students or members of the public.

Section 3060 allows a grand jury to take action to remove an elected official for “willful or corrupt misconduct in office” though the statute is vague on what constitutes such actions.

The agenda also includes proposed civility standards for employees and administrators; repeated acts of abusive conduct may result in discipline or ultimately, termination of employment.

Both items were placed on the agenda by Board Chair Tamara Otero, who has publicly clashed with board member Jill Barto on multiple occasions after Barto raised questions on board expenditures including the awarding of a construction contract to a company owned by Otero’s son.

The proposals seek to waive the customary second reading, in order to push through approval on a single vote, while board member Barto is absent due to a family emergency.

CUYAMACA COLLEGE BREAKS GROUND ON ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURAL RENOVATION AUG. 22

The Cuyamaca College Ornamental Horticulture renovation includes plans to replace an aging greenhouse with two modern ones with environmental controls and computer-controlled irrigation. The upgraded greenhouses and facilities will mean more plants, flowers and shrubbery to sell in the retail nursery operated by the program.  

Source: Cuyamaca College

August 12, 2019 (El Cajon) -- A groundbreaking to be held Aug. 22 marks the start of a $16.7 million project that will renovate indoor and outdoor classrooms and facilities, and add new greenhouses for Cuyamaca College’s signature Ornamental Horticulture program. The groundbreaking ceremony is set for 9 a.m. at the college’s Building M site. To attend, RSVP to community.cuyamaca@gcccd.edu.

“This Proposition V-funded project is a milestone for the campus because of the significance of the program and its link to the history of Cuyamaca College,” President Julianna Barnes said in reference to the $398 million construction bond measure passed by East County voters in 2012 to improve and add facilities at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges.  “Ornamental Horticulture has a storied past at our college and it is long overdue for a renovation. With the modernizing of facilities and the new greenhouses in particular, students have a lot to be excited about.”  

CUYAMACA COLLEGE RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION REFORMS

East County News Service

August 10, 2019 (El Cajon) - Cuyamaca College’s efforts to transform the way that students are taught math, English and English as a Second Language have been recognized by a national organization that promotes Latino success in higher education.

IMMUNIZATION PERCENTAGES BY SCHOOL: EAST COUNTY RATES RANGE FROM 10% TO 95%

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

August 8, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you have ever been curious about the immunization levels at your child’s school or preschool ---wonder no longer.

Shots for School offers information on school requirements, what the immunization levels are, and more. Preschools, K-12, universities and more are addressed on the site:

Preschools: https://www.shotsforschool.org/child-care/how-doing/

Elementary (kindergartens): https://www.shotsforschool.org/k-12/how-doing/

Middle schools (7th grade) : https://www.shotsforschool.org/7th-grade/how-doing/

SEVEN HEALTHY HACKS FOR HOMEMADE SCHOOL LUNCHES

By Tom ChristensenCounty of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  Shutterstock

August 6, 2019 (San Diego) - You’re rushing off to work in the morning and still have to find time to make a doctor’s appointment, sign permission slips for a field trip and drop the children off at school.

Oh, and find time to pack the kids’ lunches?

FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: LET’S HAVE SOME CLASS ON BACK-TO-SCHOOL SAFETY TIPS

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

August 6, 2019 (San Diego) -- When I was younger, I hated all the back-to-school commercials. They were a dreaded reminder that summer was over and pretty soon, I'd be back inside a hot, stuffy classroom, mourning my lost freedom.

SDSU ALUMNUS INTRODUCES VIRTUAL WORLD FOR DISNEY'S THE LION KING

By Cory Marshall, SDSU News Center

Photo via Disney

July 22, 2019 (San Diego) - Imagine coming across a talking meerkat, muddled between tall blades of grass, somewhere in the serene savannas of Kenya, and feeling as though it is a completely normal encounter. That was the goal for the Disney filmmakers behind this summer’s live action “The Lion King” remake. In order to do that, filmmakers, including San Diego State University alumnus Tom Peitzman (‘87) set out to create a virtual world, and in the process, fashioned an entirely new way live action films are produced.

COMPUTER CODING PROGRAM IS LAUNCHING IN SANTEE

East County News Service

July 18, 2019 (Santee) -- ThoughtSTEM, a San Diego county based computer coding school for students ages 5 to 17, is launching classes this summer in Santee at San Diego Christian College. These classes will run from July 22nd through August 9th, and will teach all interested students the fundamentals of how computer software is made. ThoughtSTEM builds their curriculum around showing students examples of video games they know, and then helping them create their own similar gaming experience.

JOAN MACQUEEN MIDDLE ENGINEERING STUDENTS TAKE SECOND PLACE AT NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE

Source: Alpine Union School District

July 16, 2019 (Alpine) -- Joan MacQueen Middle School Engineering students made the Alpine community proud by bringing home another national accolade from the 2019 Jr Solar Sprint held at the Technology Student Association (TSA) convention in Washington, DC. The JMMS team won first place in the sprint racing segment of the competition and finished 2nd out of 94 teams in the overall scoring of the Jr Solar Sprint event. This is the second top three finish for the JMMS Engineering program in the past three years.

CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIS INTRODUCES BILL TO END STUDENT LOAN TAX

East County News Service

July 13, 2019 (Washington, D.C.) - Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA), Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee,  Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Ranking Member of the subcommittee, and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) have introduced legislation to eliminate all administrative fees on federal student loans, which would save students over $1.7 billion per year.

STAY ISSUED TO DELAY CLOSURE OF THREE CHARTER SCHOOLS IN GROSSMONT DISTRICT

By Miriam Raftery

July 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Three nonprofit charter schools operating within the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) have been ordered shut down by a judge, but now a stay issued has been ordered for one year until an appeal can be heard. 

The schools at risk of closure are Diego Valley East charter in El Cajon and San Diego Workforce Innovation High charter schools in Lakeside and Lemon Grove. 

STEELE CANYON TEACHER NAMED BEST LOCAL THEATRE TEACHER AT BROADWAY SAN DIEGO AWARDS

Congratulations to Nicole LaBella of Steele Canyon High School

Source:  San Diego County Credit Union

Photo from left to right: Nicole LaBella, Steele Canyon High School, Sarah Bilyeu, San Diego County Credit Union, and Vanessa Davis, Broadway San Diego.

July 1, 2019 (San Diego) - San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU)San Diego’s largest locally-owned financial institution, is excited to announce that Nicole LaBella of Steele Canyon High School was named the Best Local Theatre Teacher at the Broadway San Diego Awards. The awards ceremony was held May 26 at the Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego.

TWO FROM GROSSMONT COLLEGE RECEIVE NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR LGBTQ STUDENTS

Source:  Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

June 27, 2019 (El Cajon) -  Two Grossmont College students are recipients of scholarships from the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.

CVUSD ASST. SUPERINDTENDENT PAINTS POSITIVE FINANCIAL FORECAST FOR DISTRICT AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOLS, BASED ON GOVERNOR’S REVISED BUDGET

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

June 26, 2019 (El Cajon) -- Cajon Valley Union School District Assistant Superintendent Scott Buxbaum (photo, left) painted a positive financial forecast for the district at its Board of Trustees meeting on Jun 11, after attending a meeting in Sacramento with Governor Gavin Newsom.

The latest financial forecast based on the Governor’s May budget revision is good news not only for the CVUSD, but for all local public school districts. Newsom, a father of young children, has pledged to make public education funding a priority.  

According to Buxbaum, the May Revision builds off of Newsom’s “California for All” vision from January. Due to strong April tax revenues, Newsom was able to retain most of his proposals from January, and invest additional funds into programs he has envisioned as prioirities.

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