West in the News

  • STOP THE PRESSES! REVERE MIDDLE SCHOOL WINS NATIONAL PACEMAKER AWARD: The Town Crier, a newspaper published by students at Paul Revere Charter Middle School, won its second Pacemaker Award, a national award for excellence in journalism and the highest honor given by the National Scholastic Press Association. The affiliated charter was the only middle school among the 26 winners selected from 275 middle and high school publications nationwide vying for the honor. Revere has been a finalist for the award each year since 2012. Winners for 2016-17 were recently announced at a conference in Dallas. Read More…

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  • $10,000 LAUSD LIBRARY MAKEOVER AWARDED TO SHORT AVENUE ELEMENTARY: Short Avenue Elementary School competed against 1,087 other LAUSD schools and won a $10,000 library makeover award and author visit for their submissions to the LAUSD's summer reading challenge. Read More…

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  • DUAL LANGUAGE EDUCATION BUILDS BRIDGES ACROSS CONTINENTS: “It is such a privilege to welcome these very special visitors to our school,” said Kingsley Principal Karina Salazar. “It has been an incredible opportunity for our teachers to interact with their peers from another nation. They’ve been working closely together, sharing stories of successes, challenges and how to refine best practices.” The East Hollywood campus is one of nine in L.A. Unified that are hosting more than 70 Fulbright Program scholars this fall as part of an Obama-era agreement with the Argentine Ministry of Education. Read More...

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  • VENICE HIGH EDUCATOR NAMED A CALIFORNIA TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Kirsten Farrell, a health science and medical technology teacher for Venice Senior High School, has been named by State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson as one of five California Teachers of the Year. She is the only Los Angeles teacher to receive the honor this year. Read More…

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  • STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, COMMUNITY PARTNERS SET THE STAGE FOR FUTURE CAREERS IN MEDICINE: With experts anticipating a major shortage of medical professionals in the next decade, two L.A. Unified schools – Venice Senior High School and the Girls Academic Leadership Academy – are doing their part to grow the next generation of leaders in biomedical sciences. Along with an El Segundo high school, the campuses are piloting a curriculum designed to prepare students for 21st century careers as doctors, nurses, paramedics and others who apply biomedical principles to save lives. Read More…

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  • SPORTS IN SPACE: PALMS MIDDLE SCHOOL ADD 'ATHLETICS' TO THE STEAM EXPERIENCE: When STEM programs morphed into STEAM, most schools added “arts” to the focus on science, technology, engineering and math. But, at Palms Middle School, students have joined the #EqualSpace challenge, using their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, athletics and math to develop sporting activities that could be played in space… Read More.

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  • Brenda Pensamiento, learning to dream one mile at a time:  Not long after her third child was born, Hamilton Senior High School principal Brenda Pensamiento recalls running her first marathon. “Before that I was barely able to run one mile,” she recalled. “But, I kept at it until I could. And then another mile…and then another…” She has vivid memories of when she first came to Los Angeles in the 1980s. She was only 14 when her family fled the civil war in Nicaragua. “I was terrified of coming to the United States,” she said. “I was at an age at which I had established roots back home. I had a life. I had friends. This was a foreign land to me, and I didn’t know the language. But, I believe things happen for a reason.” Read More.

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  • HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR GRADUATES OF UCLA-LAUSD COLLABORATIVE: Thanks to his own diligence and the support of his teachers – not to mention the seven Advanced Placement courses he aced – Ugonna Nwankwo will be graduating next month at the top of his class from George Washington Preparatory Senior High School. “Hard work pays off,” said Nwankwo, who moved with his family from Nigeria when he was a young boy. “I learned to constantly go after my dream, and not give up.” Read More…

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  • CRENSHAW GRAD IS ‘COLLEGE READY’ AS SHE HEADS TO BERKELEY: If there was ever any doubt that Asia Abdur-Rahim’s would fulfill her dream of attending a university, just consider that the club founded by the Crenshaw High School senior is called College Ready. And that’s her mindset now, as she prepares to graduate with a 4.19 grade-point average and to attend the University of California at Berkeley in the fall. Read More...

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  • ANONYMOUS LETTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT SPURS UNIVERSITY HIGH GRAD TO THE IVY LEAGUE: Ask University Senior High School graduate Jacob Abraham to list the people who have most influenced his life and he’ll name his parents, various mentors – and someone whose identity he’ll never know. The advice came from an anonymous admissions official at an Ivy League university who was responding to a letter from Abraham – who was then in eighth grade – asking what it would take to be a successful applicant.  Abraham recalled receiving a huge packet of information, along with a handwritten note of encouragement... Read More

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  • STUDENT GOVERNMENT LEADERS SELECT HAMILTON HIGH JUNIOR AS BOARD OF EDUCATION REPRESENTATIVE: A 16-year-old junior from Hamilton High School has been selected to serve on the Board of Education for the upcoming school year, providing an official student voice on the issues and challenges facing the nation’s second-largest school district. Benjamin Holtzman was selected on Wednesday by student government leaders from high schools across the District in an election that fielded five other candidates. Steven Pineda, a junior at University High School, was chosen as the student alternate. Read More...

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  • STUDENTS CHALK IT UP TO EXPERIENCE DURING FAIRFAX HIGH ART FESTIVAL: The quad area of Fairfax High was transformed Wednesday into a canvas as scores of students created vibrant “floor murals” during the campus’ 15th annual Chalk Art Festival. Read More…

    ABC 7 Report

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  • VALLEY VIEW ELEMENTARY TURNS 100: Philip Skarin walked a mile and a half to his little school in the Cahuenga Pass in 1930 from Mulholland Drive when it was just a dirt road. There were 16 students in his class at the school that was called Hollywood Park Elementary and opened in 1917. Read More…

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  • CEDARS-SINAI PARTNERS WITH L.A. CLIPPERS TO INSTILL HEALTHY HABITS IN CARSON-GORE ACADEMY: Cedars-Sinai partnered with the Los Angeles Clippers to host an afternoon of healthy habits for the students of Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Studies, one of the newer additions to the LAUSD schools nestled in the heart of Los Angeles. Read More…

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  • WESTCHESTER STUDENTS EXPLORE AVIATION CAREERS AT LAX: At LAX, fifth graders from Cowan Ave. Elementary School in Westchester participated in an aviation career day. Read More…

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  • GRAND VIEW’S NEW COMPUTER LAB REFLECTS LEGACY OF HOPE, GENEROSITY:  As he drove one day past Grand View Boulevard Elementary School, sports radio personality Steve Mason realized he could fulfill his goals of making a difference in the community while also honoring the memory of his recently deceased father. “I live in this neighborhood and I drove to this school and said, ‘I want to do something concrete,’” Mason recalled. “The principal said, ‘Well, we’re working on a computer lab,’ and I said, ‘Let me get that done.’” Read More…

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  • TEAMWORK IS THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR VENCIE HIGH’S SPORTS MEDICINE STUDENTS: During any athletic practice or game involving Venice High School, there is more than one Gondoliers team on the court or playing field. Venice is one of a handful of schools in L.A. Unified with its own Sports Medicine Team whose members oversee the safety and well-being of the Gondoliers’ athletes. Read More…

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  • PRIZE WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN ‘SAVE THE DROP’ WATER-CONSERVATION CONTEST: Three L.A. Unified schools each received $50,000 each to launch a water-conservation project on their campus as the grand-prize winners of the District’s Save the Drop contest, which encouraged students to devise strategies for alleviating California’s historic drought. Read More…

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  • CAN YOU DIG IT? SCHOOL GARDENS THAT WELCOME EVERYONE: It’s spring!  Time to introduce your kids to the magical feeling that comes with pulling a carrot right up out of the soil, or picking a perfectly ripe, sun-warmed cherry tomato from the vine.  But your city home doesn’t have the space for a big garden. Read More about Westminster Elementary's garden…

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  • UCLA PARTNERS WITH LAUSD AT HORACE MANN SCHOOL: Facing an impressive mix of challenges, including declining enrollment and a less than favorable reputation, Horace Mann Middle School would seem an unlikely place to produce a college-going population.  The stakeholders behind a joint venture between the Los Angeles Unified School District and UCLA are hopeful that their collaboration will rewrite the narrative for this neighborhood school whose population is made up of mostly black and Latino students. Read more…

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  • HAMILTON MUSIC MAGNET JUNIOR SELECTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS GRAMMY JAZZ CAMP: Joey Curreri, a junior at the Hamilton High School Music and Performing Arts Magnet, has been selected as one of only 32 students nationwide to participate in this week’s Grammy Camp Jazz Session. Their talent will be showcased in a series of events linked to the 59th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, providing the student musicians with opportunities to perform for some of music’s biggest names. Read More…

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  • PALMS MS STUDENT STIRS PASSION FOR COOKING WITH ‘CHOPPED JR’ APPEARANCE: Start with a tight-knit family, then add a measure of self-discipline and a passion for cooking and you have the ingredients that earned a Palms Middle School student a spot on the Food Network’s popular show, “Chopped Junior.” Jayla Hill, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, made it to the finals of the episode that aired Dec. 27, while she and her schoolmates were on winter break. Read More...

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  • SMOKEY ROBINSON SURPRISES PIO PICO STUDENTS WITH A SONG, NEW INSTRUMENTS - AND $1 MILLION: Motown legend William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. made a special appearance Wednesday at Pio Pico Middle School, where he announced the donation of musical instruments along with a $1 million donation to Little Kids Rock, which supports music education in Pio Pico and other L.A. Unified schools. Read More…

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  • MLK SPIRIT ON DISPLAY AT CRENSHAW HIGH AS 700 VOLUNTEERS TAKE PART IN DAY OF SERVICE: Honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of young volunteers from City Year in coordination with local partners on Monday commemorated Dr. King’s dream of the “Beloved Community” by beautifying Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles. Click Here to read more.

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  • BALDWIN HILLS SECOND-GRADERS FIND INSPIRATION IN THE COMMUNITY TO CHANGE THE COMMUNITY: Finding inspiration from a youngster just like them, second-graders from Baldwin Hills Elementary Pilot launched a collection drive to help the homeless –an act of generosity that taught them the importance of giving back to the community. Read More…

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  • WONDERLAND ELEMENTARY A NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL: Congratulations to the staff, students, & parents at Wonderland Elementary School on being named a National Blue Ribbon school.

    Click here to see the Channel 4 coverage. 

    Click here to see the Channel 7 coverage.

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  • BOOK AS GIFTS HELP STUDENTS BOND AS BUDDIES: The Milk + Bookies organization, together with 25 students from the Leadership Class at Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Magnet Center, recently visited 112th Street Elementary School to celebrate the joy of giving books, making new friendships, and reading books. Read More…

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  • WHO IS ‘THE CUTEST ELF?’ JUST ASK THE KINDERGARTENERS AT WILSHIRE PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: It all began last year when Giselle Spriewald, a veteran kindergarten teacher at Wilshire Park Elementary School, went in search of a holiday song that her students could perform during the annual Winter Program. Dissatisfied with the seasonal fare she found, she decided to write her own song. Read More…

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  • C:\DAGS DESIGN STUDENTS GET CAREER BOOST FROM NICKELODEON DONATION: Nickelodeon Animation Studios recently sent one of its top artists, along with more than two dozen high-tech gizmos, to Augustus Hawkins High, where students in the Critical Design and Gaming School (C:\DAGS) got to try their hand at creating cartoon images of their own. Read More...

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  • DORSEY HIGH FILM STUDENT GET A ‘REEL’ FEEL FOR ENTERTAINMENT JOBS: Almost like a story you’d see on a movie screen, all it took for teacher Robyn Charles was a simple email to set off a chain of events that has led to the blossoming of an outstanding film production program at Susan Dorsey High School. Read More…

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  • ENTERTAINMENT GIANT FUND NEW RECORDING STUDIO AT HISTORIC HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL: For many years, the basement of Hollywood High School was filled with trophies and other memorabilia – much of it long-forgotten and collecting dust. Thanks to a grant from Artivist Entertainment and Live Nation/House of Blues Music Forward Foundation, the historic space has been transformed into a state-of-the-art recording studio for aspiring musicians, vocalists and sound engineers. Read More…

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  • HOW VENICE HIGH OPTED IN — AND BECAME LA’s MOST-IMPROVED HIGH SCHOOL: While statistically Venice High School was the most-improved LA Unified high school in 2015-16 based on state test scores, the real story behind the jump is participation: Read More…

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  • HALLOWEEN AT VINE ELEMENTARY: Click here to see the Vine Street ES Halloween parade on KTLA 5.

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  • AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY DAY HELPS STUDENTS REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL: More than 600 L.A. Unified students, parents and staff engaged each other Saturday during an informative day filled with relevant workshops, special guests, a college fair, and entertainment as the District held its fourth annual African American Family Day at Hamilton High School. Read More…

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  • CIENEGA ELEMENTARY SCORES BIG WITH LA RAMS AND CEDARS-SINAI ON PHYSICAL-FITNESS CAMPAIGN:  Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Bradley Marquez was definitely the MVP during a recent event at Cienega Elementary School. During the kick-off of the Rams’ PLAY 60 Challenge assembly, which was presented by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the National Football League player encouraged students at the Westside campus to be physically active every day. Read More

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  • DREAMS BECOME A REALITY IN NEW PERFORMANCE STUDIO AT MARINA DEL REY MIDDLE SCHOOL: Classroom 27, which for more than 50 years housed the drama program at Marina Del Rey Performing Arts Magnet, has been transformed into Studio 27, a black-box theater dedicated to retired teacher Nancy Pierandozzi.   Current and former students and faculty participated during the recent unveiling of the 130-seat black-box theater, where the ebony-painted walls make the space suitable for simple sets and basic technical arrangements. Read More…

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  • WONDERLAND ELEMENTARY CELEBRATED AS NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL: Wonderland Elementary, a 500-student campus in the Hollywood Hills, today was named a National Blue Ribbon School in recognition of its outstanding academic performance… Read More...

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  • LA County honors Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach educators as Teachers of the Year: Two local teachers were among the dozens of classroom veterans honored Friday at the 35th annual Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year luncheon.  Friends, family and colleagues packed into the chandeliered Sierra Ballroom in the Universal City Hilton hotel to celebrate the 73 winning teachers from the county’s 80 school districts. Bootsie Battle-Holt, a math teacher at Marina del Rey Middle School & Performing Arts Magnet, was one of them. Read More… &  VIDEO: Talking with Marina del Rey math teacher Bootsie Battle-Holt

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  • PRINCIPALS CHOE & PARKER RECOGNIZEDFive L.A. Unified schools were among the 20 recipients of the prestigious Walt Disney Motif Award, which recognizes the work of those who have a positive influence on the lives of children.  During a recent gala at the Disney Concert Hall, awards for advocacy were presented to Principal Katherine Choe from Mar Vista Elementary School for Advanced Studies; Principal Brad Rumble from Esperanza Elementary School; Principal Ashley Parker from Hancock Park Elementary SchoolRead More

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  • YALE UNIVERSITY RECOGNIZES VENICE HIGH BIOLOGY TEACHER WITH OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR AWARD:  Arriving for her freshman year at Yale University, newly minted Venice High School graduate Amanda Rector learned about a special program that recognizes outstanding educators who inspire their students to succeed. Read More...

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  • Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) in the news:
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  • RAPPERS, DJs, ATHLETES GET STUDENTS FIRED UP DURING HIGH-ENERGY BACKPACK DONATION: A jubilant crowd of students from 42nd Street Elementary this week became the grateful recipients of new backpacks stuffed with supplies they need for the school year. Every student – from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade – received a shiny new bag during an event sponsored by STATE Bags, a buy-one-give-one benefit corporation… Click here for more.

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  • CBS 2 FEATURES WASHINGTON PREP FILM TEACHER: Darryl McCane lives for second acts at a school where some students are in need of a second chance. He's using a film class to give them that. Click here for more.

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  • LOS ANGELES UNIFIED WILL OPEN FIRST SINGLE-GENDER SCHOOL IN 20 YEARS:  The Girls Academic Leadership Academy, known as GALA, a middle and high school in Los Angeles Unified, is built around a STEM curriculum – science, technology, engineering and math – as a way to attract more female students to subjects in which they are underrepresented. Its founding mission is to create an instructional atmosphere sensitive to ways girls learn that may be different from boys to develop self-confidence, emotional well-being and leadership skills. READ MORE...

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  • GRANT EARLY EDUCATION CENTER: Years ago, when Stephanie Roldan was ready for preschool, her mother tried to enroll her in Grant Early Education Center, where the youngster’s sister and three cousins had received a solid educational foundation. Click here to read more.

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  • WESTERN AVE OPENS DOORS TO FAMILIES THE ‘WesTECH’ WAY: It’s springtime, and like many schools across L.A. Unified, Western Avenue Elementary held an open house so parents and relatives could come see what students have been learning. Click here to read more.

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  • VINE STREET ES TAKES A VICTORY LAP: A daily, before-school physical fitness program started this year at Vine Street Elementary has the school community walking, running and skipping. “Vine Victory Laps!” engages students, parents, faculty and staff in healthy, purposeful movement and music at the beginning of each school day. Click here to read more.

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  • LACES LEADS LAUSD IN RANKINGS: The latest US News & World Report rankings of the "Best High Schools" finds LD West's own LACES at #18 for California and #138 Nationally. LACES scored the highest among LAUSD on the list. Please Click Here to see the full list.

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  • HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL TEACHING CAREER ACADEMYA group of sophomores from Hollywood High School’s Teaching Career Academy recently attended a ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall to celebrate The Big Read… Click here for more.

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  • RICHLAND ELEMENTARY CREATES LEARNING GARDEN: A new Learning Garden was created Thursday at Richland Avenue Elementary, giving students new educational options and the opportunity to connect with nature. Read More.

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  • HAMILTON HIGH OUTSTANDING MUSIC EDUCATION: Columbus Middle School in Canoga Park and the Music and Performing Arts Academy Magnet at Hamilton High are among just 118 schools nationwide to be recognized by the nonprofit NAMM Foundation for their outstanding commitment to music education. Read More.

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  • Hawkins High students blend coding with core subjects to explore social justice issues: Freshmen at the Critical Design and Gaming School (C:\DAGS) at Augustus Hawkins High School presented projects this week that highlighted social justice issues about which they are passionate. Topics included animal abuse, child abuse and domestic violence.

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  • Portrait of a school success story: Braddock Elementary: Braddock Elementary has been serving socio-economically and linguistically diverse communities in the Culver City area for over three decades. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its teachers, administrators, and parents, the school has managed to create a wealth of new opportunities for students over time. Read on…

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  • SPRING COMES EARLY TO HANCOCK PARK ELEMENTARY, THANKS TO NEW SEEDS GARDEN: The first day of spring is still a few days away, but bright green leaves are already popping up at Hancock Park Elementary School, which recently celebrated the opening of its campus farm… Read on.

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  • Creativity, community drive Baldwin Hills Pilot School innovations: This is our school’s inaugural year with autonomies to innovate as a pilot school. We have three core instructional areas: culturally responsive pedagogy, STEAM integration and project-based learning. Click here to read more...

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  • Bernstein High students express pride with high-tech communications: Monday morning announcements at Bernstein High are live-streamed over the Internet from a professional on-campus studio, part of an effort to prepare students for careers in broadcast and technology. Read on...

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  • Linked Learning has helped these LAUSD students thrive: Bryan Cantero discovered in school that he liked to write. Then he found out he could turn it into a career and even spent last summer writing in a paid internship... Read more at LA School Report.

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  • School Board prepares to welcome student member: When the School Board convenes on Tuesday, there will be an eighth member sitting in the “horseshoe” – a math and science whiz from the STEM Academy at Bernstein High who will provide an official student voice on the issues and challenges affecting the District. 

    Leon Popa won last month’s student election to become a non-voting member of the board. The seat was created after some 3,000 students signed petitions seeking a seat for one of their own on the dais.

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  • LA High Teams Score First Place Tie in JPL Invention ChallengeFor two teams, the competition at the annual Invention Challenge could not have been any closer...

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  • Hamilton, Verdugo Hills Advance in Quest for Grammy GoldHamilton and Verdugo Hills n High School’s arts program includes instrumental music, theater and dance. Hamilton and Verdugo Hills High Schools are among just 119 nationwide named as GRAMMY Signature Schools semifinalists, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to music education...

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  • Congratulations to Pablo Gonzalez, a senior at Marlton School of the Deaf! He has been offered the position as a student commissioner for the Advisory Commission on Special Education and has accepted the position!

    As a student commissioner, he will work with the members of the Speaker of the Assembly, Senate Committee on Rules, Governor, and the State Board of Education. His capacity will include recommending and advising the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Legislature, and the Governor in new or continuing areas of research, program development and evaluation in California special education. In addition, he will work with parents, persons with disabilities, persons knowledgeable about the administration of special education, teachers, and legislative representatives from the Assembly and Senate. He is committed to carrying out his role for two years.
     
    Please tell Pablo how proud you are and wish him the best in his newfound role as a student commissioner!
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