More students are attending summer school

DOWNEY - The DUSD Board of Education Tuesday hailed the success of the 'Summer 101' program conducted on the West Middle School campus by Downey Adult School teachers and staff, noting its spectacular 64 percent growth since its launching last year.Developed as a summer enrichment program for K-8 kids, and promoted using the bouncy promotion jingle 'Learning & Fun Under the Summer Sun', the program administered by DAS assistant principal Blanca Rochin and actively directed by Reggie Donahue registered the jump in enrollment from 2009 to 2010. The program has two sessions: the first one began June 21 and ended on July 8; the second session started July 12 and ends next Thursday, July 29. Both sessions have two classes each, all scheduled from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. They feature such classes as, for K-2 kids, Welcome to Kindergarten, Math Without Pencils, Hanging with the Masters, Amazing Bugs, Under the Deep Blue Seas, and Sports Skills; for grades 3-5, Jr. Chefs, Phenomenal Forces, Write On!, Lights, Camera, Action!, and Launch, Roll, Race; and Soar into Science; and for grades 6-8, Tomorrow's Techies, Fun with Algebra, The World of Chocolate & Candy Making. Classes common to the Grade 3-5 and Grade 6-8 groups are Rock Guitar Boot Camp, Act It Out, Cardiology 101, and Adventures in Animation & Cartooning. Teacher Julia Desalernos underscored the "wonderful impact" the classes have made on the kids, citing for example the kids' enthusiasm for chocolate-making in one of the classes and the creativity they have engendered. Paper mache is used as a learning tool in the Amazing Bugs class, even as a program objective aims at "cognitive, social, physical and emotional development" of the child. Indeed, one of the girl students proudly displayed her work in her animation/cartooning class. Someone meanwhile suggested that a greater offering of academic subjects be injected into the mix. A parent, Clare Smith, excitedly told the Board that she was particularly pleased with the way the "great" program seems to be making a difference in the lives of the kids. Donahue said that in essence the program works because it provides the kids with a "safe and educational place" during the summer. In other action, the Board: *Accepted with thanks cash and in-kind donations from various benefactors including $5,000 from Maude Price PTA, to be used for a distinguished school plaque and picnic tables at Price Elementary School; and $1,000 from LA County Supervisor Don Knabe as well as varying amounts from several parties in support of the TLC Family Resource Center; *Ratified/approved routine district business, including the payment of convention and conference attendance; purchase orders by the Purchasing Department; the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services covering the month of May; B warrants for the month of June; routine Personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; *Approved the amended district memberships for the 2010-11 fiscal year, including memberships in the Association of California School Administrators (Region X1V), California School Personnel Commissioners Association (CSPCA), Los Angeles/Orange Counties Education and Labor Law Consortium, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, School Business Executives, and Zangle National Users Group; *Ratified the student teaching agreement with USC effective July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2012, whereby DUSD hosts a USC teacher candidate or candidates during a period of observation and/or practice during which they will observe students and/or teach well-planned lessons mediated by 'master teachers' designated in concert by both institutions; *Renewed the agreement between DUSD and EUREKA, the California Career Information System, Pinole, for career information searches, as needed, for high school students at Downey and Warren High; *Renewed the agreement between DUSD and Pringle Associates of Redondo Beach, for certified inspection consulting services which call for a "higher level of expertise" in order to complete new construction work and/or modernization of district facilities in FY2010-2011; *Approved the acceptance of the California Department of Public Health grant contract by which the district will receive up to a maximum of $923,172 in federal grant monies for the period, 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13, for nutrition education activities benefiting the underserved population; *Authorized the advertisement for proposals for full-service vending machine services for snacks and beverages at the secondary schools; *Awarded roofing work to bid winner FC & Sons Roofing Co. of Bell Gardens in the amount of $300,000; *Approved the change orders involving speech-language pathology services contracted with Summit Speech Pathology Services, Inc. of Palos Verdes Estates, and the Downey High School modernization of buildings J/K/N & L contracted with PW Construction, Inc. of Glendora, while reducing the retention amount (from 10 percent to 5 percent) being held for a related bid with the latter contractor; *Accepted as complete roofing, fencing, backhoe, concrete and electrical work performed by various contractors; *Acknowledged receipt of claim submitted by Allstate Insurance Company on behalf of Audrey Hargaray, as well as one submitted by Williams Scotsman Corporation, and denied both claims; *Ratified the abolishment of one Instructional Assistant (Bilingual) position at Williams Elementary School, effective July 1, 2010; *Approved the establishment of one new position with duties corresponding to the current classification of Instructional Assistant, assigned to East Middle School (for five and one-half hours per day), starting Sept. 8, 2010; as well as one limited-term four-hour Senior Instructional Assistant and one six and one-half hour Senior Instructional Assistant-Behaviorally-Challenged, to provide support services for students with special needs; *Approved the 2010-11 Board of Education goals: the goals centered, as expected, on each school developing an action plan for the year, including encouraging greater parent involvement in student grades and attendance (through its Zangle communication system), as well as, for the middle and high schools, an operative strategic intervention program; continued expansion of its flourishing Career-Technical Education program; continued professional development program (in data analysis, online reading and math assessments, SIOP for teachers and administrators, etc.); completing the modernization of the Downey High School cafeteria and the site work at Warren High School; developing K-12 English/language arts and math pacing guides; a major priority is ongoing monitoring/adjusting budget priorities in light of unresolved state education funding cuts. In this connection, board member Tod Corrin complimented Superintendent Wendy Doty and the whole district staff for their leadership role in pointing the district in the right direction; *Adopted a resolution approving the assignment of delinquent tax receivables to the California Statewide Delinquent Tax Finance Authority for the fiscal years ending June 30 in each of the years 2011 through 2013, and authorizing the execution and delivery of related documents and actions; *Approved the addendum to the employment contracts for the superintendent, assistant superintendent of business services, and assistant superintendent of instruction services to extend contracts to June 30, 2014; except as specifically amended above, all provisions of the current contract for employment shall remain in full force and effect; and *Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on all student cases, considered in closed session. The next regular public meeting of the Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: July 22, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 14