If there is any theme to the events that marked the past year in the Claremont Unified School District, it is this: people coming together to accomplish big things. A primary example of this trend is the community’s widespread support of former Sumner Elementary School Principal Frank D’Emilio in the face of his May 3, 2012 dismissal from the district by the CUSD board.
Earlier in the year, Mr. D’Emilio had failed to report inappropriate behavior between 2 children as a possible instance of child abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services, despite the urging of one of the students’ parents. He later obfuscated about his non-reporting decision, leading the parent and at least one coworker to believe he had contacted authorities.
In June, a fresh face joined Claremont Unified School District, that of new Superintendent of Schools Jim Elsasser.
Though only 6 months into his post helming Claremont schools, Mr. Elsasser (who most recently served as assistant superintendent of human resources for the Anaheim City School District) has made a good impression with school board members and district faculty and staff.
Oakmont Elementary School Principal Stacey Stewart notes that Mr. Elsasser has been very accessible and supportive of school activities.
“There seems to be, so far, a very good working relationship with the new superintendent,” CHS teacher Dave Chamberlain, president of the faculty union, noted in an interview held at the beginning of the school year.
Danbury School met each of the 3 goals staff worked toward last year, Principal Stephen Hamilton and a delegation from Claremont’s primary special education school site shared during an annual report on their Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) delivered at the last meeting of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education.
On Thursday, December 13 at 4:30 p.m. the first of 2 public hearings will be held in the boardroom of the Richard S. Kirkendall Education Center, 170 W. San Jose Ave. in Claremont, regarding the district’s future plans for 2 pieces of surplus property.
It wasn’t a signal of the start of the holiday season, but instead a hallmark of excellence as Claremont After-School Programs (CLASP) joined 58 recipients in winning the state’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award.
The California School Boards Association presented the recognition—which takes the form of an actual ringing bell—to Teddie Warner, president of CLASP’s board of directors, and past president Carole Harter at a December 1 recognition ceremony.
A troubling number of local teens struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Mike Bateman shared at the last meeting of the Claremont Unified School District.
This information—culled from a California Healthy Kids Survey administered by CUSD in the spring of 2012—was presented Thursday, just hours after CHS hosted its biennial Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention presentation.
Twenty-four percent of 7th graders at El Roble report having felt sad or hopeless during the past 12 months. This number consistently rises as Claremont teens get older.
Delegations from Sumner and Danbury schools, San Antonio High School and the adjoining Community Day School will present their Single Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA) at the next meeting of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education, set for Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m.
An SPSA is an annual report by a school, updating district representatives and the community on its progress toward goals set in the previous year—such as increased test scores for the entire school population or a significant subgroup of students.
Paul Buch, cantor at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona, is “a very satisfied Amazon customer.”
He regularly visits the online retailer to buy digital books, which he downloads onto his Kindle tablet. Recent purchases are evidence of his eclectic interests.
Not surprisingly for a cantor—whose job is to oversee the musical aspects of temple services, along with working with young people preparing for their Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies—Mr. Buch loves music.
When the Claremont High School Marching Band lost its winning ways, Band director Melanie Riley-Gonzalez knew she had to act.
The band had grown just enough to edge the Wolfpack last year from the small-band group in its past competition circuit into the category for larger bands. Faced off against much larger schools—many with funding allowing for props ranging from dozens of $50 flags to large wooden ramps to an oversized model of a pyramid—CHS didn’t place at all in competition last year.
COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff
The progress of 2 local elementary schools toward their respective academic goals and the initial moves towards faculty contract negotiation were among agenda items at the Thursday meeting of the Claremont Unified School District.
After reports on district doings by the student board members representing CHS and San Antonio High School, Principal Amy Stanger and her team from Sycamore School took center stage, delivering their Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA).
There was cause for jubilation on Friday, November 9 at Oakmont Elementary School during a morning Celebration of Success.
Not only did the school make a startling 86-point gain in its 2011 Academic Performance Index score (API), one of the largest leaps in the state of California. After a lot of hard work, Oakmont students got a chance to thumb their nose at authority for a bit, soaking their teachers and Principal Stacey Stewart in a dunk tank.
An API score is a single number representing a school’s improvement in state testing.
The annual Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) fall kick-off reception “Stars in Education” will be held at the home of Beth and Ivan Misner (located at 3752 Hollins Ave., Claremont) on Friday, November 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.
This annual event will include the Misner’s challenge to the community to match their annual $10,000 contribution with gifts pledged or given that evening.
Sumner librarian Marleene Bazela is keenly aware of the magic of books, and she runs her library accordingly.
Her reading nook is a wonderland of literary love, where kids stop by for the books and stay for the ambience. There are posters singing the praises of the written word, tables and stools where kids can hunker down, and a cozy couch strewn with teddy bear pillows where Ms. Bazela presides during read-aloud presentations.
Her headquarters has been further enlivened with seasonal decor: candy corn-colored fairy lights, autumnal knick-knacks, and a burning candle filling the room with a pumpkin scent.
El Roble students got the holiday season, and their hearts, started this Wednesday with their annual Turkey Trot run.
It is the fourth year the local middle-schoolers hit the track to raise money for the physical education department. The event was created by physical education teacher Deborah Foster, who was looking for a way around the bleak fact there is no funding for the upkeep of their fitness center and for new P.E. equipment.
“The fitness center is such a beautiful facility, I can’t believe that they didn’t give me the resources to maintain it,” she said. COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff