News Briefs

AVID Participates in Annual Write-Off
AVID students at the school will be competing in the organization’s annual write-off this January and February.

To compete, students write timed essays on a certain prompt, which are then read by the English and AVID teachers from the school who choose the top five essays from each grade level to send to the county and district readers. Once received, the essays are read at both the county and district level, which consists of four counties.

The finalists from the district level are chosen to attend a writing conference held at different local universities. According to AVID teacher Roma Hammel, the school always has some county finalists and usually at least one district finalist.

New Teacher Joins Math Department
After first semester, math teacher Julie Hsieh resigned and was replaced by Michelle Ryan. Three freshman algebra classes were affected by Hsieh’s resignation. It is unknown why she decided to resign.

Ryan is not new to teaching and comes with experience. She previously worked at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she taught history and writing. She also has a Ph.D. in history.

According to math teacher Steve Cochran, the Math Department does as much as it can to support new teachers. Math teachers meet in small subgroups according to subject. This enables all teachers of each subject to get together and discuss their schedules and teaching methods.

“The teachers have been really supportive and helped make the transition smooth,” Ryan said.

As of now there have been no complications in the mid-year replacement.

School Hosted Latino Parent, Family Forum
Parents of middle school and high school children participated in a Latino Parent Forum hosted by the school on Wednesday, January 16.

The forum consisted of a dinner for staff and families, a presentation in the Eagle Theatre and smaller format round-table discussions. The purpose of the forum was to discuss ways to raise Latino student achievement.

The presentation included an introduction by Superintendent Barry Groves and speeches by community members such as the President of Foothill Community College, Judy Minor. The presentations were in Spanish, the discussions were led by Spanish-speaking facilitators and childcare was provided for families so that more parents would be able to attend and participate.