Launch Pad The - Palmdale School District

Launch Pad The - Palmdale School District (PDF)

2022 • 12 Pages • 8.78 MB • English
Posted July 01, 2022 • Submitted by Superman

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SUPERINTENDENT Three Firsts! Many firsts have happened this past semester. First, we are proud to celebrate Dr. Keisha Burns, Shadow Hills Magnet Academy Counselor, for being named the 2021 Los Angeles County Office of Education School Counselor of the Year. In February, she was honored as the 2022 State School Counselor of the Year. She is the first African American woman to be recognized at the America Association of School Counselors National Conference. Previously, she earned the Recognized ACSA Model Program (RAMP) designation for Shadow Hills Magnet Academy. The RAMP application process is the culmination of a comprehensive school counseling program, which typically takes three to five years to implement. Once a school has a program in place, it takes at least one entire academic year to collect the data and information needed to fulfill the RAMP application requirements. Seven of our eight schools have achieved RAMP status with Cactus Magnet Academy and Palmdale Learning Plaza, recognized as Schools of Distinction. The RAMP program provides both academic and behavioral support to students. Another first is the groundbreaking of the state-of- the-art track-and-field facility at Palmdale Academy Charter School. Palmdale School District is committed to building the best artificial-turf track. The district purchased the same type of turf used in many famous stadiums and arenas. It has the beautiful look of healthy green grass throughout the Raul Maldonado VOLUME 9, ISSUE 36 MARCH / APRIL 2022 Student Promise Ambassadors By Janet Simons, Director of LCAP and Charter Oversight In February, approximately 70 student leaders from across the district came together for the last Student PROMISE Ambassador meeting of the 2021–22 school year. They continued to meet with counselors and social- emotional learning specialists to learn to recognize stress and to discover ways to manage stressful situations. They learned whom to turn to at their school sites when they are feeling stressed and how to help others who are feeling stressed. The Interscholastic Communication Council (ICC), made up of ASB students from the middle schools, presented a PowerPoint on managing stress and performed several skits on the topic. Hearing advice from other students was very well received by the Student PROMISE Ambassadors. It was amazing to see these student leaders practice some of the skills and strategies in small groups. They are a very caring group of students. Finally, a presentation was given by the director of LCAP regarding how funds are currently being spent to support foster youth, English learners and low-income students. Students were asked for their ideas on how to improve the work we are doing with these student groups. The Student PROMISE Ambassadors voted on a theme for next year’s meetings, and we are all looking forward to the 2022–23 school year. You will be hearing more from these amazing students! Launch Pad The See Superintendent • Page 11 President’s Message By Simone Zulu-Diol, Board President I am humbled to serve as the new Palmdale School District Board of Trustees president. As a retired Palmdale School District teacher, my passion is early- childhood education and multicultural education. Like many of our students, I am multilingual and grew up in another culture. This allows me to understand the perspective of many of the families in the district. I believe in the Palmdale School District and am proud to be associated with the dynamic changes that have taken place during my years on the board. From makerspaces to magnet academies to student ambassadors, there are many examples of the wonderful changes we have seen over the last several years. On the night I became the new board president, our two new student board members were sworn into office. Having student board members sit at the dais lets our student population know that their ideas and voices are essential and are being heard. The Palmdale PROMISE drives the district. Each decision the board makes is based on the PROMISE Strategic Plan, and with the best interests of students in mind. I am honored to serve the families and students of the Palmdale School District. Sharon Vega Member Simone Zulu-Diol President Nancy Smith Member Anthony Hunt Clerk Board of Trustees Ralph Velador Member Mr. Maldonado, Superintendent speaking to Student PROMISE Ambassadors. 2 Education + Communication = A Better Nation Covering the PALMDALE SCHOOL DISTRICT FOUNDER/PUBLISHER: Kay Coop 562/493-3193 • [email protected] ADVERTISING SALES: 562/493-3193 CONTENT COORDINATOR: Barbra Longiny GRAPHIC DESIGNER/PRODUCTION: Emily Ung COPY EDITORS: Kate Karp, Anna Zappia SOCIAL MEDIA: Nancy Lueder Netragrednik by Neta Madison ® SCHOOL NEWS ROLL CALL, LLC P.O. Box 728, Seal Beach, CA 90740 562/493-3193 Copyright © 2006, School News Roll Call, LLC Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited unless otherwise stated. Opinions expressed by contributing writers and guest columnists are their views and not necessarily those of School News Roll Call, LLC. This publication is privately owned and the right is reserved to select and edit content. The Palmdale School District does not endorse the advertisers in this publication. Dr. Maldonado begins this issue with his message on the front page of the many firsts the past semester. In this issue you will read articles on such topics as: Reading Buddies, Kinder Cardiologists, Space & Aeronautics Pathway STEM Action Lab, new adventures for students in the Aviation Club, and so much more... On page 12 we have included several student book reviews to help with your child’s reading choices during Spring Break. Be sure to enter our Word Search Contest (all ages may enter). Our next issue is May 4, 2022. Neta Madison Netragrednik Kay Coop Founder/Publisher SchoolNewsRollCall @SchoolNewsRC SchoolNewsRollCall 2 3 Y E A R S It Takes a Team By Teresa Gatti, Social Emotional Learning Specialist Our Social Emotional Learning Specialists (SELS) have had a wonderful opportunity to work with a caring staff and elementary age school students. Social Emotional Learning Specialists are licensed marriage and family therapists, or licensed clinical social workers, who are assigned to elementary school sites. Elementary school site teams consist of a school psychologist, student interventionist, and Social Emotional Learning Specialists who form a strong and cohesive team. Right now, with COVID and all of the situations that have arisen for students and families, our services are very important. As a SELS, the groups in session are grief groups, social skills groups, trauma services, anti-bully groups, and foster support groups. SELS continues to reach out to our families in the schools through contacts with local agencies that can provide other much-needed services, such as help with being homeless. Student Interventionists continue to work with our staff and students. Working as a Student Interventionist consists of checking in and checking out with the students throughout the day. Student Interventionists use incentives such as punch cards, stickers, snacks, and behavior charts. The personal contact made with the older students is crucial to their success. They enjoy checking in and checking out with Student Interventionists because it gives them something to look forward to at the beginning and end of the day. As for the little ones, they are content with a sticker, high fives, or snacks, depending upon the behavior. Student Interventionists check in with the teachers and provide feedback with the child or children they are working with. Student Interventionists also partake in communicating with parents and keeping them informed and aware of what is going on in their student’s life. They need to know what kind of discipline is going to be needed for their student if the behavior is to be addressed. Having a team at our elementary schools feels like we are accomplishing a variety of things, and helps to support our sites. Social Emotional Connections To be notified of future job opportunities, submit a “Job Interest Card” located under the pull down menu Click on the link to “Apply.” The Personnel Commission is located at 37230 37th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 Only online applications will be accepted at To view all current job opportunities, click on “Departments/Personnel Commission” then “Employment” Substitute Early Childhood Education Teacher Assistant Substitute Health Assistant-LVN Substitute Paraeducator-LVN Substitute Paraeducator Moderate to Severe Substitute Paraeducator-Certifi ed Interpreter (DHH) Substitute Special Education Instructional Assistant 661-285-2902 To be notified of future job opportunities, submit a “Job Interest Card” located under the pull down menu Click on the link to “Apply.” The Personnel Commission is located at 37230 37th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 Only online applications will be accepted at To view all current job opportunities, click on “Departments/Personnel Commission” then “Employment” Bilingual Early Childhood Education Teacher Assistant (Spanish) Early Childhood Education Teacher Assistant Occupational Therapist Paraeducator-Certified Interpreter I/II (DHH) Substitute Early Childhood Education Teacher Assistant Substitute Health Assistant-LVN Substitute Paraeducator-LVN Substitute Paraeducator Moderate to Severe Substitute Paraeducator Translator (DHH) Substitute Special Education Instructional Assistant 661-285-2902 Learn about World History • US History Videos • Art • Music Study Habits History is about learning and does not change, but interpretations do. One cannot erase history and expect to remember the past. FREE Enjoy! History Buffs Teachers Students Covering the Palmdale School diStrict march / april 2022 3 Celebrating Diversity By Alecia Woods, Director of Child Nutrition Where can you find a dental assistant, a postal worker and an artist? Walk into any PSD kitchen, and you will find a lot of diversity in the Child Nutrition staff. Not only do we employ people of various nationalities but our staff has incredibly diverse personal and professional backgrounds as well. The unique working hours in our kitchens attract people from all walks of life. Some of our staff members are in their early twenties, and we also have team members who have long been retired from their careers but enjoy the time spent with students. A few team members got their first job at Palmdale School District and have been working here ever since. We have employees who have been in the district for 35 years and a few who started working this month. Several families have multiple generations currently working in our kitchens. These assets allow us to explore a whole range of culturally diverse menu options that have made their way to the lunch line. Often, input from our experienced staff leads to a more efficient and better way of completing everyday tasks. Our friendly staff promotes a better customer-service experience to better serve our equally diverse student population. The over 200 child nutrition employees bring life to the food we serve and assure that the relationships built with students are unique to every kitchen at each school site. Next time you walk by your local school kitchen, say hi to our wonderful staff. You never know whom you will meet and what you might learn! Child Nutrition, Health & Physical Well-Being PSD School Counselors Get National Recognition By Dr. Keisha Burns, School Counselor PSD School counselors have been doing amazing work for our students, families, and school sites for the past seven years. In addition to counseling students individually for social-emotional and academic support, they also provide classroom lessons to all students on campus, creating a comprehensive school counseling program. Every year, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) acknowledges school counseling programs across the country that have exemplified their practice of the national framework. This year, three PSD schools earned the coveted RAMP status, becoming 2021 Recognized ASCA Model Programs: Desert Willow (School Counselor, Amanda Davis), Los Amigos (School Counselor, Alejandro Magana), and Palmdale Learning Plaza (School Counselor, Diana Marlatt). These three sites join the fold as seven of eight PSD middle schools are certified by ASCA, including two schools of distinction - Cactus Medical Magnet and Palmdale Learning Plaza. Counselors Corner 39139 North 10th St. East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • QUALITY EDUCATION CREDENTIALED TEACHERS - CARING STAFF - EXCELLENT CURRICULUM Give Your Children a CREDENTIALED TEACHERS - CARING STAFF - EXCELLENT CURRICULUM Give Your Children a Innovations Academy Online - Personalized - Academic Innovations Academy Online - Personalized - Academic 37230 37th St. East Palmdale, CA 93550 An online/hybrid educational independent study program serving students in Kindergarten - 8th grade CREDENTIALED TEACHERS - CARING STAFF - EXCELLENT CURRICULUM Give Your Children a Innovations Academy Online - Personalized - Academic Enroll Today! (661) 236-0162 Innovations Academy Online - Personalized - Academic 4 CyberQuest at Barrel Springs We have two teams of students meeting every Thursday working together to apply and demonstrate their knowledge of 21st century skills. They collaboratively work using their skills in critical thinking, technology, creativity, research, problem solving and communication to develop a multimedia presentation of a challenging scenario. Our students enjoy the challenge of problem solving together as a team. They are looking forward to competing at the District level. Barrel Springs Elementary TK–5 3636 Ponderosa Way, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/285-9270 • Rena Thorogood Principal Empowering All Students Our goal and main focus at BV have experienced a paradigm shift from the traditional ways of learning to developing excellence in learning outcomes and equity for all students. At BV instruction and learning are guided by a growth mindset – a deviation from a limited mindset. In essence, with continuous student improvement in mind, we consistently aspire to truly serve all diverse learners by making learning student-centered, utilizing culturally responsive pedagogy, addressing the socio-emotional learning needs, fostering and promoting educational environment that is equitable. As a guiding principle and culture at BV, our target is to continuously improve our craft because we believe strongly that it is a moral imperative to deliver instruction that is deliberate, intentional, and with fidelity. Our delivery of instruction is designed and refined based on the unique educational needs of all students. At BV we do not coast, we are consistently striving to accomplish goals – Go Awesome Panda Staff! Dr. Alusine Conteh Principal Buena Vista Elementary TK–5 37005 Hillcrest Drive, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-4158 • Learning Teamwork CyberQuest is a district-wide research and presentation competition. Here at Chaparral Prep Academy, we have already completed our preliminary round in which teams of fourth- and fifth-grade students researched and created the presentation of a proposal to conduct a photographic expedition in one of our nation’s national parks. The students were responsible for researching their park, budgeting for their supplies, creating a presentation of their work, and then presenting their proposal to a group of judges. In addition to our two upper-grade teams who were actively competing for the chance to move on to the district CyberQuest finals in April, we had a team of dedicated third-grade students who were working on a similar scenario in a non-competitive demonstration of the learning format. The real value of the CyberQuest program is many fold. The students learn the challenges of working together in a cooperative team environment. They hone their research and technical skills as they prepare an effective and persuasive real-world proposal. Finally, the students have the opportunity to develop their public speaking abilities as they learn what it takes to stand in front of a panel of judges while trying to deliver their message in an effective manner. Our fifth-grade team has been selected to represent Chaparral Prep Academy as we move forward towards the CyberQuest district finals. Based on the capabilities they have shown so far, we are in good hands. Roxanne Dashti Principal Chaparral Prep Academy TK–5 37500 50th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-9777 • Cactus Rolling Out Our PBIS Plan! The Grand Opening of Cactus Coyotes’ Student Store has been a great success! Cactus students are earning Cactus Cash from teachers and staff for being FIERCE; Friendly, Inclusive, Engaged, Responsible, Respectful, Creative, and Educated/ Excel. The new Positive Behavior Incentive System (PBIS) has been embraced by our students and has encouraged them to succeed both in and out of the classroom. Students can “shop” at lunch exchanging their “cash” for school supplies, Cactus swag, or various enticing prizes. Then once a month, fun, exciting, and rousing grade level assemblies are held where random name drawings reward students with much larger, desirable prizes. Some students accepted the administration’s challenge in “Let’s Make a Deal” and teachers/staff also have an opportunity to win prizes too. It has been a win-win for all involved! Cactus Medical Health / Technology Magnet Academy 6–8 3243 East Avenue R-8, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/273-0847 • Michelle White Principal Covering the Palmdale School diStrict march / april 2022 5 Attendance Achievements There are so many great things happening on our campus! Our teachers are working hard to ensure that the students have interesting and meaningful lessons in the classroom. Outside the classroom, we are engaging the children with sports and clubs that pique their interests. There are multiple groups that meet at lunch and after school to provide fun and creative outlets for our scholars. We have clubs that fit every interest, such as braiding, anime, choir, writing and art. It is undeniable that our students want to be here, and we have proof. The Attendance Champion banner is currently on our campus. We are grateful for the parents who are working with us to make sure that students are present every day. The campus supervisors also deserve recognition for motivating the children to get to class on time. We have seen tardies drastically decrease in the last month. Our team is strong, and our children are happy. The Diamondback P.R.I.D.E. is in full effect! Timothy Howell Principal Desert Willow 36555 Sunny Lane, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/285-5866 • Fine Arts, Science, Technology Magnet Academy 6–8 Melanie Pagliaro Principal Kinder Cardiologists Mrs. Van Sant’s TK-K class at Cimarron celebrated Valentine’s Day by becoming Kinder cardiologists. Students rotated through a series of stations as they practiced a variety of skills. Students sewed heart sutures and worked on matching colors, checked heart rates with stethoscopes and practiced counting syllables, and mended broken hearts while working on blending and segmenting words. What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Chris O’Neill Principal Cimarron Elementary TK–5 36940 45th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-9780 • After-School Programs Here at Desert Rose, we put our students first! Last week, over 8 teachers started our after-school programs. These programs are designed to enrich the students’ learning while providing a fun experience for them. Each club is led by one of our teachers with 15-20 students each. Our teachers have tailored their programs to incorporate their curriculum in a fun yet challenging way. The after-school programs include a sports club, reading club, science, art and much more! These programs started in January and will go through April. Each club is on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour. They have also provided more opportunities for our students to work with their social skills amongst their peers in a fun environment. Our goal is to ensure students get the academic support they need in a fun and caring environment. Desert Rose Leads! Desert Rose Elementary TK–5 37730 27th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/272-0584 • Breakfast with the Superintendent On the beautiful spring-like morning of February 11, 2022, we were delighted to open the doors of Dos Caminos and welcome our school family to a wonderful Breakfast with the Superintendent, Mr. Raul Maldonado. Dr. Zepeda warmly welcomed all of our guests and made everyone feel at home. The Superintendent gave parents a brief overview of the achievements and lessons learned from this unique return to campus. Other guests also attended the event: Board President Simone Zulu and board member Sharon Vega enthusiastically addressed the gathering. Janet Simons, the LPAC Director, shared important information and insight about funding. And, Jaime Ortiz from HPLE reviewed the portions of the extensive remodel already completed at Dos Caminos and previewed the exciting stages yet to come. Overall, it was more than a breakfast; it was an incredible opportunity to reconnect with family. Dr. Sarah Zepeda Principal Dos Caminos Dual Immersion Elementary K–8 39066 Palm Tree Way, Palmdale, CA 93551 • 661/947-1849 • 6 Intervention Program with Mrs. Wharton Mrs. Kimberly Wharton, LST, works alongside two instructional assistants and a retired Los Amigos teacher to provide intervention programs for our students. Mrs. Wharton and her team know the role they play in our students learning is critical to increasing student achievement, whether it be in English or Spanish. Mrs. Wharton and her team work tirelessly, creating engaging intervention lessons, inputting data, or supporting teachers. The intervention program at Los Amigos continues to develop as we continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our student body. We are proud to share that we are now providing intervention for students in 1st-8th grade in English and Spanish during the school day. Approximately 130 students enter our intervention room for support on any given day. We are so thankful to have Mrs. Wharton and her team working with our students to impact student outcomes positively. Los Amigos Dual Immersion K-8 6640 East Avenue R-8, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-1546 • Dr. Yesenia Diaz Principal Superintendent’s Breakfast Hello Grizzlies!!!!! It has been a very exciting month. We started our school year back from Winter break with a huge welcome back for our students. Our awesome teachers took to the yard with posters and music to welcome back all of our fabulous students. Our return continued with a visit from our Superintendent and Board members to welcome back our families and discuss topics of concern during our Superintendent’s Breakfast. Our Breakfast ended with winners from our Poetry contest, reciting their poems all based on the theme: Kindness. Poems were also posted on Parent Square for all to see and admire. Exciting things continue to happen at Golden Poppy. Golden Poppy Elementary TK–5 37802 Rockie Lane, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-3683 • Sandra Salas-Rodriguez Principal After School Extended Learning This second semester has started off on the right track. Thanks to our dedicated staff, our students are now able to take part in new after school activities. Our noon duties/campus supervisors, Coach Rosemary, Coach Violeta, Coach Lupe, and Coach Marla, have begun leading two folklorico dance groups- one group in lower grades and another in upper grades. We are looking forward to the traditional dances from different regions our students will perform! Art with Mrs. Love has also begun. 5th grade students are creating beautiful artwork using different mediums. Our students are both excited and proud of the artwork they have created! Next to work with Mrs. Love are 4th grade students. Mr. Villatoro, our instructional assistant, is now coaching a group of students in preparation for our upcoming Black Knowledge Bowl. Our Jackrabbits are learning facts and information that is increasing their cultural awareness. Great things are happening at Joshua Hills! Alicia Garcia Principal Joshua Hills Elementary TK–5 3030 Fairfield, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/265-9992 • We are OWLsome! At Innovations Academy we have seen an explosion of growth this school year. With this growth comes the opportunity to redesign and reinvent our school starting from the ground up, with a goal to become the number one option in virtual education in the Antelope Valley. We began earlier this fall with the process of brainstorming mascots that would best represent our school, students, and community. After receiving feedback from all educational partners, we narrowed it down to two possible mascots. Our partners were surveyed and overwhelmingly chose to have the mighty OWL represent our school community. We are excited to soar to new heights as we move ahead towards our goal. At Innovations Academy we are Trustworthy, Helpful, Explorers, Observant, Wise, Leaders, and Scholars. We are the OWLS and we are OWLsome! Melissa Garcia Principal Innovations Academy K–8 37230 37th St. E., Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/265-8908 • Covering the Palmdale School diStrict march / april 2022 7 The Mesquite Prize Cart…the Ultimate Incentive Experience! An important component of Mesquite’s PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) program is our student incentives plan! Although we value and nurture the internal, intrinsic motivation that our students possess, we also want to reward and recognize our students for going above and beyond. At the core of our incentive plan is our fabulous Mesquite Prize Cart! Mrs. Kristen Thompson, our wonderful student interventionist, keeps the Mesquite Prize Cart stocked and ready for our remarkable students. Students can earn a trip to the prize cart for many reasons: weekly class Golden Mountain Lion recipient, monthly class honoree for Student of the Month, school uniform monthly drawing, and for other various acknowledgements! When students visit the prize cart for being the Golden Mountain Lion or Student of the Month honoree, they also get an awesome swag bag filled with other incentives, such as restaurant and store coupons. The Mesquite Prize Cart truly is the ultimate incentive experience for Mesquite students! Ken Young Principal Mesquite Elementary TK–5 37622 43rd Street East, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/285-8376 • Recognitions and Honors David G. Millen’s Mock Trial Team has continued in their tradition of excellence at this year’s 44th Annual Los Angeles County Mock Trial competition. Led by team captains Paul Lovely and Zanya Davenport, the almost entirely new DGM team showed their understanding of courtroom mechanics and mastered the performance part of being attorneys and witnesses. During the competition, student attorneys engaged in direct and cross-examinations, laid foundations for their arguments, delivered opening statements, and made closing arguments. Witnesses memorized witness statements and showed off their acting chops while on the stand. The accolades received by DGM proved that their hard work and effort this “season” had paid off. Although the team didn’t move on to the next level, several of our team members received recognition for their performance. Paul Lovely was awarded as an Outstanding Prosecuting Attorney, with Chase Guzzi and Keiana Robinson receiving Honorable Mentions. Brianna Maldonado was also recognized as an Outstanding Prosecution Witness, with Ruby Cisneros and Roman Desire receiving honorable mentions for their portrayals as well. The team is expertly coached by Mr. Billie Martin. Jason Deaville Principal David G. Millen 39221 22nd Street West, Palmdale, CA 93551 • 661/947-3075 • Law and Government Magnet Academy 6-8 Pathway to the Seal of Biliteracy Manzanita Elementary is proud to be a Dual Immersion Plaza. Our program ranges from kindergarten all the way to fifth grade. Students have the opportunity to learn to speak, read, and write in both English and Spanish. This is the first year Manzanita offers students in 5th grade a Pathway to the Seal of Biliteracy. Students in these grades experience what it takes to work toward the Seal of Biliteracy in high school. Our 5th graders read books and write essays in both languages demonstrating their biliterate skills. They are assigned mentors that guide them through the process of completing a portfolio of work that speaks to their academic abilities in two languages. This year we have five students that are going through this process. The students are Chloe Arceo, Delilah Urias, Aleena Cordova, Grace Pernett and Melanie Jimenez. We are very proud of them and know this experience will prepare them for the future. Carmen Saenz Principal Manzanita Elementary TK–5 38620 33rd Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/947-3128 • Reading Buddies One opportunity that we have had the pleasure to implement with our 2nd-5th grade students this academic year has been a Reading Buddies Program. Currently classified staff Belen Guzman, Elias Hightower, Nyesha Merritt, Oscar Nelson, John Reyes, and Joshua Rivera are assigned to read with specific students one-on-one daily. Students under the guidance of their big buddies, select and discuss books of high interest 4 days a week during a 20-25 minute window. Students and buddies take turns reading in an effort to foster a joy for reading while offering consistent, non-threatening, low intensity reading support. Additionally, we are nurturing relationships similar to the district’s commitment as modeled in Capturing Kids Hearts, all the while systematically developing reading skills and strategies. Both staff and students look forward to this “win-win” activity. Oak Tree Community Day School K-8 38136 35th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/285-1548 • Elias Hightower, Campus Security, discusses one of Aesop’s Fables with a student. Fredrick Gatlin Principal 8 Putting the “I” in Kind It has been said for years that there’s no “I” in team. However, you can’t say that about being kind. Palmdale Learning Plaza spent a week engaging with the Great Kindness Challenge week with one simple goal: Be the “I” in kind. The Puma leading PLP’s kindness efforts is D”I”ana Marlatt, PLP’s Counselor extraordinaire. For the Great Kindness Challenge week, she and her team of student volunteers constructed a photo op in the school’s main hallway where kids, teachers, staff members, and other PLP passersby could stop and pose as the “I” in Kind. It’s one thing to say you are kind, but to step in and become a part of the word creates a much deeper meaning. For her work with students, not just during the Great Kindness Challenge week, Mrs. Marlatt has officially been recognized as a program of distinction through the counseling RAMP authorization process. Palmdale Learning Plaza K–8 38043 Division Street, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/538-9034 • Susan Summers Principal Thankful for Helen, Our School Nurse I would like to highlight the hard work and efforts of our front office and nursing staff at Palmdale Discovery Center. Our school nurse, Helen Fredrickson has been phenomenal and a true asset to our school. Managing office referrals and calls with questions about COVID and our guidelines has been continual. Helen is so patient and caring as she guides our parents, and staff through the obstacles of quarantine, counting days, daily screening, testing, etc. It takes a special person to be able to field all of the questions people have in regards to this Pandemic and all the regulations, guidelines and protocols that change often. She has a wonderful bedside manner with our children and their parents as well. Our front office staff has also played a very important role in managing our office throughput the year. Working with staff, students, and parents is a heavy role and we are so thankful for our wonderful office team! Colleen Sawyer Principal Palmdale Discovery Center Pre–8 39174 Palm Tree Way, Palmdale, CA 93551 • 661/947-0181 • Diana Marlatt, Counselor at Palmdale Learning Plaza Winter Extra-Curricular Activities Winter at Ocotillo has been filled with many after school activities. Kudos go out to our staff for staying accountable to making sure our Panther students are getting what they need and deserve. We have had a wonderful ASB Winter Ball, our Dance Force Team pushed through the new protocols and have come up with a way to keep dancing. Our Cyber Quest Team has had their first school competition and are looking forward to competing at the District level. Our amazing advisors: Ms. Steinhurst, Ms. Grazer, Ms. Barrios, Ms. Laird, and Ms. Farmer have put forth a lot of effort to keep these extra- curricular activities happening. Along with these wonderful opportunities, many more of our teachers (at least one per grade level) have taken on after school intervention and we have seen tremendous growth from some of our students. We applaud the efforts of our amazing Panther staff! Ocotillo Elementary K–5 38737 Ocotillo School Drive, Palmdale, CA 93551 • 661/947-9987 • Dr. Beverly Martin Principal PACS’ Honor Roll Ceremony We had our first virtual honor roll ceremony here at PACS on Friday, February 4th. Our school had almost 200 parents logged in to the Zoom session for the awards ceremony! The honor roll ceremony was held in the morning during our advisory period so that all of the parents could see it. We took turns calling out the students’ names based on their advisory and category. It was such a great turnout, and a huge success for all of the students here at PACS. We had over 50 students receive honor roll, which is a 3.0-3.49 GPA. Over 50 students received high honor roll, which is 3.5-3.99 GPA. Last but not least, there were 21 students who received the principal’s honor roll, which is a GPA of 4.0 and above. There were seven students who received perfect attendance, which is really hard to accomplish, but those students made it and we are very proud of them! This was such a rewarding experience for all of our high school students here at PACS. The administration team received a lot of high accolades from the parents about how well the ceremony went despite it being virtual. The students proudly showed off their awards to their friends, and they were all very excited and happy about how well things turned out. Dr. Kathya Arriaran - Buono Principal Palmdale Academy Charter School 3838 East Avenue R, Palmdale, CA 92550 • 661/234-4800 • Helen Frederickson, School Nurse Covering the Palmdale School diStrict march / april 2022 9 Every Student. Every Day… As proud recipients of the PBIS Silver Medal and Capturing Kids Heart National Showcase, Palm Tree provides services and resources that are inclusive and support all learners with growth of instructional and socio-emotional learning. Our staff is committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with all students. We encourage all students to strive for success by using the two by ten PBIS strategy to recognize and build confidence through daily affirmations. This semester, we welcomed Elevo sports for learning, which provides activities during recess and lunch that are scheduled, structured, scaffolded, and led by trained coaches. These are just a few highlights of the systems in place to support our scholars with being good citizens able and ready to further their education, work, and communicate effectively in this 21st Century. Laura Cervantes Principal Palm Tree Elementary TK–5 326 East Avenue R, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/265-9357 • Celebrating Black History Month This year Quail Valley celebrated Black History Month with a focus on African American Performing Artists. Singers, musicians and dancers were featured on the Quail Valley Kids Morning News with students sharing biographies about various artists each week. We kicked off week one with Jazz and tap dancers such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Savion Glover and others. In week two, we learned about African American dancers in ballet, hip hop, and African cultural dance. Everything Mowntown was our focus on week 3, highlighting artists like the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gay, and the Jackson 5. The last week we had a virtual student talent show featuring Black History performances. We all learned so much about African American artists during our month-long tribute. Carol Black Principal Quail Valley Elementary TK–5 37236 58th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/533-7100 • Space & Aeronautics Pathway-STEM Action Lab Students in our STEM Action Lab are utilizing coding skills to program Tello Drones. Sixth through eight grade students have the opportunity to choose this elective as part of our Space & Aeronautics Pathway. Programming Tello Drones is one of the many Modules students work on throughout the school year. Students work in teams using forces of flight and flight terminology to complete various assignments with simulated missions through our Drone Blocks Curriculum. The missions lead them through step by step coding where they learn to use loops to program a flight path for the Tello drone using X, Y, and Z coordinates and test their flight path on the simulator. Tiger’E, Michelle and Manuel are seen here using our indoor drone arena to replicate the flight path first tested in the simulator and approved by their teacher, Mr. Banahan. Way to go Eagles! S.A.G.E. 38060 20th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/537-6101 • Larry Lueck Principal Space and Aeronautics Gateway to Exploration Magnet Academy 6–8 Celebrating Our Falcons January is the best time as we get to celebrate our First Semester Award Earners here at Shadow Hills!! This fall we had over four hundred students collectively earn Honor Roll, Principal Honor Roll, and Superintendent Honor Roll! Additionally, individual teachers recognized another 300 or so students from their classes for academic excellence. While Distance Learning had its challenges, one of the best things to come out of it was our Award Parades. Parents and staff alike wanted to make that a tradition at Shadow Hills. So, that’s what we did! On February 9 we held a parade for all of our families to decorate their cars and celebrate the good things their children accomplished. Staff lined the bus shoot with encouraging signs, students’ accomplishments were announced over the speakers, and parents drove through with their decorated cars and horns honking. It was a great day!!! Shadow Hills 37315 60th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/533-7400 • Kathleen Moshier Principal Engineering & Design Magnet Academy 6–8 10 An Inspiring Staff Member Our Summerwind Teacher of the Year, Sarah Vento, is a longtime Valley resident. She has been with the Palmdale School District for four years, and is now in her twelfth year of teaching. Sarah is the group lead for her third-grade team, and is involved in the Summerwind AVID program, which she is very passionate about. On campus, Sarah is extremely supportive of her colleagues. She is a mentor to new teachers and is willing to help her fellow staff members whenever they need it. Her team and fellow teachers describe her as innovating and dedicated. She is invested in helping every student find success and making our school a great place for learning. Sarah is also very outgoing, and her positive attitude is contagious, which is not limited to the school campus but spreads out into our community as well. We are proud to have Sarah on our Summerwind team, and hope to keep her as a part of our school for many years to come. We are excited to see all of the amazing and inspiring projects that she will lead us in. Marginese Streeter Principal Summerwind Elementary TK–5 39360 Summerwind Drive, Palmdale, CA 93551 • 661/947-3863 • Model Planes and Helicopters As model planes and helicopters flew above our Tamarisk field, one could hear loud and clear the shrieks and oohs and ahhs of over 300 students. This was no ordinary day. On February 7th, Mr. Campbell, our Aviation Club instructor, and his friends showcased the most perfect model airplanes and showed us how elegantly they could fly. The Aviation Club, led by our 5th Grade teacher, Ms. Lemon and Mr. Campbell, helps guide over 30 students by teaching them how to build and fly model airplanes. They practice flying on flight simulators. Thank you, Ms. Lemon and Mr. Campbell, for helping open up new adventures for our students for our Tamarisk Tigers. Tamarisk Renaissance School TK–5 1843 East Avenue Q-5, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/225-9647 • Facilities Upgrades Make a Difference! Tumbleweed is so grateful to our board of trustees, cabinet, superintendent Maldonado, Maintenance and Facilities department, and all of the district staff and construction crews that have been working so diligently to upgrade all of our school sites. Our school site was painted, our blacktop was completely resurfaced and painted, we have a brand new beautiful Maker Space room, our cafeteria was completely remodeled. Two brand new playgrounds are currently being installed which will include new equipment, shade structures, and landscaping. The kindergarten playground will have beautiful panels that will display custom artwork created by our staff and students. A learning garden is coming soon as well. We also have beautiful custom benches that display our school name and Titan logo proudly all around our campus. Our students, staff, and families are loving the beautification of Tumbleweed and we are so very appreciative. Misti Larrick Principal Tumbleweed Elementary TK–5 1100 East Avenue R-4, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/273-4166 • Dr. Regina Tillman Principal Thriving in a Peaceful Learning Environment National Mental Health Awareness is recognized every year in the month of May. It is a time devoted to raising awareness about mental illness and related disabilities associated with mental health in the United States. Here at Yellen Learning Center, we are committed to ensuring that the social emotional and mental health needs of our students are met daily. Yellen students have access to exceptional counselors and psychological services right here on site. Yellen works collaboratively with outside agencies, such as the Child and Family Guidance Clinic to provide services to students with a demonstrated need. Our counselors and school psychologist work with students to help them identify their feelings, cope with challenging situations, resolve conflict using the 2nd Step curriculum, a holistic, classroom based, approach to social emotional learning. Yellen Learning Center is fulfilling its vision of safe children thriving in a peaceful learning environment. Gia Greaux Principal Yellen Learning Center K–8 37015 Goldenview Way, Palmdale, CA 93552 • 661/456-1600 • Covering the Palmdale School diStrict march / april 2022 11 year and is environmentally friendly. In addition, the rubberized running track provides excellent shock absorption for runners and helps to prevent injuries. The track-and-field facility will be ready at the beginning of the new school year 2022–23. After that, the track will be available for all Palmdale School District schools to use and enjoy. In addition, the first Palmdale School District drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic is now available to students, families and employees. The drive-through testing site is located at Innovations Academy’s back gate on 40th Street East just before Avenue S. Without getting out of the car, a person can test and be quickly on their way. BrightStar Care staffs all of the testing sites for the district. These firsts contribute to the Palmdale School District’s unique strengths and demonstrates our commitment to bringing the best facilities and services to our students, families and employees. A Whole New World In December, Yucca actors performed the play Aladdin. It was the first school play performed on our newly refurbished stage. Under the direction and guidance of our library aide, Ms. Buchholz, students met afterschool over the course of three months to perfect their acting, singing and dancing skills. Yucca students performed this funny and enjoyable play over two days with four live performances. Moveable stage props and adorable costumes decorated the stage. We even had our own magic flying carpet! Students were not the only Yucca Ravens to take the stage. Our Computer tech, Mr. White, starred as Jafar and our pianist, and 1st grade teacher, Ms. Leon, twirled her way in as the Genie. A huge thank you to Ms. Buchholz for her dedication and commitment to engaging our students in the excitement of theater and our hats off to all the amazing performances! Terrie Dowling Principal Yucca Elementary TK–5 38440 2nd Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 • 661/273-5052 • Raul Maldonado District Office (661) 947-7191 • Emergency (888) 474-8107 39139 North 10th Street East, Palmdale, CA 93550 Welcome and Enrollment Center 789-6707 (8am-3pm) Child Nutrition ............................... 789-6565 Educational Services .................... 789-6755 Health Clinic ................................... 789-6766 (8:30am-11am, 1pm-4pm) Special Education ......................... 789-6746 Student Services ............................ 789-6744 Superintendent’s Office .............. 789-6502 & 789-6503 Superintendent • From Page 1 Mr. Maldonado, Superintendent and Mrs. Simons, Director of LCAP speaking to Student PROMISE Ambassadors (from feature story on page 1.) Appliances Word Search Contest One word in the list is NOT in the word search. When you have completed the word search, one word will be left and that word you email to: [email protected] (Please put Palmdale in the subject line) Rules! Entries must be received by April 15, 2022 From the correct entries one name will be drawn to win a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble. VACUUM DRYER DISHWASHER FRIDGE HEATER MICROWAVE OVEN STOVE FAN MIXER BLENDER COMPACTOR RADIO CROCKPOT COMPUTER JUICER SKILLET KNIFE CLOCK Congratulations to Erika Villegas Winner of the December Seek ‘n Find Contest! Daniel’s Review Funny Friends! Baloney and Friends: Going Up! by Greg Pizzoli Baloney the pig and his friends Peanut the horse, Bizz the bee, and Krabbit the crabby rabbit do funny things and have fun in the many short stories of this second book of the Baloney and Friends series! You’ll laugh about the things they do, like finding a lost sneeze, using a ladder, and appreciating trees. My favorite story is when Baloney and his friends make up a silly theme song for their group and everyone helps out in their own way. Baloney is my favorite character because he is a good friend. I felt happy when I read this book and I think you should read it too! Daniel is in second grade and he likes to spend time with his family playing board games, reading, and playing sports like tennis, soccer, and basketball. Daniel H. David’s Review The Aliens We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey We’re Not From Here is about a kid named Lan and his family who travel from their human colony on Mars to a faraway planet Choom to start a new human population. Unfortunately, once they get there, the aliens on Choom tell them to leave immediately. Now they have a big problem that they have to figure out because they don’t have enough fuel in their spaceship to go back to Mars. What do they do? Read and find out! I really liked this book and I recommend that you should read this book too if you like action, suspense, and humor. David is in fourth...