As we enter into a new season, I am anxious for the return of student and family-centered activities that were temporarily sidelined and the development of new opportunities to bring students, families, and our community together again.
The Love and Logic parent education series is back. From toddlers to teens and all ages in between, put the fun back into parenting and sign up for this 6-week virtual series sponsored by the Student & Family Support Services Department. Love and Logic parenting strategies offer proactive, respectful, and loving ways to:
· Raise responsible children
· Raise children who know how to make good choices
· Raise children who can solve their own problems
· Raise children who are prepared for the real world
The virtual Love & Logic series runs Wednesdays from 6:10 pm to 8:15 pm, beginning March 2nd through April 6th. The material/workbook fee is $20. Space is limited. Call Marisa at 916-338-6387 to register. Virtual class links and workbook order information will be provided after registration. Some material scholarships may be available.
Plans for summer learning opportunities are well underway. Summer sessions will be held in June for elementary, middle, and high school students. More information on registration and offerings is forthcoming.
Kindergarten registration for the 2022-23 school year has begun. View online registration tools on your school’s website. School site registration start dates are as follows.
Dudley: March 7th
North Country: February 16th
Oak Hill: accepting applications anytime
Spinelli: accepting applications anytime
Throughout this school year, I have used this opportunity to share a piece of who we are by highlighting a district employee through our Profile of Excellence segment. This month I am pleased to shine a light on Shahnaz Anwar, special education teacher at Wilson Riles Middle School whose dedication to students, families, and the community has far surpassed the four walls of her classroom.
CJUSD PROFILE of EXCELLENCE
Shahnaz Anwar, a special education teacher at Wilson Riles Middle School, comes to us from across the pond. She was born and raised in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Shahnaz came to the U.S. in 2000 where she earned an MBA in Human Resource Management and a teaching credential. Shahnaz has been teaching at Riles for 8 years. “I cannot imagine working anywhere else. We have an amazing staff and administration.’
A typical day for Shahnaz includes preparing and teaching lessons for multiple subjects, running labs featuring learning stations that students rotate through, managing a caseload of 20 students, and collaborating with the WCR teaching staff to ensure adequate support is provided to students in their general education classes.
As an educator of students with learning disabilities, the biggest challenge is being able to help students in all areas. A middle school schedule only allows a limited amount of time with each student so fully supporting them and meeting their needs can be very challenging. With challenge comes an even bigger reward. “I get the most joy out of teaching through the bonds I make with my kids, and just seeing them grow into the amazing individuals each of them is.” Shahnaz shared the pride she feels when a student works hard and sees their own academic improvement. “They come to you beaming when they have done well,” Shahnaz explains that you can see their confidence grow with each success no matter how big or small.
Those typical teaching days filled with engaging lessons and celebrating student successes were altered in March 2020 when Shahnaz, like all educators, quickly pivoted to online teaching. As a single parent to a 14-year-old son, Shahnaz understood the struggle of families trying to manage the expectations of work while their children were at home attending school through distance learning. As the weeks turned into months, she saw the struggle of students and families and felt compelled to step forward to help. Shahnaz chose social media as her platform, posting a picture of the sparsely stocked shelves in the Riles Food Closet and asked if anyone could help. Within 90 minutes, Shahnaz had received $900 in cash donations. With food donations pouring in, Shahnaz drove house to house, filling up her car with food to restock the Riles Food Closet. By day 7, Shahnaz had collected $1,600 to support students and families. When asked why she took this on Shahnaz responded, “ When I set out to do this I wanted to be a part of making our school a bigger part of our community.”
Six hundred dollars in gift cards were given to the CJUSD Student and Family Support Services Department to give directly to families in need. The rest was used to restock the Riles Food Pantry for distribution throughout 2021. Chris Borasi, Riles Principal, expressed his gratitude for Shahnaz’s efforts “Ms. Anwar's efforts to gain donations for our food pantry and organize food pickups for our families after school hours have been amazing. We are so grateful for her efforts to help our community out in times when so many can use the support.”
With the success of her first fundraiser, Shahnaz has taken on a new fundraising project. Traci Perrault, Riles Library Technician, has started a community garden where Riles students can learn how to manage a garden and the community can enjoy fresh produce. So far, Shahnaz has raised $400 to support this effort.
Shahnaz, you are making a difference every single day. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to the students and families of Antelope.
A New Look for CJUSD
The Center Joint Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. School and district programs, activities and services shall be free from unlawful discrimination based on actual or perceived sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, ethnic group identification, gender, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or sexual harassment in any district service, program and/or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The district shall promote programs, which ensure that unlawful discriminatory practices are eliminated in all school and district activities.