Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

April 2018 Edition

Superintendent's Message

Dear Team PUSD,

I hope everyone had a restful Spring Break. But it was good to get back to work, as we strive to finish off the year strong!

The season of Spring is associated with new beginnings, and I truly believe PUSD has an opportunity for hope and optimism as we are now able to move forward from some of the challenges of the past. I am excited about the possibilities that our future holds. This is not to say we don't have things we need to work on; we are constantly learning and improving as an educational organization. But with your support, we can accomplish great things for our students together.

The months of April and May also bring numerous employee recognitions, from bus drivers to school nurses, administrative assistants to teachers. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize how much of a team effort it takes to make our District successful and ensure we are meeting our mission of college and career readiness for our students.

We are in the midst of state testing, with many of our students taking the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. We wish our students the very best as they head into testing. The tests provide an opportunity to measure the skills of all students statewide against the same academic math, language arts, and science standards. Our teachers and principals also use these results to compare a schools’ performance toward achieving state standards. Parents, while these tests are an important element in reviewing your child’s academic progress, they are just one of several factors to consider. Classroom projects, writing assignments, math exercises, and classroom assessments, all contribute information as we build a clear picture of how your student is progressing.

Speaking of progress, I was able to witness firsthand the talents and skills of many of our students at the 2nd Annual Career Technical Education Student Expo. Preparing students for College and Career Readiness is the mission of Poway Unified School District. One of the ways we achieve this mission is by investing in our excellent Career Technical Education programs. CTE in Poway Unified School District focuses on the changing workplace that demands high levels of academic and applied knowledge and skills. From sports medicine and fire science, to automotive technology and agriculture, these programs are offered throughout Poway Unified. I am very proud of our students, and I hope they take the passion and confidence they are learning in their CTE classes and carry that with them into their college, careers, and beyond.


Marian Kim-Phelps, Ed.D.


Excellence in Education Video Series

PUSD digital media interns Noelle Betz, Zach Camerino, Seth Dacio, Sabrina Darian, and Nathan Xia have been working with the Communications Department to create monthly “Excellence in Education” videos that highlight how PUSD is achieving its mission of college and career readiness throughout the District.

April's "Excellence in Education" piece highlights "Mission2$ave" the financial literacy program Mission Federal Credit Union is bringing to five PUSD elementary schools.


Student, School, and Staff Achievements

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Oak Valley Middle School Teams Win National Cyber Competition

Hackers beware! Two Oak Valley Middle School teams took the top two spots at the 10th Annual CyberPatriot National Finals Competition, which took place April 16-18 in Baltimore, Maryland. CyberAegis Cancer Minor (above) took first place and CyberAegis Scorpio (right) took second. You can read more about their amazing accomplishment here.
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California Distinguished Schools

Congratulations to our California Distinguished Schools Award winners: Monterey Ridge ES, Park Village ES, and Willow Grove ES! The 2018 California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes California elementary schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The schools represent examples of excellent teaching, learning, and collaborating, and successful school climate efforts. Thank you for your hard work in laying the foundation for college and career readiness in our students! Read more about the award here.

RBHS Teachers Save a Man's Life

Rancho Bernardo High School teachers Kimberly Cummings, Cas’Sandra Turner & Isabel Gutierrez were in an airport returning home from Spring Break in Hawaii when a man near them had a heart attack. All three teachers responded immediately and saved his life! Watch the news story above on how they were at the right place at the right time.
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Wrestling National Hall of Fame

Joe Ismay, teacher and coach at Meadowbrook Middle School, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a lifetime service honoree. Mr. Ismay has run the Meadowbrook Middle School wrestling program for the past 28 years. The ceremony took place on April 15, 2018, in Laguna Hills.

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Honoring Our Own

PUSD celebrated multiple honorees at the ACSA Region 18 "Honoring Our Own" school administrators of the year awards on Friday, April 27, 2018. Congratulations to Christine Paik, Corrie Amador, Katie Salo, Lynn McConville, and Pam Garramone (l to r).

Mt. Carmel Coach Named Padres' Coach of the Week

Keith Johnson, Assistant Baseball Coach at Mt. Carmel High School, was selected as the Padres Coach of the Week. The 10-week program will recognize one local high school baseball or softball coach each week for making a positive impact in the lives of their players on and off the field. Johnson was honored for his efforts in raising money for cancer victims through a charity baseball tournament. Johnson was interviewed for a profile piece on Fox Sports, and received a $1,000 donation for the Mt. Carmel baseball program.
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Poway High School's Amber Hoffman

Poway High School's Amber Hoffman earns title of USA Solo Champion at the USA Dance Nationals! Photo credit: Karen Moore "itakemoorepics"

Poway High School FFA Students at State Finals

The following PUSD students competed and placed in the California Association Future Farmers of America (FFA) state level competitions: Poway High senior, Ryan Steed, placed 3rd in Job Interview State Finals. Poway High junior, Cody Nelson, won the State Proficiency Finals for Wildlife Management. Poway High junior Joshua Goodman, placed 2nd in the Advanced Plant Systems Division of the State Agriscience Fair. The Poway High FFA Small Engines Team placed 6th in the Small Engines Finals.

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Westview High Speech & Debate

Westview High School Speech and Debate Students made it to the California High School Speech Association State Championship, held April 20-22 at Mountain House High School in the Central Valley.
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Student Shakespeare Festival

Students at Sunset Hills ES and Black Mountain Middle School participated in the 14 Annual Student Shakespeare Festival. BMMS students won Best Ensemble!
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Fire Science Challenge

Congratulations to Captain Briscoe's MCHS Fire Science team, who finished 2nd at the 4th Annual Fire Science Challenge!

PUSD Podcast Episode 7: Tim Purvis, Director of Transportation

"PUSD Podcasts" is a monthly podcast, hosted by Communications Director Christine Paik. In this episode, Christine sits down with Tim Purvis, Director of Transportation, to talk about his department goes the extra mile for student safety.

Poway Unified School District

PUSDPodcast Ep. 7 - Tim Purvis, Director of Transportation by Poway Unified School District

Fun Photo Gallery

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Mesa Verde Middle School Fun Run

Students at Mesa Verde MS held their annual fun run to Westview HS and back. Students and staff participated and were cheered on by Westview students, staff and band!
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PUSD Middle School Orchestra Festival

PUSD Middle School Orchestra Festival, hosted by Orchestra Director and Festival founder, Ms. Ulli Reiner, featured advanced string orchestras from Twin Peaks MS, Bernardo Heights MS, Meadowbrook MS, Mesa Verde MS, and Rancho Bernardo High School.
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Earth Day at Abraxas

Abraxas HS is ready for Earth Day with their garden initiatives: Aquaponics, Composting, and a new Garden to School food project.
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CTE Student Expo

From agriculture to animation, construction to computer science, students in PUSD's Career Technical Education programs showed off their knowledge and examples of their work at the 2nd Annual CTE Student Expo. Click on this link to see more photos from this awesome event.

Chaparral Family Dance Night

It was a family dance night at Chaparral Elementary School, with a Western theme for students and their special someone.
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Comic Con at Valley ES

Students in the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program at Valley ES held a Comic Con and Chalk Art Festival. Adorned in super hero costumes, students worked on art projects while some created chalk art. But the big event was the car race with student/parent-created “cars”. ASES is aligned with the regular school day and provides a safe physical and social-emotional environment that supports building positive relationships.

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Tee Up and Make a Difference: Golfers and Sponsors Needed!

We invite you to join other education, business, and community leaders at this special event that will include breakfast on the golf course, hole contests, an air cannon, and an awards and auction lunch.

With your help, we can reach our goal to raise $75,000. The Poway Unified School District prepares 36,000 students for college and career readiness. Your participation in the Annual Golf Classic will support our STEAM initiatives, the opportunities for rigor, relevance and relationships in every classroom, and the expansion for real-world, work-based learning opportunities for students and teachers.

We encourage sponsorships, as well as sign-ups for foursomes and individual players. Sign up today! Don't play golf, but still want to help? You can donate online, participate in our silent auction, or join us for the lunch and auction only.

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Character and Ethics Film Festival

The Annual Character and Ethics Film Festival is May 16, 2018 6-7pm at the Poway Center for Performing Arts. Students created short videos illustrating real-life situations where students show good character. After walking the "red carpet," the winning films will be screened at the show, and awards will be given out to the young filmmakers.
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Registration and enrollment for free preschool

Poway Unified School District (PUSD), in partnership with the Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO), will again offer FREE State-Funded and Head Start preschool classes in 2018-2019 for 3 and 4 year olds.

Registration days will be held on April 30, 2018 at the District Office Community Room, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and on May 3, 2018 at Valley Elementary School’s multi-purpose room, 13000 Bowron Rd., Poway, CA 92064 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

PUSD offers 5 six-hour classes at Valley, Los Penasquitos, Sundance, and Pomerado Elementary Schools. There are 2 three-hour classes held at Del Norte High School and Rolling Hills Elementary School. One free meal is included for all students in the 3-hour classes and 2 meals for the 6-hour classes. Parents are highly encouraged to volunteer in class 2 days per month. Eligibility is based on family income and other factors. Priority is given to 4 year olds, however, space will be available for a limited number of 3 year olds. Children must reach the age of 3 or 4 years by September 1st.

Parents or guardians who wish to register their children will need to bring birth certificates for all children living in the household, the child’s up-to-date immunization records, two proofs of residency, and one year’s documentation of income. Registration packets will be available at the registration site or can be downloaded ahead of time from the PUSD Preschool website: http://www.powayusd.com/preschool (follow link to “State Funded Preschool”).

News Minute

Are you catching our weekly news updates on social media? These are one-minute video recaps of the week’s news with PUSD Director of Communications, Christine Paik. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook so you don't miss out!

Important Dates:

  • Board of Education Meeting: May 10, 2018
  • PUSD Foundation Golf Tournament: May 11, 2018
  • Memorial Day Holiday: May 28, 2018
  • Last Day of School: June 14, 2018

Poway Unified School District

The Poway Unified School District is located in northern San Diego County, California. PUSD operates 25 elementary schools (K-5), one elementary & middle school combination (TK-8th), six middle schools (6-8), one continuation high school, five comprehensive high schools (9-12), and one adult school. 24 schools are located in the city of San Diego; 11 schools in the city of Poway; and 3 in the County of San Diego. The District serves approximately 36,000 students and is the third largest school district in the county.