MARCH 2015

Center Aim

-Scott Loehr

It is a priority of CJUSD to create a well-rounded educational experience for all students. We value academics and are proud of the varied opportunities for students to get involved with school outside of the classroom. We encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and try something new, such as a sport, club or activity. In the words of Helen Keller, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." New friends, new experiences and possibly a great adventure await at each of our school sites.

Each year we look forward to opportunities for students to showcase their new learning, such as the annual district wide Geography Bee, the Oak Hill Business Fair and the 8th grade dance performance at Sacramento State University. Spring also brings

athletic competition such as track, softball, baseball and girl's soccer. The spring play at CHS features the acting and musical talents of CHS students. Enjoy a night out with the family at the CHS Drama Production of Grease. Check your school's website for additional dates and opportunities to discover a new adventure right here in CJUSD.

We are past the midway point in the school year which means our schools are already planning for fall 2015. Center High School is looking ahead and expanding opportunities. To learn more about the innovative new programs that are coming to CHS, attend the Elective Fair on March 4th. Geometry in Construction, AP Spanish, Sports Management, Core Fit class and Russian are among the new programs being added to a rich list of coursework to prepare students for college and career.

Spring brings the launch of Smarter Balance, the new assessment that measures student achievement on the Common Core State Standards. This assessment will likely lend different results that many are used to. Changes in test scores does not mean that students are learning less or that teacher or school performance is declining. Proficiency rates on the new Common Core State Standards cannot be compared with previous year's proficiency results since the old scores are from an old test based on the former standards. Seeing a change in scores can be challenging for any parent, school or community but we know where we are only marks a beginning. This is a new starting point that will provide better, clearer information to parents, teachers and principals about what children know and are able to do and will help identify the learning needs of your child. These changes will provide us a new opportunity to make sure that every student graduates prepared and able to make choices about his or her own future.

Thank you for participating in our online LCAP survey. The results have been posted at I invite you to review the comments and get involved in the process. A collaborative effort between the district and families will ensure we continue to provide students with the quality education you expect from CJUSD.


RAndom Acts of Kindness

It was the goal of CHS Student Leaders to cultivate a culture of kindness with the launch of Acts of Random Kindness Week (ARK), February 2nd through 6th. The idea came from a leadership conference students attended with Activities Director, Jennifer Winborne.

Students were greeted Monday morning with a “chalk attack”. Student Council used chalk to plaster the quad with positive phrases that greeted students as they entered campus and passed from class to class. Students passing through the Humanities Building were greeted with smiles and high fives in an area on campus that was re-named High 5 Hallway.

Leaders made 1,300 cougar paw cutouts, one for every student and staff member. On the front of the paw was written the name of the recipient and a compliment. Cougar Paw cut-outs were displayed on posters by class. Krysta Wong, ASB President, explained, "Students located their personal cougar paws and wore them proudly around campus."

Student leaders spent countless hours arming themselves with sticky notes and clothespins. Each contained a hand-written compliment, affirmation or note of encouragement. Student leaders placed random sticky notes on student desks and clipped the clothespins to the backpacks of unsuspecting students. Notes of encouragement were posted in restrooms and everywhere else students frequent.

Throughout the week two huge signs were displayed featuring the Grinch with the quote, “The Grinch’s heart is two sizes too small, let’s show him how we care for one in all”. Students were invited to take a blank heart, write a message to another student or staff member and post the note on the Grinch. By the end of the week, the Grinch was covered in hearts and students were able to take the notes left for them.

CHS student, Betsabee Marin shared her feelings about ARK. "Overall, I believe ARK week was very successful. Many people appreciated the kind words that were on the sticky notes and appreciated the paws that were made for them." Betsabee continued, " As I read one of the notes on the bathroom mirror I smiled and realized that every girl that walked into the bathroom was reading the messages and smiling as she read 'You are beautiful just the way you are.' I think ARK week had a huge impact. I say this because you could actually feel how people were happy and being gentle with one another. The Random Acts of Kindness week gave a thousand positive outcomes in someone else's life. For me ARK week was an experience that I personally will remember."

Big image


Oak Hill Entrepreneurs

Oak Hill hosted its annual 4th Grade Business Fair on February 13th. There were many creative and ingenious entrepreneurs. The 4th graders created their own businesses based off real companies. There were business that sold video games, chicken, cupcakes and desserts, dance lessons, smoothies, and so many more! Business owners explained their profit graphs, menus or services, and the history of their business to crowds of potential customers. Tasty samples and business cards were passed out, too! GREAT JOB 4th graders!

Big image
Big image



The Wilson Riles PTA hosted an Honor Roll Breakfast in February to recognize 217 students for their 1st semester academic achievement. Forty-seven students with a 4.00 GPA and 170 with at least a 3.25 GPA were treated to this special event. Congratulations to all the Honor Roll students for their hard-work and pursuit of academic excellence.


Big image

"Making a difference in the life of a child with cancer."

Once again Spinelli Elementary will host St. Baldrick's, a nationwide event that raises money for kids with cancer. This event will take place on Friday, March 27 at 2:00 P.M. on the upper blacktop at Spinelli Elementary.

To join this event or donate to the cause go to and typebSpinelli Elementary in the search box. You can also find a link online at the Spinelli homepage.

"Together, let's Conquer Kids' Cancer!" ~ Jean Luigi, Volunteer Event Organizer


Why.....It's Grease Lightnin'

Center High’s Performing Arts Center is proud to present: Grease!

Here is Rydell High's senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical. Head "greaser" Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their "Summer Nights" as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as "Greased Lightnin'", "It's Raining on Prom Night", "Alone at the Drive-In Movie"

Show times are the weekends of March 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th

All shows are at 7:00 PM

Prices are:

General Admission: $7.00

Senor Citizens 65 and over: $5.00

Children 3 and younger and students with an ASB sticker: $5.00

If you have any questions please call Mrs. Purdy at 916-339-4702 or email at


Big image


Kathy Lord, Principal at North Country, Shares her Journey

My journey with Center Joint Unified actually started in September 1977 when my son started Kindergarten at Spinelli School. I enjoyed volunteering in his Kindergarten class and it is there that I learned how to teach reading. Students were being taught using the old phonics Distar method. I asked to borrow a book and figured out the rest at home. I continued to volunteer in my son’s first grade class until the Air Force took us away to Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert. I was not as impressed with the school on base as much as I was with the teachers at Spinelli, nor did I feel as welcome as a volunteer. So, I spent my time reading, dabbling in ceramics, watching the space shuttle and volunteering at Family Services. We returned to Sacramento and our home near Spinelli in 1981. I interviewed for an opening as an instructional assistant, was hired and began the school year in September. I worked with all grade levels as an instructional assistant for several years in general ed and special education. In the meantime, I started classes at Sierra College where they had (and still have) an impressive science program. I was actually encouraged to get my teaching credential from many of the teachers, along with John Loehr, our principal. My own children, Jeremy and Misty went to Spinelli but my daughter transferred to Dudley in 5th grade when we moved across Watt Ave. in the late 80’s. Both graduated from Center High School. After a year of substituting, I was hired as a teacher in 1990 when North Country first opened. I was a mentor teacher for four years and went back to school to get my administrative credential. I was hired as a vice principal in 1997 right here at North Country and became principal in 2002. My husband, Marvin has worked as the Computer Systems Manager for the district since 1999.

So, our whole family is connected to Center Joint Unified School District and it has been an integral part of our lives.

Throughout the years, I have been proud of the many awards and accomplishments at North Country thanks to the entire staff. A tough one to receive because of the strict criteria of the old API and AYP under NCLB was the Title I Academic Achievement Award in 2008. But worthy of attention is the fact that my staff has implemented the seven habits of highly effective people in grades TK-6th. The habits are principle- centered, character based and provide a progressive approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness. We are in our third year as a Franklin Covey Leader In Me school, Our goal is to be a Leader In Me Lighthouse school; a beacon of the community in terms of our students completing community service projects and a shining example for other schools wishing to be Leadership schools. The commitment of the staff is significant. You’ll never find a better collection of hard working teachers and staff all dedicated to our students.

Most recently, North Country was designated as a SCOE intern training site. Our teachers continue with business as usual as upward of twenty teacher interns file through their classrooms. Their observations began in February and conclude in May. The interns are taking notes on lesson design, instructional strategies, behavior management, and ELD strategies just to name a few. I have no doubt that our staff will model procedures and routines of well-managed classrooms preparing the interns on what to expect as they begin their professional careers as teachers.

Outside of the Center Unified world, my husband and I love to travel. We met in high school and have been married for 42 years. I graduated from high school and a week later was on my way to Biloxi, Mississippi, my husband’s first duty station in the Air Force. So, we were infected with the travel bug right off the bat. Now, we often accompany our son and daughter in law to different locations. We don’t see them often enough now that they live in Dallas. There is a lot of fun in traveling together. My dream was to go to Ireland which we realized two years ago this summer. There was so much to see and with a side trip to London and Stonehenge, we couldn’t visit all the places we had marked, so one day, we will return. In the meantime I “Pinterest” Ireland and imagine being there. Our daughter, son in law and granddaughter live in Antelope, so we feel fortunate that we get to be a big part of their lives. Travel with them usually finds us in Disneyland or Disneyworld, which is fine by me.

One thing many people do not know about me is that I am interested in metaphysics and holistic approaches to health and healing. There is a world of information out there with evidence that common medical principles are linked to Eastern medicine, Native American practices and Celtic lore. It lends itself to many hours of interesting reading.

If I had three wishes, the first would be that my family and friends experience good health throughout their lives. Without good health, any other wish is insignificant. Secondly, I would wish for a world of peace where there are no worries of what’s happening on the other side of the world that would threaten the freedom of our children and our children’s children. Finally, I wish that today’s children figure out how to unleash their potential by realizing that opportunity is everywhere if they set positive goals, learn the importance of gratitude and communicate effectively with others. The world would be a happier place.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ~Henry David Thoreau