Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff

October 2018 Edition

Superintendent's Message

Dear Team PUSD,

Our flags are at half staff following another senseless act of violence against a group of innocent people. What happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend shows the tragic results of allowing hate to take hold and poison our society. While we are physically removed from the shooting, our hearts ache for the families who lost their loved ones so suddenly.

We as educators and families must come together to choose kindness over hate, teach and model tolerance and respect for our future generations, and remain vigilant against any threats. This work takes courage, empathy, and strong leadership from children and adults alike.

Choose kindness

I saw a quote recently: "Kindness is choosing love over hate, light over darkness, compassion over judgment." As educators, we are in the unique position of being able to teach our young people to choose kindness on a daily basis. October is National Bullying Prevention month. A 2015 study by the National Center for Education found that nationwide, about 21 percent of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying. We know that students cannot learn or achieve to their full potential when they don’t feel safe and secure. Bullied students are also more likely to miss school or drop out of school. And in extreme cases, the results can be tragic, driving teens to take their own lives to end the torment or targeting their bullies with violence. This is unacceptable. We can and must do better. Many people don't realize that one of the reasons I got into education is because I too was bullied for much of my K-12 educational experience. No child should be made to feel afraid or that they don't matter, as I once did.

Teach tolerance and respect

Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego hosted its annual “No Place for Hate” leadership conference. Schools from across Poway Unified School District sent student and administrator teams to receive training on how to create safe and inclusive campuses free from bias and bullying. Simultaneously, PUSD has partnered with the Sandy Hook Promise Organization to bring the new “Start with Hello” program to our schools, which encourages students to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion, and to identify and help others who are showing signs of social isolation. This builds on the existing work that our schools have been doing with LINK crews and Kindness Campaigns to promote empathy and compassion and “Unity Weeks” focused on bridging differences with understanding and respect. Starting in our elementary schools, counselors focus on “Character Counts” lessons and use a “Second Step” curriculum to focus on the issue of bullying. Our schools are also participating in digital citizenship curriculum which addresses cyber bullying, because we know that bullying can be pervasive online. Our staff is receiving training too, to recognize bullying, take immediate action when needed, and to model respectful behavior.

Remain vigilant

As part of our ongoing efforts to improve school safety and security, we are asking our school community to "see something, say something." Watch this public service announcement with your children. Save the PUSD tipline number into your phone: 844-787-3847 and report any threats to school safety. The tipline is monitored 24-7 by our law enforcement partners.

Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our schools safe and secure,


PUSD Podcast Episode 12: Carol Osborne

"PUSD Podcasts" is a monthly podcast, hosted by Director of Communications, Christine Paik. In this episode, Christine sits down with Carol Osborne, Associate Superintendent of Learning Support Services who talks about how education is changing and why coming to PUSD felt like coming home.

Poway Unified School District

PUSDPodcast Ep. 12 - Carol Osborne, Associate Superintendent of Learning Support Services by Poway Unified School District

Student, School, and Staff Achievements

Real Heroes Youth Award

Westview High School student Sophia Righthouse was recognized and honored by the San Diego Red Cross at their annual Real Heroes Breakfast. Sophia won the Youth Award, after she was instrumental in leading an evacuation of a burning building, ensuring the safety of the residents, and making the firefighters' jobs a lot easier! You can watch the segment here.

Yearbook Award

Columbia Scholastic Press Association announced the 2019 Yearbook Crown Finalists, including Del Norte High School. These publications were published during the 2017-2018 academic year, and are being recognized as the top student publications from schools across the country.

Tribute to Teachers

Mt. Carmel High School English teacher Monique Lamphiere-Tamayoshi was awarded the KYXY/American Assets Trust Tribute to Teachers award. The award spotlights six San Diego teachers every school year who make life-long impressions on local students. On October 2, 2018, she was surprised in her classroom and presented with a plaque thanking her for her dedication and excellence.
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Sweepstakes Awards for Royal Regiment

Congratulations to the Rancho Bernardo High School Royal Regiment band and color guard for winning sweepstakes awards at the recent Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands for high music effect, performance field show, and tournament band as well as first place awards for percussion and auxiliary.
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Broncos Beach Volleyball Champs

Your Division II Beach Volleyball Champs, capping off an awesome first season!
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Poway High School - Palomar League Football Champs

Poway High pulled off a Friday night victory over rival Rancho Bernardo, 28-21, earning them the Rotary Cup and title of 2018 Palomar League Champions!
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Nighthawk Championship Volleyball!

Congratulations to the DNHS Nighthawks' lady volleyball team for earning their 8th League Title in a row!
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Westview - CIF Champions

Congratulations to the Westview High School Girls Tennis team - CIF Division II Champions!

Sunset Hills SOARs

Families at Sunset Hills Elementary School raised over $25,000 through the Sunset Hills Education Foundations' "Supporting Our Academic Resources" (SOAR) program - benefiting their Computer Resource Assistant, Instructional Assistants, and toward the development of the STEAM lab. Because they met the goal, students got to Silly String the principal!
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Dyslexia Awareness Month

PUSD's Board of Education approved a resolution proclaiming October as Dyslexia Awareness Month wherein the District commits to providing early assessment and the ongoing interventions needed to support the academic success of all students, including those with Dyslexia. This year PUSD rolled out universal screenings to all 1st graders in our district, via RtI TOSAs. Special Education teachers were also offered FLEX courses on assistive technology for students with dyslexia by Katie Larew.

Fun Photo Gallery

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Stone Ranch Elementary School celebrated the opening of their new classroom building with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.
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Fall Band Tournaments

It's competition season for high school bands throughout the District. These photos are from the Rancho Bernardo Field Tournament earlier this month. One more PUSD tournament remains: hosted by Westview Gold on November 7, 2018. Go here for more information. Photos by PUSD photography intern Tyler Christian

Dia de los Muertos

Midland Elementary school's principal Sidia Martinez hosted a Dia de los Muertos themed Principal's Coffee celebration for the school's Spanish-speaking families.
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Safari Park Field Trip

Chaparral Elementary School 1st graders enjoyed a visit to the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park.

Five Senses

Kindergarteners at Deer Canyon Elementary School explored their five senses, as part of next generation science standards. They smelled flowers, touched fur, and tasted sweets and took notes on their observations.

Trunk 'R Treat

Midland Elementary School was the site of a Trunk R Treat event in partnership with the Poway Substation of the San Diego Sheriff's Department. Deputies handed out candy and smiles to costumed kids.
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Club Day at Tierra Bonita

ESS students at Teirra Bonita Elementary School enjoyed a Club Day with crafts, comic book-making, cooking, sports, and more!

8th Grade Band Night

8th grade band night at Westview High with Mesa Verde, Meadowbrook, and Black Mountain Middle School eighth-grade band students. Tons of fun and even more talent!
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Kindness Campaign

Students at Meadowbrook Middle School facilitated an activity that encourages a Community of Kindness.
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BizTown Interviews

Before a trip to BizTown next month, 5th graders at Los Penasquitos Elementary had to interview for their jobs with a panel of business professionals and community members. The students had résumés ready and some even dressed in business attire, as they tried to articulate why they deserved to be hired for their dream job. Many thanks to our volunteer interviewers (pictured above)!
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PUSD's Technology and Innovation Department held their annual TechCampapalooza with teacher learning cooperatives featuring 300 teachers from across the District, all learning how to incorporate technology into their classrooms!
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Morning Creek Fun Run

Mrs. Hall’s class won a Fun Run challenge to throw balloons at Morning Creek Principal Taylor and the APEX team!

Character Counts! / Red Ribbon Week

Every year, PUSD participates in Character Counts! and Red Ribbon Week for Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Prevention. The themes for this year are “Life Is Your Journey, Travel Healthy” for our District’s elementary schools and “Life Is Your Journey, Travel Drug Free” for our District’s middle and high schools. Students participated in a variety of campus-wide activities at all of our elementary, middle, and high schools. Many thanks to our Partner in Education and Sponsor, Aurora Behavioral Health Care, for underwriting the cost of red ribbons for the elementary students. We also wish to express our appreciation to the Poway City Council for creating a proclamation in support of the community-wide celebration of Character Counts! and Red Ribbon Week.
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PHS Visits Painted Rock

Poway High School's Titan Ambassadors visited Painted Rock Elementary School during Character Counts! / Red Ribbon Week delivering messages of healthy living.
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Character Counts at PUSD

District office staff participated in Character Counts! / Red Ribbon Week through dress up days. Departments wore different colors to represent each of the six pillars of character!
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Jump for Heart Health

Canyon View Elementary students partnered with the American Heart Association for a jump rope marathon.
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Take the Pledge

Shoal Creek Elementary School students signed a banner, pledging to have good character.
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BMX Bike Rally

Creekside Elementary hosted BMX Bikers to finish out their Red Ribbon Week focus on healthy lifestyles.
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PUSD Tipline

As part of Poway Unified’s ongoing efforts to improve school safety and security, we have been sharing this “See Something, Say Something” public service announcement with many of our students. But this message applies to our parents and community members as well: help spread the word by watching and sharing this video so that we have as many eyes and ears out there working to keep our students and staff safe from threats. Save the tip line number in your phone: 844-787-3847. Special thanks to our law enforcement partners who participated in this PSA and continue to monitor the tip line and investigate any threats.
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November 6, 2018 Election Information

As we approach Election Day, November 6, 2018, voters have an important decision to make, that will directly impact the future of the Poway Unified School District. For our Board of Education, PUSD recently converted from an at-large election system (where board members are selected by voters from across PUSD) to a by-district system (where board members are selected by voters only in the area they represent).

We now have five voting districts, and three of those seats will be up for election this November:

  • District B covers north Poway and northeast Rancho Bernardo (Candidates are Ginger Couvrette, Kim Garnier, and Kevin Juza)
  • District C covers most of Rancho Bernardo, parts of 4S Ranch, Ranchos Penasquitos, and Carmel Mountain Ranch (Candidates are T.J. Zane, Charles Sellers, and Terry Norwood)
  • District D covers parts of Ranchos Penasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch, and Sabre Springs (Candidates are Michelle O’Connor-Ratcliff and Stan Rodkin)

If you live within PUSD boundaries, please take a moment to look up your address on the interactive map to find out which district you live and can vote in, and don't forget to vote on November 6, 2018.

Special Education Fall Parent Night

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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.