Bell High School

Principals Update Week 37

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From The Desk of Rafael L. Balderas, Principal

Greetings Bell HS Family,

I hope this message finds you and your family in great health and sound in mind.

It is with a heavy heart, I write this message, with a lot of emotions; quite similar to those I faced the first day I entered this school building. It was not just a building; it was a place that slowly but surely over the next nine years I called a home. These nine years seem like such a long journey and you wake up one day and realize that suddenly, it’s all over… and all you can do is dramatize because as much as they tell you to look ahead, you just can’t stop looking back.

While there are so many more things I could remind us of our school accomplishments, this captures a period of time where we all worked together to ensure all students were provided and exceptional educational experience. More importantly, I want to thank every single person out there, knowingly or unknowingly; you’ve played a major role in my educational journey. In the last nine years collectively, we endured obstacles but we completed many more accomplishments that outweighed our obstacles. Below are several memorable accomplishments including but not limited to the following:

  • 2016 to 2021 Six Time US News & World Report Awarded as Best High Schools
  • 2020 LAUSD Academic Decathlon Champions.
  • 2017, 2018, 2019 SBAC scores, Bell STEM Gifted Magnet in the top three in LAUSD.
  • In 2017 shifted the school calendar “reconfiguration” towards a traditional calendar.
  • Opened first STEM Gifted Magnet in 2013 with 660 students at Bell Senior High School.
  • Opened two Linked Learning Academies for the Arts (ALPHA) and Teaching pathways (MTCA).
  • 2017 received a full 6-year WASC Accreditation.
  • Strengthen International Educational Relations with the expansion of Arabic language Studies with Qatar Foundation International (QFI) and Star-Talk National Foreign Language Center.
  • 2012, we lead the implementation of the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Improved graduation rates for the last 9 years with nearly 5,000 seniors graduating.
  • Collectively, survived the worst pandemic in our lifetime and transformed Bell HS into a virtual learning school.

These are just a few of our memorable accomplishments; this shows that only through our collective efforts anything can be accomplished at Bell High School! I am proud of the fact, our school community is in great shape for years to come, an only a continued upward trajectory has become the expectation.

Moving On…I have been fortunate to be given an opportunity to promote as the next Community of Schools Administrator in Local District Central where my values, vision and equity for all children are clearly aligned to the new Superintendent in Local District Central.

As much as it pains me to say this, today is the day I venture out into a “Brave New World”. Today is the day I fly from the Eagles nest and leave our school community and say my goodbye. But don’t be dismayed, I promise you that this is not the end, it’s just the beginning.

In Partnership,

Rafael L. Balderas, Principal


Our next step for our learning community is to reach out to our parents and students and promote the need to vaccinate our community. While we understand there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines. It is important to understand that these vaccines are safe and FDA-approved, and that mass vaccination is the only path back to recovery and normalcy. Parents community members and high school students are encouraged to research and seek out vaccination opportunities available to our community. Learn more about these opportunities at LAUSD vaccinations at:

To support our school community in vaccinating our students and families, LAUSD will be hosting several vaccination sites including Gage MS and MaCES.

For students ages 12 and 17 must have a consent form signed by the parent, you may download the form here:

To book a Vaccination appointment please use the:

MaCES is scheduled to have a Vaccination Kickoff this Monday, May 24, 2021 from 11 am to 7 pm...the first 500 participant will receive FREE TACOS!!!

Please review the informational posters below:

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In an effort to support our student athletes, coaches and families LAUSD will have several locations available for COVID testing. See below in Local District East the two testing sites available are Gage MS and El Sereno MS, see extended hours on Wenesday's till 7 pm at El Sereno MS.

Schedule your appointment today!

1. Register for a parent portal account at

2. Link your K-12 children in Parent Portal

3. Schedule a COVID -19 test using your child’s student ID at

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Bell High School Senior Families, please join us to acknowledge and celebrate our Class of 2021 Seniors as they are recognized for their academic achievements. This annual event is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5 pm. The view this event, please log into our live link located on our school website on Thursday. Further, the link will be sent to all senior families and Seniors on Thursday morning as well. Go Class of 2021!! You Got This!!
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@Home Learning? YES We Teach Remotely!

Shout out to everyone for this week of teaching and learning! As a reminder, attendance is MANDATORY, based on the following schoology & zoom logon analytics we have for the following week:

Week of May 17-21, 2021

Students Virtual Attendance = 2,280 out of 2,373 students for a 96%

Weekly Log-on Grade Leaders (schoology & zoom)

Grade 12 – 95.9% / Grade 11 – 93.5% / Grade 10 – 92.3% / Grade 9 – 93.9%

Congratulation Class of 2021 “Seniors” Grade 12 You Are Still on Top!

Social, Emotional & Mental Health? We Got SEL!

We know from the data that students and families continue to feel isolated and alone, the Los Angeles Unified Launched Mental Health Hotline To Help Students and Families. Please have them call (213) 241-3840 – Please be mindful our students and parents world has been turned upside down and we need to make sure students have the support they need. In the event that you need immediate emergency assistance, please call 911.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call either of the following phone numbers for mental health support:

  1. LAUSD Mental Health Hotline (213) 241-3840 M-F 6am-6pm
  2. LA County Department of Mental Health (800) 854-7771
  3. Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Hotline (877) 727-4747 (24 hours)
  4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (8255) (24 hours)
  5. Bell High School Confidential Text Tip Line (323) 989-3750 (24 hours)

For immediate contact with the Bell High School’s Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team, please communicate with one of the following SEL Team Members:

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Purple & GOLD Bell Schedule for Cohort H, Cohort L & Cohort F

As a reminder please follow our Hybrid and Online Tuesday to Friday bell schedule, see schedule below on our Padlet:

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Attention ALL Advance Placement students, be prepared your AP Exam Schedule is out and it starts on May 18 and ends on June 10, 2021! Please check with your AP teachers on how to do well. Secondly, you will have the option to take the AP exam virtually or in person, please email Mr. Marquez, College Counselor at to Mr. Apodaca, Magnet Coordinator at ASAP.

Good Luck!

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Welcome Class of 2025 to Bell High School!

Dear future Bell HS families please join us for our virtual incoming grade 9 orientations scheduled for Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 11 am. To view our presentation live, please log into the following link:

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How are we doing in feeding our community? We Feed Our Learning Community!

As a reminder our Bell HS Community Food Distribution will continue to serve meals everyday from Mondays 2-3 pm and Tuesday to Friday from 2:30 to 3:30 pm! Please drive up on Pine Avenue to the Cafeteria Gate and NO ID is required. Our motto will always be No Family Will GO Hungry”.


Attention students in need to recover credits or advance, Bell HS will be hosting Summer School 2021 on our school site! Summer school will be from June 22 to July 23, 2021 from 8:30 am to 2:20 pm. Bell HS will offer 40 sections in English, math, history and science. To inquiry of register for summer school please reach out to either Mr. Gomez or Ms Corpuz, summer school counselors.

Mr. Gomez:

Ms. Corpuz:

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Do We Have Social Media? Yes We Got Social Media!

For the latest information please follow your Academy on Twitter Social Media:


Bell High School @bellhighschool

AVID Academy @BHSAVID_familia

Global Studies Academy @BHSGlobalStudy

MTCA Academy @bhs_mtca

STEM Magnet @BHSGiftedMagnet