Grizzly Community Update

Friday, January 13, 2023

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Good afternoon Grizzlies,

Happy New Year!

The first semester is complete and we are off and running with the second semester. I want to thank you all for your support through the first half of the school year.

During our finals this week we were able to celebrate a few amazing groups.

Ms. Saiki organizes our student tutor program and we were able to recognize our 20+ student tutors with a recognition lunch on Tuesday for their hard work to support their peers.

Thank you to the PTSA for providing our staff with coffee and cookies during the morning of finals! It was great to have a warm treat on our final day of semester exams.

Finally, a huge shout out to our Grizzlies that are participating in the Samsung Solve competition. Our team have been named as finalists! Their project is trying to find solutions to solving the Type 2 Diabetes crisis. See their picture below for more details.

It has been great to welcome our Grizzlies back, even through the much needed rain. I have continued visiting classrooms throughout campus and it is great to see teachers welcoming students back, reflecting on first semester, reviewing key expectations for classroom success, and lessons that are challenging students to grow. See below for some images from this week in the Den.

We also had a great School Site Council meeting Wednesday evening. There was a great presentation by our amazing Teacher Librarian team as well as great discussion about the student Thought Exchange results (students were asked: What would improve your learning experience at school?) and the results were very interesting because the number one response was improving school meals. (You can see the Student Thought Exchange results in PDF form below.). We also talked about grading and what a grade really means. You can see the detailed notes below as well.

This weekend is a long weekend as we observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. These holidays are a great time to reflect on those we are acknowledging.

Have a great long weekend and we'll see students back on campus on Tuesday!


Mr. Ball

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Monday there is no school to celebrate Dr. King's birthday. When we learn about Dr. King in school we often go over his 1963 March on Washington Speech and focus on the last few minutes of the speech and label it the "I have a Dream" speech. His speech talks about politics, the realities of racism, and the lack of economic opportunity for so many Americans. Dr. King's legacy is much more than just that one speech. His last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community (1968), one of my favorite reads, gives a detailed description of where he felt America needed to go to overcome the racial and economic disparity that existed. Unfortunately, the issues that Dr. King was fighting for during the Civil Rights movement still exist today. As we enter this day off from school/work, I encourage you to reflect on where we are as a community and country, and consider what you and your family can do to combat the injustices that persist. Reviewing the March on Washington Speech could be a good start.

Views from the Den

Samsung Solve Finalists

Congratulations to the Cal High Samsung Solve team that have been named finalists in the competition for the state of California. They will advance to Phase 2 for a chance to win $20,000 by creating an Action Plan for their type 2 diabetes solution by January 18th. They are also eligible for the National Prize of $100,000!!!

Please congratulate the following students who are currently building a STEM solution for type 2 Diabetes.


Please support our cause, by filling out a short survey and follow us on instragram @xredu

Team members include: Swayam Shah, Rohan Ramakrishnan, Srinikesh Kanneluru, Arnav Pandey, Kavin Jain, Kanishk Krishna, Luke Ko, Ashley Chang, and Alexander Pak.

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Silent Performances

Ms. Woods' Theater class was introduced to their next project in which they will have to create productions with no dialogue. The image below was an example that they watched in class.
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Creating in Child Development

One of our Teacher Librarians, Ms. Bailey, did a really cool activity with Mrs. McKavish's Child Development class where they created bouncy balls. It was a fun chemistry experiment that resulted in a cool toy!
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Writing Analysis

I was able to check out a little bit of Ms. Faupusa's English 11 class and they were reviewing the Great Gatsby essays that they completed. Ms. Faupusa introduced the review by asking students to develop a math equation for the essay as a way to establish a structure for how an essay can be constructed. They spent some quality time reviewing the rubric to get a sense of how well they mastered the components of the assignment.
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Literature Analysis

After beginning the class with a plot diagram of the Pixar short "Partly Cloudy," Mrs. Clark's English 9 students transitioned into analyzing different types of children's literature.
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Bear Facts

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Important Dates

Monday, January 16, 2023: No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Thursday & Friday, February 9 & 10: Winter Drama Shows