The Crusader Times

Be Present - Be Positive - Be Persistent in your Learning

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Volume 2, Issue 12 October 30, 2023


Principal's Message

BVM Community,

Good evening community! I wanted to take a moment to emphasize the importance of our ongoing efforts to reset our school culture during this second quarter of the school year. I am pleased to share that we have witnessed positive changes in student behavior, decision-making, and openness to receive critical or corrective feedback over the course of the past three weeks. However, as we enter the final six weeks of the semester, it is crucial that we remain focused on both our culture and academic goals.

I kindly request that you take some time this week to review your student’s academic progress (see your Infinite Campus Portal) and work together to formulate goals for their improvement during these last six weeks--if you haven't already. By setting clear objectives and providing support, we can ensure that our students finish the semester on a strong note. I’m happy to report that this past week, our school site leadership team (composed of our teachers) met to discuss and establish goals and action steps on what they will do to improve our overall D/F rate (please see more on this below). Together, with teachers and students focused on improvement, we can maximize the learning on our campus.

Additionally, I would like to remind both parents and students that our district’s promotion requirement, which mandates that all students pass all their middle school classes with a grade of D or better, will be strictly enforced this year and moving forward. We will be publishing more information on our credit recovery options as we get closer to our 2nd semester. It is important for us to maintain high academic standards and provide our students with the necessary tools for their success in middle school, high school, and beyond. Hence support and accountability are one and the same.

In closing, I want to offer words of encouragement and positivity. Let us continue to foster a supportive and nurturing environment where our students can thrive academically, personally, and professionally. Together, we can make a lasting impact on their educational journey.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Bonita Vista Middle School. Also, REMEMBER TO READ THE HALLOWEEN COSTUME GUIDELINES AS THEY WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED! Let's have an awesome week everyone!

Lastly, please remember to review the 4 Essential Rules at Bonita Vista Middle School that allow us to not only promote our safety on campus, but it allows us to ensure that our students are fully present and ready to learn:

1. No Cell Phones on Campus: We ask that all students place their cell phones in their backpacks once they are at school and on our campus. We not only enforce this rule during class time but especially during nutrition breaks and lunchtime. We want our students to interact with each other as much as possible as opposed to being on their screens/phones.

2. No IPAD Misuse: Every student is issued an IPAD for educational purposes only. We ask students to use their devices strictly as implements of learning.

3. No Earbuds: Similar to our cell phone rule, we ask that once students are at school and on our campus, they place their earbuds in their backpacks. We have noticed that students are less distracted in class and engage more with each other when they are not using earbuds.

4. No Hoodie (worn on head): Students can wear hooded sweatshirts but in order to be able to identify our students at all times, we ask students not to wear their hoods over their heads. This rule is in place for student safety. Should a non-student sneak onto our campus, we would want to identify them immediately. Also, we need to ensure during class and outside of class that students do not have their earbuds. We prioritize making sure that students are paying attention in class and our fully engaged with each other at all times.

If you ever need to report a disciplinary or safety concern, please make sure to report all concerns to our administrative team.

Our assistant principal, Mr. Robert Bonilla oversees students with last names between A-L and Ms. Estephany Conlon oversees all students between M-Z. Please visit this link to contact any other staff you wish to communicate with:

Thank you,

Dr. Salazar

Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos DLI Student Presentations

Thursday, Nov. 2nd, 3:30pm

650 Otay Lakes Road

Chula Vista, CA

Students enrolled in our DLI Program will present their Dia de Los Muertos projects to our school community on November 2nd. We would like to invite parents and guardians to come to our Parent Center in Room 201 anytime from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in order to see students’ projects.

We will see you there community!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Week at a Glance: October 30 - November 3

Check out our week at a glance by clicking on the link or the button below:

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Message from our DLI Coordinator Mr. Reyes-Cornejo about Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

(For Students enrolled in Dual Language Immersion Classes):

Día de Muertos is most famous as a Mexican holiday, but it’s observed in different forms throughout Latin America. In most places, it’s a mix of local indigenous beliefs and Catholic traditions. (This is why it’s celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2, All Souls Day and All Saints Day.)

Although the Day of the Dead falls close to Halloween on the calendar, the two are not related. (It’s more similar to Memorial Day; a time to remember loved ones who have passed on.)

Most families celebrate the Day of the Dead by creating an “ofrenda” in their homes. This is a space that reflects their own spiritual traditions and honors the memories of their relatives. Some people also use this time to visit local cemeteries, to clean and decorate their family members’ graves with flowers. Others attend church services or local parades.

Some families who are less religious celebrate the Day of the Dead as more of a cultural tradition. For others, they believe that during this time the spirits of their loved ones come close to earth. Some of the decorations include things like sugar skulls and skeletons, which are meant to symbolize that death is a natural part of life.

Our goal is to learn what this holiday means to the people that celebrate it, and how different communities think about life, death, and the afterlife. To that end, we will be working on a Día de Muertos project as part of the Dual Language Immersion Program, and our World Languages Spanish classes here at Bonita Vista Middle School. This project will involve reading, researching, writing, and hands-on activities. I will provide some of the materials. However, if you are able to, I would appreciate any voluntary donations of arts and crafts materials and/or decoration items for our project. At the end of this message, you will find links to a few articles that further explain the rationale behind the Day of the Dead celebration, and what materials go into building an altar with “ofrendas’’ or offerings. However, below is a short list for your reference:

  • Candles (velas): Symbol of light and life, lights the way.

  • Papel picado (decorative papers): Represents the union between earth and the afterlife.

  • Pan de muerto (a sweet bread): Element of earth, hospitality.

  • Marigolds (Flores de cempasúchil): Orange is the color most easily seen, scent guides the spirits to the altar.

  • Plates of Food: Favorite foods to welcome hungry souls.

  • Sugar skulls (calaveras), and skeletons (calacas): Symbolizes death as part of life.

  • A Glass of Water: To welcome thirsty souls after a long journey.

  • A Photograph of the Family Member(s), Pets or Famous People: To remember relatives and loved ones who passed away.

  • Favorite objects: To make visiting souls feel happy and honor them.

  • Religious Symbols: A cross, rosary, pictures of saints, or others.

  • Incense: The smell wards off bad spirits and welcomes good ones.

Students will present their projects to our school community on November 2nd. We would like to invite parents and guardians to come to our Parent Center in Room 201 anytime from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in order to see students’ projects.

We always want to deepen our cultural understanding of different places where Spanish is spoken! I hope this is helpful, and please reach out to me with any questions.


David Reyes Cornejo

Spanish/DLI Teacher

Dual-Language Immersion

Program Coordinator

Bonita Vista Middle School

An Introduction to the Day of the Dead Altar and Elements

A Kid-Friendly Introduction to Day of the Dead

What Do the Day of the Dead Colors Mean

All About The Monarch Butterfly and Day of the Dead

La Catrina_ Who is the Woman Behind the Day of the Dead

Acknowledgment Corner

The Acknowledgment Corner will be continued to be used to highlight and celebrate our students at any opportunity that we can! If you would like your student acknowledged for something we may not be aware of, please feel free to contact me (include a picture if possible).

Crusaders of the Week:

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Crusader of the Week: Samuel Armas

Crusader of the Week: Nominated by Ms. Eriksson, Samuel Armas is #1 academically out of all the World Cultures classes with an overall 100 percent on work completion and assessments (tests). He is very hard-working and Ms. Eriksson is absolutely proud of all his work and the way he carries himself! Let's go BVM!!!
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Crusader of the Week --Kennedy Shropshire

Crusader of the Week: Nominated by Mr. Kasem, Kennedy has displayed outstanding and unrelenting dedication and performance in IM8 this year!!! She is scoring 101.1 percent and turns in every assignment on time and is highlighted to show accuracy--an unstoppable student this year! I would also like to thank her for being a positive influence on her peers at BVMS!!! Let's go --great basketball player too!!!

BVM Cheer at Otay Ranch High School: October 28, 2023

Our BVM Cheer was in full support of our girl's basketball team this past Saturday at Otay Ranch High School. The short video below shows our cheer team performing at halftime during the BVM vs. RDR Girls' Basketball game. Great job to our cheer team and we also want to thank their cheer coach, Timea Wegener, for her dedication to the team! Check out the video below!

BVM 8th Grade Boys Baseball Team

Our BVM Baseball team took on Arroyo Vista this Saturday at Otay Ranch High School. The team managed plenty of hits this past weekend against what looked like to be Arroyo Vista's Ace pitcher! Way to go BVM!
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BVM Girls Basketball Team

Our BVM Girls Basketball Team took on Rancho Del Rey's 2nd Team this past Saturday at Otay Ranch High School. Our ladies improved their record to 3-2 overall heading into this year's playoffs. Good luck ladies!
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BVM Softball Team taking on Rancho Del Rey

Our awesome BVM Softball team took on a tough and undefeated RDR Softball Team. Our girls have been playing with great spirit and competitiveness all season long. Keep competing and good luck in the playoffs!
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Halloween Door Decoration Contest Winner --Mr. Schmidt's Advisory Class

Congratulations to Mr. Schmidt and his advisory class who are the winner of this year's door-decorating contest! Their theme --Beetle Juice! Beetle Juice! Beetle Juice! Mr. Schmidt's students are always showing great school spirit! Thank you for making BVM an awesome place for ALL students!
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Celebrating our 2023-2024 ASB

Big shout out to our ASB students this year who have been nothing short of spectacular this year. Our ASB students are always doing what they can to make sure that our students have opportunities at school to show their spirit and celebrate the pride that we have in our school. Every Friday, ASB works diligently to make sure that we have student activities set up to entertain our students in our main quad. Thank you so much to Ms. Schroeder and this year's ASB! Let's go BVM!!!
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FYI Corner

Below you will find valuable resources for our students and community, including our tutoring schedule!

Magkaisa Conference Filipino Student/Parent Conference is on October 28, 2023

This past weekend we celebrated the Magkaisa Conference Filipino Student/Parent Conference at Otay Ranch High School.

Kenneth Barlis, a renowned fashion designer for Project Runway, was this year's keynote speaker. Also, Assemblymember David Alvarez was in attendance and addressed our students and parents during the general session. Kenneth Barlis shared his personal journey to encourage students to exercise their agency. He spoke highly of his mother, his childhood in the Philippines, his educational journey in the United States, and the moment he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a Fashion Designer. Mr. Barlis stressed the importance of hard work. His message was well received by the hundreds of students who were in attendance. Let's go!!!
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Chula Vista Elementary School District Collaboration 2023

This past week we had the awesome principals from Discovery Charter, Tiffany Elementary, Valley Vista Elementary, and Sunnyside Elementary School visit our campus. We had an opportunity to discuss data on student achievement and student behaviors. We stressed that we are a community of educators and that we all hold ourselves responsible for student outcomes. We agreed to continue our collaboration and have already scheduled follow-up meetings to work on improving ways to meet the needs of our students. Thank you again Mr. M Macgaffey (Discovery Charter), Dr. Sutton (Tiffany Elementary), Ms. Ibarra-Roman (Valley Vista Elementary), and Ms. Arancibia (Sunnyside Elementary). Thank you again for your awesome leadership and for sticking around a bit during 7th-grade lunch to see some of our students. Looking forward to our next meeting!
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School Site Leadership Team

Our awesome teacher leadership team had a very specific focus at our last SLT meeting --reducing D/F grades! Our teachers developed specific goals on how to reduce our D/F rates in respective courses by the end of the semester. You can see Ms. Bauer's goal below! If our students make similar goals --there is no telling how much we can increase our learning this semester! Let's go!!!
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CHAT GPT and Artificial Intelligence software in Education --Mr. Brickley

This past Friday, October 27th, Mr. Brickley sat down with our staff to train us on the use of Chat GPT and other Artificial Intelligence software in education. Before coming to Bonita Vista Middle School, Mr. Brickley worked for the San Diego County Office of Education delivering professional development on CHAT GPT and other resources to educators across our county. We are lucky to have Mr. Brickley as one of our 7th-grade English team! Let's go BVM! Check out the PDF below for more information!
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