CENTER LINE

APRIL 2015

Center Aim

-Scott Loehr



As we continue with the implementation of the CJUSD Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), I am proud to share that we are making significant progress in attaining the goals we have established. Through the annual update process, will look at data, review the progress our district has made and revise goals as needed to meet the educational needs of our students. Annual update discussions with all stakeholders will happen throughout the district in March and April. I look forward to your input throughout the development of our LCAP.


Updating technology throughout the district has been of high priority to stay up to date with innovative teaching practices and provide the necessary tools for students to be successful on the upcoming computer-adaptive Smarter Balanced Assessment. You may be wondering what it means to be computer adaptive. In a computer adaptive testing system the system makes choices about what questions to give to students based on the students’ answers to previous test questions. That is the adaptive quality. Unlike the previous paper and pencil system where most students saw the same test questions, the computer adaptive test is completely customized to each student’s ability level. Students will likely be more engaged with the computer adapted system. In the former pencil paper assessment, students who know all the answers got bored and student who might have struggled with answering difficult questions gave up. Because of the power of the computer-adaptive system, students will need to answer fewer questions, taking less time.


Ways to support your child through Smarter Balanced Assessment:

Discuss the new assessment with your child. Make sure he or she is not scared or anxious about it.

With older children, explain that the new assessments were created to help him or her better prepare for college and career

Explain to your child that the new assessments will be more challenging, especially the first time they are taken

Tell your child that you and his or her teacher have high expectations and that you are both there to help them every step of the way.

Review test results with your child, bringing your child’s teacher into the discussion as necessary

Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast before testing


Mark your calendars for our Open House events throughout the district. Open House provides an opportunity for your child to showcase their learning and accomplishments for the year.

Dudley Elementary: May 14th 6:00-7:00

North Country Elementary: May 14th 5:30-7:30

Oak Hill Elementary: May 14th 6:30-7:30

Spinelli Elementary: May 14th, Silent Auction at 5:30, Classroom visitations 6pm-7pm


Transitional Kindergarten is a program that provides a year of early education to help children develop the skills they need to succeed in kindergarten. The program is not a substitution for kindergarten. Rather, is the first of a two year program to ensure that students are developmentally and academically prepared for first grade. Children eligible for Transitional Kindergarten must have a birthday between Sept 2, 2010 and Dec 2, 2010. If your child's birthday falls within the appropriate range and you would like more information about the Transitional Kindergarten programs please contact North Country Elementary at 338-6480 or Oak Hill Elementary at 338-6460.


Now is the time to register your child for the 2015-16 school year. Traditional kindergarten registration is currently being accepted. Please check the dates for your local school.

Spinelli Elementary: Packets are now available in the front office. Please return registration packet March 26th or 27th, between 9:00-12:00 and 1:30-3:30

Dudley Elementary: Packets are available in the front office for pick-up and return

North Country: Packets are available in the front office or on the North Country website.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR for additional events throughout CJUSD you don’t want to miss:


Dudley’s 6th grade Family Night featuring Community Service Projects will be on Tuesday, April 28th from 6:30-7:30 PM.


Dudley’s PTA is hosting a Walk-A-Thon on Friday, May 14th, during the school day. The PTA will also host a Family Fun Night that evening.


North Country Elementary Science Fair March 19th- 6:00-7:15,


North Country’s Parade of States April 17th at 9:45 a.m,


Center High Parent Meeting Nights to discuss the block schedule proposal:

March 17th , April 13th and May 7th, 6:00 pm in the CHS Library


Spinelli will host St. Baldrick’s on March 27th at 2:00pm on the upper blacktop.

To join this event or donate to the cause go to stbaldricks.org and typeSpinelli Elementary in the search box. You will also find a link online at the Spinelli homepage. "Together, let's Conquer Kids' Cancer!" ~ Jean Luigi, Volunteer Event Organizer


Stay connected to CJUSD through Facebook at Center Joint Unified School District.

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Class of 2015 TOP 10 Scholars

The Top Ten Dinner is an academic recognition steeped in tradition at Center High School. It’s an honor bestowed upon seniors whose grade point average (gpa) is the top ten of their graduating class. First held in 1989, The Top Ten was the vision of former CHS Principal, Claude Brock.


District and school administrators, teaching staff and proud families attended the Top Ten Dinner on April 9, 2015 to recognize the Top Ten Honorees for the Class of 2015. Each Top Ten student was introduced by a selected staff member that has had an impact on the student’s high school experience. The introduction was followed by a heartfelt speech in which each student reflected on their time at Center High School and their post high school goals and aspirations. Each was awarded a $100 scholarship from the Claude Brock Memorial Fund.


The Top Ten Dinner has become one of the most valued and long standing traditions at Center High School. Congratulations to the following 2015 Center High School graduates for their academic excellence.


Elias Jbeily- Valedictorian

Natelli Cripe- Salutatorian

Louise Mayrena

Brittney Chao

Vardeep Atwal

Shivangi Patel

Eric Hargreaves

Brandon Mason

John Lorenz Salva

Dennis Gurtovenko

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CFW Scholarship Awarded

On March 18, 2015, the Center Unified School District Board of Trustees held a scholarship award ceremony honoring Center High School senior Stephanie Fidomsk, recipient of the CFW Foundation Awards Scholarship.


The CFW Foundation has been established by Caldwell Flores

Winters, Inc. to provide scholarships to graduating California high school students to pursue their post secondary education. The scholarship program provides opportunities for graduating California high school students to apply for assistance to attend four year colleges, technical schools, and community colleges that provide programs in their area of interest.


Caldwell Flores Winters, Inc. President and CFW

Foundation Trustee, Ernesto Flores notes: “I have had the opportunity to work with many public school districts to improve and enhance the quality of education for California school children and I am proud to offer this scholarship program. Our program focuses on those students who have overcome challenges and wish to continue their education or training after high school.”

Stephanie plans to attend California State University of Sacramento to pursue a career in law enforcement. Superintendent Scott Loehr notes: “I believe that Stephanie will be an incredible success story and be the first in her family to earn a college degree. I am proud of her accomplishments and pleased with the opportunity the CFW Foundation has provided”.

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Welcome to WCR Middle School, Home of the Huskies

Wilson Riles students and staff welcomed CJUSD 6th graders to the Riles campus for a presentation on the wonderful opportunities that await at Riles. Student speakers shared all aspects of middle school including classes, elective choices, athletics, clubs, etc. The 6th graders wrapped up their visit with WEB Leaders and Leadership students for Otterpops and the chance to interact with current Riles students and ask questions questions about what lies ahead as the 6th graders make this journey into middle school.

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Pennies for Patients

For the third consecutive year, the Student Council held the Pennies for Patients campaign. Oak Hill joined 29,000 schools nationwide in the fight against blood cancer supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For three weeks, our generous Otters collected change from friends and family and even donated large portions of their own hard earned money for this worthy cause. Student Council members collected receipts from teachers and added up our total donations. They are proud to announce that Oak Hill brought in a whopping $2,760.93!

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CHS AVID College Exploration

~Danielle Stout


March has been a busy month for Center High’s AVID program.

What do you do when you can’t get a wide variety of colleges to come to your College and Career Fair? You “do” it yourself! On March 19th the CHS AVID 10-12 class acted as college recruiters by representing 26 colleges that normally wouldn’t be present. Present this year were Hawaii Pacific, USC, UNLV, Michigan State, Santa Clara University and “The” Ohio State to name a few.

Three years ago the AVID class noticed that there were few colleges present at the College and Career Fair on campus. One of the issues is that since this is a small district, it can be difficult to get representatives to come to us. So the next year we approached Dr. Hicks about allowing the AVID class to represent colleges themselves. With Dr. Hicks’ approval and support, AVID represented 29 colleges for the first time last year.

The students chose their colleges back in November and then contacted the schools to ask for assistance. All the colleges responded, many sending the students brochures, pamphlets, interest forms, fact sheets, pennants, and more. Many of the students also made their own handouts. The students then created displays for their colleges and learned as much information as they could to represent their colleges and answer common questions students may have. The response has been incredibly positive. The students did a great job and are helping to foster a college-bound culture on campus.

Then on March 24th, AVID took a trip to CSU Chico where they were met and given a tour of the campus by former CHS AVID (class of 13) graduate and current Chico junior Andrew Roberts. Andrew took students all over campus, including the residence area and securing a separate tour of the recreation center. Having both a former CHS grad and former AVID student lead us was a powerful connection for the students, many had known Andrew while he was still at CHS.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. To learn more about AVID at CHS visit www.centeravid.weebly.com.

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A Close Shave for Cancer Research

Over the past fifteen years St. Baldrick’s events have raised approximately $150 million in the battle to cure childhood cancer. These funds enable doctors and scientists to pursue the most promising new cures for childhood cancer, and they make clinical trials available to more children than ever. Since 2000, St. Baldrick’s has hosted more than 5,500 head-shaving events, shaving more than 244,000 heads in 30 countries and 50 U.S. states. Center Unified School District has been participating in St. Baldrick’s events since 2007.

On Friday, March 27th Spinelli Elementary held its second annual St. Baldrick’s event. There were a total of forty-six participants who sacrificed their hair in the name of cancer research. In addition to the thirty- six students who shaved their heads, ten young ladies gave up 10” of their beautiful hair to Locks of Love. Joining these brave students was our own CJUSD Superintendent, Scott Loehr, and Assistant Superintendent, Craig Deason.

The courageous participants of this year’s event not only donated their hair. Many made personal sacrifices to fulfil the promise they made to raise money for childhood cancer research. Some students brought in their birthday money while others donated money they earned working various jobs.

With the generosity and support of the staff, students, and the Center Unified family, the Spinelli event raised over $6,000 with more contributions coming in daily.

This event has been an annual tradition for teacher, Jean Luigi and her family. Jean has been committed to St. Baldricks after her own son battled childhood cancer.

“I am truly in awe of the sacrifice, commitment, and generosity of the students and families at Spinelli. They have given up so much in a valiant effort to make a difference in another child’s life. The money we raised this year could provide the funds for just one more child to participate in a life-saving clinical trial. I don’t know if the students fully understand the impact that their sacrifice makes, but I am grateful for their willingness to participate in this worthy cause. They will always be heroes in my book,” expressed Mrs. Luigi.

To make a contribution visit www.stbaldricks.org and search for Spinelli Elementary.

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LEADERSHIP CIRCLE

Kris Schmieder, Principal at Spinelli Elementary, Shares her Journey

It was back in 1990 I first began working in Center Joint Unified School District. We had just moved to Antelope, and my two children were enrolled in North Country, which had just opened its doors as a new school. It had been twelve years since I had been a classroom teacher, but I felt it was time to come back to a job I loved.

My life as a classroom teacher spanned thirteen years. I taught every grade level from Head Start pre-school through sixth grade. Those years were some of the most memorable of my life. Oh, the stories you can tell when you are a teacher! I came back to the world of teaching in 1990 when I began substituting in Center. In 1992, I was hired at North Country to teach fourth grade. The next year I had a fourth/fifth combination class, and then went on to second grade. My most challenging yet rewarding class was a first/second grade combination class, and it was my last class as a teacher. During my years at North Country I was selected as their Teacher of the Year, and served as a District Mentor teacher. Always looking for new and interesting challenges, I earned my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and an Administrative Credential. While deep in the throngs of teaching “the new” Open Court Reading curriculum in my first/second combination class, I was hired as the Vice Principal at Spinelli Elementary. It was February of 1998. After a year and a half, I became Principal. Spinelli has been my home for the past eighteen and a half years.

When I graduated from high school, I told my parents I wanted to go on to college to become a teacher. At first they laughed, because I never liked school. I was the master of reasons why I shouldn’t/couldn’t go to school. My entire school experience was in Catholic Schools, and it was back in the days when Nuns ruled the school. You didn’t cause trouble at school or you would be punished! Through the years, I witnessed many students receive the wrath of an angry nun. I chose teaching because I wanted to provide a classroom where everyone wanted to be, and would enjoy the thrill of learning. I wanted to make a positive impact on the lives of children. Knowing I could do that in my classroom, I decided to become a principal so I could have a larger impact on a positive school experience for children. Spinelli is just that kind of place!

My life outside Spinelli revolves around my family and friends. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. My husband and I met in college, and we have been married for forty years. We have two children Andy and Amy. Our son was born in Wisconsin, and shortly after his birth my husband was transferred to California for a three year job opportunity. Thirty five years later we are still in California. Our children are grown, married and live in the Bay Area. We have one granddaughter Adeline, who is the love of our lives, and in August we will welcome our second grandchild. Living so far from our family/relatives, we have done much traveling through the years. We’ve had the opportunity to see many states, but our favorite place to visit is Kauai, Hawaii. My love for the water comes from growing up in northern Wisconsin where my parents had a summer home in Door County. We spent our summers on the bay swimming, boating, canoeing, and fishing. My other favorite hobby is home decorating. I spend countless hours perusing decorating magazines and Pinterest. If I had a second career, it would be a home decorating specialist.

In closing I would like to share something my father once told me, and it continues to guide my actions in life. “Never underestimate the power of your words and actions when it comes to children. They are listening, and they will be a reflection of you. And remember, children need love most when they deserve it least. Love them, unconditionally.”