September 2014

Center Aim

-Scott Loehr

I am proud of our staff, and the education and opportunities we provide to the children and families in the Antelope community. We have made significant strides toward full implementation of Common Core Standards by fall 2014. District wide we have expanded existing programs and launched new ones. All of this translates into more quality, meaningful opportunities for students throughout CJUSD.

One of our biggest shifts in education is the transition to Common Core Standards.

To move forward we have continued implementing our district plan through goal setting, collaborative planning and ongoing professional development to orient the staff with the new standards. Our teachers have been preparing to implement new instructional strategies and approaches in Mathematics. Our new curriculum will help catapult our students' learning in this important area. Students will be provided with deeper and broader opportunities for exploration in math while advancing their skills in math practices, as well as their knowledge of math content, application, reasoning and problem solving. In addition to aligning to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, implementation of our new curriculum provides a tremendous opportunity to refine our instructional practices and reach new heights and depths in student achievement in this regard. Another emphasis in the Common Core Standards is writing in all disciplines. Writing develops students’ higher order and critical thinking skills. The commitment to writing will enable teachers to better evaluate student learning in all subject areas.

Academic and extracurricular opportunities continue to expand for students throughout our district with the launch of new programs and the expansion of existing programs. Oak Hill Elementary has added an additional GATE class, expanding the GATE cluster to include 4th 5th and 6th grade students. Dudley continues to grow their 4th-5th GATE Academy. Spinelli's after school GATE program will focus this year on scientific investigations and prepare to compete in the 2015 Nature Bowl. North Country Elementary continues to implement Leader in Me, a grant funded program that teaches problem solving skills, responsibility, good character and life skills. New clubs have blossomed throughout our elementary campuses. Spinelli has started a Guitar Club, Tutoring Club and Art Club. Oak Hill is starting a Technology Student Assistant Program where students, who have been trained, will help teachers resolve technology issues. Dudley offers a host of clubs including the Newspaper Club, Ukelele Club, Science Club and Bible Club.

Wilson Riles continues to offer a GATE Academy and a model AVID program as well as a very successful WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) program to help the incoming 6th graders transition to middle school life.

Center High School offers varied opportunities for post high school. College and career options include Project Lead the Way, 911 Dispatcher Program, the Media Communications Academy and the Pharmacy Tech Program. CHS received the CRANE grant which will allow the development of a geometry and construction class for next year.

We are proud to provide fall, winter and spring athletic programs at Center High School, Riles Middle School and McClellan High School. Fall sports are underway and we look forward to supporting our student athletes as they set their sights on athletic excellence.

A new school year brings new faces. I’d like to welcome the following staff members to our CJUSD family; Olga Vataman, Lesli Garland, Ryan Gray, Travis Lukes, Jenny Burgeson, Desiree Jones, Robert Smith, Michelle Fernandes, Tatiana Strilets, Patrick Ynigues, Robert Jones, Brian Brown, Judith Karnesky Stevens, JOrdan Rogers, Jill Hayes, Karen Uhlman, Karen Price, Shahnaz Anwar, Michele Koscheka, Me'Lisa James, Jennifer Matre, Kristen Galloway, Monikah Fierro, Horace Montgomery, Marina Derevyanchuk, Anita Price, Julia Meier, Leah McDonough, Theresa Lunsford.

The best way to support your child’s educational experience is to get involved; join the PTA or Booster Club, attend activities such as movies nights, take the family to the high school sporting events, check your child’s backpack for newsletters and announcements from school, check school and district webpages, attend conferences, utilize Homelink, volunteer your time and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I am proud of the quality academic and extracurricular programs that are available to children and families throughout the Center Joint Unified School District. I am excited for the 2014-15 school year and that awaits.

Parents can apply for free or reduced priced meals through our website at On the right side of home page under Quick Links click on EZ Meal Online Application, click apply today and follow the prompts.


A new school brings new opportunities for CJUSD students to get involved with clubs around campus. Research shows students who are involved in extracurricular activities experience increased academic achievement and social development. Each of our campuses offers a variety of opportunities. Encourage your child to try something new this year.

SPINELLI ELEMENTARY: Guitar Club, Tutoring Club, Art Club

DUDLEY ELEMENTARY: Newspaper Club, Ukelele Club, Science Club, Bible Club

NORTH COUNTRY ELEMENTARY: Timberwolf Trotters Walking Club, Safety Leaders, Journalism, Drama, Tech Mentor, Student Lighthouse, Postal Leaders

OAK HILL ELEMENTARY: Technology Student Assistant Club, Art Club, Spirit Squad

WILSON RILES MIDDLE SCHOOL: Cooking Club, Bible Club, Knitting Club, Yearbook Club, Geography/Travel Club

CENTER HIGH SCHOOL: Academic Decathalon, Anime, Transformed Bible, CSF, DAnce Club, Drama Club, FBLA, RPG, Spanish Club, Women's Studies




-Kathy Lord

Developing Leaders One Child At A Time is North Country Elementary School’s motto. North Country, located in the Center Joint Unified School District is on the path to Lighthouse in its third year of being a Leader In Me School. After receiving a a $45, 000. grant from the Franklin Covey Foundation to become an official Seven Habits Leadership school in 2011, the staff’s goal is to reach Lighthouse status by the end of the 2014-15 school year. A Leader In Me School is awarded Lighthouse status after a series of criteria has been met in eight different areas. These include leadership goals completed by an established Lighthouse Team, efforts to put an organized leadership environment in place, integrated curriculum and instruction, staff collaboration, student leadership and goal tracking. Through this process, students are learning what it means to be leaders by demonstrating daily examples of the seven habits of highly effective people. These principles will be implemented throughout the daily curriculum from TK, Kindergarten through sixth grades. The Seven habits are listed below:

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin with the End in Mind

3. Put First Things First

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the Saw

The end in mind, is to teach students to use these habits at school, at home and in the community. Business leaders are looking for individuals with good character who are able to project their passion, have self confidence and the right attitude to face difficult circumstances. They are looking for team players and team leaders. We believe we can instill life long habits in an elementary setting.

The North Country staff strongly feels that through this process and commitment students are learning leadership skills through thought and actions. Students are involved in a number of opportunities including acting as student greeters, tour guides for visitors, morning newscasters, postal service workers, safety patrol, student Lighthouse Team and exposure to journalism and the arts.

With instruction underway, we are anticipating a metamorphosis to take place throughout the school as every student begins to gain an understanding of his or her own potential, strength and worth. Students are frequently reminded that “Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.”

Media Communication Academy Celebrates 15 years of Excellence

Center High School's Media Communications Academy is beginning its 15th fully funded year. This year’s sophomores, Juniors and Seniors total 145 or about 12% of this Center High’s enrollment.

The MCA follows the school-within-a-school model, promoting professionalism and life –prep. This includes preparing students for college, the work place, and the military. MCA students take their Social Studies, English, Spanish and Media electives in the academy.

The Californian Partnership Academy funds the MCA with a $71,000 annual grant. A portion of these funds are used to motivate students to improve their GPA’s so they can attend field trips. This semester the sophomores will attend an over night trip to the Bay Area that includes tours to the Jelly Belly Factory, San Jose State University, Winchester Mystery House , Alcatraz, Chinatown, the Exploratorium and a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Juniors and Seniors fundraise to take a five day trip to Hawaii. This trip includes a tour of University of Hawaii, trekking into the rainforest to see Manoa Falls, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, climbing Diamond Head Volcano and touring the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. Students will also visit the Queen’s Palace, Punchbowl Cemetery, a Buddhist Temple, watch a Surfing Championship at the Pipeline, visit the Dole Factory and spend some time shopping and sunbathing. A large portion of the fundraising came from an opportunity and outpouring of parent support from the Boosters Fundraiser at Levi Stadium.

All 50 of last years Seniors graduated and most are attending local colleges and universities. Last year was also a great year for recognition as MCA students won awards for producing Public Service Announcements and other projects for SMUD, SEVA and the Tower of Youth Film Festival.

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