Sharing the Good News and Good Work of Students and Staff
August 2019 Back to School Edition
Message from the Superintendent
I wanted to take the opportunity to welcome everyone back to the 2019-20 school year. Whether you’re a new family with a Kindergartener starting school for the first time, or a long-time PUSD employee with 35 years experience, the first day of school is always an exciting time.
Every year, I try to capture the spirit of our PUSD students and staff with a fun and inspiring music video, to let our students and families know how excited we are to welcome them back. This year, PUSD is “Better When We're Dancing.” Watch it below:
As Superintendent, I am proud to lead a District where the employees care deeply about the success of all of our students. We embrace our roles as educators with dedication and passion. On August 16, as we welcomed staff back, employees heard a message that inspired them to innovate, cultivate relationships with students, and create meaningful positive change. Our students can achieve their very best potential as learners if they know the adults at their schools believe in them, are investing them, care about them, and are working together towards their success.
Parents and guardians are our partners in education. We want you to be involved! Family and school partnerships lead to higher academic performance, better attendance, and improved social skills. Poway Unified is fortunate to have so many families who are highly involved in their child's education, support our schools, and embrace our mission and values.
Over the summer, our teachers and site leaders have been building their professional and personal capacity in order to implement new ideas and curriculum into their schools and classrooms. At the District Offices, we have been working hard to ensure that we fill our classrooms and schools with the best and brightest employees and ensure that our campuses are ready to receive our students and staff.
I hope you are as excited as I am to begin a new school year! It's going to be a great one!
Marian Kim Phelps, Ed.D.
Student, School, and Staff Achievements
Poway Unified Accepted Into National League of Innovative Schools
Michele Ward Appointed as New Principal at Tierra Bonita Elementary School
“As an Apple Distinguished School, Tierra Bonita’s innovative and engaging learning environment is a perfect fit for Michele," Superintendent Dr. Marian Kim Phelps said. "We were all impressed by her leadership and her work around innovation in Vista, as well as her beliefs around collaborative decision making. We look forward to her helping us take Tierra Bonita to the next level."
You can read more about Ms. Ward in the article here.
Del Norte Senior Chosen for Prestigious International Cybersecurity Program
Del Norte senior Phoenix Dimagiba is back from his 3-week trip to the UK as part of the prestigious "Future Cybersecurity Leaders Exchange Program." Dimagiba was one of only 10 U.S. students chosen to travel to the US Embassy in London, along with 10 UK students, to meet with international cybersecurity experts and the US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson.
Other highlights included visits to Google and BT Group corporate offices in London, the US State Department and Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles and more.
Dimagiba started his interest in cybersecurity in the 8th grade at Oak Valley Middle School with the CyberAegis Team, and has been a national finalist twice in the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in Baltimore. Dimagiba was the only student in the San Diego area selected to participate. He is pictured below with fellow program participants.
Creekside Elementary PTA Recognized as School of Excellence
National PTA has recognized Creekside Elementary and Creekside Elementary PTA as a 2019-2021 School of Excellence for their accomplishments in building a strong, effective family-school partnership that is enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. Creekside Elementary and Creekside Elementary PTA are one of only 326 PTAs and schools nationwide to be designated a 2019-2021 School of Excellence.
“When families and schools work together, students do better in school and schools improve,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Creekside Elementary and Creekside Elementary have worked hard to strengthen their family-school partnership and their efforts are making a positive impact on student success and school improvement. We are pleased to recognize them as a 2019-2021 School of Excellence.”
Honorary ESPY awarded to San Diego wrestler battling cerebral palsy
When ESPN heard about wrestler Jonathan Garcia, network officials knew exactly what to do. The teen who overcame a lifelong battle with cerebral palsy to make the Del Norte High School wrestling team earned an honorary ESPY award this week for his courage and determination. Watch Jonathan receive his award here.
The Poway Symphonette's Trip to Austria
A trip of a lifetime to Austria for Poway Symphonette members, which includes students from Twin Peaks and Bernardo Heights Middle School! They were invited to the Cantus Festival in Salzburg and also played in the famous St. Peter’s Church in Vienna, Cathedral Salzburg, and the Melk Monastery. Of course they visited filming locations for Sound of Music, too! You can watch their performances here.
Del Norte High School - California's Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter of the Year
Congratulations to Del Norte High School for being awarded California's Outstanding Best Buddies Chapter of the Year at this year's Best Buddies International Leadership Conference. Pictured above are co-presidents Bella Genovese and Toby Gallant. This award was given to recognize the chapter for being true mission movers toward inclusion on campus.
Future Problem Solving Meet in San Francisco
Congratulations to the teams and individuals from Turtleback Elementary and Bernardo Heights Middle School who recently competed in the State Bowl for Future Problem Solving (FPS)! Led by Coach Nancy Myles, the teams from both schools put problem-solving skills to the test at the State Meet in San Francisco last month. FPS is an international program that challenges students to come up with solutions to potential problems they've identified in self-led research. Read more about the meet here.
National Youth Arts Awards
Lead Performance (Junior Division): Carlos Gomez as Donkey in Shrek Jr.
Lead Performance (Junior Division): Katie Cruz as Fiona in Shrek Jr.
Lead Performance (Junior Division): Alex Medico as Donkey in Shrek Jr.
Lead Performance (Junior Division): Carly Newbanks as Fiona in Shrek Jr.
Lead Performance (Junior Division): Nathan Williamson as Shrek in Shrek Jr.
Supporting Performance (Junior Division): Zach Daugherty as Lord Farquaad in Shrek Jr.
Supporting Performance (Junior Division): Carly Newbanks as Miss Hannigan in Shrek Jr.
Featured Performance (Junior Division): Will Clawson as Pinocchio in Shrek Jr.
Featured Performance (Junior Division): Nicole Kridler as Dragon in Shrek Jr.
Featured Performance (Junior Division): Chelsea Mahelona as Teen Fiona in Shrek Jr.
Ensemble (Junior Division): Shrek Jr.
Costume Design: Shrek Jr.
Adult and Summer School Graduation
31 students and their families celebrated their accomplishments at the PUSD Adult and Summer School Graduation. Their perseverance and determination in continuing their education was inspiring to all who attended. Way to go, graduates! View the celebration above or here.
Football Teams Ruck with Veterans, Serve New Community Members
The event was in partnership with "Team Red, White and Blue," an organization that connects veterans and their families with the community they join (or re-join) after their service in the military. Through physical and social activities, the organization connects veterans with other veterans for personal support if they or their families are finding it hard to adapt to civilian life.
Del Norte DreamCatchers Help with Hospice Patient's Bucket List
Poway High Society of Women Engineers
Club de Español Summer Volunteers
Kudos to former Valley Students who volunteered every Monday in July at Club de Español for the past seven years! Students from Meadowbrook, Poway High, and Mount Camel High used their bilingual skills while teaching students fun STEAM projects. Student volunteers had the opportunity to showcase their leadership and language skills and their continuing commitment to our community.
Westview Students Tutor Middle Schoolers in Math
These Westview High School students spent their summer tutoring middle school students who needed help with math. The program, which was held in the Rancho Peñasquitos Library, was featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“I think it’s important to at least, like, refresh those concepts and be able to work a little bit during the summer so you don’t just, like, forget everything and then restart the next school year," one student said.
Read more about the program here.
First Day of School 2019-20 Video Slideshow
Valley Elementary: August 1st
Abraxas High School: July 18th
Employee Back-to-School Kick-Off 2019-20
Thank you again to all #TeamPUSD staff for making this year's #PUSDBacktoSchool Kick-Off a success! Author and speaker George Couros gave the keynote about how to be innovative educators both inside and outside of the classroom. We loved seeing all of your posts during the event. Click the link below for a re-cap of the event.
Youth in Transition Program Hosts School Supplies Event, Receives Generous Donation
Thanks to a generous donation from North Coast Church Rancho Bernardo on Friday, August 16, we now have 85 MORE backpacks filled with school supplies. They will be distributed as needed to families on a list who did not receive one at the event.
News & Fun Photos
Classrooms serving students with diverse needs
at Sunset Hills Elementary.
Park Village Elementary School student council information meeting - so many kids ready to take the lead!
RBHS Teaching and Learning
3D Animation, Digital Media, and Dance teachers learning together and collaborating on how to incorporate interdisciplinary activities with the use of Rokoko Smartsuits!
Bernardo Heights hosted their annual '6th Grade BOOST Camp' event. Current and former BHMS 8th graders led campus group tours and taught new students about lockers and block scheduling and more, to help the transition into middle school be as smooth as possible.
6th Grade Camp
Mesa Verde Middle School’s special education team, in conjunction with Cuyamaca Outdoor School's (COS) health care and administration, spent countless hours planning and preparing so that 12 students of varying abilities were ready for their week at 6th Grade Camp. Read more about it here.
Students attended Summer ESS at 27 different school sites across PUSD. They went on a combined 427 field trips all over San Diego from June 19-August 14!
6th Grade Camp
New Building for Oak Valley Middle School
Spinning Top Challenge
Westview students collaborate, building spinning tops from scratch. Working together to uncover the true nature of science!
Del Sur Elementary 5th graders working on teamwork as part of building community in their classroom. Social emotional skills practice should be part of daily instruction!
Midland 5th Graders taking on the social studies question, “Who were the explorers and what did they find?” by working collaboratively to create slides about European explorers
Spinning Top Challenge
Jumping for Joy!
Mr. Embry and Mr. Mizel celebrating the start of school at Monterey Ridge Elementary School.
Canyon View Coyotes love X-Ploration Day, learning all about teamwork, sportsmanship, and new PE activities!!
Chaparral Elementary students are learning to be little helpers to keep the campus clean.
Jumping for Joy!
Extended School Year
Project Lead the Way Training Hub
This year, Poway Unified was one of only 17 Core Training Hubs for PLTW in the country! Over the summer, teachers became the students, so they could become better teachers and train other teachers as well. This professional development ensures more of our students can be college, career, and life ready. Watch the video above to learn more!
Studio 701 Media Internship Welcomes New Group of Students
PUSD Youth Enrichment Program
Every summer, PUSD hosts four weeks of summer enrichment programs! 356 students had their pick of over 50 camp options. There was introduction to Spanish and American Sign Language, Engineering Design using 3D printers, Beginning Programming with Scratch and Spheros, Hands-on Drone Operation, Middle School Pop and Rock Band, And Robotics and Automation, just to name a few.
Spirit of the 4th Parade
PUSD was out in force for the 50th Anniversary of the Spirit of the 4th parade. The District's antique fire truck carried Poway Unified VIPs including board members and employees of the year. Our high school bands were a crowd favorite! We hope you had a Happy 4th!