Pleasant Grove High School News

February 2020

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Dear PGHS Families,

We have much to celebrate this month at Pleasant Grove High School. Our multi-cultural celebrations in January were a huge success, we introduced a new tradition as families packed the gym for our 1st annual PGHS Multi-Cultural Family night, our Academic Decathlon team placed 4th in Sacramento County, another student-athlete signed a letter of intent to play Division 1 football and a PGHS 2018 IDEA Academy alumna was selected for a prestigious fellowship in the aerospace sector. [Read more about each of these items in this newsletter] This upbeat spirit continues into February as we celebrate Black History Month. Throughout the month, Black Student Union (BSU) is sponsoring a variety of informative events and educational activities honoring African American history’s strong roots and the amazing achievements of black men and women around the world.

January definitely had its share of "ups and downs". On January 22, we learned that five of our students were involved in a car accident while driving to school that morning. As we began to receive positive news about the recovery of four of the students involved, we learned on February 1, one of our beloved students, Gina Brinsmead, died from the injuries she sustained in the accident. As our PGHS family heals and we extend our hearts to Gina's family and friends, we continue to celebrate each other at PGHS by acknowledging those aspects that unite us and reminding ourselves to express gratitude to the people in our lives most special to us.

In partnership,

Taigan Keplinger


A Tribute to Gina (Genevieve) Shen Brinsmead, PGHS 11th Grader

I share with you with a heavy heart that a PGHS 11th grader, Gina (Genevieve) Shen Brinsmead, passed away on Saturday, February 1, 2020. She passed away peacefully with her family in the UC Davis Hospital from her injuries in a car accident involving five of our students on January 22, 2020 on their way to school.

At the beginning of this year, Gina said to her family, “I want to have fun in high school.” To her word, Gina was a proud member of our yearbook staff. She took immense pride in her work, photographing her classmates and events on campus, as well as creatively capturing them in spreads throughout our yearbook. Gina loved working backstage with our theater students, applying stage makeup in our most recent play. She took Guitar Workshop this year, committed to learning to play music. Gina experienced many beautiful friendships during her time in our school. Gina is kind, generous, creative, talented, and full of compassion. She is loved by many.

This is a very difficult time for our PGHS family. We extend our hearts out to Gina’s family and friends. There will be additional emotional support providers on campus located in the Student Services building all week to assist students with their grief. Additionally, teachers have been provided with activities to support their students in processing this tragic loss. We will share additional information soon for her memorial, where we invite you to celebrate Gina’s life.

Black History Month at PGHS

There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.”

(Lonnie Bunch, the first African American to serve as head of the Smithsonian)

Pleasant Grove High School is celebrating Black History Month 2020 with the theme Strong Roots-Amazing Achievements. Throughout the month, the PGHS Black Student Union (BSU) sponsoring a variety of informative events. For example, the BSU is encouraging students and staff participation in themed dress-up days, southern food experiences, hair braiding, and Motown karaoke. Another highlight of the month long celebration is the presentation from The Tuskegee Airmen who will be sharing their powerful personal stories with PGHS history classes.

BSU students will also be sharing historical facts and significant quotes in the daily bulletin and will be presenting an Advocacy lesson that pays tribute to African American history’s strong roots, and celebrates the amazing achievements of black men and women around the world.

Link to Black History Month Padlet

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Culture and Climate

The Culture & Climate team welcomed 4 new sophomore students to our team, in addition to several staff members. We continue to look for parent input on our team. If you are interested in helping to improve our campus culture and climate, please email Amber Sousa for more info and meeting dates!

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 25th at 3:30pm in HN8!

We continue to use PG Platinum reward tickets and raffles on campus. Our next raffle will be at the end of February! PG Postcards also continue to be sent out! Look out in the mail for a positive note from a staff member towards your student!

Be Safe - Be Respectful - Be Responsible - Be Your Best

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Improving Wellness through Resilience and Mindfulness

This time of year can be exciting and sometimes difficult for students as they are receiving their college acceptance or rejection letters, taking SATs, or preparing for upcoming AP exams. According to Stanford University, No matter the source of hardship, the single most common factor for children who end up doing well is having the support of at least one stable and committed relationship with a parent, caregiver, or other adult. These relationships are the active ingredient in building resilience: they provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that can buffer children from developmental disruption.” In addition to being present and showing empathy, what else can we do to help our teens become more resilient? Read and watch this quick link video about the 7 C’s of Resilience.

The American Psychological Association recommends the following to improve resilience:

  • Make connections

  • Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems

  • Accept that change is a part of living

  • Move toward your goals

  • Take decisive action

  • Look for opportunities for self-discovery

  • Nurture a positive view of yourself

  • Keep things in perspective

  • Maintain a hopeful outlook

  • Take care of yourself

  • Mediation, spiritual practices, and journaling


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College, Career Center & Counseling News


PG Counselors will be coming out to classes as follows -

  • 9th going into 10th – January/February (in English 9 classes)
  • 10th going into 11th – February/March (in World History classes)
  • 11th going into 12th – March/April (in U.S. History classes)
  • Incoming 9th graders will have course selection on April 20th & 27th in their Science classes at KAMS (Incoming 9th Grade Parent Night is scheduled for 4/14, PG Cafeteria @ 6:00 p.m.)


  • All Juniors (January-March) – CCGI 2 Day Post-Secondary & College/Career Readiness Unit in collaboration with Sacramento State University
  • All Sophomores (March-April) – CCGI Post-Secondary Unit Day


  • February 12th – CRC/Los Rios College Application Workshop All Day for seniors
  • February TBA – Johnson & Wales college visit

FAFSA and California Dream Act application are open! All seniors should file the FAFSA or California Dream Act ASAP. Please file by the priority deadline of March 2, 2020!! Students and parents must both file in order to be eligible for grants, free money, student/parent loans, work study, etc… while students are in college. Students planning to attend any of the Los Rios colleges need to file a FAFSA or CA Dream Act in order to be eligible for the free two year tuition program.

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  • In January we had our second Unity Day and our third Food Faire and both were very successful. We kicked off February with our Winter Homecoming Dance -approximately 600 students attended. Moving further into February we are hosting our Prom/Ball expo which is an event that takes place during both lunches on Friday, February 7th. During this event our prom and ball royalty model tuxedos and dresses from local businesses. There are also make-up and hair studios here so students can see what is available in the area.

  • In the second week of the month we will be hosting our yearly Meet Me on the Red Carpet Prom for our students with special needs on February 15th. General Education students volunteer to be the dates and servers at the event. It is one of our favorite annual events.

  • Academic Awards lunch and recognition is Thursday the 20th ad sign ups take place the prior to the lunch in the MP room. On Friday the 21st we are hosting a Real DUI Court in School that is a live court proceeding that juniors and seniors will see in the gym and Freshmen and sophomores will see in classroom broadcast by PGTV.
  • Junior Prom tickets will be on sale From February 18-26. The event takes place March 7th at the Library Galleria on 828 I St. Tickets are $10 less if purchased between February 18-21.

If you have any questions about any of the above events please check our website first and then email

1st Annual Multi-Cultural Night For PGHS Families

PGHS Multi-cultural clubs performed last month for families and communities.On the evening of January 16, we hosted our 1st Annual PGHS Multicultural Family Night and were pleasantly surprised when approximately 700 fans attended our event! This is outstanding! It is important to keep in mind that for many of the performers this is their only connection to the school outside of the classroom, therefore they pour their hearts into sharing their culture with students, staff and their families. This event provided a wonderful opportunity for families to see their children perform.
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Congratulations to PGHS Academic Decathlon Team

  • Interview: Ifuy Ifyefobi– bronze
  • Speech: Amber Le–gold, delivered speech at the banquet, perfect score
  • Art: Krystal Nguyen—bronze; Greyson Truong–bronze
  • Math: Amber Le—gold
  • Music: Troy Osborn—bronze, Tevita Beaman—bronze
  • Social science: Amber Le—gold
  • Science: Tevita Beaman —silver
  • Economics: Ifuy Ifyefobi —gold; Amber—silver
  • Language/literature: Nic Albiani—gold; Ifuy Ifyefobi —bronze; Troy Osborn—bronze
  • Super Quiz: 4th place

Individual Medal Winners

  • Krystal Nguyen -silver
  • Tevita Beaman -silver
  • Nic Albiani-gold
  • Troy Osborn -gold
  • Top scoring-Troy Osborn
  • Team leadership-Krystal Nguyen
  • Highest scoring alternate: Lorin See
  • Super Decathlete: Amber Le
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2020 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon Banquet Video
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2020-2021 Course Registration

Counselors have been busy visiting English and Social Science classrooms to help students with the Online Course Registration process. Current 9th graders have completed the process and the current 10th graders are underway. Current 11th graders begin the process on Feb 24th. We need your help verifying that your child’s course selection is correct.

Steps to ‘lock” your child’s course registration:

  • Have your child log onto his/her Synergy Student Vue account and click on Course Request
  • Look over your child’s course request together
  • If changes are needed click on the blue button that says “Click here to change course requests” (or follow the powerpoint directions available online at under Students > Course Selection)
  • If everything looks good, click on the “Lock Course Request” button on the right side of the screen. If there are errors (less than 60 credits of courses selected or less than 2 alternate courses selected), Synergy will not allow you to lock.
  • Once locked, your child’s counselor will get a message on showing that you have approved your child’s course request.
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Girls in STEM Day

Last week IDEA and Girl Scouts hosted 50 7th and 8th grade KAMS students for our second annual Girls in STEM Day! Our IDEA female students planned and ran the event which included guest speakers, the Girl Scouts mobile STEM lab, Girls in STEM Mythbusters, and a very competitive egg drop. Below you will find a link to pictures of the day.

Allysa Kazhe, IDEA class of 2018, was chosen as a Brooke Owens Fellow for 2020!

PGHS is proud to announce that Allysa Kazhe, IDEA class of 2018, was chosen as a Brooke Owens Fellow for 2020! (only 40 students chosen nationwide!) She is being recognized as an “extraordinary undergraduate women and non-binary students in the aerospace sector”

Allysa Kazhe, a Sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at the

University of California, Santa Cruz. Originally from Elk Grove, CA. Ms. Kazhe will be

working as a Spacecraft Systems Core Engineer intern at Maxar in Palo Alto, CA.

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Winter sports are coming to an end. Boys and girls soccer are poised to make the playoffs but both teams face stiff competition as they end the regular season. Wrestling starts their post-season run this weekend as they travel to Sheldon to participate in the Delta League season ending tournament. Top five wrestlers in each division qualify to move on to the section (masters) tournament the following weekend.

Pleasant Grove Athletics hosted its first annual Albiani athlete information night. This was an informational meeting that defines PG Athletics’ programs, goals , vision, philosophy, etc. It also provided information on how to register and look up information on our sports programs. The event was well attended as it was standing room only in the Albiani multi-purpose room.

Pleasant Grove football was back in the spotlight as team member Jack O’Connor was offered a scholarship to play football at Idaho State University. Jack was one of only two players signing a letter of intent in the entire Sacramento region on the February 5th signing day! Congratulations Jack!

Spring sports kick off on February 10th. Spring sports include baseball, softball, track, boys’ tennis, boys’ golf, boys’ volleyball and swimming. In total, over 300 students will be active and involved to kick-off the new season.

Congratulations to Jack O'Connor

PGHS is proud to announce that on February 5, 2020 Jack O'Connor signed a letter of intent to attend Idaho State University in the fall. Jack accepted a scholarship to play football at the Division 1 school that participates in the Big Sky Conference. Jack has been an offensive tackle on the varsity team for the past 3 years. Congratuations to Jack and his family-we are all so proud of you!
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Thank you to all for the supply drive donations and monetary contributions. We received 250 boxes of tissues, 250 markers, and 70 bottles of sanitizer. Distribution to teachers will occur in February. We also received $475 to benefit other PTSO programs. PTSO also sponsors students and teachers with Senior Scholarships, Staff appreciation Day, and Sober Grad Night.. Please consider donating raffle items for Staff Appreciation day (May 7th) and Sober Grad Night (May 27th). We also appreciate monetary donations for either event. Individuals/organizations with a $500 or more donation for Sober Grad Night will have their names printed on the back of t-shirts.

Two items for seniors!

SoberGrad Night tickets are $110 now thru May 26th.. Checks and cash can be dropped off at the Administration Office along with a completed permission form.

Our next meeting is March 2nd at 6:00 pm in the ASB room. New members are always welcome.

Student Parking Lot

This semester an overwhelming number of students without parking permits have started parking in the student lot. As a result, both students lots are at capacity and students who have permits are forced to waste time circling the lot looking for a place to park or park illegally at the end of rows. This creates an unsafe situation for our student drivers and their vehicles.

Students must have a valid permit to park in the lot. These permits are available on a first come first serve basis to juniors and seniors only. There are a limited number of permits available. Once these run out, non-permitted drivers will need use the method of transportation that they used to get to school before getting their car and license.

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Soul Purpose Winter Showcase

Friday, Feb. 7th, 7pm to Saturday, Feb. 8th, 9pm

8333 Kingsbridge Drive

Sacramento, CA

February 7th and 8th

Lincoln’s Birthday Observance-No School

Monday, Feb. 10th, 8am-3:15pm

Elk Grove Unified School District, CA, USA


QPR (Question Persuade Response) Suicide Prevention Training for Parents/Guardians

Tuesday, Feb. 11th, 6-7:30pm

PGHS Multi-Purpose Room

QPR- Parent Training Session- February 11 from 6:00-7:30 in the PGHS Multi-Purpose Room

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help

save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save

thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of

a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands

of Americans, like you, are saying "Yes" to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or

neighbor. Join us for the follow-up to Ripple Effect in our second session in our Family Wellness series.

Register through Eventbrite using this link: Password: PGHS Region

Take Your Parent To School Day

Thursday, Feb. 13th, 8am-3:15pm

Pleasant Grove High School

Washington's Birthday Observance-No School

Monday, Feb. 17th, 8am-3:15pm

Elk Grove Unified School District, CA, USA


Last Day to Buy Junior Prom Tickets

Wednesday, Feb. 26th, 8am-3:15pm


Pleasant Grove High School

A California Distinguished School

"Be Safe -- Be Responsible --- Be Respectful --- Be Your Best"

PGHS Elective Programs

Click on the link below to learn about elective classes offered at PGHS.