Big House News & Information

September 2019

Welcome to the NEW CGHS Newsletter!

Dear Casa Family,

Greetings from the Big House!

As we enter the heart of fall semester, Casa is abuzz with excitement and engagement across the campus. Clubs are in full effect, students are immersed in their studies, and our incredible staff navigate the ship everyday at a level that never ceases to inspire and hearten.

This year, we will take several important steps to further strengthen our school wide Vision:

Upon graduation, all Casa Grande students will be Broadly Literate, Highly Employable, Civically Engaged, and have a Personal Vision for their future.

The 4 key outcomes of Literacy, Employability, Civic Engagement, and Personal Vision will each have a focus this year - with month-long celebrations, forums, and other opportunities to deepen our collective understanding of each outcome. Stay tuned for more updates, features, and information as we engage our Vision.

Lastly, thank you all who attended our Back to School Night last week, it was wonderful to see everyone on campus, enjoying the beautiful evening sky in the OLE, and engaging our incredible teaching and counseling staff, administrators, and student ambassadors.

Always a great day to be a Gaucho - here’s to a great year at Casa Grande!!!

Your principal,

Dan Ostermann, Ed.D.

Calendar Reminders

Monday, September 16 - Project Grad Meeting in the Library, 6:30-8:30pm

Thursday, September 19 - PTSA Meeting in the Library, 6:45-8:15pm

Monday, September 23 - END of First Grading Period

Tuesday, October 1 - Senior Overview Night in the Cafeteria, 7-8:30pm

Wednesday, October 2 - Casa Parent Education Series in the Library, 6:30-8pm

Monday October 14 - Staff Development Day -- NO School for students

Friday, October 18 - Homecoming Football Games, JV at 4:45pm, Varsity at 7pm

Saturday, October 19 - Homecoming Dance in the GYM, 7-10:30pm

Monday, October 21 - Boosters Meeting in the Library, 7-8pm

Wednesday, October 23 - Cash for College Workshop in the Library, 6-8:30pm

Friday and Saturday, October 25, 26 - Big House Drama FALL Play in the Multi, 7pm

Friday, November 1 - END of Grading Period

Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2 - Big House Drama FALL Play in the Multi, 7pm

Sunday, November 3 - Big House Drama FALL Play in the Multi, 1pm

Monday, November 11 - Veterans Day Holiday - NO School

Wednesday, November 13 - ELAC Meeting in the Library, 6:30-8pm

  • FALL Break is November 25-29
  • WINTER Break is December 23 through January 6

@casagrandehighschool #CGBigHouse

Follow our Official Instagram!!! We will be using Instagram to feature our positive and inclusive school culture. Enjoy!

Golden Gaucho Cards

Casa staff are invited to recognize students they observe who exemplify the CG Vision of Literacy, Employability, Civic Engagement, and Personal Vision. Or perhaps they just felt like sending a nice note! Either way, Golden Gauchos are being identified with cards mailed home!
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Big House Happenings

Office Hours

Need some extra help? Have a question? Want to get your homework done before you leave campus? Retake a quiz or test?

As a reminder, all teachers are on campus from 2:30-3:00 Four Days a Week - every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. It’s called...OFFICE HOURS! This is THE TIME AND PLACE to help you stay focused on the ultimate goal of Graduation and doing your best to prepare for College and Career.

Digital Citizenship

Screen challenges are REAL. We estimate at least 50% of the issues that contribute negatively to school culture or student achievement originate with student smartphone use. Whether it is an individual student's smartphone use leading to sleep deprivation, distraction, or homework incompletion, or confrontations that originate in social media - all of these are prevalent and we need to work diligently together to lower the impact of cell phone overuse.

One of the most effective and valuable ways that parents can contribute to a positive Casa culture is by taking a leadership role in student smartphone use.

Casa Grande High School believes that education is a shared responsibility involving students, staff, family and the broader community.

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It may be difficult to know what to do when smartphone use starts to become a negative force in a student’s life. We highly recommend starting with a discussion about smartphone use with your family, and even considering a “Family Screen Time Agreement”! Resources to explore this option are found below.

The recent documentary Screenagers is a good place to start. Screenagers trailer

Let's work together to make the best future for our students!!!


1. American Academy of Pediatrics Family Media Plan

2. Family Screen Time Agreement Conversation starter from Screenagers

3. Family Screen Time Agreement Example #1 from Screenagers

4. Family Screen Time Agreement Example #2 from Screenagers

News from Counseling

Parents of seniors in the Class of 2020 are encouraged to attend the upcoming Senior Year Overview Night for Parents.

This informative event will be held on Tuesday, October 1st at 7:00 P.M. in the CGHS Cafeteria.

CGHS School Counselors Julie Powaser and Brett Sklove will present information about important deadlines during the senior year. This includes senior events, senior portraits, college/university applications, SRJC Jumpstart program, SAT/ACT dates/deadlines, trade, and technical colleges, apprenticeships and much more. Financial aid and scholarships for college will also be covered, however, there will be two follow up events (Financial Aid Night and Cash for College,) which will go into more detail on those subjects. The School Counselors will be available for Q&A after the conclusion of the presentation.

At the end of September, counselors will be making the first of several visits to all Senior English classes to go over important event info and upcoming deadlines pertaining to options after high school. Parents can use the College Planning Checklist to see what their seniors might want to add to their to-do lists on a month-by-month basis.

Financial Aid Week is October 21 - 25:

  • On 10/21 there will be a rally for all seniors to give them a brief overview of the various forms of financial aid and how to get money to pay for their post-secondary education.
  • On 10/23 we will host our annual Cash 4 College event starting at 6pm in the Library. This begins with a short financial aid presentation. From 6:30-8:30pm we have workshop time for parents and students to start and finish their financial aid applications. Parents and students must bring their tax return information from 2018, AND their Chromebook, wifi-enabled tablet, or laptop and be ready to work on their financial aid applications. Bilingual advisers will be on hand to help families with all of their financial aid-related questions as they work on the FAFSA or Cal Dream Act applications.
  • On 10/24 and 10/25, students may meet individually with 10,000 Degrees advisers to go over financial aid and scholarship questions during the school day. Info on how to make those appointments will be given to students at the rally on 10/21.

Seniors and Senior Parents: The JumpStart to SRJC Program is starting up soon! Our first big student kickoff meeting is Wednesday September 25th at lunch in the Big House Library. During the meeting students will hear more information about the program, sign up to receive REMIND text alerts for JumpStart information throughout the year and sign up for an application workshop.

What is the JumpStart to SRJC program?

Applying to college can be quite scary. Allow us to ease you into SRJC through the JumpStart Program. Any high school senior planning to attend Santa Rosa Junior College after high school or who thinks SRJC might be a backup option are highly encouraged to participate.

By joining JumpStart, seniors will:

  • Complete the SRJC application
  • Complete a high school dual enrollment request form
  • Complete a Financial Aid Application. Note: scholarships (including the SRJC Doyle Scholarship) are now embedded into the financial aid applications
  • Attend an Introduction to College class (COUN 270) at the SRJC campus during the spring semester
  • Learn about your English/Math placement, SRJC learning communities, EOPS program and student employment opportunities
  • Earn Priority 3 registration - sign up for your first semester of college classes before you graduate high school!
  • Attend an end of the year celebration

For more up-to-date information throughout the year, please visit the Casa JumpStart to SRJC website.

Valarie Alston (College and Career Specialist) has scheduled presentations from a wide variety of public and private/independent colleges and universities. Upcoming events include: John Hopkins University, Grand Canyon University, Chapman University, Oregon State University, Willamette University, CTE Programs, U.S. Army, Lewis and Clark, and many others. The schedule is posted on the College and Career Center web page and is updated regularly. Please encourage your students to attend these events. The printable calendar of events can be found here.

Careers in Construction Opportunity Fair October 2nd, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm at the North Coast Builders Exchange in Santa Rosa. If your student is a senior and interested in exploring the many career opportunities in the construction and building trades, please see Ms. Alston by September 23 for transportation purposes.

Applications for the North Bay Construction Corp will be available October 1st at, this program is for seniors only, see Ms. Alston in the CCC or refer to the website.

10,000 Degrees

10,000 Degrees is a non-profit college access and success organization in the North Bay. Each year at Casa Grande High School, we recruit 11th graders to join our Institute Program and work with them during their senior year on college applications and financial aid completion. This year, the 10,000 Degrees Institute cohort is the largest we have ever had at Casa! As part of our work in your high school we hold open office hours in Room E2 on Wednesdays at lunch; as well as, after school meetings in the library lab Wednesdays 2-4pm and Thursdays 3-5 pm. Please feel free to stop by and say hello!

Look out for Financial Aid Week (October 21 - 25): Seniors will complete FAFSA or California Dream Act application.


Message from our Athletic Director:

This promises to be an exciting year for Casa Grande Athletics. The Fall season is off to a great start with 273 student athletes participating in our five Fall sports. Our student athletes have been training, practicing and competing to maintain the great traditions of our athletic programs. Hopefully you can make it out to a game, match or meet and support the teams!

Casa Grande Athletics is also proud to announce that in an effort to educate our families about NCAA Eligibility and the college recruiting process, we are again hosting guest speaker, Former NFL and Stanford University alumnus, Julian Jenkins, to present a NCAA “College Sports Simplified” Informational Workshop. The workshop will be held on Monday October 7th,

7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria.

A reminder that our online registration process is open for the upcoming 2019 - 2020 Winter sports season. If your student athlete is planning on playing Girls or Boys Soccer, Basketball or Wrestling please visit the Casa Grande High School website under the Athletics tab to complete the registration process.

Thanks for your past and continued support of Casa Grande Athletics.

Rick O’Brien

Athletic Director

AP Updates

Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, the AP® Program is introducing new resources and processes designed to help students earn college credit and placement.

Here’s what you and your student need to know:

  • Your son or daughter should have joined their AP class section online. Join Codes were provided by their AP teacher and are unique to each period and class.

  • Students will be asked to register and pay for AP Exams by November 1st. AP Exams will be given in May.

  • The exam fee is $94 per exam. Additionally, there will be a $40 fee for late registration (after November 1st) and a $40 cancelation or unused exam fee.

  • Students will get personalized feedback through new digital tools that provide daily support for every AP classroom. Their teachers will be able to track their performance throughout the year using monthly personal progress checks.

To get ready for this school year, please have your student sign up for a College Board account. All College Board programs are connected through one account, so if your student created one for the PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, or College Board Opportunity Scholarships, they’re all set. They’ll just need to have their username and password available.

Learn more at

If you have any further questions please contact your Assistant Principal, Samantha Azofeifa, Casa Grande's AP Coordinator:

Chromebook Update

We have checked out approximately 1,400 Chromebooks to students Casa Grande. 1,200 of those are the new model and 200 are an older model. The District is ordering additional new Chromebooks so that all checked out Chromebooks will be the newer model. The new models offer a touch screen, tablet mode and additional camera, though the functionality and operating system is similar between the older and newer models. The additional features on the new Chromebooks are not considered critical for successfully completing assignments.

With offering a bring your own device option, the District had to estimate how many students would opt to check out a Chromebook. Based on participation rates in BYOD programs at other schools and districts, we anticipated a 30% participation in BYOD. The actual participation so far is closer to 20%. A BYOD option allows students to use a device that they prefer and are familiar with. It is also a model that is ubiquitous at college and in many careers. Providing this option aligns to our goal of preparing students for College and Career.

More information on the PCS Chromebook program is found here or BYOD here.

Casa Grande Parent Organizations


PTSA-The PTSA will be holding its first meeting of the year next Thursday, September 19. Please come by and learn how the PTSA supports Casa's students and staff. Our first meeting of the year is an informative one, as we will be reviewing our plans and budget for the 2019-20 year. PTSA Fall Kickoff Meeting: Thursday, September 19 at 7:00pm in the Case Grande Library* (*future meetings will be held in the Staff Lounge) All are welcome to attend our monthly meetings throughout the year, so please mark your calendars for the following Thursdays at 7:00pm.

· November 21, 2019

· January 16, 2020

· March 12, 2020

· May 14, 2020

If you haven't joined the PTSA, you can sign up anytime online:

CG Booster Club

The Booster Club is ready for another wonderful year of supporting the Casa Grande students, faculty and campus. Thank you for so many new and renewed memberships, donations and signing up to volunteer for our various activities and events! At our first official meeting, we have received requests for 6 new tables for the cafeteria that are used in the Saturday Band Bingo and Sunday Booster Bingo game days. Did you know that the earnings from these weekend games go directly back to the students? Saturday's games go toward financial support for the Music Department, and Sunday's games directly support Boosters, so that we can offer funds to various needs for the Casa community. We've also granted a request for a new campus beautification project headed up by our own Dr. O!

Please join us for our BLINGO NIGHT on Friday, October 4th! Come cheer on your friends and family (or yourself!) as they try to win designer purses and handbags. Tickets are only $25 presale and include your supplies to play 10 games plus refreshments. Get a table of 8 together for $200 and get a couple of extra goodies! Come out to support your school and have fun for an evening of lively entertainment + prizes. **High School students may participate with a parent present.

The grand prize in our evening's raffle? A Louis Vuitton Neverfull Bag, valued at $1,400! Tickets are $20 each. If you can't make it to the event, you can still buy tickets to win the BIG prize:

Purchase all tickets through our website

Do you know of a business or organization who would like to donate to the event or to Boosters in general? We are a non-profit 501(c)3 and can provide them with documentation needed.

Keep up with our news on Facebook: casa grande booster club and Intstagram: cghsboosters

Any questions, email us at THANK YOU! We appreciate your support!

In Other News

Gaucho Gazette Reinvents itself as CASA REVISTA!!!

The Casa Revista, the brand new full-color magazine produced by students for students will be out in a week! If you'd like to support that class by buying a subscription or ad, please get in touch with advisor Athena Kautsch at

Parent Education Series

Please join us for the Parent Education Series hosted from 6:30-8:00pm in the Big House Library on October 2, November 20, January 22, and February 19. All sessions are FREE and focus on challenges and experiences related to parenting teens. See you there!

The series is open to the public and you do not have to be a Casa parent to attend.

Petaluma Transit

Buy your Youth Quarterly Pass Now! The pass will be valid from October 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019, at the rate of $40. It is available for purchase online (click here to buy passes) and/or at the school's office. Students who qualify for the reduced/free lunch program are eligible for a discounted quarterly pass at the rate of $20. The discounted pass is available for purchase only at the school office. Visit Petaluma Transit's website for more information at

Casa Grande High School's Student Health Center is now OPEN for the 2019-2020 School Year

Operated by Petaluma Health Center, Casa Grande’s school clinic provides urgent primary care as well as behavior health, confidential sexual health and dental health services. Walk in appointments welcome for all students. For more information, or to complete a health center consent form for your teen, please call 707-559-7500 or visit

Consider Joining School Site Council

Casa Grande is looking for two parents to join our Site Council. We meet once a month on the first Thursday of each month. You are helping us decide how to spend money that will enhance our school and staff. Please consider joining our group. Contact Principal Ostermann if you're interested in joining.

Sponsor a Foreign Exchange Student

From coordinator and teacher Kelly Rankin: I am looking for a few more families to host our international exchange students. There are three kids needing permanent placements for the school year. It is truly an amazing opportunity to learn about a new culture and to share the American life. They are a great addition to our community and are all having a great time at our school. The family is responsible for room and board and the student covers all other expenses. You make them a part of your family. One of my students is allergic to animals in the house. I can donate $200 to our school for any family found. Please message me at or

Cafeteria FRL Apps

If your child received free or reduced price meals last year and expect those benefits to continue through this year, PLEASE fill out an application before September 24th. After September 24th if the Food Service Department has not received an new application your child's benefits will expire and the will be charged full price for meals. Applications can be filled out HERE. The link is on the PCS website or you can obtain a paper application in the school office. It is VERY IMPORTANT to fill out an application if you qualify even if your child doesn't eat in the cafeteria. This will help the school district to receive funding from the State. Thank you for your help!

Patty Gallagher, Director of Food Services