The Crusader Times

Be Present - Be Positive - Be Persistent in your Learning

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Volume 2, Issue 11 October 23, 2023

Principal's Message

BVM Community,

Good morning! I want to start off again by saying Happy Filipino American History and Heritage Month! Last week, our counselors completed their 7th-grade presentations to our students that emphasized the importance of recognizing each other's humanity, how to recognize and deal with our emotions, and how to cope and address conflict when we encounter conflict in our lives. Thank you both to our counselors and awesome students who were engaged, asked questions, and participated. Working on our culture and climate takes a team effort. We hope that you follow up with your 7th-grade students and ask them what they thought about our counselor presentations this past week. Working on our culture and climate is also an everyday effort. This week, while we celebrate Red Ribbon Week (more information below), we will begin our interviews to select students to serve on the Principal's Council to ensure that we are including the student voice as we move forward with our efforts on resetting our school culture.

Last Friday, we also had student groups from Bonita Vista High School visit our school for Future Baron Day. BVHS VAPA Groups, ASB, Cheer, and the Football Team led a pep rally for our students during their lunchtime. The Barons were even victorious in their Football game later on that evening against Otay Ranch! Way to go Barons and thank you for making the visit!

This week, we continue to focus on our culture and academics. Grades will be made available via the Parent Portal on Infinite Campus this Friday, October 27, 2023. Please make sure to take some time to discuss your student's current progress and what they will need to do for a strong finish as we look toward our last stretch of the semester. We have plenty going on this week, so make sure to check out our Week at a Glance and other events happening on campus and in our community in the next couple of weeks. Thank you again to our awesome parent community for your dedication to our school.

Lastly, please remember to review the 4 Essential Rules at Bonita Vista Middle School that allow us to not only promote our safety on campus, but it allows us to ensure that our students are fully present and ready to learn:

1. No Cell Phones on Campus: We ask that all students place their cell phones in their backpacks once they are at school and on our campus. We not only enforce this rule during class time but especially during nutrition breaks and lunchtime. We want our students to interact with each other as much as possible as opposed to being on their screens/phones.

2. No IPAD Misuse: Every student is issued an IPAD for educational purposes only. We ask students to use their devices strictly as implements of learning.

3. No Earbuds: Similar to our cell phone rule, we ask that once students are at school and on our campus, they place their earbuds in their backpacks. We have noticed that students are less distracted in class and engage more with each other when they are not using earbuds.

4. No Hoodie (worn on head): Students can wear hooded sweatshirts but in order to be able to identify our students at all times, we ask students not to wear their hoods over their heads. This rule is in place for student safety. Should a non-student sneak onto our campus, we would want to identify them immediately. Also, we need to ensure during class and outside of class that students do not have their earbuds. We prioritize making sure that students are paying attention in class and our fully engaged with each other at all times.

If you ever need to report a disciplinary or safety concern, please make sure to report all concerns to our administrative team.

Our assistant principal, Mr. Robert Bonilla oversees students with last names between A-L and Ms. Estephany Conlon oversees all students between M-Z. Please visit this link to contact any other staff you wish to communicate with:

Thank you,

Dr. Salazar

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Week at a Glance: October 23 - October 27

Check out our week at a glance by clicking on the link or the button below:

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Message from Ms. Schroeder on Red Ribbon Week!

Crusaders! Next week is Red Ribbon Week!

As many of you know, Red Ribbon Week was started back in 1985 in response to the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. That’s right, many of you even went to the elementary school down the road named after him. Angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

The ASB invites you to participate in a Spirit Week next week to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

Monday: Ribbon Day! - wear red and join us at lunch to sign our school pledge to be drug-free!
Tuesday: We are Drug Free From Head to Toe – Crazy Hair and Sock Day
Wednesday: We Wear Pink! – Wear Pink in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Thursday: The Happiest Place to Be is Drug Free! – Disney Day – Wear your Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars Gear.
Friday: Give Bullies the Blues! – Wear blue to show your support for anti-bullying month
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Message from our DLI Coordinator Mr. Reyes-Cornejo about Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

(For Students enrolled in Dual Language Immersion Classes):

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be learning about the Day of the Dead: how it began, how different families celebrate, and what it means to them. In case this holiday is new to you, here’s some background info!

Día de Muertos is most famous as a Mexican holiday, but it’s observed in different forms throughout Latin America. In most places, it’s a mix of local indigenous beliefs and Catholic traditions. (This is why it’s celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2, All Souls Day and All Saints Day.)

Although the Day of the Dead falls close to Halloween on the calendar, the two are not related. (It’s more similar to Memorial Day; a time to remember loved ones who have passed on.)

Most families celebrate the Day of the Dead by creating an “ofrenda” in their homes. This is a space that reflects their own spiritual traditions and honors the memories of their relatives. Some people also use this time to visit local cemeteries, to clean and decorate their family members’ graves with flowers. Others attend church services or local parades.

Some families who are less religious celebrate the Day of the Dead as more of a cultural tradition. For others, they believe that during this time the spirits of their loved ones come close to earth. Some of the decorations include things like sugar skulls and skeletons, which are meant to symbolize that death is a natural part of life.

Our goal is to learn what this holiday means to the people that celebrate it, and how different communities think about life, death, and the afterlife. To that end, we will be working on a Día de Muertos project as part of the Dual Language Immersion Program, and our World Languages Spanish classes here at Bonita Vista Middle School. This project will involve reading, researching, writing, and hands-on activities. I will provide some of the materials. However, if you are able to, I would appreciate any voluntary donations of arts and crafts materials and/or decoration items for our project. At the end of this message, you will find links to a few articles that further explain the rationale behind the Day of the Dead celebration, and what materials go into building an altar with “ofrendas’’ or offerings. However, below is a short list for your reference:

  • Candles (velas): Symbol of light and life, lights the way.

  • Papel picado (decorative papers): Represents the union between earth and the afterlife.

  • Pan de muerto (a sweet bread): Element of earth, hospitality.

  • Marigolds (Flores de cempasúchil): Orange is the color most easily seen, scent guides the spirits to the altar.

  • Plates of Food: Favorite foods to welcome hungry souls.

  • Sugar skulls (calaveras), and skeletons (calacas): Symbolizes death as part of life.

  • A Glass of Water: To welcome thirsty souls after a long journey.

  • A Photograph of the Family Member(s), Pets or Famous People: To remember relatives and loved ones who passed away.

  • Favorite objects: To make visiting souls feel happy and honor them.

  • Religious Symbols: A cross, rosary, pictures of saints, or others.

  • Incense: The smell wards off bad spirits and welcomes good ones.

Students will present their projects to our school community on November 2nd. We would like to invite parents and guardians to come to our Parent Center in Room 201 anytime from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in order to see students’ projects.

We always want to deepen our cultural understanding of different places where Spanish is spoken! I hope this is helpful, and please reach out to me with any questions.


David Reyes Cornejo

Spanish/DLI Teacher

Dual-Language Immersion

Program Coordinator

Bonita Vista Middle School

An Introduction to the Day of the Dead Altar and Elements

A Kid-Friendly Introduction to Day of the Dead

What Do the Day of the Dead Colors Mean

All About The Monarch Butterfly and Day of the Dead

La Catrina_ Who is the Woman Behind the Day of the Dead

Acknowledgment Corner

The Acknowledgment Corner will be continued to be used to highlight and celebrate our students at any opportunity that we can! If you would like your student acknowledged for something we may not be aware of, please feel free to contact me (include a picture if possible).

Crusaders of the Week:

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Crusader of the Week: Abraham Dominguez

Big congratulations to our Crusader of the Week! Nominated by Ms. Caldwell, Abraham Dominguez works hard in Math Class. He is always attentive and participates. He's a great young man! Congratulations to Abraham Dominguez!
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Crusader of the Week --Sebastian Rivera Jr.

Crusader of the Week: Nominated by Mr. Kumabe! Sebastian has shown a lot of determination to raise his grade. He puts in the hard work doing his retakes, which pays off with significant gains in his test scores. It seems like he has decided to be a better version of himself week after week! Let's go BVM!!!

Crusaderbots Competed at Montgomery High School this past Weekend!

Crusaderbots is the name of our Robotics team led by their advisor, Mr. Dougherty!

This past weekend, our Crusaderbots competed against all the other middle schools across our district at Montgomery High School. 4 out of our 5 teams (that's right we boast 5 robotics teams) placed in the top scores (4th, 10th, 14th, and 17th). We always seek continuous improvement in Crusader Land, and I know that we will score even higher next time! Nonetheless, we are proud and grateful for our students who remain curious in their learning through their weekends! Thank you Crusaderbots and Mr. Dougherty for all that you do! Let's go BVM!

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Friday Activity: 10/20/23 --FUTURE BARON DAY

We started a tradition last year where Bonita Vista High School student groups like Cheer, Choir, Band, and some of the Football Players come down to visit our students for Future Baron Day. Our students enjoy a lunchtime pep rally full of performances as they get a sneak peek of what high school will be like in the next couple of years. Thank you to Mr. Romero and Bonita Vista High School for bridging these experiences that help us prepare our students for high school!
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FYI Corner

Below you will find valuable resources for our students and community, including our tutoring schedule!

Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff: 7th Grade English

Our 7th-grade English Students are currently reading Black Ships Before Troy, a highly rigorous text, which is a story about the great conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans. Students are working with each other in literature circles to advance through this tough read. We celebrate not only the learning but our English 7th teachers who are providing the proper support to our students to navigate this text. Let's go BVM! Check out the pictures below!
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Happy Filipino American History and Heritage Month!

A Filipino American Story Since 1587

Magkaisa Conference Filipino Student/Parent Conference is on October 28, 2023

Magkaisa Conference Filipino Student/Parent Conference is on October 28, 2023

In celebration of Filipino American History Month, Otay Ranch High will host the 21st Magkaisa Conference on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. - to 2:00 p.m. This event is open to everyone. Please read the flyer below and join me on that day.

On behalf of the organizing committee, it is an honor to invite you to SUHSD’s 21st Annual Magkaisa Filipino American Student and Parent Conference as we celebrate Filipino American History Month. This year's focus is careers in the art industry and incorporating how Filipino American traditions influence this career industry. Career workshop speakers are excited to share their successful journeys in their world of work. Additional workshop topics include college preparation, scholarships, financial aid, community involvement, and Filipino-American history and contributions. Finally, student-led workshops will address topics that lift student voices.

We are excited to announce that Kenneth Barlis, a renowned fashion designer for Project Runway, is this year's keynote speaker. Also, Assemblymember David Alvarez will be in attendance to address us during the general session. The highlight, our very own students throughout the Sweetwater Union High School District, are representing the various fiestas of the Philippines through performances and a fiesta parade.

Please join us. We look forward to seeing you on October 28, 2023, at Otay Ranch High School!

Lastly, each Filipino-American student and parent from your respective schools were sent a letter, via email, inviting them to attend and register for the conference. We ask you to encourage their participation and post, on your school website, the information below and this link for registration: .

We appreciate your support.

Maraming Salamat,

Rizalyn Cruz and Dinnah Donato-Palmore, Conference Co-Chairs


Ms. Dinnah B. Donato-Palmore, Counselor

Students: MASF-PHA

Otay Ranch High School


“It’s not a question of will you or won’t you make a difference. It’s WHAT kind of difference will you make.

-Liz Murray

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O-Fest --open to all middle school students!

Hello, Chula Vista Middle Schools,

My name is Sesha Haynes, and I am the Assistant Principal of Student Activities, at THE Olympian High School

We would like to invite you and your families to our annual O-fest!!!

We will have multiple student-led clubs hosting carnival games (for a small fee) where kids can win tickets, and a prize booth for kids to use those tickets to get fun prizes. Plus, other clubs will be selling food and snacks!

And our BIG event, is our first ever Haunted House!!! Where our drama students will be our actors, but no worries, we will have “scare levels” depending on the students coming in LOL.

If you can please share this event with your families, plus on any newsletter or Instagram you have, that would be amazing!! Thank you Chula Vista education family <3

Any questions let me know!