Center Aim

As educators, academic achievement tops our list of priorities. We strive to expand and enrich our rigorous academic programs while providing experiences outside of the classroom. The balance between the two plays a significant role in the educational, social and emotional growth of a child. Throughout the school year every school in our district offers varied opportunities for students and families to get involved.

Clubs, athletics, activities, assemblies and rallies promote a sense of belonging which leads to increased academic success. Varied activities fill fall calendars at all of our sites including Family Movie Nights at Dudley, Kids Can Food Drive at North Country, Family Skate Night at Oak Hill, Crazy Sock and Hat Day at Spinelli and student Spirit Day celebrations at all the elementary sites. Student athletes at Riles just completed fall sports seasons, wrapping up flag football, cross country and volleyball. Riles athletes are moving into the basketball season which will carry them through the new year. McClellan High student athletes just completed their flag football season and are looking ahead to a winter volleyball tournament and basketball season. Student athletes at Center High are in league play for football, volleyball, golf and cross country with the winter sports of basketball and wrestling right around the corner. Center High School's drama production, Sixteen in 10 Minutes or Less, is underway with multiple showings in December for Antelope families to enjoy.

Center High School’s acclaimed Project Lead the Way program is set to expand to the middle school and elementary sites. Technology continues to roll out into classrooms to prepare students for college and career by keeping up with the ever changing digital world. North Country Elementary and Oak Hill Elementary have each opened new video labs to support their work with SEVA and their ongoing collaboration with Center High’s Media Communication Academy.

There are numerous upcoming opportunities throughout our district for your student and your family to get involved and explore new programs. I encourage you visit the district and school websites, the district Facebook page and contact your school site’s PTA or Booster Club for a calendar of events. Get involved for a worthwhile and rewarding experience for you and your family.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, please make note of the following dates. Schools will be closed November 21st through November 25th for Thanksgiving break and December 19th through January 1st for winter break.

Enjoy the fall season and the opportunities available to make memories with your family.

AVID Embraces Technology to Connect Nationwide

By Jennifer Law

On September 30th, the Wilson C. Riles' 8th grade AVID class participated in a National Socratic Seminar on Patriotism. While the students discussed an article about Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem, and how this relates to patriotism, a live twitter feed was active, and comments and questions the students made were added to the feed. Schools from throughout the country were involved in this event and the students received responses from as far away as Florida.

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McClellan High School Awarded Large Grant for Sports Program

McClellan High School has been awarded a grant for $20,000 from the CTA Institute for Teaching, to be used toward the Alternative Athletic League, a sports program providing opportunities for students from continuation and charter schools to be involved in a variety of sports.

McClellan teacher Chris Collins spearheaded the foundation of the Alternative Athletic League last year, drawing together basketball teams from Pacific, Chana, and Phoenix high schools. Mr. Collins arranged gameplay at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin, and he enlisted referees Katrina Emerson and Phil McKellips to supervise the games.

With help from the IFT grant, Mr. Collins intends to create a year-round program, including other sports like volleyball and softball, giving a larger variety of students a chance to participate. Alternative school students typically lack access to extracurricular activities, and this grant will help provide opportunities for a broad range of students to have positive, school-related involvement.

Mr. Collins also wrote the grant proposal, with help from Alyson Collier. The McClellan grant was one of 47 awarded out of 97 proposal applications. We are grateful for all his hard work in this area.


By Mikelle Fernandez and Maggie Zhang 6th Grade Students, Mrs. Phillips Class

The 2016-2017 school year at Oak Hill Elementary has definitely gone off without a hitch. Classes are creating interesting projects and learning new things every day. This year, Oak Hill wants to expand our chances of winning the Sacramento Educational Video Awards (SEVAs) by entering K-3 videos into the contest. A big important step in reaching that goal is our new production studio. The transformation of our computer lab into a film production studio is well underway. The lab has been cleaned out and modifications have been completed to change the lighting. Our green screens have been painted on two walls, and they have taken out some panels for mounted lights. We already have some computers donated to us to help start the production lab. Filming equipment is on its way, so GATE producers can start planning their productions. It has certainly been a delight to watch the transformation.

This month Mrs. Phillips’ 6th Grade class focused on the ancient Mesopotamians (3100-539 BC), and their ways of living. They also hosted Too Good for Violence, a program dedicated to teaching kids about violence, and how kids are too good for it. In STEAM, students made solar ovens for science and tested them outside with S’mores.

Mrs. Ventittelli’s 6th grade class learned about buoyancy, static electricity, construction, levitation, and much more about engineering! They created entertaining and challenging projects having to do with topics that included thinking, creativity, and competition.

Mrs. Miller’s 6th grade class learned about cubism for STEAM (art), and Mr. Domach’s 6th grade class learned the basics of photography.

The 5th grade classes will be going to The Exploratorium in San Francisco on the 16th, where they will no doubt learn interesting facts about science, art, and human perception, as well as doing experiments and hands-on activities.

The annual Ice Bucket Challenge, held by our teachers, was a total success! They raised $385 for the Saving Shelly Team to honor Shelly Hoover, a former educator at our school and district. The Walk to Defeat ALS was on Oct 1st.

A big thank you to everyone who has been donating to the KCRA Kids Can program! The class with the most donations by November 4th will win an ice cream party. Oak Hill students and families are amazing as well as generous.

Rain or shine, our Fall Festival was enjoyed by all on a rainy Friday the 14th. Our PTA, families, and students enjoyed all the activities and especially the Chando’s Taco Truck! It was the perfect way to enjoy a lot of fun and make new friends too. Next up is Trunk or Treat!


The Center Joint Unified School District is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and the development of the children's health, well-being, and the ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. In order to achieve this healthy setting, the CJUSD Student Wellness Committee would like to encourage school staff to avoid the use of non-nutritious foods as a reward for students' academic performance, accomplishments, or classroom behavior. The following article identifies potential useful ideas for creating healthier school cultures and is our committees first wellness tip of this 2016/17 school year.
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North Country Welcomes Food Maxx to the Neighborhood

Trinity and Savannah, students from Mrs. Lura Anderson's second grade class at North Country Elementary, conducted interviews with the PR reps from Food Maxx. Food Maxx invited North Country's choir to sing at the grocery store’s grand opening on October 12, 2016. . Ninety nine members of our choir were able to make the trek to Food Maxx with their choir teachers Mrs. Lura Anderson and Ms. Penny Rittenhouse. They sang four songs much to the delight of the store employees and a large parking lot crowd. Several parents accompanied the long line of students as they walked to and from the grocery store. Food Maxx donated $500.00 to our school which will be used for Santa's Breakfast and they are contributing toward our Harvest Festival scheduled for October 21st.

Trinity and Savannah will be working with the North Country Video Club students to produce and edit their interview video.

A great time was had by all, and as a topper, all of the students were given activity booklets and cookies by Food Maxx employees. North Country loves Food Maxx!

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Center High Performing Arts presents: Sixteen in 10 Minutes or Less

Written by Bradley Hayward and directed by Jane Purdy

The lives of seven teenagers become intertwined in this humorous and oftentimes bittersweet collection of 10 minute plays. From extracting a gummy bear out of a new set of braces to coping with bullies, these characters share their innermost hopes and fears with each other, ten minutes at a time. As the audience drops in on these intimate moments, they will come to understand that being sixteen isn’t always easy.

Performances are:

December 2nd and 3rd

December 9th and 10th

All performances start at 7:00 PM

Cost is $5.00 at the door

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News Years Resolutions with Weight Watchers

North Country Elementary is starting a Weight Watchers group after the first of the year. Meetings will be held in the afternoons on the North Country campus with dates and times to be announced. If you are interested in joining, contact Kristen Hansen at