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June 1, 2010 > News from New Haven Unified School District

News from New Haven Unified School District

Submitted By Rick La Plante

"A Celebration of Writing:"
Students from each of New Haven's elementary and middle schools will take the stage at the new James Logan High School Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, June 3, for "A Celebration of Writing," featuring the work being done through Writers Workshop, the District's research-based approach to literacy instruction.

Students will recite their own writings, with titles ranging from "All About Goldfish" by Alvarado Elementary first-grader Eric Lau and "Skateboarding" by Emanuele Elementary third-grader Ana Packham, to "Little Kid, Big Imagination" by Cesar Chavez Middle School sixth-grader Lauren Orozco and "Everything Has Value" by Alvarado Middle seventh-grader Priscilla Wu. Other topics include poets and rock stars, Hollywood and Lake Tahoe, and sisters and mothers.

The event, being organized by the Division of Teaching & Learning, will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free.

GATE Committee:
New Haven parents and staff members interested in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program are invited to submit their names to be included on a GATE Committee that will explore the definition of "giftedness" in the District and recommend a GATE identification process.

New Haven is at the beginning of a one-year moratorium on GATE identification, after it was determined earlier this year that the identification process not only resulted in enrollment disproportionate to District demographics and unequal across different schools, but that it did not reflect scientific understanding of "giftedness." The GATE Committee will meet twice a month, from September through December, to determine how to resolve these issues and to make recommendations to be implemented in spring 2011.

Parents and staff members who are interested in serving are asked to submit their names and contact information to Executive Assistant Amber Spencer in the Division of Teaching & Learning (510) 471-1100, ext. 60404, or

Grading Task Force:
The Division of Teaching & Learning also is seeking parents and staff members to serve on a Grading Task Force, as the District attempts to address inconsistencies in how student performance is evaluated across schools, across grades, and even between teachers in the same course.

The Grading Task Force will review research on grading, develop a common set of beliefs, and conduct internal research on grading practices. The Task Force will interface with the Instructional Leadership Teams at individual schools and ultimately, propose Board of Education policy.

Following a two-day seminar on grading practices in mid-August, the Task Force will meet once each month from September through June. As above, parents and staff members who are interested in serving are asked to submit their names and contact information to Executive Assistant Amber Spencer (510) 471-1100, ext. 6040, or

"Race to Save Student Activities:"
The deadline has been extended to June 4 for advance, discounted registration for the "Race to Save Student Activities," scheduled Saturday, June 12, at Cesar Chavez Middle School. The event, which will start at 9 a.m., is being organized by the New Haven Boosters Association, a group of parents eager to help assure the future of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities being threatened by continuing state budget cuts to education.

Demonstrating the type of teamwork and cooperation that will help save activities of all types, Coach Lee Webb and his James Logan High School cross country and track and field teams have agreed to be one of the $500 sponsors of the event. Coach Webb and his teams also will participate on race day, organizing the 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer runs along the Alameda Creek Trail. Also scheduled are age-group races on the CCMS track and the "Fastest Feet Relay," a challenge event for both District and local businesses.

Advance registration is $20 for adults, $15 for high school students, $10 for elementary and middle school students, and $40 per relay team. For more information, e-mail Eileen Riener (

In addition to the races, the Boosters are planning a festival area with booths available for games, giveaways, promotions, etc. Rental fee is $50 for a 10-foot-by-10-foot space. For more information about festival booths, e-mail Natalie Haney (

Besides raising funds, the Boosters Association is working to raise awareness that although the District was able to maintain stipends that pay coaches and teachers for student activities for 2010-11, stipends are not in the budget for 2011-12. For information about joining or helping the group, e-mail Michael Ritchie ( or John Shockley (

Time for Sports Campers to Register:
Registration is under way for Logan High's annual summer sports camps, Athletic Director Tom Rosenthal reports. Camps are open to students as young as eight, depending on the sport. They begin as early as June 21 and run as late as Aug. 26. Cost is $25 to $80, depending on sport, length of camp, and age group.

Registration forms are being sent home in elementary school weekly packets and distributed in middle school physical education classes and through high school coaches. Extra copies are available in the front office at the high school.

Queta Camacho has received the "Excellence in Teaching" award from the Costanoan Chapter of the California Council for Adult Education, and Celia Raygoza received a "Friend of Education" award, Logan's Patricia Van Buren reports.

A Celebration of Writing
Thursday, June 3
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
James Logan High School Center for the Performing Arts
1800 H St., Union City
(510) 471-2520
Admission is free

Race to Save Student Activities
Saturday, June 12
9 a.m.
Cesar Chavez Middle School
2801 Hop Ranch Rd., Union City
(510) 487-1700

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