Renovation and improvement projects – including the construction of a new 7,000-seat stadium at California High School – are in full swing this summer at the Whittier Union High School District. Workers are busy upgrading facilities across the District to increase school safety and provide 21st century learning environments for students, who will head back to school Aug. 12.
In anticipation of another rigorous year at the Whittier Union High School District, instructors spent their summer months attending professional development workshops at the Sierra Education Center, breaking into teams and setting an ambitious agenda designed to continually enhance teacher development and student achievement. This work will help prepare students for the Smarter Balanced tests, which assess students’ understanding of content under the rigorous California Standards. All 11th-grade students will complete the exams in the spring.
Recent Santa Fe High School graduate Anthony Ayala as selected as one of 2015’s top three high school monologists by the Educational Theater Association, the nation’s preeminent professional association for theater education, during a performance at the International Thespian Festival. The accolades awarded to Ayala at the June festival at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln marked the culmination of a distinguished portfolio of work at Santa Fe, from the starring role in “Macbeth” to student director of plays.
Whittier Union High School District plans to invest $15 million to expand summer school courses, broaden student mental health services, strengthen technology support and implement a unique Academic English course that will directly support English learner students as part of its 2015-18 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The plan, a requirement of the state’s school funding system, guides District efforts to improve student learning.
More than 3,000 students from Whittier Union High School District’s five comprehensive high schools, two alternative high schools, adult school and Transition program for special education students ages 18 to 22 capped their high school careers with commencement ceremonies June 2-3.
The Whittier Union High School District unveiled its spectacular 7,000-seat football stadium at Pioneer High School – among the largest high school stadiums in the San Gabriel Valley – to the community during a grand opening ceremony on May 28. The $17.5 million facility, built with proceeds from the $75 million Measure W facilities bond, was dedicated as the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium in honor of Richard (Dick) Torres, who died in 2010 after serving more than 30 years as an educational leader and inspiration to Whittier Union students.
All five of the Whittier Union High School District’s comprehensive high schools on May 5 were named California Gold Ribbon Schools – the state’s highest award for academic excellence. Gold Ribbons were awarded to California, La Serna, Pioneer, Santa Fe and Whittier high schools; the latter three received an additional award for being Title I Academic Achieving Schools that demonstrate success in meeting the educational needs of all students.
Nearly 96 percent of the 2,812 seniors from the Whittier Union High School District’s five comprehensive high schools graduated last year, according to data released April 28 by the California Department of Education (CDE) for the 2013-14 academic year. Dropout rates among the schools fell to 2.7 percent.
Stunned, Aylin Arreola’s eyes filled with tears early April 15 as the Santa Fe High School senior was surprised with the news she had won a coveted $40,000 Southern California Edison scholarship that will make her dream of attending UC Santa Barbara a reality. Just 30 students were chosen from 2,768 applicants for the 2015 Southern California Edison Scholars program, which directs funds to first-generation college students with financial need who plan to major in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.