La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for April 20, 2015

Principal’s Message: David L. Ortiz

District Website:

District Fast Facts: Http://


  • Smarter Balanced Assessments (state mandated test, window April 19-May 20).

  • Standardized Testing Chairperson: Carole Nevarez (Assistant Principal, ext. 3111)

  • Students are encouraged to be well-rested, eat a healthy breakfast, and give their best effort

6th Grade Placement Tests: The 6th grade placement tests in mathematics and English will serve as the primary identification criteria for course level assignment, (i.e., Honors, At-level). The tests will be completed in May either before or after the respective elementary schools completion of the Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium (SBAC). Students taking the tests will include all SBUSD secondary bound students, (e.g., SBUSD, Hope, Goleta, Montecito). Our 7 feeder schools include Mountain View, Hollister, El Camino, Foothill, Hope, Vieja Valley, and Monte Vista. We will also receive many transfers as well as new students moving to our community. The feeder school students will take the tests at their current school. The other students will take the test at the District Office. The plan for grading the tests is currently scheduled to be completed May 20 and 21 at a site  to be determined. At this time, SBUSD junior high mathematics and English teachers as well as Goleta, Hope, Montecito, and Cold Springs 6th grade teachers will grade the assessments. Understand that plans may be changed to promote a more effective process and address concerns. After June 20, La Colina bound students will take the tests at La Colina. The tests will then be graded by La Colina teachers.

Roofing Project: The La Colina summer roofing project will begin June 24, 2015 in the Administration, 300, and 400 wings. Due to the nature of the work, access to our facilities will be highly restricted. The office will be relocated to the 600 or 500 wings.

Bright Spots:

  • Marcia Merrifield: Marcia was recently recognized as the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Junior High Teacher of the Year. Special acknowledgment was credited to her work with English Learner students. She received a beautiful plaque and generous donation for her classroom. Congratulations Marcia!

  • Spanish Classes (8): Congratulations to our 8th grade Spanish students and Kim Anderson-Flores for their research and completion of posters highlighting the contributions of famous Latinos. The posters are on display in room 315 and the cafe. Congratulations to all!

  • President’s Education Award: Almost 250 of our students received this award, (i.e., certificate). To qualify, a student must earn a GPA of 3.5 for 3 semesters. Kathleen McNeil and the cafeteria staff also baked delicious cookies. Congratulations to all!

  • Ryan Fitch: In the SB County Special Olympics, Ryan Fitch took the gold (1st. place) in the 25 and 50 meter dashes. Congratulations Ryan!

Sustainability: Our site representatives on the SBUSD Sustainability Committee are: Whitney Paz (teacher), John Reed (parent), and David Ortiz (principal).  You can help promote this effort by:

  • Promote sustainability

  • Restrict water and energy use

  • Recycle paper, plastic, and glass

Pacific Youth Football League (Boys & Girls Club of SB, Inc.):

  • La Colina will have at least (1) team (grade 8) and may be (2) teams (grade 7

  • Season begins 7-27-15

  • Practice at La Colina fields

  • Costs: $250 per player per season

  • Sign-up days at 632 E. Canon Perdido St. (805-962-2382): 4-11-15, 5-2-15


  • Athletic Director: Kim Kjar

Mark Your Calendar:

4-15 CST Science test (8)

4-17 Poem in Your Pocket Day; School Disturbance Drill (11:20)

4-20 Smarter Balanced Assessments: start; Fighting Back: Committed Campaign (contact: Jennifer Case)

4-21 GATE District Advisory Council: Growth Mindset presentation (6:00, auditorium)

4-22 Secretaries’ Day; Dr. Drati visit (9:00); CADA Committed Campaign Town Hall meeting (5:30, SB Zoo)

4-28 Grade 7 Performing Arts Showcase (7:00, auditorium)

4-29 AVID meeting (2:45, room 501)

5-1 School Site Council (7:45, library)

5-2 GATE District Advisory Meeting (8:00, auditorium and classrooms)

5-5 Cinco de Mayo; ASB Elections Assembly (8:30, auditorium)

5-6 Bike to School Day; ASB Elections

5-7 ELAC meeting (6:00, library); Spring Choir Concert (7:00, auditorium)

5-10 Mother’s Day

5-13 Secondary Special Education Parent Advisory meeting (6:00, Staff Lounge); PTSA meeting (7:00, library)

5-18 SBUSD Staff Appreciation (4:00, Cabrillo Arts Pavillion)

5-19 Smarter Balanced Assessments: end; Dr. Drati (Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education) visit (9:00); Minimum Day (8:30-11:56)

5-20 6th Grade Placement Tests grading (site to be determined)

5-21 6th Grade Placement Tests grading (site to be determined)

5-25 Memorial Day

5-27 Earthquake Drill (8:35); Attendance Awards (1:00, cafe)

5-28 PTSA Honorary Service & Staff Appreciation (8:00, cafe)

6-3 Awards Ceremony (4:00)

6-4 ELAC meeting (6:00, library)

6-5 Promotion Party (4:30)

6-9 Yearbook distribution; Promotion Ceremony chair set-up (3:30, line starts at the auditorium

6-10 Promotion (10:15); arrive early for parking

6-11 Staff Checkout Day

6-15 SBUSD PD Week (SBHS)

Fighting Back Program (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse):

  • Committed Campaign Week: April 20-24

Yearbooks: Order your 2014-15 yearbook now! The La Colina Lions yearbook is a full color 104 page publication, which includes student pictures, and memories of the school year. Follow the link to the Webstore from our La Colina Website at or purchase one in the office Monday through Thursday, before and after school. The cost is $55. We accept cash, check and most credit cards. Yearbooks will be distributed on June 9 at 8:30.  

English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC): The ELAC meetings are on the 1st Thursday of the month from 6:00-7:00 pm. in the library. However, due to Spring Break, the meeting for April has been changed to Thursday, May 7 from 6:00-7:00; child care is also provided. The focus of the meeting will be needs assessment recommendations to School Site Council and reclassification of English Learner students. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Rodriquez-Mester (Assistant Principal, ext. 3112).

Secondary Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SSEPAC): The next site SSEPAC will be held on Wednesday, May 13 from 6-7 pm. in the Staff Lounge. The SSEPAC chairperson is Ms. Melissa Fitch. Ms. Fitch will oversee our school meetings as well as represent La Colina at the District meetings. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Nevarez (Assistant Principal, ext. 3111). Spanish interpretation will be provided.

PTSA: The PTSA meeting is Wednesday, May 13, 2015 from 7:00-8:00. After Board and committee reports, there will be a social to celebrate another outstanding year. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

PTSA Promotion Party: The promotion party will be Friday, June 5 from 4:30-7:00. Please contact Mr. Ortiz (principal) if you want to volunteer and/or make a donation.

Source: Test