La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for August 31, 2015


Principal’s Message: David L. Ortiz


Start of School: Congratulations to all as we had a great start to our new school year! Our students, staff, and parent volunteers worked really hard and exhibited fantastic energy. Given our recent heat wave, we should all be very proud.


Master Schedule and Staffing: Currently, our focus is resolving master schedule and staffing concerns. I commend our assistant principals and counselors for their diligent effort to get everything “right.” Please contact us if your have any concerns or questions. The assistant principal and counselor caseload teams are:

  • Aaron Harkey (assistant principal) and Kristi Morris (counselor): A-L
  • Carole Nevarez  (assistant principal) and Athena Sims (counselor): M-Z

Note, if you have a class-based question or concern, please contact the teacher.


School Involvement: I want to encourage you to get involved in our school. Below, I’ve listed several of the key committees:

  • Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 7:00, library)
  • English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 5:45, library)
  • School Site Council (SSC; oversees the Single Plan for Student Achievement including budget; need 3 parent representatives; interested? see Mr. Ortiz)
  • SBUSD Parent Advisory Committee (represents our school at school district meetings; need one representative and one alternate representative; interested? see Mr. Ortiz)
  • Secondary Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SSEPAC; district and site meetings; need one representative; interested? see Ms. Nevarez)

Back-to-School (Thursday, September 10 at 6:00 in the auditorium): It is very important that you meet our school staff, especially your child’s teachers. I am confident that you will be impressed with their positive intentionality and work ethic. Our schedule will be as follows:

  • 5:00-5:30 Honors Program (auditorium)
  • 5:45-6:00 Zero and 7th Period presentations (designated rooms)
  • 6:00-6:30 PTSA meeting (6:00-6:30, auditorium
  • 6:35-8:00 Class rotations

PTSA Hospitality will provide snacks and beverages.


California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Reports (CAASPP):

  • New measure for assessing student relative to the new Common Core State Standards
  • Parents/guardians will receive individual student scores; based on computer-based tests in English language arts/literacy and mathematics
  • Score will range from 2,000 to 3,000
  • Four levels include: standard not met, standard nearly met, standard met, and standard exceeded
  • Student strengths and concerns will be noted
  • English focus: reading, writing, listening, and research
  • Mathematics focus: problem solving, using concepts and procedures, and communicating mathematical reasoning
  • Each of these areas will be rated: below standard, at or near standard, and above standard
  • Grade 11 students will also receive a rating on their readiness for credit-bearing college-level work
  • Grades 5 and 8 will also receive individual scores for the California Standards Test for Science
  • Refrain from comparisons between the CAASPP and previous tests; they are different
  • This first year is a baseline year; starting point
  • Most students will need to make significant progress; don’t be discouraged
  • CAASPP Office contacts: and (916) 445-8765
  • Video (CAASPP report):

Mark Your Calendar:

9-4 Picture Day (8:00, cafe)

9-7 Labor Day Holiday

9-10 Back-to-School (6:00, auditorium meeting followed by class rotations)

9-11 Patriot Day Anniversary (reading, Pledge, vocal, and flag pole display)

9-15 Junior High Minimum Day (8:30-11:56)

9-19 United Way Day of Caring (8:00-10:00, project to be determined)

9-21 After School Sports (start, 2:30-4:00)

9-28 Ability Day (PE (7) classes, presenter: Jennifer Griffen; Alpha Resource Center)

9-29 Superintendent visit (Dr. Cash, 8:30); Ability Day (PE (8) classes, presenter: Jennifer Griffen; Alpha Resource Center)

10-1 ELAC meeting (6:00, library, training with Dr. Jackie Mora, Director of EL)

10-9 Assistant Superintendent visit (Dr. Drati, 10:00)

10-13  La Colina Secondary Special Education Advisory Committee Meeting (6:00 pm)


District Website:


District e-News Sign-up Page (English):


District e-News Sign-up Page (Spanish):


District Fast Facts: Http://


La Colina Website: