La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for November 16, 2015


Principal's Message: David L. Ortiz

Thanksgiving: On behalf of our school, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving! To have such a wonderful team of students, parent/guardians, and staff is truly a gift. Enjoy your holiday!

Semester Grades (Friday, 1-22-16, minimum day, 8:30-11:56): The semester grade is an average of the first and second quarter grades. The grades will be entered into the student’s official transcript. You should receive the report card the following week. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the respective teacher, counselor, or assistant principal. Caseloads by last name are:

A-L: Kristi Morris (counselor); Aaron Harkey (assistant principal)

M-Z: Athena Sims (counselor); Carole Nevarez (assistant principal)

ParentSquare: We are excited to announce that we are improving our communication efforts with each of you by launching ParentSquare to our school. ParentSquare is a two-way private communication platform for preschools and K-12 schools. It provides a safe way for administrators, teachers, staff, groups, and parents to connect and effectively communicate. Please see the full description posted on our website.

California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS): The purpose of this survey is to gather information about school climate and factors that affect learning. It deals with such issues as truancy, safety, harassment, substance use, and school connectedness. The survey is part of the Cal-SCHLS, a comprehensive student health risk and resilience assessment tool for students, staff, and parents.

  • Participation is voluntary. It is also very important. The information provided will help guide district and school efforts to promote safety, enhance learning supports, improve student achievement, and reduce health risks that stand as barriers to learning.
  • This is an anonymous survey. It is designed so that participating students cannot be identified from the data.
  • All questions apply to this school only.
  • The results are for the use of your district. California Department of Education/CHKS will preserve data confidentiality and refer any data requests to the district.
  • All 7th and 8th grade students will take the CHKS in their math class from December 2 - January 21. Some teachers will take their students to the computer lab to complete the survey; others will utilize the Chromebooks to administer the survey in their classrooms.
  • If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to Ms. Carole Nevarez (Assistant Principal).

Parent Engagement: I want to encourage you to get involved in our school. Below, I’ve listed three key committees:


  • Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 7:00, library); exception is December (meeting cancelled).
  • English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 5:45, library); exception is December (meeting cancelled).
  • Staff/Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SSEPAC; quarterly meetings). For additional information see Carole Nevarez (assistant principal).

Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA): The Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) is a plan of essential goals, strategies, and actions to raise the academic performance of all students. I have presented the Executive Summary at PTSA, ELAC, and staff meetings. I still have to present to ASB Student Council and SSEPAC. Our SPSA has been approved by the SBUSD Board of Education.

Very Important People (VIP): Quarterly, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara recognizes outstanding students/citizens from each junior high school. The following students were selected by their teachers: Dany Aguirre Diaz, Al’Asha Aparicio Garcia, Naomi Arias, Rebecca Baena Jacinto, Melissa Calixto Jaimes, David Jimenez, Jimena Lagunas Cardenas, Minh Nguyen, Chris Perez Rojas, Denise Ricardo, Rachel Rose, Savannah Tait, John Varela, Johan Zamudio, and Monserrate Zarate Zarate. Congratulations!

2015 Junior High School Cross Country Championships: Congratulations to the following students: Zosia Amberger, Lily Bienstock,

Jacki Caplin, Emily Doring, Ralzhona Labine, Emma Grabenstettler, Chase Plourde, Hayden Avila, Vincent Cappello, Andrew Bettancourt, Chris Neal, Tristan Cugnier, and Carson Pallad.


  • Student Handbook: Our updated Student Handbook is now available on our website at  This is where you will find school policies and procedures, bell schedules, the district dress code, after school sports information, cafeteria information, P.E. information, and much more.

Tutorial Centers: Help for all La Colina students

  • Lunchtime: Room 308, Ms. Womack, Monday-Thursday
  • After-School: 2:30-4:00, Library, Ms. Sillars, Monday-Thursday

After-School Sports:

  • See Mr. Kaufmann (PE teacher, site coordinator)
  • 2:30-4:00
  • Current sports: basketball (girls) and soccer (boys)

Mark Your Calendar:

11-18 School Disturbance Drill (8:35)

11-23 Thanksgiving Holiday Week (school resumes 11-30-15)

11-30 Unity Shoppe Penny Drive (start)

12-1 Minimum Day (school schedule: 8:30-11:56)

12-10 Choir Concert (7:00, Auditorium)

12-11 Unity Shoppe Penny Drive (end)

12-14 Progress Report Cards (to be mailed this week)

12-16 Fire drill (1:40, period 6)

12-17 After-school sports (ends)

12-21 Winter Recess (start)

1-1 Winter Recess (end)

1-4 School resumes

1-11 Dr. Ben Drati (Assistant Superintendent) visit (10:00)

1-13 ELAC (5:45, library); PTSA (7:00, library)

1-14 SBUSD Academy Showcase (6:00, Earl Warren Showgrounds)

1-18 Martin Luther King Holiday (no school)

1-20 Incoming Parent Orientation and Open House (6:00, auditorium, selected classrooms)

1-22 Semester #1 (end); Minimum Day (school schedule: 8:30-11:56)

1-27 AVID potluck (5:00, Cafe)

2-1 Semester Report Cards (to be mailed this week)

District Website:

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

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

District Fast Facts: Http://

La Colina Website: