La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for December 4, 2015


Principal’s Message: David L. Ortiz

Welcome Back: Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Please encourage your children to continue their focus and effort as we progress towards our winter recess.

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; next meeting is Tuesday, 12-8-15, 6:00, Staff Lounge). For additional information see Carole Nevarez (assistant principal).

  • Latin: Teacher, Sarah Ahlers reports, “It was a great day for Santa Barbara Unified Latin students! We took 35 delegates down to the Southern California Regional Amici Madness event hosted by the Junior Classical League at University High School in Irvine,CA. All of our three teams did excellent. Competing against a total of 31 other schools, public and private (959 other students), we brought home 7 Individual and 3 Team Ribbons.
  • Rhea Kommerell (8) placed in 3rd over all for High School Advanced Latin Grammar and in the Mythology Spelling Bee; Ryan Hathaway (8) placed in 1st overall for Latin 2 Grammar; Sam Herbst (7) won second in both Mythology and Latin Derivatives; and Shane Dixon (7) won third place in Roman History.


  • San Marcos High School: Kids Helping Kids is a non-profit organization run out of the senior class at San Marcos High school. They are a group of empowered students striving to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth in our local community and internationally. This year NEEDTOBREATHE with a supporting act of JOHHNYSWIM will be headlining their annual benefit gala at the Granada Theater on January 8th. Tickets are on sale now on! Purchase them before they're all sold out!

  • El Nino: One of our upcoming concerns will be the potentially significant rains produced by El Nino this winter. Please start to discuss with your child ways to maintain safety and good health. For example, dressing appropriately, walking not running, and staying away from saturated and muddied areas. Communication should also be a priority. Know that our school preparation is well under way.

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

Mark Your Calendar:

11-30 Unity Shoppe Penny Drive (start)

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

12:4 SB Holiday Parade (6:30, State St., LC Marching Band entry #50)

12-8 Staff Special Education Parent Advisory Committee meeting (6:00, Tuesday, Staff


12-9 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); Winter Music Concert (7:00, Auditorium)

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: