La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for January 22, 2016


Principal Message: David L. Ortiz

Semester #1: Congratulations on an outstanding first semester. The work ethic, perseverance, and spirit of our team (students, teachers, counselors, assistant principals, staff, and parents) is truly impressive. I know we will continue the “whatever it takes” mindset this second semester. Thank you!

Semester #1: The semester grades are “permanent” and entered into each student’s official transcript. 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)

Bright Spots:

Science Fair: Congratulations to our grade 8 students and teachers (Mr. Marchetti, Ms. Ulvaeus, and Ms. Badarayan) on such an incredible effort. The depth and relevance of the projects is both respected and appreciated. The category winners are posted on our website.

Rincon Classic Surf Contest: I'm happy to announce that student Maddie Malmsten took 2nd place and Quinn Kauffman placed 5th  in the Rincon Classic surf contest in their respective divisions. Both surfed in incredibly large waves that were a challenge for even the best pro surfers.

Local Control Accountability Program (LCAP): Local Control equals local accountability. Thus, it is very important that as a school district, all members have a voice in our priorities: basic services, implementation of the Common Core, parent involvement, student achievement, student engagement, school climate, other student outcomes, and access to a broad curriculum. The link below provides that voice and takes minimal time to complete. Thanks for helping and contact me if you need any assistance.

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. We are using ParentSquare now.

California Healthy Kids Survey (Parents): 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, school connectedness, and safety. The survey is 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. See the link below:
  • Link:
  • La Colina school code: QV73JP


  • Coding Class (semester 2): We are excited to offer a new elective course for the second semester; Introduction to Coding. The course will be offered during period 0, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (not on Thursday due to late start) from 7:30-8:20 am in room 308. The course is opened to any student who does not currently have a 0 period class, and is new to coding. If you choose to sign your daughter or son up for this additional elective it is understood that he/she will complete the course and will not request to drop after the first day of class. The class will be limited to 25 students. Students will develop foundational skills in computer coding through the use of “Scratch” and other teacher designed curriculum. “Scratch” is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games – and share those creations online. “Scratch” was developed at the MIT Media Lab as a networked, media-rich programming environment, designed specifically to enhance the development of technological fluency among students and provide an opportunity for students to learn how to express themselves with new technologies. The teacher is Ms. Tracy Womack;; 967-4506 (3308); Room 308. If your son or daughter qualifies for this course and you would like her/him to enroll, please contact your child’s counselor no later than Wednesday, January 20th. Counselors work with students based on their last names: Students A-L: Mrs. Kristi Morris;; 967-4506 (3107); Students M-Z: Ms. Athena Sims;; 967-4506 (3106).

    • Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 7:00, library); next meeting is Wednesday, February 10 @ 7:00 in the library.
    • English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 5:45, library); next meeting is Wednesday, February 10 @ 5:45 in the library.
    • Staff/Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SSEPAC; quarterly meetings); next meeting is Tuesday, February 9, 6:00 in the Staff Lounge. For additional information see Carole Nevarez (assistant principal).
  • Padres Adelante for interested Spanish speaking parents and families started at Hope school on Monday, January 11th from 6-8 pm. This is an exciting parent education opportunity focused on opportunity, equity, access, and advocacy in planning a student’s path from elementary school through college. The next meeting is: Monday, January 25, Hope School at 6:00.

  • High School Open House (incoming 9th grade):
    • SMHS: Monday, January 11, 6:00
    • DPHS: Thursday, January 28, 6:30
    • SBHS: Wednesday, January 13, 6:00

  • High School Counselor Visits @ La Colina
    • SMHS: 3-22-16; all day in math classes
    • DPHS: 3-21-16; 9:30 in the cafe
    • SBHS: 3-23-16; 9:30 in the cafe

  • Naviance: online registration
    • This tool will significantly help students, parents, and the school system track progress towards graduation, college and career readiness
    • This year, all incoming 7th and 8th grade students will use this tool to register for their elective class
    • All incoming 9th grade students will use this tool to register for their high school courses; high schools will forward that information at orientation meetings

Tutorial Centers: Help for all La Colina students

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

Mark Your Calendar:

1-20 Principal Tour (9:00); Incoming Parent Orientation and Open House (6:00,

auditorium, selected classrooms, report time: 6:00)

1-21 Grading Window (opens)

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

Valley Orientation (10:00)

1-25 SBUSD Choral Showcase (6:00, SMHS auditorium)

1-26 Mountain View Orientation (10:00, auditorium, tour to follow)

1-27 El Camino Orientation (10:00, auditorium, tour to follow); Earthquake Drill (12:50,

period 5); AVID potluck (5:00, Cafe)

1-28 Foothill Orientation (10:00, auditorium, tour to follow); Grading Window (closes)

1-30 Model Project Work Day (8:00, cafe)

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

2-3 Hollister Orientation (10:00)

2-9 Monte Vista Orientation (10:00)

2-12 Lincoln’s Birthday (no school)

2-15 Presidents Holiday (no school)

2-16 Transfer window (end); Hope (10:00)

District Website:

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

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

District Fast Facts: Http://

La Colina Website: