La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for February 8, 2016

Principal Message: David L. Ortiz

Commendation: I regularly receive compliments about our school culture. Notable characteristics include: caring, compassionate, supportive, enthusiastic, hard-working, skilled, dedicated, and fun. This is a testament to our collective effort as a team. Thank you.

Bright Spots:

  • Incoming Parent Night and Open House (1-20-16, teachers, counselors, YSS, PTSA, ELAC, ASB): Presentation on school culture, classes, and activities as well as PLC presentations.

  • Festival de Cantoria (1-25-16, Saleh): LC Chorus performed at SMHS.

  • AVID Night (1-27-16, Marquez, Ulvaeus, Lowi): Families enjoyed dinner as well as Science Fair and Model/Walk Project presentations.

  • Model Project Work Day (1-30-16, Marquez, Lane, Bergthold, Penrose, Harkey): Students, parents, and staff worked on projects in the cafe.

  • Padres Adelante (2-1-16, ELAC Board, Harkey): Weekly meetings for EL parents to learn the school system.

  • Performing Arts (2-5 to 2-7, Saleh): Outburst (elite vocal ensemble) captured the 2016 Junior High/Middle School Sweepstakes Trophy at the Musical Theatre Competitions of America at Disneyland (Anaheim). Other awards included: 1st Place 8th Grade Solo; 3rd Place 7th Grade Solo; 4th Place 8th Grade Solo; 1st Place Musical Revue; 2nd Place Ensemble Advanced Program; 4th Place 8th Grade Solo; and, 4th Place High School Solo.

  • Latin: For the past two years our students have competed in a Junior Classical League event known as "Certamen." The Jeapordy style game serves as an academic pentathlon for Roman and Greek culture, history, and the language of Latin. Students from across the state of California compete to prove not only who knows the answer, but who can recall it the fastest. February 6th, four 7th graders from La Colina Junior High competed in the Southern California Certamen Qualifying competition over the weekend and won. This tremendous accomplishment sends them to the California State Finals of Certamen in March, where they will compete against two other teams for the title of State Champions. We are very excited of the enthusiasm, hard work, and academic drive these students have demonstrated. The students are: John Teel, Luke Mitchelson, Izaak Meyerovich, and Tarquin Goodson.

  • Introduction to Coding (Womack, room 308): Students are developing 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.

Naviance Class Enrollment: As part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District's continued effort to improve a family’s understanding of the course selection process  we are introducing a new system called NAVIANCE.   This internet-based program will allow you and your child to see descriptions of every course, make course selections and monitor progress towards graduation.  You will receive more information about the NAVIANCE program from the district via email and postal mail.

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

PTSA: Message from the President

Thank you so much for attending our La Colina Open House last month.  If you are receiving this email it is because you expressed an interest in learning more about our PTSA and or ELAC groups at La Colina.  I just wanted to let you know about our upcoming meetings and invite you to attend, any or all of them.  Our meetings for the rest of this school year will be: Wednesday, February 10, Wednesday, March 10, Wednesday, April 13, and Wednesday, May 11.

All meetings are in the La Colina Library. ELAC meetings start at 5:45pm and PTSA at 7pm.  Each meeting lasts approximately 1 hour.  We have translation headphones available for both meetings.  We would love to see you there!

Our PTSA Board will begin the process of filling our Board positions for next year and we have a lot available.  As I mentioned at the Open House all jobs are MUCH less time consuming than the PTA positions at the Elementary school level.  So please don't feel intimidated about taking one on!  If you would like to hear more about the positions that are open please contact me…I would love to give you more information either by phone or email.  I encourage you to get involved…it is such a fun school and a very small time commitment can make a huge difference!

Thank you!

Jessani Johnson

(805) 637-5042



    • Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 7:00, library); next meeting is Wednesday, February 10 @ 7:00 in the library. The parent program will feature our own Youth Services Specialist from the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA), Ms. Jennifer Case.
    • English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 5:45, library); next meeting is Wednesday, February 10 @ 5:45 in the library. The parent program will focus on the purpose and use of ParentSquare and Smart Alerts which will enhance our communication with parents.
    • 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, February 8, Hope School at 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:

2-9 Monte Vista Orientation (10:00)

2-10 School Disturbance Drill (10:26)

2-11 La Colina Spelling Bee (12:00, room 501A)

2-12 Lincoln’s Birthday (no school)

2-15 Presidents Holiday (no school)

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

2-17 After School Sports Games (3:30 v. SBJH)

2-24 After School Sports Games (3:30 v. La Cumbre)

2-26 DP Engineering Academy Meeting (1:00, cafe)

District Website:

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

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

District Fast Facts: Http://

La Colina Website: