La Colina Junior High School

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Principal's Message for June 2, 2016


Principal Message: David L. Ortiz

General: Thank you for an incredible school year. As a community, we should be extremely proud of our collective effort to optimize the achievement and character development of our students (children). Preliminary results on a variety of measures indicate positive growth, (e.g., testing, grades, attendance, English Learner reclassification, and parent engagement). Nevertheless, we have to continue our effort through Wednesday, June 8; last day of school (8:30-11:56). If you have any concerns (grades and/or citizenship), please contact the respective teacher, counselor, or assistant principal; check the NEO account. Again, thank you and congratulations.

Promotion Party: Friday, June 3, 4:30-7:00. This is a wonderful celebration of our students effort. If you can help out, please contact our PTSA or me.

Promotion: Wednesday, June 8, 10:15 at Palm Stage. This wonderful event is highly attended. We have ample parking and seating space, but I highly recommend you arrive by 9:30 am. The promotion is targeted to end at 11:45.

Promotion Seating: Families can set up their chairs on Tuesday, June 7 starting at 3:30. Historically, the line starts formulating around 2:00 pm. At 3:30, staff moves the line forward to the Administration building and we will start sending families in 10-15 at a time. This makes for a safe, organized process. Remember to mark your chairs with your name. We will have security all night. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Bright Spots:

  • 2016 National French Contest: Seven La Colina Junior High students were national winners: Margot Contolini (gold medal); Kendra Sandoval (silver medal); Sean Yamasaki (silver medal); Maggie Tang (silver medal); Monserrat Zarate (silver medal); Jenny Gonzalez Hernandez (bronze medal); Malvina Clavering (bronze medal). The contest, Le Grand Concours, is an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. Students of French in grades 1-12, in all 50 states and abroad, take a written test and compete against students with similar educational background for prizes. Grades 1-6 participate in the FLES Contest. Grades 7-12 participate in the contest for secondary students. Students enter via their French teacher; Belinda Pigeon White is the math and French teacher at La Colina Junior High.
  • ACL/NJCl National Latin Exam: Blake Lindblad, Magnus Ramsey, and Lora Vachovska achieved a perfect score on the Introduction to Latin exam. Only 747 out of 22,200 students accomplished this distinction.
  • SBHS Jazz Festival: Congratulations to the La Colina Jazz Ensemble, who received an "Excellent" rating at the Santa Barbara High School Jazz Festival.  Congratulations also to July and Julio Longcob, who were both awarded Outstanding Soloist Awards.
  • Instrumental Music Program 2016 Spring Concert: Congratulations to Director Stephen Hughes and the respective ensembles: Concert Band, Orchestra, Jazz Band, and Drumline.
  • The Prudential Spirit of Community Award: Congratulations to Maya Lewandowski (7) who has been awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award for demonstrating exceptional initiative in service to the community and California.
  • Surfing: Maddie Malmsten has been featured in this month’s Deep Magazine as an up and coming girl surfer from Santa Barbara; entitled “Ladies on the Rise.” Maddie also has been a part of Victory Sessions surf practice. She is professionally coached by Chris Keet of Surf Happens.
  • Performing Arts Show Choirs: Several show choirs participated in Forum Festivals adjudication on May 14 in Cerritos. Outburst Show Choir, Amore Girls' Show Choir and VoiceMale Men's Show Choir all performed sets that included songs from Newsies, Hamilton, Children of Eden, Baker's Wife and Pippin. The show choirs all received gold ratings from the adjudicators. Three outstanding soloists from the groups also received individual awards: Jack Boyd, Evan Dell, and Jazara Hutton.
  • Performing Arts: On Thursday, May 26, the eighth-grade theater classes at La Colina presented the Home Project in conjunction with Casey Caldwell and the Ratatat Theater Company. The Home Project creates theater from interviews with members of our Santa Barbara community who all share different stories about their own journeys and concepts of "home and belonging." In addition, Jim Connolly, singer-songwriter-musician, composed a song from the material collected in classroom interviews and students performed that piece as well.

Parent Engagement:

  • Parent-Teacher-Student Association: (PTSA; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 7:00, library); next meeting is August, 2016. Notifications will be via ParentSquare and website.
  • English Learner Advisory Committee: (ELAC; meeting 2nd Wednesday, 5:45, library); next meeting is August, 2016. Notifications will be via ParentSquare and website.


6-2 Outburst Showcase (7:00, auditorium)

6-3 Promotion Party (4:30-7:00, Palm Stage)

6-7 Yearbook distribution (8:30, cafe)

6-8 Promotion (10:15, Palm Stage); Minimum Day (end of school year, 8:30-11:56)

6-9 Staff breakfast, staff meeting, and checkout

6-13 SBUSD Professional Learning Week (SBHS)

6-15 Roofing project starts; Administration wing will be closed all summer; office staff to be housed in room 601

8-19 Staff work day; PTSA luncheon (11:45, cafe); Homerooms posted (4:00, auditorium); PTSA Scavenger Hunt (4:00, office)

8-22 School (starts, year #57)

9-5 Labor Day (holiday)

9-8 Back-to-School (6:00, auditorium)



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