Principals at Mission Bay Cluster’s six schools – Barnard Asia Pacific Language Academy, Crown Point, Mission Bay High, Pacific Beach Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle and Kate Sessions – say there's a lot to look forward to in the new school year.
The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 29, a week earlier than normal, so mark your calendars, notes the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), the second largest school district in the state, of which the Mission Bay Cluster is a part.
“Pacific Beach Elementary (PBE) has undergone some major changes,” noted principal Denise Goulart, who joined the PBE team in April. “Starting with beautification efforts, PBE has brought families and community members together to clean the school grounds, paint murals, and to de-clutter excess materials. All hallways have been repainted, and the main office got a much needed face-lift.”
Goulart added PBE, in partnership with the community, has “co-created new mission and vision statements that allow us to build a culture at our school that focuses on strengthening all disciplines by using a scientific lens. We were lucky enough to receive a 'Project Lead the Way' grant, which will allow us to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching to all of our students.”
The principal added PBE is also “proud to announce that we have received our Maker-Space/Science Lab building that will be outfitted with state-of-the-art furniture, allowing the space to be versatile in nature. And, thanks to our Foundation, we have received access to premier programs like RMC Music, hands-on Science, MysteryScience.com, NWEA/MAP testing, and R-AZ kids.”
Furthermore, noted Goulart, SDUSD has purchased Envision Math and ST Math/Jiji, to “help align our math instruction to California State Standards. We are ready for the school year to begin.”
“Crown Point Junior Music Academy is moving forward with creating our academy focus,” noted principal Muriel Bartolini. “The staff has attended trainings throughout the summer to deepen our focus in science, math, literacy and music.
We have established new partnerships with the Yokohama Sister City Society Japanese Arts and Music Society (JAMS) and the Balboa Friendship Garden. We are energized and ready for a fabulous new school year.”
Ernest Remillard, Mission Bay High School's principal, now in his third year, said the institution has “a new look for Mission Bay with its newly painted campus.”
Remillard said MBHS recently “wrapped up four amazing days of student orientation with Mr. Palacios and Mrs. Littlefield along with our Link Crew Leaders introducing ninth-grade students to our campus. They completed a number of engaging activities in order to introduce students to the Buccaneer Way.”
The high school skipper added, “Our ASB and cheer team have been working throughout the summer to bring spirit and leadership to our early school events. I am looking forward to seeing what they do during the school year.”
Noting the high school's first football game is 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, Remillard “encourages the community to come celebrate with the students of Mission Bay.”
At Kate Sessions Elementary, principal Margaret Joseph noted “staff is energized and excited to begin the 2016-2017 school year.”
Joseph said Sessions is proud to introduce two new third-grade staffers: PB resident Jennifer Deaton, and Kristin Cardrant.
“Both teachers are experienced, enthusiastic, and amazing,” Joseph said adding the Families of Kate Sessions (FOKS) and the former fifth-grade class, “donated funds to have three new murals painted on campus. Local artist Tom Plonka continued his original beach theme and ingeniously incorporated the International Baccalaureate attitudes and learner profile tenets into the murals. The murals look awesome.”
Joseph thanked Julia Seiders “for her leadership around this project.”
At Kate Sessions, new student orientation will be 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 for military families only. The elementary school's non-military families' orientation will be 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26.
“We will hold our transitional kinder and kindergarten orientation then,” said Joseph. “Students will meet their new teachers and parents will learn about our school. At 11 a.m., we will hold our new student orientation for new students in grades 1-5. These students will receive a tour of the school by former Student Council members.”
Aida Hernandez is principal of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy at 2445 Fogg St. She said Barnard is looking forward to a great year of learning.
“Our Mandarin program this year will feature the Better Immersion Kindergarten through fifth grade Mandarin curriculum that has a clear, comprehensive Mandarin language pathway for our students,” Hernandez said.
She added, “Barnard is the only Mandarin immersion school in San Diego County that offers Mandarin curriculum emphasizing a balanced literacy approach, based on the Common Core State Standards K-5 grades, and that is specifically designed for the non-native speaker.”