“PLC staff are looking forward to the 2015-16 school year as we continue to work with our students to provide the best educational opportunities for them,” said cluster spokesman Scott Irwin, Dana principal. “We are committed to our goal of developing students who are self-directed in their own learning and become actively literate, contributing members of society, dedicated to making a positive difference in the world.”
Irwin said the ultimate objective is for Point Loma students to be “prepared for success the day after high school.”
Point Loma High principal Hans Becker said new staff members for the upcoming school year include a yet-to-be-named vice principal.
“We also have some exciting new programs/pathways at PLHS, including principles of biomed and human body systems which will enhance our robust sports medicine program," Becker said. "We will continue to offer and expand Mesa College classes, including speech communications 103 and a UCSD Extensions course, organismic biology.”
There’s good news to report at Dewey and OB elementary schools.
“Dewey was just funded $19,000 from the Point Loma Optimists to open a brand new science lab,” said principal Tanya McMillin.
“Our three-hour preschool program with morning and afternoon sessions will begin its second year here,” noted OB Elementary principal Marco Drapeau, adding, “Every classroom will have a Promethean Smartboard this year.” Some classes will pilot the Sanford Harmony program, a social education curriculum to enhance teamwork and cooperation.
Drapeau added volunteers from Newbreak Church in OB are giving the main office a "make-over" via a new paint job.
On Loma Portal Elementary’s website, principal Rebecca Penh noted the institution is “committed to providing a physical, social and academic learning environment that is worthy of all our students. Our instructional program challenges our students to reach their fullest potential and prepare them for lifelong skills. We look forward to continuing positive relationships with our parents and school community. Our partnership is instrumental in the successes of Loma Portal Students.”
Looking ahead to 2015-16, PLC kicks off the new school year with greater alignment between the Point’s nine schools. Loma Portal and Dana Middle School will begin the new school year with earlier start times – Loma Portal 8:20 a.m.-2:40 p.m. and Dana Middle 7:35 a.m.-2:10 p.m.
There are also two new principals joining PLC’s admin team: Jamey Jaramillo at Sunset View and Maria Vidal-Fowler at Silver Gate.
Irwin said cluster schools will continue their work around a common philosophy called “The Pointer Way,” which involves K-12 school staff members engaging students in conversations around academics, social skills and the role that physical and social environments play in student success.
“This type of increased vertical and horizontal alignment is made possible by the recent alignment of start times,” said Irwin, noting that the cluster’s nine principals have set aside three Thursdays during the 2015-16 school year. He said the goal of those Thursdays will be to provide staff members from all schools with the opportunity to learn together and collaborate.
“We also plan to continue our series of parent information nights during the 2015-16 school year,” said Irwin. “We plan to extend our learning in these areas and include new topics."
Irwin said Dana and Correia will continue their work to support the biology and multi-media pathways that lead to Point Loma High School by increasing the number of courses offered to students. Video production will be offered at Dana Middle starting in fifth grade.
“Students who find success in this program may choose to continue their learning through Correia Middle and PLHS, where they will be able to take advantage of their state-of-the-art multimedia/video production studio,” Irwin said.
“We are excited about the work taking place in the cluster,” noted Irwin, adding, “Pointer Pride is a belief system in our community that starts in kindergarten and continues through PLHS. Key to this success is the development of a growth mindset in both students and adults… They are willing to take risks in their own learning, see failure as an opportunity to grow and believe through hard work and determination they can make a difference in their lives and others around them.”
“The Pointer Way tradition embodies this belief system,” concluded Irwin. “We take our role in strengthening this philosophy seriously, and we encourage you to engage with us in preparing our students to be successful members of the Point Loma community.”
PLC became a reality in 2006 when parents, teachers and principals from each school engaged in a strategic planning process to develop a unified vision. The cluster’s primary objective is to increase communication between and coordinate the efforts of its schools, thus supporting the development of the cluster into an outstanding, cohesive K-12 environment for Point Loma and Ocean Beach youth.
Coastal schools, including Point Loma, are part of the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).
The second-largest school district in the state, SDUSD serves more than 132,000 students in 223 educational facilities. The district includes 116 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 26 high schools, 44 charter schools and 14 atypical/alternative schools. Besides being one of the largest districts in the state, the district is also one of the most diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.
For more information, visit pointlomacluster.com/.