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* * * * * Next Regular Board of Education Meeting is February 14th at 6:30 p.m. * * * * *

News & Highlights

1/19/17

Mandarin Immersion Underway at Marengo and Spanish Immersion Continues into Second Year at Monterey Hills

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (January 19, 2017) – At the start of the 2016-2017 school year, students in several South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) classrooms began their public-school experiences with teachers instructing them in English and in a targeted language – either Spanish or Mandarin. This school year, Spanish is taught in one kindergarten and one first grade class at Monterey Hills Elementary School, and Mandarin instruction takes place within two kindergarten classes at Marengo Elementary School. Designed for children and parents who desire a proficiency in a language other than English, the classes seek to expand world language experiences for young learners.

     As part of planning for next year’s incoming kindergarten students, SPUSD invites all interested South Pasadena parents to attend the Dual Immersion Parent Information Meeting on February 6, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the District office boardroom at 1020 El Centro Street to learn more.

     “We are thrilled by the progress of both the Mandarin and Spanish programs,” said Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Christiane Gervais. “The teachers and leaders involved in designing the program work to teach bilingualism and biliteracy while maintaining the academic excellence of SPUSD’s curricula.”

     The Mandarin dual immersion program is designed for English learners and English speaking students and follows a 50/50 instructional model in kindergarten through grade five, which means that approximately 50% of the class is taught in the target language and 50% is taught in English.  This model helps students excel in both an alphabet based language (English) and a language rooted in a logographic system (Mandarin), where symbols represent words.

     The Spanish classes start with a 90/10 instructional model, which means that in kindergarten approximately 90% of the class will be taught in Spanish and 10% will be taught in English. As students move up grades, the ratio of Spanish to English decreases. 90/10 languages use a similar alphabetic system to English so there is a more immediate transfer of instruction between languages.

     In both Mandarin and Spanish dual immersion programs, English-dominant and target-language-dominant students are purposefully integrated to meet various goals including developing bilingual skills, meeting or exceeding state standards, and fostering an appreciation of world languages and cultures.

     For additional program information including enrollment procedures for the Spanish dual immersion program at Monterey Hills and the Mandarin dual immersion program at Marengo Elementary, visit www.spusd.net and please attend the parent meeting on February 6, 2017.  Translation will be provided.

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.

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For more information, contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, scarroll@spusd.net

 

 

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12/20/16

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (December 20, 2016) – The South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) School Board voted to approve a construction delivery methodology and the international infrastructure company, Balfour Beatty, as construction manager for its bond program – Measure SP. The Board selected the company after the District completed interviews, reference checks, site visits, and a financial review and discussed the results at length during the public board meeting on December 13, 2016. The Board also heard a follow-up presentation and participated in a question and answer session with District legal counsel and representatives from the construction firm before voting to approve the selection of Balfour Beatty at its bond workshop held on December 17, 2016.  

 

“Balfour Beatty has a proven, 30-plus year reputation of building award-winning K-12 schools throughout Southern California,” said SPUSD Superintendent Geoff Yantz. “Consistently ranked among the top K-12 education builders in California and across the nation, Balfour Beatty is known for maintaining long-term, trusted relationships with districts including Tustin, Redondo Beach and Santa Ana Unified. With Balfour Beatty’s history of safety and care for the environment and the communities where they work, we feel confident that the various projects will be implemented with transparency, integrity, timeliness, teamwork, excellence and respect for all stakeholders.”

 

Voters passed the school bond program—Measure SP—in November by a three-to-one margin. Measure SP provides funds for campus improvements at all five of SPUSD’s schools. Individual projects will be authorized and negotiated separately and require additional Board approval.

 

Funds raised from Measure SP will be used to complete critical safety updates and renovations, replace heating and cooling systems, build new classrooms in place of portables, create dedicated and improved space for art and science education, and preserve and modernize historic auditoriums along with other renovations that support 21st century learning.

 

Project construction may begin as early as fall of 2017.

 

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.

 

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For more information, contact: South Pasadena Unified School District, Office of the Superintendent, scarroll@spusd.net

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12/19/16

South Pasadena Unified School District School Board Votes to Discontinue Program in June 2017

     SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (December 19, 2016) At the December 13, 2017 Board meeting, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) School Board voted to discontinue the Preschool Education Program, which began in August 2010.  This program was initially designed to be self-sustaining through parent-funded tuition.  However, the program has seen a decline in enrollment, due in part to the introduction of the state mandated transitional kindergarten program, causing the Board to re-evaluate its feasibility.

     “During its tenure, the Preschool Education Program has been dedicated to preparing the whole child for the social, emotional and academic expectations anticipated in the kindergarten year,” said Superintendent Dr. Geoff Yantz. “We’ve truly enjoyed working with families of preschoolers, introducing them to our District and programs. Now, we will be shifting our attention to elementary programs in transitional kindergarten through grade five.”

     Serving more than 300 students over seven years, the Preschool Education Program was developed to prepare students for kindergarten at their neighborhood elementary schools. Six staff members including three teachers and three assistants work directly with the families to provide pre-kindergarten age children with child-centered play and age-appropriate, enrichment activities.  The program will continue through the end of this school year, and current students will not be impacted by the decision.

      “It was the right program at the right time,” said Katy Nielsen, original program director and current assistant principal at Marengo Elementary School. “We’re thankful for the parent and community support of the program. It’s time to look forward and determine how the District may best serve the needs of South Pasadena’s students.”

Current preschool students attentively learning the alphabet. (Photo Courtesy of: Lindsey Roach, Arroyo Vista assistant principal and current preschool director)

About South Pasadena Unified School District

Established in 1886, the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) serves approximately 4,800 students within five schools including three elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school in South Pasadena, California.  Nestled in the West San Gabriel Valley, SPUSD has earned a reputation for providing high quality public education, attracting families who value challenging academic programs and outstanding teachers. Consistently recognized for superior performance, SPUSD students earn honors at the local, state and national level.  The District draws vital support from parents and community members through the South Pasadena Educational Foundation, local PTAs and booster clubs.

 

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Today: 1/20/17

Key Dates for the 2016-2017 School Year

Click HERE to view the List of Important Dates.

Click HERE to view the entire Instructional Calendar.

 

First Day of School - Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thanksgiving Break - November 21-25, 2016

Winter Break - Thursday, December 22, 2016 to Friday, January 6, 2017

Spring Break - April 3-7, 2017

Last Day of School - Friday, June 9, 2017