Principal’s message – April 16, 2014

  Simi Valley High School

Principal’s Message

April 16, 2014, 

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Annan

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This message as well as the past messages can be found on the Principal’s Blog:

Good Morning and a pleasant Wednesday!  It’s another beautiful day at our schoolhouse, or as I like to say, our Country Club!

A BIG SHOUT OUT to our Renaissance class and their sponsors, Debbie Dillon and Jen Marsh!  Last night’s Academic Letter Awards Celebration, “The Art of Achievement” was outstanding!  Kudos to Dan Pracher’s Jazz Band for the musical entertainment and to Frances Perez for her Keynote Speech!  The big news from the event is always the introduction of our Valedictorian and Salutatorians…Our Val is Aashal Patel (4.47 gpa) and our Sals (4.42gpa) are Suoyi Yang and Kurpa Patel!

Testing is underway.  A special thanks to our 11th grade English teachers that are tasking the biggest brunt of testing as well as our 10th grade science teachers.  Tomorrow we’re back to a regular schedule, 11th grade students in Alg 2 or summative math (math analaysis/calculus) will be pulled out of their morning classes to do the math portion of the CST.

Thank you for posting to the blog about the Every 15 m Minute program, if you haven’t still not too late! If you haven’t yet, Aides and clerical staff are encouraged to reply and earn a shirt as well!

The parking lot construction is rapidly happening in the East Lot. I’m being told that the construction should be done my May 2! I encourage all staff that typically parks in the east lot to park behind the gym (plenty of spaces available!) or in the church parking lot (SE corner).

Earth Day* is next week, April 22.  We’ll our annual Pride/Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 26.  See the attached flyer for more information.

Core Connections II is all set for next week Monday!  I noticed that once again, a few of our staff members will be hosting a session or 2!  Don’t forget to get on the Core Connection site and register for your classes…don’t delay, because like last time, the popular sessions fill up quickly!

Summer school will be offered here at Simi Valley High for students needing credit recovery and limited ‘go aheads’. The SS program will be offered by Opportunities For Learning, but they will use our teachers and curriculum.  Applications are out for teachers (please apply early if you’re interested!)  I’m assuming student applications will be available soon.

Our site along with the rest of the district will begin the conversation to Active Directory from Novell.  This is a huge undertaking and ultimately requires that we will need to transfer our documents to a new system.  If you could start looking at your documents and files and start deleting the old files and/or the documents that you no longer need nor use. An easy way to save files and as well a great educational tool, we’re all going to receive a Google Drive account.  Through Google you’ll be able to save up to 30 gb of files and more importantly will have access to Google Docs.  I highly recommend that you check out this link and set up your Active Directory account, and you can begin the journey at

(The temporary password is Welcome1.)

The Pioneer Spirit is out there, enjoy the sunshine, open a twitter account and have your students follow you, keep smiling, and let’s all make it a great day

Steve  🙂

* Earth Day…what is your Carbon Footprint and what can we do in our classes?  Here’s a few ideas, and I’m sure many of you have your projects that tie directly into your curriculum…please share!


Make Earth Day a Global Learning Day


During the first Earth Day in 1970, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protestors took to Central Park in New York and Fairmount Park in Philadelphia calling for peace on earth. Today, the movement has grown substantially and quietly, shifting attention toward the science documenting alarming global environmental degradation and offering young learners a platform for supporting the planet’s physical health, ensuring a home for their future.

By definition, Earth Day is a global learning day. Earth, water, air quality, climate, chemistry, physics, physiology, plant life and animal habitats don’t respect national boundaries, so they are inherently global in nature, inviting wider exploration and conversation. This fact in itself can serve as a launch for a global conversation. Vexing challenges that stump the best scientific minds are solved globally using collaborative teams located in different locales that experiment and study issues from diverse angles and approaches. The lives of environmental pioneers like Wangari Maathai can inspire learning throughout the curriculum.

Go ahead and wear flowers in your hair for Earth Day. Then, to engage in deeper learning, try some of these terrific resources.

Bucket Buddies

The Bucket Buddies Project calls for students around the world to collect water samples from local ponds to answer the question: “Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world?” The lesson plans allow students to identify microinvertebrates in their water sample, share their findings on the web site, and analyze the data.


The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program is NASA’s hands-on science program that allows classrooms to connect with scientists and science students from around the world. Schools can join their Student Climate Research Campaign and connect with classrooms near and far. While conducting science investigations and sharing their climate science studies, students will be inspired to look at climate-related environmental issues and Earth as a system.

ProjectExplorer and STEM Learning

ProjectExplorer‘s library of two-to-four-minute videos was created to introduce students to the features that make diverse cultures and countries so fascinating. Start at the homepage by choosing your learning level (e.g., Upper Elementary), pick a spot on the globe that has a project marker, and take off. For example, in the Mauritius series, learn how the island was formed, about the science and the ancient origins of the helicopter, how mineral deposits created gorgeous multi-colored sand found only on that island, how fish breathe, and more. Supplement your “travels” in this series by tapping into National Geographic’s new Geo-Educator Community.

The Daffodil and Tulip Project

The Daffodil and Tulip Project was started by iEARN, which works to connect schools and teachers across the planet, and has a bank of great collaborative project ideas. This project offers a science/math/writing/friendship experience that can be as simple or as complicated as a classroom is ready to take on. Classrooms around the world choose daffodil and/or tulip bulbs to plant during the same week in November. Students collect temperature data throughout the experiment, including when blooms appear, and report their results — both to their classmates and to their partner classes in other locales. For Earth Day, you can compare the bulbs in your community to postings made by ongoing project participants.




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