Highlights from the July 27, 2017 Compton Unified School District High School Summer Graduation Ceremony at Compton High School - Generation Turnaround celebrates their latest class.
In this, the final Tiger News of the class 2017, the crew covers their trip to Catalina Island, UCLA, Teacher Appreciation Day, and also Interview School Board President Satra Zurita plus much, much, more.
Today, 68 high school summer grads will celebrate their special day as part of a comprehensive summer school program.
CUSD had over 2200 students participate in High School summer school this year at all three comprehensive sites; Chavez Continuation, Early College HS and Marshall Independent Study in various programs including:
1. Credit recovery
2. Freshman summer bridge programs (incoming 9th grade enrichment)
3. English Language Development Newcomers Program
4. On-line learning for credit recovery and original credit
5. College classes through Compton College (Spanish, Psychology, Sociology)
6. Summer STEM (robotics)
The breakdown by schools:
Compton HS - 19
Dominguez HS - 31
Chavez HS - 17
Marshall HS - 2
The ceremonies start at 10am at the Compton HS Auditorium.
Compton Unified is launching several new and exciting programs this coming school year as well as expanding many successful ones. The investment in technology continues with Robotics and Computer Coding Classes being added to many schools. The District's Local Control and Accountability Plan, (LCAP), submitted to the State recently, outlines many of these new programs.
But two new programs will be of particular interest to parents: A Dual-Immersion language program at Kennedy and Emerson Elementary Schools and a special program designed to increase African-American student academic performance.
The African American Education Initiative is modeled on one launched by then-President Obama in 2012. It directs both intervention and remediation resources - as well as enrichment - to struggling African-American students.
Greg Puccia, CUSD's Senior Director for Secondary Education, said that while the achievement gap between African-American and other students is decreasing more needs to be done to support these students.
Relying on partnerships with USC and Cal State Dominguez Hills is part of that strategy. Counselors from those universities will intensify their work with students at CUSD's high schools. And once again, the District will be paying for students to take SAT and SAT prep classes, an investment Puccia said paid off last year with increased scores.
"We need to make sure every student benefits from our turnaround," said CUSD Board of Trustees President Satra Zurita. "That's why we urged the Superintendent and staff to expand our commitment to support our most challenged students and ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed."
An increased investment in STEM and STEAM programs is another strategy designed to improve student academic performance. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects dominated the curriculum during Summer School and that investment will continue through the coming school year.
"The District has had considerable success targeting our resources to address specific challenges and generate results," said Superintendent Darin Brawley. "We believe we are demonstrating effective ways to use the discretion the LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) provides us to improve our student's success. This includes significant community and staff participation."
CUSD's Jennifer Graziano provided us with details about the Dual-Immersion - Spanish/English - language program:
In 2017-18 Compton Unified School District will be providing a new Spanish/English Dual Immersion language opportunity at Kennedy Elementary which will offer two kindergarten classes in the fall. Emerson Elementary currently offers dual immersion classes in grades kindergarten through second.
Our Dual Immersion Programs implement a developmental Spanish-English two-way language model of instruction, serving native speakers of English and native speakers of Spanish. Students from the two language groups receive academic instruction in both languages. We are implementing a 90:10 program model which refers to the first number ‘90’ representing the percentage of instructional time initially spent in the target language (Spanish) in kindergarten. The second number ‘10’ refers to English. In our 90:10 model, the amount of the target language decreases yearly as English increases until there is a 50:50 balance of the languages in grades four through eighth.
"The Compton Unified School District is excited to provide learners of English and Spanish opportunities to become bilingual and biliterate and develop multicultural perspectives which will prepare them to compete in a global society," said Board President Satra Zurita.
Applications are now available at the office of Pupil Services-417 W. Alondra Blvd, Compton 90221.
From creating their own musical instruments and tiny robots to journeys into math and science the students of Dickison ES Summer School were challenged every day to succeed during the five weeks of school.
"I learned I can make music and I can build it with anything," said Percilla Hernandez, heading into 4th grade this fall. "I like that we can do mental math and we can do different kinds of projects."
"We learned how to design and engineer robots that can actually move," said soon-to-be 6th grader Alex Gomez. "And someday people can build robots that can do stuff for them – like a robot butler."
Dickison Summer School Principal Rebecca Harris said Summer School is, first, designed to support students who had challenged during the previous year.
"We have targeted our highest needs kids, kids who really need support with reading and writing, like English language learners. This offers us an opportunity to have very engaging instructional projects – we have tutors and excellent teachers to provide the critical instruction they need."
STEM and STEAM concepts were also the focus at Kennedy ES, like all the other summer schools. Second grade students built their own aluminum-covered robots with some interesting purposes.
"It’s silly looking and does silly stuff because it’s supposed to make people laugh," said Jayla Brown. Her classmate, Yvonne Beetem, also built an entertaining robot out of simple materials.
"Soda cans, toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil. My robot dances because that makes people laugh. We learned that robots can do many things, they can clean, help you do a lot of things."
Seventh grader Isaac Mendez had a more complicated project - a home-made catapult. "Projectiles can be pushed by force using a catapult. This is what people used back then for attacking but we don’t use for that anymore. We use them now for fun."
Fifth grader Damario Pack said summer school was rewarding. "We’re learning about literature, science, technology, art and math. Learning about these things really helps your brain."
"It’s a little more one-on-one, class sizes are smaller and they enjoyed it and wanted to come every day," said parent Tisha Johnson. "They enjoyed the program, I enjoyed the program, nothing but positive things."
"We wanted to make sure students are learning, getting the skills and the support that they need to succeed," said Kennedy Summer School Principal Anisha Nicholson. "But at the same time they’re having a good time as well. We didn’t want them to come in and say, 'Oh I want go home, this is boring.’ There’s a lot of disguised learning."
Like all the other summer schools, Tibby included many outdoor athletic activities to their schedule. Young minds are more inspired when their bodies are also busy. But STEM and STEAM exercises in the classroom were an important part of the day.
"We used hexagons to make them. I learned its hard but at the same time it looks beautiful afterwards," said 5th grader Tyler Anderson, who was one of the students that built a stunning honeycomb out of paper and glue. "It taught me how to make my handwriting better, it taught me math facts."
Tyler's classmate, Emily Acosta, agreed that summer school is preparing her for academic success. "I liked that we learn and never forget anything so that in the next grades we just get smarter and smarter. I want to be so smart so that I can get a great college application."
And parents were impressed with the structure of the summer school program.
"She loved it, she loved every little bit of it," said Camry Thomas, who enrolled her 2nd grade daughter. "She missed one day and she was so mad because she knew she was going to miss out on something. I would recommend any parent to bring their child to summer school."
Gilbert Martinez, another Tibby parent, was impressed with how much his kindergarten-aged daughter learned.
"She was coming home and reading phrases and I was so impressed, I said, ‘for kinder, are you serious?’ so it wasn’t just words they were learning sentences."
Tibby Summer School Principal Dr. Princess Charles-Johnson, said summer school can be much more than remedial.
"We wanted to make students feel curious and excited about being inquisitive when it comes to the scientific process. We wanted the students to know that the skills they learn today are for their opportunities tomorrow."
Reclassification is the process every English Learner needs to go through to show his/her English proficiency level.
The Reclassification Ceremony is the official presentation and recognition of CUSD's English Learners who have met the requirements for being reclassified to Fluent English Proficient. The 2016-17 ceremony took place on June 3rd for Elementary and Secondary. Elementary ceremonies took place at two different times to accommodate all 22 sites.
During the 2016-17 school year a total of 1,008 English Learner Students (12.46%) out of all English Learners at the district have been reclassified from October 2016 to June 2017.
This Summer students from all three of Compton USD's Comprehensive High Schools participated in the All City High School Band Camp. The camp was hosted at El Camino Compton Center and facilitated by Blake Gaines, Morehouse College Director of Bands.
We've shared our photos and video of the day Compton HS's Robotics Club bested All-Pro and Compton USD alumnae Richard Sherman. Now watch the commercial he and the students starred in.
Derek Lewis of 24/7 Sports is calling it the best "Oberto Beef Jerky project to date."
With hopes of running her own tattoo parlor to utilize her artistic talent, recent Compton HS grad Dana Releford shares how she became an academic success and how she overcame tragedy while doing so.
Global G.L.O.W., a nonprofit that "empowers girls around the world to realize their full potential through mentoring, literacy and art," are hosting a group of CUSD girls entering 8th and 9th grade the opportunity to attend a college-focused, residential camp this summer at Global G.L.O.W.’s HerStory Summit at University of California-Irvine. The one week overnight summer camp is designed specifically for motivated girls who are interested in developing the skills and resources they need to be successful in high school, college and beyond.