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A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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August 2022

 

Dear Whittier Union High School District community,
 
This month, Whittier Union High School District welcomed back its incredible students for the 2022-23 school year on Aug. 17. It was amazing to see everyone’s school spirit alive again as students, teachers and staff returned back to campuses.
 
Freshman First Day on Aug. 16 was also a huge success. We welcomed nearly 11,000 students back to campuses over the two days and look forward to continuing to provide our students with a high-quality, rigorous education in the new school year.
 
The District held an exciting and successful Day One event for all employees on Aug. 15. The event included a celebration of Mary Ann Fajardo, District Teacher of the Year, a recognition of all the hard work teachers and staff have dedicated over the past few years and a celebration of everyone’s successes.

I am thrilled to begin my first full year serving the District and community as Superintendent. I remain committed to helping our District fulfill its mission to do Whatever It Takes to “Achieve and Maintain Excellence.”
 
As the school year continues, we look forward to watching our students begin participating in various school activities including assemblies, sport events and theater shows. Let’s make this school year another great one!
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Monica Oviedo
Superintendent

Whittier Union Kicks Off 2022-23 School Year, Welcomes Thousands Back to Campuses



La Serna High School Link Crew members gather to celebrate freshmen students as they arrive on campus for the District’s Freshmen First Day on Aug. 16.
 
Nearly 11,000 Whittier Union High School District students made their way onto campuses bedecked in colorful posters and balloons for the first day of school on Aug. 17, welcomed by cheer teams, Associated Student Body (ASB) members, principals, administrators and peers.

Across campuses, students made their way down red carpets, hugged one another and high-fived as band members played thrilling tunes to create an exciting environment for students and set the tone for a successful 2022-23 school year.

Freshmen students kicked off the new school year during the District’s Freshmen First Day (FFD) on Aug. 16 – an annual tradition that aims to ease the transition into high school for students. FFD also helps new students build connections with one another and familiarize themselves with their new campus, teachers and administrators, ensuring they are prepared to have an impactful high school experience.

As part of the District’s COVID-19 recovery plan, this year Whittier Union High School District will launch additional tutoring support for students and enhance its Social Emotional Learning (SEL) pyramid of support to ensure students have access to the tools and resources they need for academic and personal success.

The District’s SEL pyramid includes schoolwide universal preventions, small group target preventions and individual intensive intervention, which provide students with calming spaces, mental health messaging and presentations, school engagement activities, group counseling, crisis intervention and more.

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California High School Marching Band Hosts Annual Concert on the Greens



California High School students participate in the annual Concerts on the Greens, held Aug. 12.
 
California High School Students kicked off the new school year with musical festivities at the annual Concert on the Greens on Aug. 12. 
 
More than 150 people in the Whittier community gathered on the school fields to watch the school marching band’s debut performance, play games with other marching band alumni, and enjoy food and drinks before classes commenced.
 
“It’s a very fun way to start the school year,” Assistant Principal and marching band alumna Shellie Jones said. “A lot of people put time and energy into the band all summer long, especially during the two-week band camp…it’s very cool to be able to see how far they’ve come.”
 
The Concert on the Greens festivities are an ongoing tradition that began 1997 and showcase the hard work and talents of the marching and concert bands. The annual event was paused during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since returned in full force, much to the delight of the school community.

Santa Fe High School Pepsters Receive United Spirit Association Varsity Unity Award


  
Santa Fe High School Pepsters celebrate receiving the Unity Award during a USA Showtime Camp in August.
 
The Santa Fe High School (SFHS) Pepsters received the United Spirit Association (USA) Varsity Unity Award at the USA Showtime Camp, held Aug. 5-8.

The USA Varsity Unity Award is the highest award given by camp staffers, recognizing the team that demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship, kindness and support of other teams. Camp staff expressed that the Pepsters were respectful, kind and helpful to the staff and to other schools, and that they continually encouraged each other with positivity while maintaining exemplary school spirit. 
 
The Pepsters received the award out of seven schools each of the three nights, showing the immense accomplishment of the team. On the final day, SFHS Pepsters Varsity, JV and Freshman teams came together to be recognized for their teamwork, school spirit and unity throughout the duration of the camp. The school received a plaque and a Gatorade package to commemorate their achievement.
 
The camp was a four-day excursion that involved teams learning dances, cheers and Game Day materials. Competitions were set throughout the length of the camp for stunting, jumping and performance.
 
“It made us so excited, but humbled at the same time,” Pepsters advisor Jennifer Hughes said. “I loved being recognized for being a good and kind team that supports everyone around them.”

 

La Serna High School Receives Donation from Credit Union of Southern California to Aid in Student Programs


   
La Serna High School programs receives a donation from the Credit Union of Southern California during a donation event on Aug. 10.
 
The Credit Union of Southern California (CUSOCAL) made a generous donation to La Serna High School’s Organized Academic Support in School (OASIS) program and to the Theater and Choral program on Aug. 10.
 
OASIS, along with its partner program HAVEN, have had a strong partnership with CUSOCAL for many years. Employees and Board members of the Credit Union have presented on career panels and have even coached students in mock interviews to help prepare them for professional success. They have also provided interview and job shadowing opportunities to aid in the career development of students.
 
CUSOCAL’s donation to the OASIS program will be used for class supplies, student incentives and resources, and clothing for job interviews, among other things. The money will also help to sponsor a one-day leadership development conference for students.
 
“There is very little flexible money in education that can be used for programs like this,” intervention specialist and teacher Lisa Barnes said. “This money allows us to run our program and support the students by providing resources that meet educational and social-emotional learning needs.”
 
David Carter, the theater department chair at La Serna High School, shared that the theater department is extremely thankful for the generous donation and is currently planning how to best allocate the funds to support students and the department.

Pioneer High School ASB Students Create Positive Campus Culture



Pioneer High School’s ASB students showcase their school spirit during the first week of the 2022-23 school year.

Pioneer High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) has been hard at work creating a strong, positive campus culture and welcoming students and staff back for the start of the 2022-23 school year.
 
Preparations for the school year began over the summer, when ASB members decorated classroom doors and facilitated the annual Freshmen First Day. Since then, ASB has focused its efforts on greeting students back to campus and raising excitement for the fall sports season by hosting the “green team” student section at the first home football game on Aug. 18.
 
Additionally, ASB has held lunchtime pep rallies and organized the distribution of class shirts to every student. ASB students also launched the Titan News weekly broadcast for the new school year, ensuring that students and staff stay informed about campus happenings. ASB’s dedicated work to ensuring students and staff have had a great first few weeks of school perfectly sets the tone for an incredible school year.

Whittier High School Senators Host Exciting Freshmen First Day



Whittier High School’s cheer team performs during a freshmen assembly on Aug. 16.
 
Whittier High School’s Senators bedecked their school campus in posters and balloons as they welcomed freshmen students for Freshmen First Day on Aug. 16.
 
The festivities included a freshmen assembly, which showcased cheer, dance, and band and color guard performances, as well as peer-bonding games and activities such as musical chairs.
 
To prepare for the new school year and Freshmen First Day, Whittier High senators participated in a summer training camp on Aug. 10 and Aug. 11. During the training session, students learned more about what it takes to be a school leader and the responsibilities they would each have for the new year. The summer camp also gave senators the opportunity to break out into groups and create welcome back posters and bond with one another.
 
The Whittier High School Senators program invites students to become campus leaders and help freshmen through their first year of high school.

United Sierra Education Center Recognizes Top Students of Summer Term



The United Sierra Education Center (USEC) recognized more than 150 students with Term Awards at a virtual Summer School Awards Night ceremony, honoring the top-achieving students from Frontier and Sierra Vista high schools and the USEC Transition program.

Dozens of families participated in the ceremonies, virtually cheering on their high achievers as they were presented with their awards.

Term awards recipients are recommended by teachers based on their achievement, work habits and improvement during the summer session. Top Producer awards were also given to students who earned a total of 10 or more credits during the summer.

“We are proud to recognize these ambitious students who have worked so hard over the summer to pursue their academic goals,” USEC Director Dr. Margie Moriarty said. “The Term Award ceremony is always one of the most fun and important days of the year. It’s good to see our families celebrating student achievement.”

Whittier Union Adult School Welcomes ESL Students



Whittier Union Adult School student ambassadors greet students in different language in an ESL welcome video.
 
Whatever language you speak, the Whittier Union Adult School English as a Second Language (ESL) program has one word for you – “Welcome!”

When prospective ESL students enter the adult school offices, they are greeted by a video created by ESL department chair Lorraine Hammonds that features student ambassadors saying “welcome” in several different languages, reflecting the growing diversity of the campus and ESL program, which currently serves students from more than 20 countries.

Once enrolled, ESL students will find adult school support and resources that go well beyond learning a second language. The ESL program has recently integrated digital skills into its curriculum, assisting students in learning Google Suite apps, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs and Google Slides. Students wishing to earn a Google Suite proficiency certificate can take an additional class dedicated to Google Suite.

ESL students also complete annual surveys to determine what job readiness skills they would like to focus on. Hammonds and her ESL team then work with the adult school Career Education department to try and meet student needs. During the 2021-22 school year, the Whittier Union Adult School debuted a personal care class with ESL support and has added an accounting class with ESL support for the 2022-23 school year.

“As the Whittier community grows, we are committed to making Whittier Union Adult School more inclusive, offering services that can help English learners create a path to higher education and provide a better quality of life,” United Sierra Education Center Director Dr. Margie Moriarty said. “We could not achieve this without our amazing administrators, faculty and staff, who are fully devoted to ensuring our students receive the tools they need to succeed.”

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BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dr. Russell Castañeda-Calleros
President

Jeff Baird
Vice President

Leighton Anderson
Clerk
Jaime Lopez
Member

Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco
Member

Dr. Monica Oviedo
Superintendent
MISSION
The Whittier Union High School District provides all students with an engaging, quality standards-based instructional program delivered by a well-trained staff resulting in improved student achievement.  Whittier Union High School District works to achieve and maintain excellence in providing a comprehensive education for all students.
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