A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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March 2017


As we jump into the spring season, I want to commend our team of Whittier Union educators for their constant dedication to improving student achievement, and give a special thanks to our students, who have continued to work and study hard as we head into the home stretch of the 2016-17 school year. Whittier Union is a special place – one that provides a foundation on which our students, current and incoming, can thrive. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable spring break with family and friends. We look forward to getting back to the work we love doing to ensure our students succeed.

California High School

A group of Whittier Union high school students recently toured California’s historic State Capitol and met with local lawmakers to learn about the legislative process. Joined by Superintendent Martin Plourde, student leaders Kiahna Cantu (Cal High), John Amaro (Frontier), Emily Brock (La Serna), Aaron Jimenez (Pioneer), Daniel Karnofel (Santa Fe), Allissa Campos (Sierra Vista) and Florencia Valenzuela (Whittier High) visited Sacramento and met with Senators Tony Mendoza and Mike Morrell and Assembly members Ian Calderon and Rocky Chavez. They also toured the Capitol with a representative from Mendoza’s office. All students are members of the District’s Student Advisory Council, tasked with discussing school events and activities, attending board meetings and meeting with the superintendent to discuss school issues. They also gather student input for the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), which guides spending of state funds.
*Future Frosh Night is at 6 p.m. in the Large Gym on Thursday, March 23

Frontier High School

Whittier Union has partnered with Rio Hondo College to offer 40 students from Frontier High School, Sierra Vista High School and Whittier Adult School the opportunity to take a college-level course at their home campus. Students are taking a 3-unit introductory sociology course that is transferable to a community college, four-year California State University or University of California campus. It is the first time in eight years that a Rio Hondo College course has been offered at the Sierra Education Center campus, where the three schools are based. Held Mondays and Wednesdays, the semester-long class provides students in grades 10 to 12 the opportunity to explore sociological concepts, from the development of human society and problems of inequality to basic social institutions and social movements. Through the class, Frontier students are able to get a better sense of what college life is like and are connected to Rio Hondo College before they graduate.

La Serna High School

La Serna High recently hosted its annual Animal House competition, a long-reigning tradition at the school. The intensively competitive week of games includes Lancer teams battling to become the prestigious Animal House Champions. Games range from food and swim relays to the infamous Kajabi Can Can and Nacho Cheese Dodgeball. Animal House is a spirited event for students, providing them some much-needed fun during a second semester full of studying and testing. As students put it, the week of friendly competition allows Lancers to forget about academics for a while and focus on building partnerships with their peers and fostering festive camaraderie on campus.
*Future Frosh Night is at 6 p.m. in the Locke Gym on Thursday, March 23

Pioneer High School

Pioneer High School’s thriving college-going culture and strong academic curriculum has put the Titan campus in the national spotlight. Pioneer is the second Whittier Union High School District school to be named an AVID National Demonstration School. AVID is offered at more than 5,600 campuses across the country, but fewer than 3 percent of the participating schools earn this distinction. AVID, which began at Pioneer in 2001 with one section and 18 students, has grown to include nine sections with 301 students, or about 20 percent of the student population. The program and its core values permeate the school campus, from the Horizons and attendance offices to the classrooms and media center. AVID students are enrolled in their school’s toughest classes, such as Advanced Placement, and receive support in an AVID academic elective class taught within the school day by a trained AVID teacher. Nearly 100 percent of these students have completed courses necessary for college entrance.

*Future Frosh Night is at 6 p.m. in the Quad on Thursday, March 23

Santa Fe High School

Santa Fe High School has been re-validated as a National Demonstration School for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. An AVID campus for more than 20 years and a National Demonstration School since 2001, Santa Fe serves as a model to other schools wishing to implement the college preparation program. Only the top 3 percent of AVID schools reach this status. It will maintain its status as a demonstration school for three more years – the longest term possible ­– and will continue to serve as a model for teachers and administrators from schools across the country that are implementing or refining AVID programs at their sites.

*Future Frosh Night is at 6 p.m. in Mendez Gym on Thursday, March 23

Sierra Vista High School

Sierra Vista High School’s popular creating writing class, offered in the spring, has inspired students to inspire self-reflection and explore their environment, while providing them a vehicle to help cope with and process life experiences. Students are encouraged to express themselves through writing as well as through music, art and other mediums. Although they are exposed to various genres of writing, such as poetry, vignette and personal essays, the emphasis of the class is on the creative process instead of mastery of a certain type of writing. The culminating project of the class is the publication of the Creative Writing Anthology. The last day of class is a poetry reading and party with the staff invited to listen to students read their works.

Whittier High School

Whittier and Santa Fe high schools on March 17 paid homage to fallen Whittier Police Officer Keith Boyer, who died in the line of duty on Feb. 20. Whittier held a pregame ceremony prior to their Del Rio League opener at Whittier High that included a moment of silence for Boyer, a presentation of a Cardinals team jersey and signed varsity team photo to the Whittier Police Department and Whittier Police officer Damien Velasco throwing out the first pitch. The schools, on behalf of the Whittier Union High School District, dedicated the 2016-17 baseball season to the police department and Boyer for their continued support of the Whittier community. Santa Fe rallied for a 5-2 victory in the game. Read more in the Whittier Daily News.
*Future Frosh Night is at 5:45 p.m. in the Vic Lopez Auditorium on Thursday, March 23

Whittier Adult  School
To prepare students for potential career opportunities, the Whittier Adult School recently held an employer panel series that allowed students enrolled in Career Technical Education classes to ask representatives questions about what they look for in prospective employees. Representatives from the Whittier Union, Comet Employment Agency, Southern California University of Health Sciences and the Employment Development Department discussed recruitment and interview strategies, followed by a guided question-and-answer period led by the 120 students who attended the February event. The panel was a result of feedback from the Whittier Adult School Business Advisory Council, which is composed of representatives from local businesses and workforce agencies who discuss strategies on how to best meet the needs of both students and employers.
Tim Schneider

Martin J. Plourde

Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco

Loring Davies 



Dr. Monica Oviedo 

Jeff Baird

Kevin Jamero 

Leighton Anderson

9401 S. Painter Ave.,
Whittier, CA 90605-2798
(562) 698-8121
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