Principals’ Goal: Early Detection of Students’ Academic Problems

Academic intervention emerged as a key theme in each of the reports from San Marino’s four school principals recently as they gave their traditional opening-of-school-year presentations to the board of education.
The reports also signaled a theme of dialing back the celebration of the San Marino Unified School District’s academic successes in favor of making sure the students working toward such accomplishments are, at the end of the day, healthy and responsible. Continue reading “Principals’ Goal: Early Detection of Students’ Academic Problems”

School Board Considers Increasing Ties to PCC

Javier Carbajal-Ramos
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Javier Carbajal-Ramos, assistant director of educational partnerships and programs at Pasadena City College, gives a presentation on dual enrollment to the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education last week.

San Marino High School students might be a step closer to dual-enrollment opportunities at Pasadena City College, depending on whether the local school board and PCC can procure a memorandum of understanding.
The San Marino Unified School District Board of Education took in a presentation on dual enrollment at its meeting last week, hearing from Javier Carbajal-Ramos, assistant director of educational partnerships and programs at PCC. SMHS has had students enroll concurrently at the college, meaning they take PCC classes on campus with PCC faculty. In dual enrollment, however, students would take PCC-approved coursework in the high school’s classrooms with PCC-approved SMHS teachers.
“These classes are really working with the school, working with the faculty at the sites, working with the administrators to ensure that we have the classes that the community is interested in,” Carbajal-Ramos said. “It doesn’t require your student to have to leave your high school and then enroll in something different; it’s part of their day.” Continue reading “School Board Considers Increasing Ties to PCC”

Carver, Valentine, Huntington Star in Niche School Rankings

Carver and Valentine elementary schools displayed a winning one-two punch among public elementary schools in Los Angeles County this year, according to a research website’s rankings, while Huntington Middle School also displayed the most clout at the junior high level.
The city’s two elementary schools took Nos. 1 and 2 in Niche.com’s annual evaluations this year, each receiving an overall grade of A+. In the three sub-categories, both schools received an A+ in academics and teachers and an A-minus in diversity. Huntington, meanwhile, earned first place among the county’s middle schools. Continue reading “Carver, Valentine, Huntington Star in Niche School Rankings”

Website Judges SMHS to Be Among State’s Best High Schools

Neighborhood research aggregator Niche.com has awarded San Marino High School an A+ while ranking it as the No. 2 public high school in Los Angeles County and No. 8 in all of California.
SMHS earned A+ ratings in four of the 10 categories — academics, teachers, college prep and administration — on which the website based its rankings. The school also earned A’s in food and health and safety, an A-minus in diversity and a B+ in sports, clubs and activities, and resources and facilities.
In L.A. County, the ranking put SMHS only slightly behind Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates. Perennial competitor La Cañada High School checked in at No. 5 in the county and nearby South Pasadena High School came in at No. 7. Continue reading “Website Judges SMHS to Be Among State’s Best High Schools”

Barth Athletics Complex Opens Amid Praise for Team

Avery and Andy Barth (center), preparing to cut the ribbon Saturday at the Barth Athletics Complex
Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK
Avery and Andy Barth (center), preparing to cut the ribbon Saturday at the Barth Athletics Complex, are pictured with school board member C. Joseph Chang, the Barths’ daughter Avery, Emile Bayle, the Barths’ son Andrew, school district Superintendent Jeff Wilson and school board members Chris Norgaard, Lisa Link, Shelley Ryan and Corey Barberie. The Barth family kick-started the two-year endeavor with a $3.5 million donation.

Fulfilling a promise made two years ago when they kicked golden shovels into the ground at Huntington Middle School, donors and school officials returned Saturday to cut the red ribbon at an eagerly awaited sports facility.
The Barth Athletics Complex is here, completed and open in time for the start of the school year, which began Wednesday. The facility — which includes a full-size CIF-regulation gym, two media classrooms, a fitness room, boys’ and girls’ team rooms and a multipurpose room — is reported to have rung in at $15.94 million. That puts it more than $1 million under budget, according to figures announced earlier this year by the San Marino Unified School District. Continue reading “Barth Athletics Complex Opens Amid Praise for Team”

They Have Special Connection to SMHS Link Crew’s Work

smhs link crew
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Connie Tran, Alexander Ramsay and Juan Castellanos say they built upon their unique experiences as new San Marino High School students when they decided to join Link Crew as leaders.

Every year, San Marino High School entrusts a group of student leaders with the task of easing the landing of the school’s incoming freshmen and transfers, an experience to which each of those leaders can relate.
Whether born and raised in San Marino or having just recently moved to the community, new students at SMHS have much to gain from the guidance of their assigned Link Crew leaders, the seniors, juniors and occasional sophomores who volunteer to usher newbies into the school. Continue reading “They Have Special Connection to SMHS Link Crew’s Work”

Though New to SMUSD, Superintendent Knows the Issues

Jeff Wilson
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Jeff Wilson, who served in the Arcadia school district for more than a decade, has come aboard as San Marino’s school superintendent.

In Arcadia, Jeff Wilson had a more modern office, owing to the newness of the building he worked in.
Now moved into his space at the San Marino Unified School District’ main building, with generous square footage and a vaulted ceiling, the district’s recently hired superintendent said he appreciates the aesthetic change.
“This is such a classic room over here,” Wilson said, during an interview on the eve of his official first day. “It’s a beautiful office. I love the windows. It’s got kind of an ornate feel to it.”
The gregarious Wilson will probably be walking in and out of that office frequently throughout the coming months as he acclimates to his new role in running SMUSD, where he began on July 1. Continue reading “Though New to SMUSD, Superintendent Knows the Issues”

Class of ’58, PTAffiliates Fund SMHS’ New Marquee

San Marino High School officials and alumni
Photo by Christian Leonard / OUTLOOK
San Marino High School officials and alumni gather beneath the school’s marquee, which proclaims the generosity of the class of 1958 and PTAffiliates.

By Christian Leonard
The Outlook


Some students, upon graduating, brush off the dust of high school and walk away with diplomas in hand, never to look back.
Not so San Marino High School’s class of 1958.
More than 40 members of the class, which celebrated its 60-year reunion last July, funded a new electronic marquee for their alma mater in conjunction with PTAffiliates. The groups each raised about half of the money needed for the approximately $45,000 board to replace the roughly 20-year-old marquee, which would sometimes malfunction — preventing announcements of school events from being clearly displayed. Continue reading “Class of ’58, PTAffiliates Fund SMHS’ New Marquee”

Schools Foundation Nears Fundraising Goal — Can You Help?

⬛  Guest Column

Chris Maling
Chris Maling

By Chris Maling
Special to The Outlook

“Imagine the end at the beginning” has been a quote that directs my focus and attention with all my activities regarding family, career and fundraising for charities. As the outgoing president of the San Marino Schools Foundation, I imagined at the beginning that our community of San Marino, through the efforts of the foundation, would reach or exceed our $2 million goal of fundraising at the end of June 2019. Our campaign, “Everyone Gives,” was a call to every resident, parent, business owner and community member to support our schools and have what is referred to as “skin in the game.” Continue reading “Schools Foundation Nears Fundraising Goal — Can You Help?”

PTAs Detail Big Donations on Volunteer Hours, Money

The final PTA Council report for the 2018-19 school year indicates the network contributed nearly $860,000 and more than 157,000 volunteer hours to the San Marino Unified School District throughout the year.
The SMUSD Board of Education accepted the report at its meeting last week, during which outgoing PTA Council President Christina Pink highlighted the work of each school’s organization before yielding the floor for individual presentations by the schools’ outgoing presidents. Continue reading “PTAs Detail Big Donations on Volunteer Hours, Money”