Mission Bay Cluster gets back to school
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 08/23/19 - 07:15 AM | 4625 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cluster’s six schools — MBHS, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary, Crown Point Junior Music Academy, Pacific Beach Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle and Kate Sessions — all resume instruction Monday, Aug. 26.
The cluster’s six schools — MBHS, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary, Crown Point Junior Music Academy, Pacific Beach Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle and Kate Sessions — all resume instruction Monday, Aug. 26.
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Returning Mission Bay Cluster students are going to see lots of change and improvement as both Mission Bay High and Pacific Beach Middle schools are undergoing major refits, while schools cluster wide get new air conditioning.

The cluster’s six schools — MBHS, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary, Crown Point Junior Music Academy, Pacific Beach Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle and Kate Sessions — all resume instruction Monday, Aug. 26.

Mission Bay High

“Schools districtwide are going through whole site modernization: It’s exciting times,” said Ernie Remillard, principal of the high school built in 1953. “The other big components (at MBHS) are a whole new engineering building, new game design space for college career technical education, new carpet and paint in many of our classrooms, upgrades to the cafeteria, some exterior work and an auxiliary gym, all finishing up in October.”

Remillard added the 65-year-old school’s sewer lines and other infrastructure are gradually being replaced. Bathrooms are also being updated and being made ADA-compliant. 

“Our IB program, the ability of our kids to take college-level classes on our campus, continues to grow and flourish,” added Remillard. “Our athletics, choral group and music program are all second to none.”

Pacific Beach Middle

This summer, Pacific Beach Middle’s site modernization began with demolition of an old building and construction of a new two-story classroom building and three new classrooms in the existing library media center.

Principal Kimberly Meng noted building deconstruction took place this summer to avoid distractions this fall. Touring the refurbished counseling center, Meng noted, “The white walls are dry erase. This is a beautiful new space.”

Communications, safety and security have all been upgraded at PBMS. “We got a new fire alarm and phone system with an intercom to every classroom, and a new PA system, both inside and out, for emergencies,” Meng said. “All our locks are now accessed only by staff with key cards that are electronically scanned. The school is locked all day, and the only way you can get in or out is through your key card.”

Barnard Mandarin

Magnet Elementary

Students from Barnard’s graduating class traveled to China this summer, culminating their six years in a Mandarin immersion language program. Besides exploring Chinese culture, the trip provided a prime opportunity for students to show off their language skills acquired at Barnard.

PB Elementary 

Listing what the school has to celebrate this year, principal Denise Goulart said: “Higher test scores, a return of extraordinary programs, and quality instructors, which make PBES an amazing place to grow and learn. We are in our second year of a Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) grant, where students learn the importance of design thinking and innovation. PBES welcomes Debra Peacock, our new education specialist, and Miguel Cortes, our new phys ed coach. We can’t wait to start the new school year.”

Crown Point Junior Music Academy

“At Crown Point, we believe that music opens minds,” said principal Armando Lopez. “Our students can not only receive instruction in all content areas, but enhanced music instruction as well. Our free Suzuki Violin Program is a unique program that involves not only the students, but the parents.”

Added Lopez: “We capped off last year with tremendous concerts at our school. Additionally, we showcased our students in a multicultural fair with music, singing, dancing and arts and crafts from countries including Japan, Taiwan, Poland, Croatia, India and Italy. We look forward to offering our full curriculum, including our newly implemented STEAM program starting in transitional kindergarten.”

Kate Sessions

Kate Sessions Elementary blends local students, those living in military housing and special-education students choosing the school because of its programs.

“Our vision is to become a world-class school where we create learning experiences that foster student inquiry by promoting critical thinking, problem-solving and developing moral integrity,” states the school’s website. “Our Parent-Teacher Organization supports our academic program by funding a vocal music teacher, art teacher and a librarian. We offer Spanish language instruction for all grades kindergarten through fifth grade, and computer literacy classes for grades 3-5. Our Gifted and Talented Education programs are infused with International Baccalaureate elements that bring the real world into the classroom.”

The first Mission Bay Cluster meeting is Sept. 5 at MBHS Library.

Future Bucs Night is Oct. 18 at MBHS stadium.

At the Feb. 6 MB Cluster meeting, there will be a presentation/discussion about all of the STEM opportunities at PB schools in MBHS’s brand new engineering building. PBMS is under construction and anticipates finishing in winter of 2021.

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