School year kicks off Aug. 27 with new programs and teachers for Point Loma Cluster
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 08/17/18 - 08:00 AM | 2754 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the new school year kicking off Monday, Aug. 27, administrators and staff for Point Loma Cluster’s nine schools — Point Loma High, Correia and Dana middle schools and (K-4) Silver Gate, Cabrillo, Dewey, Loma Portal, Sunset View and Ocean Beach elementary schools — were back in from summer break gearing up for the 2018-19 session.

Part of San Diego Unified School District, the Point Loma Cluster serves more than 6,400 students in grades K-12. Cluster schools serve a diverse student population. More than 40 percent of the student population qualifies for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Twenty-five percent of students come from outside the cluster. Fourteen percent are English Learners.

“We’ve worked to make our schools safer with upgrades like the new locked gate at Ocean Beach Elementary School, and to make them more future-oriented,” said Dr. Mike McQuary, San Diego Unified School District Board trustee for District C covering coastal areas.

“This school year brings a major focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) with all elementary schools in the Point Loma Cluster forming a STEAM pathway that starts in TK-K classrooms and continues through all middle and high schools.”

Point Loma High

Principal Hans Becker said several changes are in store at PLHS.

“We will have some new teachers this year, and a new vice principal,” Becker said. “We are excited to have enhancements to our campus including a refurbished big gym, new scoreboard and marquee. We will begin the process of our ‘Whole Site Modernization’ this year to transform our campus. New programs and course offerings continue to make Point Loma High School an exciting place to learn.”

Elementary schools

It’s a collaborative approach for Point Loma Cluster elementary schools, which are partnering together this year to incorporate design thinking and project-based learning into their instructional program.

The instructional program partners Point Loma cluster teachers with instructional designers. Students will be exposed to engineering and design concepts that will prepare them for STEM programs at Dana and Correia Middle schools, as well as Point Loma High.

Elementary school principals Mark Morici of Loma Portal, and Irene Hightower of Cabrillo, are looking forward to an exciting school year.

“Along with our state-of-the-art computer lab, outdoor STEAM lab, amazing music program, and innovative school garden, we are putting into place a STEAM workshop where our students can create, code, and build in a bright, exciting environment using a variety of building materials including Lego Robotics and TeachEngineering,” said principal Morici.

“At Loma Portal, we offer a team of dedicated, goal-oriented, and tech-savvy educators whose vision is centered around creating a positive and nurturing culture through collaboration and encouragement.” 

“Cabrillo is excited to start the school year off with The Leader In Me program,” said principal Hightower, adding, "The Leader in Me teaches 21st-century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. We as a staff are excited to continue serving our families, and military families.”

who serve and protect our country each and every day.”

Middle schools

Dana and Correia middle schools in the Point Loma Cluster are proud to announce new components of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pathways connecting them with PLHS. 

“At Dana, the STEM program consists of two, one-semester electives, with students spending one semester in sports medicine, and one semester in a unique technology course,” said Dana Principal Scott Erwin. “This year, the program will integrate coding, Lego-Mindstorms Robotics, 3D design and printing, a black/green screen video studio and a host of new cameras and sound equipment.”

Erwin also announced several Dana staff changes. He’s excited to welcome: new fifth grade counselor, Mary Shirley; new education specialist, Rebecca Mitchell; new sixth-grade language arts teacher, Shannon Kumke-Stepner; and Nancy Bognats, a new fifth-grade math teacher.  

“We are looking forward to the work to take place with our students and families,” said Erwin. “We are also excited to announce Leslie Aguilar will be returning to Dana. Leslie will continue to support our fifth grade students in language arts.”

Correia Middle was proud to announce the development of a new sports complex on campus.

SDUSD’s mission

McQuary said the ultimate goal is “to help our students make even more gains in the future by continuing to set high standards of achievement. Some of the big goals we have set for ourselves include achieving 100 percent grade-level reading in elementary school, healthy start times for high school students, and the purest school drinking water system in the nation by 2020.”

The second-largest school district in the state, SDUSD serves more than 132,000 students in 223 educational facilities. The district includes 116 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 26 high schools, 44 charter schools and 14 atypical/alternative schools. 

Besides being one of the largest districts in the state, SDUSD is also one of the most diverse, representing more than 15 ethnic groups and more than 60 languages and dialects.

For more information, visit pointlomacluster.com.

School orientations

Cabrillo Elementary – New family orientation on Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.

Dewey Elementary – New family orientation on Aug. 23 at 11 a.m. (lunch)

Loma Portal Elementary – Kindergarten orientation on Aug. 24 at 4 p.m.

Ocean Beach Elementary – Kindergarten and new family orientation on Aug. 24 at 10 a.m.

Silver Gate Elementary – Kindergarten orientation on Aug. 24 at 2 p.m.

Sunset View Elementary — New student playdate on Aug. 20 from 10 to 11 a.m.; kindergarten orientation on Aug. 23 at 4 p.m.

Dana Middle will hold its student orientation on Aug. 24: Sixth grade students from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Fifth grade students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Correia Middle will hold its student orientation on Aug. 24 from 8 to 10 a.m.

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