October 10, 2008

Chino Valley Unified School District Celebrates an Excellent Year

By Neil Nisperos

CHINO HILLS - The Chino Valley Unified School District pulled out all the stops Thursday to list its accomplishments over the last year, and it became a pretty long list.

Amid student singing and dancing, district officials held their annual State of the District event at Chino Hills High outlining goals and praising recent accomplishments.

Among the district highlights for the last school year presented in the report were several awards for academic excellence bestowed on several schools.

Country Springs Elementary School was honored as a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School. Rhodes and Wickman elementaries were California Distinguished Schools while Oak Ridge Elementary was named a California Business for Education Excellence/ Just for Kids California Honor Roll School.

Also mentioned was Anna Borba Fundamental Elementary School's full accreditation as an International Baccalaureate World School, a program that places rigorous academic standards at the elementary school level and encourages students to attend college.

In addition to the academic honor, the report outlined the goal for district attendance this school year at 97 percent. Last year, attendance districtwide increased to 96.12 percent, which brought an additional $75,524 in education funding from the state.

The report also details school modernization projects completed last year, including the completion of a lunch shelter at Buena Vista High, renovation of the Chino and Chino Hills high schools stadiums, and the addition of a press box at Chino Hills.

Other projects completed or started last school year, funded by the state and Measure M, include the completion of a fire alarm system and other improvements at Liberty Elementary and Woodcrest Junior High, completion of office renovations at Cortez and Dickson elementaries, and modernization work at Borba, Gird, El Rancho, Los Serranos, Marshall, and Newman elementaries, and Ramona Junior High.

High school students from throughout the district provided the event's entertainment Thursday in the form of school chorales and the Don Lugo dance group's performance. Students also catered and served food at the event.

The theme of the presentation was "Above and Beyond," with Ayala High School students producing the centerpiece video outlining district goals and accomplishments in the past year.

"This is a lot of fun because we all enjoy singing, and it's really cool we can show people what we love to do," said Kristyn Cichirillo, a choir member from Chino Hills High.

"It's an honor," added fellow Chino Hills choir singer Markell Bailey.

Choir Director Laura Rutherford said her students were excited about performing in the event.

"I think their participation is positive for two reasons," Rutherford said. "First, the students have a chance to see what happens with the school board and with the district besides what's happening in their own school. This also helps the district and the school board to be aware of the fantastic extracurricular programs that we do offer in our district."

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