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LOU RUSSO Campaign Statement: Alpine Union School District 2018 School Board Candidate

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE and has reached out too ALL of the candidates for their statements so he community of Alpine can be better informed.

October 2018  – Lou Russo Campaign Statement – Alpine Union School District is a district in trouble.  It has spent $1 million on legal fees in suits against other school districts, and has lost every one.  It cannot fix its district offices for lack of money.  The district transportation department repeatedly failed inspections by the California Highway Patrol and was on the verge of being shut down when it contracted with another district to take over.  The students in the district rode on unsafe buses for two years.  Parents are taking their children out of the district for other schools, public and charter.  Administrators were illegally changing grades.  The district must borrow money to pay its commitments.  The list goes on and on.  Alpine Union needs change at the top and I am the person who can lead the district to excellence.  Our children should receive every penny of our tax dollars, to make our class size smaller, to make our classrooms safe and to provide the highest academic instruction, for all of our students.

Our children should feel welcomed, be with their friends and look forward to attending school every day.  A vote for me with ensure this is the case in Alpine Union.

 

I am also running for a seat on the Alpine Community Planning Group (ACPG) …

The West Fire has taught us a lesson that I have known all along; development in Alpine must only be done with careful consideration for the fire threat in our area.  Emergency access is essential.  For years I have been the voice of reason on the Alpine Community Planning Group.  My primary concern is the safety of Alpine’s residents and protection of our homes, animals and possessions.  I have consistently stood up for intelligent, safe, development while protecting the private property rights of us all.  In addition, I am the only current planning group member to have worked with a group of residents for a park for all of Alpine, one that has shade, sports fields, picnic areas and a leash-free dog park.  Finally, I was the only current planning group member to have worked with parents to place the lighted crosswalk at Alpine Elementary and the traffic slowing signs at Joan McQueen Middle School.  A vote for me guarantees that you will be represented in planning decisions in our community.  I will not place any special interests above your interests.

 

*Have something to say? Leave a comment below!

 

GLENN DICKIE Campaign Statement: Alpine Union School District 2018 School Board Candidate (Incumbent)

*Please note that the Alpine Community network does not endorse ANY CANDIDATE and has reached out too ALL of the candidates for their statements so the community of Alpine can be better informed.

October 2018 – I am Glenn Dickie, President of the Alpine Union School District, and I am running for re-election and seeking your vote. Having served on the Alpine Union District Board for the past eight years, I know the issues and challenges facing our District and am actively involved in identifying and working towards realistic, long-term solutions.  I have taken the time to visit and observe classrooms at all Alpine schools and have worked hard to make our District a destination.

Some of our major accomplishments to date include:

  • Hiring the best Superintendent in California
  • Successful partnership with Alpine Education Foundation
  • Dual Immersion Program – including JMMS
  • Addition of innovative curriculum
  • Wheel of Experts
  • Ready Break Camps
  • Engineering and Coding program – National champions
  • Middle school sports leagues
  • Training for all staff – Profession Growth (Pro Grow) days
  • Math coaches this year
  • Google training
  • New educational technology
  • IXL for all students
  • New computers for teachers
  • New chrome books for the students
  • Increased visibility and enhanced community engagement
  • Security fencing and restricted access on all campuses
  • Raises for staff each of the last two years – 3.8% last year

 

The District is not without challenges, and one of the greatest challenges is technology in the classrooms. The one place that has escaped the productivity miracle of technology for the last 30 plus years is education.  We need to keep up the pace of implementing technology in our schools so we can continue to provide our kids the best educational opportunities available.

Another challenge is declining enrollment, a problem that plagues all East county schools for the past 20 years.  By continuing to add innovative curriculum, we expect to reverse the trend.

 

School safety is an ongoing challenge and of utmost importance. I feel it is important for of us in Alpine to continue collaborating with our parents, community and local law enforcement, and to follow law enforcement’s recommendations. I also feel it is important that many of the intricate details of our safety plans are not publicized. I oppose armed guards on our school campuses, and do not equate the presence of guards with school safety, as some have proposed.

 

I see myself as a consensus builder.  I may not agree with my peers on every issue but believe there is usually a workable solution, and it is my nature to find an agreeable resolution.  I also believe it is ok to disagree and dissent on a vote.  I value each individual’s ideas and contributions and together our different viewpoints make a stronger community.

 

I would like to respond to some previous comments on this site.  In 2014, the Board was struggling with its finances due to years of cuts by the State. The Board decided it could not continue its deficit spending and keep the District solvent and made some difficult decisions.  At the same time, the teachers voted to go on strike. As was reported at the time, we came together and negotiated an agreement that the teachers approved having felt the Board listened to them.

 

Another comment was made about the Alpine Transportation Department being defunct. Again, this was a Board decision made after careful analysis of the facts at the time. It was determined that Grossmont, being a bigger district, has cost advantages due to their scale of operations that Alpine can never achieve. Both Alpine and Grossmont were winners in this decision by the Board.

 

I am a faithful advocate of quality education for our children and a fiscal conservative.   I will continue to fight to keep our schools solvent while ensuring our teachers and staff are treated fairly and with respect.  Allow me to continue to be your representative on the Alpine School Board.

 

*Have something to say? Leave a comment below!

 

Share Your Thoughts About the Future of Alpine Union School District!

October 2018 – AUSD is excited to share that today we launched an online tool called Thoughtexchange that gives you the ability to provide input and ideas.  We will be using this site as part of our process to improve our schools and identify the priorities of our community. The site will provide us the ability to capture the thoughts and ideas about what our community believes are the most important things we need to consider as we plan for the future of AUSD. All comments on Thoughtexchange are anonymous. Please take a moment to share your thoughts. Click on the link below:

https://my.thoughtexchange.com/#419736425

 

Submitted By: Mary Ann Alvarez – Alpine Union School District 619-445-3236

EMAIL: malvarez@alpineschools.net

 

Alpine School Board Election: Three Incumbents Asking for Your Vote? – By Jon Cotter

Submitted By Jon Cotter

Its School Board election time again. I could not believe my eyes when driving on Tavern road. Three incumbents have the nerve to ask for your re election votes. What??? Lets review the job they have done in the past 10 years. In fairness, some have been on board for less time but results are results.

 

  1. The teacher’s strike. Yes we had an ineffective Superintendent but lets not forget that the Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the board. They were on board with all the stupidity that took place until they realized that they had to make a change. the teachers actually voted a 90% no confidence in the former Superintendent. Somehow the Alpine voters did not hold Eric Wray and the other board members accountable Truly amazing!

 

  1. There has been a mass exodus from Alpine schools with parents desperately seeking alternate school district’s for their students education. I’m told that 200 students have left Joan Mcqueen Middle school for a better education. My children have been in the La Mesa Spring Valley school district for the past three years. They are thriving in a far superior education opportunity.

 

  1. Alpine Transportation Department is now defunct. They failed 2 state safety inspections and were forced to hand over the transportation department to GUHSD. the busses were unsafe.

 

We must hold leaders accountable. we cannot blame the busses for being unsafe. We cant blame the parents for taking  their children to better school districts. The bottom line is the school board has failed our Children.

 

Elect new people. but before we elect them, ask them the tough question. In fact. How about a debate where the people running have to answer tough but respectful questions from the public without prior  notice of the questions.  It is my opinion that the incumbents most go. We cannot fix the broken school system with the same people who have destroyed a once great school district.

 

**Have something to say? Comment below!

 

 

Alpine’s First School Organic Garden Started at Alpine Elementary – Grand Opening Photos!

Submitted By The Alpine Chamber of Commerce (Photos courtesy of Alpine Elementary School Volunteers and Staff)

With community help, the Alpine Union School District has started an organic garden for students to learn about  healthy gardening, eating and exercise in a new program. The  ribbon cutting was April 27, 2018 at Alpine Elementary School. Plans are already under way for similar gardens at three more district schools, thanks to community partnerships.

 

Alpine school opens district’s first organic garden for students

Students cheered at the grand opening of the new organic garden on April 27 at the Alpine Elementary School in Alpine! The garden aimed at teaching students healthy eating, organic gardening and the importance of exercise was put together by students, teachers, parents and an array of businesses and organizations. It is the first such garden in a new Alpine Union School District program.

Three more gardens are planned for Boulder Oaks and Shadow Hills elementary schools and Joan MacQueen Middle School. “We’re very excited,” AES Principal Travis Wall said before the opening at 1850 Alpine Blvd. “It’s been a year since we first planned with Barons Market on a garden.  It’s turned out better than we expected.” The district program is sponsored by the Alpine Barons Market at 1347 Tavern Road. The Viejas Casino & Resort and the Kiwanis Club of Alpine donated grants

After the ribbon cutting, students carrying free “farmer’s bucks” lined up to go through the onsite Alpine Barons Student Farmers Market. The youngsters carefully chose purchases from piles of healthy fruit and vegetables.  “I really like how there’s a bunch of food and they’re all fresh,” said Emily, a fourth grader. “It’s really cool.”

Additional major donors included the AUSD Child Nutrition Department, the AES Parent Teachers Students Association, Janet’s Montana Café, the Alpine Education Foundation, Alpine Fence, Alpine Landscape Materials and Ace Hardware.

Story by Jo Moreland  jom@alpinechamber.sdcoxmail.com

 

 

Support Alpine School Programs By Attending the AEF Spring Gala – April 21, 2018

Please join this effort by attending the AEF Spring Gala at the Viejas Oak Ballroom on Saturday, April 21, 2018 where there will be a Buffet Style Dinner, Live & Silent Auctions, and Music & Dancing all to support Educational Programs in the Alpine Union School District.

This year AEF has pledged to raise the needed funding to enable Proud Superintendent Rich Newman’s Wheels of Experts program.  This is a transformational program to provide integrated Pathways of enhanced electives across the district; to offer students and parents choice and options; to reinforce that Alpine Union is The Destination District of the East County!

When fully implemented, Wheels of Experts will provide multiple Pathways from Kindergarten through the Middle School enabling students to prepare for, and participate in, distinctive and enhanced electives.  This goal is to be achieved in part by identifying teachers with unique skills, and to compensate those teachers for the extra effort to visit every campus every week; to introduce their specialty, to help identify and mentor other teachers into those specialties.  Look to the successful Robotics-Coding-Engineering program at Joan MacQueen.  It is producing engineering teams every year that are winning local, regional and national recognition.  That program is now established and is being executed so well by our wonderful Diana Tompkins.

All of you funded that program through your support of AEF.  I have attached a write-up on it for you to read HERE: aef robotics-coding-engineering program history 2018-04-02 alt

Think now of expanding Robotics-Coding-Engineering into a Pathway from kindergarten through grade school through middle school.  And that is beginning to happen.  Our great teachers, Erica Lyle at Shadow Hills and Kathryn Golden at Boulder Oaks, will be offering Robotics courses at the AEF summer ReadyBreak Camps.  Erica Lyle is gearing-up for a regular curriculum of Robotics at Shadow Hills.

Along with Robotics-Coding-Engineering, Wheel of Experts is intended to provide Pathways for Math, Art, advanced Physical Education/Sports, and too even for Music, Nutrition, and Culinary Arts in  time.  We can achieve it all, if we can fund it all!  Again the overall program objective is to provide students and parents with choice and options for an enhanced education leading into the mid-21st Century.

Please link to AEF’s website for more information on the Spring Gala: https://aef4kids.org/ .  Click on the box “EVENT INFO”, read about the Gala and please buy your tickets.

 

Coming Soon! AEF Summer Education “ReadyBreak Camps”

 

March 2018 – The Alpine Education Foundation in conjunction with Alpine Union School District will again be offering summer ReadyBreak Camps hosted by some of our amazing teachers and staff.  The camps that will be offered include Art, Coding and Robotics-Engineering, Physical Education and Sports,  Culinary Arts and Nutrition, and the “Living Classroom” in Wright’s Field Environmental Preserve.  We are hoping for a camp possibly in Spanish and on Hispanic culture and home life.

Camp dates, campus locations and tuition costs will be announced March 5th.  Registration should be open online on March 21, 2018.  Camp information will be posted at https://aef4kids.org/ready-break-summer-camps-2018. Online registration will be available on this site as well.

Any questions can be directed to readybreak@aef4kids.net. East County and Backcountry students are welcome to this tuition based program.

Come and enjoy professionally instructed, enhanced programs in a safe, secure environment – the schools of AUSD, the Destination District of the East County.

Submitted By: George Barnett, Treasurer – Alpine Education Foundation BigGeorge8888@gmail.com  www.aef4kids.org

 

 

 

New Video ALL ABOUT Alpine’s Joan MacQueen Middle School (JMMS)

Check out this new video all about Alpine’s own Joan MacQueen Middle School! Its very informative and really points out all the amazing programs the school has to offer, including the “outdoor classroom” in Wright’s Field Nature preserve that is located right behind the school!

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!

Joan MacQueen Middle School is unique in that we are the only middle school in Alpine. Many of our students have grown up here. They went to kindergarten together, then different elementary schools, and now are back together at Joan MacQueen.

You can’t help but be struck by the beauty of our campus. The giant front lawn, beautiful gym, smaller quad spaces near the classrooms, and our own outdoor classroom, Wright’s Field.

Not only do we have our strong academics, but a variety of elective choices for our students’ varied interests. Students participate in hands-on electives such as coding, robotics, maker-space, culinary arts, band, art, photography, and yearbook. They can participate in leadership with ASB, express themselves in performing arts, learn a new language, or receive additional academic support.

Our PE coaches offer after school sports in cross country, basketball, and flag football. Joan MacQueen Middle School is Alpine. It’s a community where we care about each other.

Joan MacQueen Middle School part of the Alpine Union School District and is located at 2001 Tavern Rd, Alpine, CA 91901. For more info please call Mary Ann Alvarez, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at (619) 445-3245 or email malvarez@alpineschools.net

 

 

Creekside Early Learning Center Dual Language Parent Information Night – March 8, 2018

Attention incoming Dual-Language parents and guardians, our final Parent Information Night is now Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 5:30pm.  Please contact our school office for any questions.

 

Submitted By:

Charlene Brown – School Secretary
Creekside Early Learning Center
8818 Harbison Canyon Rd.,
Alpine, CA 91901
(619) 659-8250 

cbrown@alpineschools.net

3rd Annual Community SOCK HOP EVENT at Alpine Elementary – March 16, 2018

Alpine Elementary School presents our 3rd Annual Community Sock Hop on March 16, 2018 beginning at 5:00pm.  This is a community event and part of our Leader In Me Program.  It is an event for the whole family and promises to be a GREAT time for everyone. There will be unlimited games, Food, Dancing, Costume Contests, Classic Cars and FUN for the WHOLE FAMILY! The cost is $15 for an unlimited gaming wristband and FREE popcorn too if you bring new socks to donate for our Sock Drive! Tickets are available at the door and at the school front office. Let’s Shake Rattle ‘N Roll Daddy-O! Alpine Elementary School is located at 1850 Alpine Blvd. Alpine, Ca 91901. For more info please contact PTSA President, Becca O’Sullivan at rgo120@gmail.com