Chess Club Tournament
Earlier this year, Hawthorne School District, and the After School Life-Long Learner Program were very excited to hold the First Annual HSD Scholastic Chess Clubs and Tournaments program. Each of the elementary and middle school sites formed chess clubs within the A.L.L program. These chess players ranged in age and ability. They practiced nearly every day in after-school club and at home, by accessing an on-line chess website. Teams were assembled from each school’s club by selecting the top ranking players to represent their club in the district tournament held each Wednesday. After months of tournament play, the teams competed in a playoff to determine the top three clubs. Jefferson Elementary took 3rd, while Zela Davis STEM prep came in 2nd place, and the first place team was from Hawthorne Middle School. Our final tournament involved only our top 14 chess players, who competed for an individual trophy. It was a very exciting chess season indeed! It was truly a collaborative effort of hard-working and dedicated HSD staff members, faculty and administration. These amazing folks include Dr. Eugene Krank, the Hawthorne School District Board President, who envisioned this wonderful idea. Mara Pagniano, our Special Projects Coordinator, who initiated the implementation of the scholastic chess club program along with Michelle Prostrollo, the A.L.L. program director. Of course, we would not have had the great success that we saw without the assistance of teachers and support staff such as: Anne Coulson, John Paterson, Josh Godin, Lars Hazen, Richard Logue, Tom Allen, and Valerie Takata. This endeavor will continue to grow and flourish; and moreover, our students will reap the benefits that come with participating in a strategic and scholastically-conducive activity like chess.
Waiting for a Budget
It has been several years since we have looked forward to the passage of a state budget. We are hopeful that with the passage of Proposition 30 and the improved economic conditions in the state we will see a budget that better meets the needs of our students.
The governor is proposing a new way of funding education referred to as the Local Control Funding Formula. There are still many uncertainties related to this plan and we are all waiting to see what the final version will look like. In any form it would appear that education will begin to see some relief from all of the years of cuts. It does not completely fill the gap left by years of reductions, deficits, and deferrals; however, it is a start to seeing a restoration to education funding.
At this time, I am happy to report, that we plan to restore our calendar to a full 180 instructional days. For the last four years, in order to maintain fiscal solvency, our students and employees have taken five furlough days. These days are a loss of instruction for our students and a decrease in salary for our employees. With all of our efforts toward student proficiency and achievement and a focus on success for all students a restoration of these instructional days is important to continue our growth.
The budget will not be finalized until June (at the earliest). I look forward to working with all stakeholders to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees to focus our funds toward student achievement, safety, and a positive work environment for our employees.
I will continue to share information through our website, committee meetings, and newsletters regarding our budget as we continue to develop it. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to another exciting and successful year in 2013-2014!
para español haz clic aquí
U.S. News & World Report released its widely anticipated list of the nation's best high schools on Tuesday, and the Hawthorne Math and Science Academy was ranked 12th among all high schools in California.
Working in conjunction with American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C., U.S. News evaluated more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The nation's top 500 Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on state proficiency standards and how well they prepare students for college. The Hawthorne Math and Science Academy earned a gold medal, ranked 89th nationwide! HMSA was ranked 25th for National Charter Schools.
The Hawthorne School District was recognized by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson at the Seal of Biliteracy Reception sponsored by the California Association for Bilingual Education on Friday, February 15th at the Long Beach Convention Center. The State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The Hawthorne School District awarded the Seal to 27 graduating seniors in the 2011-2012 school year. These students received both a medal and a foil seal to be displayed on their diplomas.