Schurr Runs Past Santa Ana Valley, Earns Long Ride to Santa Maria

November 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Schurr High School will have a long bus ride Friday as the top-seeded Spartans travel to Santa Maria for a CIF Southern Section Division 12 quarterfinal.

The 10-1 Spartans rolled to their seventh straight victory by overwhelming Santa Ana Valley, 49-14 in the first round. Schurr built a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised to the win.

Santa Maria (7-4) was as equally impressive in its first round victory as the Northern League champion Saints defeated Carpinteria, 49-28 for their fifth straight win.

Schurr amassed 537 yards of total offense in its victory over Santa Ana Valley last Friday with quarterback Miguel Aguero and running back Kevin Lopez accounting for most of it. Aguero passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns as the senior completed 23 of 29 passes.

Kevin Lopez takes off on a 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter last Friday to help lead Schurr High School to a 49-14 victory over Santa Ana Valley. The top-seeded Spartans play Santa Maria in a CIF Southern Section Division I2 playoff quarterfinal Friday. (Photo by Mario Villegas)

Kevin Lopez takes off on a 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter last Friday to help lead Schurr High School to a 49-14 victory over Santa Ana Valley. The top-seeded Spartans play Santa Maria in a CIF Southern Section Division I2 playoff quarterfinal Friday. (Photo by Mario Villegas)

Lopez rushed for 160 yards, including three touchdowns, on only 14 carries.

Francisco Remigio caught three touchdown passes and finished the game with seven receptions for 130 yards. Sebastian Ramos and Aaron Silva each had six receptions for 95 and 81 yards, respectively. Lance Babb caught three passes for 53 yards, including a touchdown reception.

Linebackers Adam Handy and Aaron Rosales led Schurr defensively. Handy had 12 total tackles and Rosales was next with 11. They led a relentless Spartan pass rush that recorded 12 sacks. End Isaiah Cruz was credited with 4.5 sacks and Rosales had three. Angel Rodriguez, who had eight tackles, had 1.5 sacks.

Montebello advanced to the quarterfinals in the Division 10 brackets after going on the road to defeat Pasadena Poly, 28-24 in the first round. The Oilers (7-4) will have their hands full Friday night when they play No. 1 seed Apple Valley at Montebello. The undefeated Sun Devils (11-0) destroyed Twentynine Palms, 75-0 in the first round.

In the City Section quarterfinals, Garfield plays El Camino Real in a Division I quarterfinal Friday night at Garfield that is a matchup of teams with identical 6-5 records. Garfield, the fourth seed, defeated Taft 43-7, while fifth seeded El Camino Real beat Hamilton, 30-18 in their first round games.

Eagle Rock (10-1), the No. 1 seed in Division II, plays South East (4-7) at home Friday. The Eagles defeated Hollywood, 50-13 in the first round for their seventh straight win. South East advances after beating View Park, 28-20.

Roosevelt will square off against Eastern League rival Huntington Park Friday at H.P. The Rough Riders defeated the Spartans, 28-18 when the teams met two weeks ago to finish league play. Roosevelt (6-5), the No. 7 seed, edged Washington, 22-20 in the first round. Second seed Huntington Park (8-3) beat Belmont, 40-8.

In Division III, Torres (7-4) plays Verdugo Hills (6-5) at home. The Toros beat Jordan, 34-6 last Friday behind another outstanding game by Tiquan Gilmore, who rushed for 214 yards, including three touchdowns on only 10 carries. Andrew Morales also had a big night with 122 yards on 15 attempts.

Sixth seed Wilson (6-5) will play at third seed Locke (9-2). The Mules defeated Poly, 28-14 in the first round.

Mayor Garcetti, LAUSD Officials Address Students’ Deportation Fears

November 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Unified School District officials met with students at Roosevelt High School Monday, hoping to allay their fears about immigration and the possibility of deportation in light of Donald Trump’s election as president.

“I think like a lot of Americans, the election recently has left many of them anxious, afraid, confused — some angry,” Garcetti said after the meeting.

Thousands of LAUSD students took part in a series of protests and walkouts last week, with many expressing concerns about members of their families or friends being deported — given Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration.

“A lot of them are scared for their families if their parents are undocumented, et cetera,” one student told ABC7. “You know, they’re scared (about) what’s going to happen.”

After meeting with the students, Garcetti reiterated his stance that the city will maintain an arms-length relationship with federal immigration officials.

“Immigration is the responsibility of our federal government, and we’ve been very clear it’s not the responsibility of the LAPD,” Garcetti said.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly said in recent weeks that the department would maintain its existing policies regarding immigrants — refusing to turn over low-level offenders to immigration authorities and prohibiting officers from approaching people solely to determine their immigration status.

The LAUSD Board of Education last week adopted a resolution re-stating its position that campuses are safe spaces for students.

Garcetti dismissed what he called “threats” that the federal government might withhold funding for the city over its policies toward immigrants.

“I think anything that would take away federal aid would cause social economic and security problems and so I’m hoping that we can have those conversations separate and without threats,” Garcetti said. “… We participate all the time with our federal immigration authorities, and we will continue to do so. We just require, as the courts have decided, that there be a warrant.”

 

Working Toward Victory

September 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Hoping to make an impressive showing at the 2017 Academic Decathalon, students from Roosevelt High School spent last Saturday honing their knowledge of World War II history during an LAUSD HIPP Academic Decathlon Workshop sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and held at LADWP’s John Ferraro Building in downtown Los Angeles. More than 250 students took part in the session. Pictured from left, Leslie Torres, Carlos Gonzalez, Maneri Roman and Adan Robles and coach Jason Yan stand before a map of Europe in 1930 during the workshop.

(Courtesy of LADWP)

(Courtesy of LADWP)

Incendio en Preparatoria Roosevelt Bajo Investigación

February 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

El miércoles por la mañana un incendio quemó parte de un edificio de una planta que albergaba un salón de clases temporal en la escuela preparatoria Roosevelt Senior-Magnet en Boyle Heights, reportó el Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles.

El incendio en la preparatoria localizada en el 456 S. Matthews St. se informó cerca de las 3:55am y esta siendo investigado como un incendio provocado, según el departamento de bomberos.

No se reportaron heridos.

El fuego fue contenido en el “bungalow” que se utiliza como aula temporal. Las llamas comenzaron en el interior de varios botes de basura colocados alrededor de ese edificio y un segundo cercano, de acuerdo con el departamento de bomberos.

El incendio fue contenido completamente a las 4:16am, según el departamento de bomberos.

Las clases no fueron suspendidas y se revisarán las cámaras de vigilancia para saber más detalles de lo sucedido, según le dijeron oficiales escolares al canal de televisión ABC7.

Investigadores de incendios fueron llamados a la escena y la causa del fuego permanece bajo investigación.

Roosevelt High School Fire Investigated as Possible Arson

February 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A fire broke out Wednesday morning in a building used to house a temporary classroom at Roosevelt Senior-Magnet High School in Boyle Heights and was being investigated as possible arson, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

The blaze at the high school at 456 S. Matthews St. was reported about 3:55am, according to the fire department. No injuries were reported.

The fire was contained to a one-story bungalow being used as a temporary classroom. The flames began inside several trash cans placed around that building and a nearby second bungalow, according to the fire department.

A knockdown was declared at 4:16am, according to the fire department.

Arson investigators were called to the scene and the fire remained under investigation.

Roosevelt High Slated for $137M In Facility Funds

December 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles Unified School Board last week approved a $600 million investment in modernization projects at five District schools.

Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights will receive upwards of $137 million to construct new classrooms, gymnasium, auditorium and lunch shelter, according to the office of School Board Member Monica García.

The funds are aimed at large-scale modernization projects to support student learning, according to García.

“We love Boyle Heights and we stand with our students,” García told her fellow board members, urging them to approve the funding.

“We must repair and restore the campus that is the heartbeat of our community and honor the transformation that happens at Roosevelt High School.”

For years, Roosevelt was one of the district’s most overcrowded campuses — close to 5,000 students attending classes on year-round multi-track schedules at a campus built to accommodate 2,500 students.

The building of nearby Esteban Torres High School and the opening of several new charter schools has reduced overcrowding, but deteriorating and outdated infrastructure has continued to be an issue for the school, where over 90 percent of students quality for free or reduced-lunches, often considered in indicator of poverty.

At a recent town hall meeting at the campus, students called on LAUSD to include a Community Wellness Center in its upgrade and modernization plan.

Students said an on-campus health center would increase student attendance by making it possible for students to get the care they need without being forced to miss an entire day of classes for routine physicals, minor illnesses, injuries or dental appointments.

They also called on the district to open the facility to students’ families and the surrounding community.

Several students and community activists spoke during public comment, urging board members to approve funding for the upgrades.

“We hope to see Roosevelt and all schools in the Eastside equipped with support systems that meet our needs as students and community members,” said Brandy Vargas, a youth leader from Roosevelt.

“A comprehensive wellness center is needed,” Esthefanie Solano, Roosevelt alumni and organizer with InnerCity Struggle told the school board.

Increasing student performance will require “a comprehensive lens,” said Iliana Garcia, a community wellness organizer with Promesa Boyle Heights. “A wellness center will help increase student achievement.”

Also weighing in was Joan Sullivan, CEO for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which runs Roosevelt and several other LAUSD schools. “This decision to advance the modernization project at Roosevelt campus is a reinforcement of the board’s commitment to the long-term academic success of our students at Roosevelt High School and the Math, Science and Technology Magnet Academy,” said Sullivan. “We are grateful to Board Member García for her leadership in this effort and for her relentless pursuit in bringing a state-of-the-art facility to the Boyle Heights community.”

Local District East Superintendent Jose Huerta told board members he has personally experienced the positive impact modern facilities have on student achievement, calling Roosevelt’s modernization project “an investment in our students, our school, and our community.”

“The proposed enhancements will ensure that our students have an opportunity to engage in 21st century learning with the modern technology and facilities that they deserve,” Huerta said.

Next steps include planning, designing and construction with many meaningful forums for community input, according to García. The Roosevelt High School comprehensive modernization project is scheduled to be completed on or before the 100th year anniversary.

“We are grateful to Board Member García for her leadership in this effort and for her relentless pursuit in bringing a state-of-the-art facility to the Boyle Heights community,” Sullivan said.

Roosevelt HS Needs Collaboration, Not Alienation

July 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An opinion piece by Dr. John Fernandez in today’s issue calls for solutions to Roosevelt High School’s ongoing education struggles.

While the eastside high school’s magnet program, Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy, earlier this month became the first California school in eight years — and first school with a predominately Latino student body — to receive the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) national award for leveraging technology to improve student outcomes, the Academy’s accomplishments are not schoolwide.

Eight years ago, after failing to win approval to place the Los Angeles Unified School District under the direction of Los Angeles’ mayor, then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brokered a deal to place several of the District’s poorest-performing schools under a new management program, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

Roosevelt is one of those schools.

At the time, Villaraigosa believed he could bring together resources and academic proposals that would help lift the schools in his Partnership to a higher level, closing the decades-long achievement gap at schools with predominately low-income Latino and African-American students.

There’s no doubt that there was initial success attracting money and resources from outside the District to Partnership schools. The question is, has it made enough of a difference.

Dr. Fernandez and some of school and community stakeholders say the answer is no.

While Roosevelt is technically not a charter school, it is subject to much of the same political issues and rhetoric.

That’s not to the say the issues being raised are not valid, indeed they are.

However, it’s long past time to get beyond the gamesmanship and to finally turn things around at Roosevelt.

Gone is the excuse of overcrowding. Gone is the excuse of  “we need more time.”

District 2 School Board Member Monica Garcia represents the school and the community from which the students come.

We urge Garcia to demonstrate the leadership Roosevelt desperately needs. She must collaborate with all stakeholders to develop a new plan to give Roosevelt High School the resources its students, teachers, parents and community need to finally escape the shackles of failure, or mediocrity at best.

The New Crisis at Roosevelt High School: A Call to Action

July 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

An important Town Hall meeting to discuss the present and future of Roosevelt High School will take place Aug. 5 at the

Salesian Boys and Girls Club.

The meeting will focus on finding solutions to save the struggling school. Roosevelt students, teachers, parents, alumni, and activists are urged to attend and participate in this important event. The future of Roosevelt is at stake as it may lose its accreditation.

Since Dec. 7, 2007, Roosevelt has been under the control of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS). PLAS promised stakeholders that it would work  “collaboratively” to increase student achievement— both of these PLAS promises have never occurred.

PLAS is under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the LAUSD, which gives PLAS the authority to manage Roosevelt. However, Roosevelt High School is represented by LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia, who represents District 2.

Monica has met with me and other community activists and stakeholders in the past but has refused to terminate the MOU with PLAS. Several community actions, including a massive student on May 15 have occurred, but PLAS outsiders continue to mismanage Roosevelt.

Nearly 8-years have gone by under PLAS control and Roosevelt has not shown any substantial academic growth in its API (Academic Performance Index) or in its STAR tests results, or newer CAASPP scores, where RHS students are tested every year in various academic subjects. Although there have been minor increases and decreases in scores, Roosevelt’s API scores under PLAS throughout the years have ranged from the 520 to 672, not counting the magnet school.

It is important to note that an API score of 600 or below qualifies a school as a “Focus School,” which means it can be reconstituted, taken over by a charter operator, or by a group of teachers. STAR scores range from 200 to 1,000, with 800 being the statewide performance target. Also, under PLAS control, Roosevelt students in general are only about 20 percent proficient or advanced in English language arts and only about 3 percent in math.

With the new State Common Core Standards taking effect, it would not be surprising for Roosevelt students to continue to score low since the new state standards in English language arts will be more demanding and require greater English language development and stronger critical thinking and analytical skills. At the high school level, students will be expected to have a foundation in algebra and geometry.

The new crisis at Roosevelt High School was precipitated by the student walkout in May. Students walked out because 23 Roosevelt teachers were to be displaced due to a loss of special funding. Positive and productive working relationships had developed among teachers and students. The teachers that were to be displaced knew their students’ learning styles, potential, and cared for them.

Losing 23 teachers was an unprecedented event and a shock to students — especially when the state’s education budget was to be increased by $3 billion.

Despite the walkout and the increase in state funding, the 23 teachers were let go and as a result a variety of courses were eliminated.

The next adverse thing to happen to Roosevelt was the resignation of the school’s principal this summer after 5 years at the high school.

Roosevelt’s new principal must not be an outsider. The previous one was from Seattle, Washington. The new principal must know the community and have the experience and ability to reform Roosevelt High School.

The new principal must have the approval of Roosevelt parents, teachers, and parents.

To make matters worse, Roosevelt has been put on academic probation by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges, which grants accreditation to schools. According to WASC, if Roosevelt does not make substantial academic progress in two years, it will lose its accreditation.

On July 7, a group of Roosevelt students met at Boyle Heights City Hall to
express their concerns about
what has happened to Roosevelt. They were talking to a group of about 30 that included Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council members, Roosevelt alumni, teachers, representatives from the LAUSD, community activists, and nonprofit groups.

Students said Roosevelt’s identity has been destroyed under PLAS. Neighborhood students no longer want to attend the school and the student population has dropped to about 1,500 and 86 teachers.

It is a stripped–down model of a comprehensive high school that lacks dozens of Career Technical Programs (CTE) and classes such as Auto Mechanics, Culinary Arts, Child Development, Mental and Behavioral Health, and Entrepreneurship. There is no bilingual education program for its core academic subjects.

The meeting produced four major recommendations: to select a new principal who is bilingual and has a track record of successfully reforming a Latino high school; to dump PLAS; to search for a viable candidate to replace Board Member Monica Garcia in District 2, and to convene the Town Hall meeting at Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club on Aug. 5,

The town will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Salesian Boys and Girls Club: 2228 E. 4th St, L.A. 90033.

 

John Fernandez was a lead teacher at Roosevelt High School, where he taught for 24 years and was the former director of the Mexican American Education Commission for the LAUSD.

 

Roosevelt Magnet School Honored

July 23, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

A high school in Boyle Heights earlier this month became the first school in California to receive national recognition for leveraging technology.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recognized the Math, Science & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School for using technology to influence the learning experience for students. Students not only improved, they achieved much with the resources they were provided.

It is the first time in eight years that a California school has been chosen and the first time a school with a predominantly Latino student body has received it, according to the award announcement.

The Magnet Academy is part of the Partnership for Los Angeles School, a nonprofit group launched in 2008 to manage some of L.A.’s most historically underserved and poor performing schools, like Roosevelt High School and Hollenbeck Middle School

The high school received the Student Voices Award for integrating technology with their Service-Learning Project to explore community rights. Students used mapping technology to create data-driven research to examine how gentrification, affordable housing, characterization of public schools was shaping their community. The projects demonstrated that the students have a understanding on what their communities’ needs are and how they can achieve the needs being met.

The magnet school was also honored with the Elsie Brumback Scholarship, which supports sending a delegation of students and staff to the SETDA Leadership Summit in Virginia in October, where they will present their project. which will take place in Arlington, VA.

“To see our students embrace technology with an eye toward better understanding the community they live in was inspiring,” said MSTMA principal, Jose Espinoza. “We are honored to represent California at the SETDA conference in October and look forward to sharing our experience with districts across the Country.”

“On behalf of the LAUSD, I am proud and humbled by this wonderful accomplishment of our students,” said Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent, Ramon Cortines. “I continue to be awed by our future leaders and their exemplary success in mastering and integrating technology.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, “Congratulations to the Math Science Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School for winning the Elise Brumback scholarship and integrating technology into each classroom so students will be prepared for college and 21st century careers.”

Update 5:40 p.m. to add schools is part of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.

Respecting School Choice: No Need for Villians

April 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The denial of space to Collegiate Charter High School at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights may have been for reasons other than a strong opposition to charters schools as far as the Los Angeles Unified School District is concerned.

But there is no denying there are those who see every issue involving a charter school as a call to fight the “devil in our midst.”

We find that view discouraging and disrespectful to parents who feel a charter school would better serve their child’s needs.

The recent decision by the Los Angeles Unified School District to back away from its plans to give space on the Roosevelt High School campus is a case in point.

While we understand the objections to the site placement by students and local activists who believe a Wellness Center would better serve the needs of current and future Roosevelt students and their family, we disagree that the villain in this case is Collegiate Charter.

LAUSD is required by law to share facilities with charter school operators, but the District and local school board member were fully aware of the community’s desire for a Wellness Center at Roosevelt when it agreed to give space to Collegiate on the campus. The problem is LAUSD.

Roosevelt has struggled for more than a generation with poor academic outcomes, forced to endure years of overcrowding and shortages of textbooks, desks, college prep classes, year-round, multi-track schedules and even long lines to eat lunch.

This newspaper has published many articles over the years about the unacceptable conditions at Roosevelt and the desperate need to reduce overcrowding and for real education reform.

Our goal here is not to judge the effectiveness of public or charter schools, but to remind our readers that there is no simple, single right answer along the path to educational equality and closing the academic achievement gap for Latino students.

We should not forget that the popularity of the charter school movement, and for that matter, the pilot schools and small learning academies on many local campuses today, exist because the status quo public schools were failing too many students.

Students, parents, and yes, many teachers lobbied hard to bring change and greater school choice to LA Unified. EGP believes that no student or parent should be denied an education in the school of their choice, nor should they be intimidated in the process.

We have always been supportive of efforts to provide the best facilities the District has to offer to all students. It disappoints us that instead of greater collaboration between all school systems to better serve all students, some people prefer an adversarial and winner take all scenario.

A parent’s decision for their child’s education should be respected, no matter if it’s for a traditional public, charter or parochial school.

EGP wants all students to find the school that best fits his or her educational needs. All students are entitled to comfortable and safe campuses with good instructional materials, books and counseling.

And we want all the students’ parents to be respected and supported in the system of schools they have chosen.

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