A Dive into the Magical World of CUSD's Coding Carnival

Transform Coding with Student Leadership

This year's Coding Night at El Roble Intermediate School was unlike any other, thanks to the innovative thinking of Natalie Byrne, a Technology Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA). Natalie envisioned transforming the traditional teacher-led event into a student-driven experience.

Natalie's approach was simple yet impactful: empower students to lead. She contacted secondary students at El Roble, San Antonio High School, and CHS, organizing meetings to estimate interest. The response was excellent, with around 30 students volunteering for the event. Natalie's strategy was to meet with these volunteers regularly, familiarizing them with the programs and technology they would be demonstrating.

The event in the gym was a departure from the former classroom setting. Natalie and her team prepared various coding apps suitable for different age groups, focusing on elementary school students. The setup was efficient, allowing student volunteers to engage with attendees and demonstrate the apps quickly.

The Impact on Students and the Community

The event was more than just an educational experience; it was a testament to the potential and capabilities of CUSD students. Byrne said, "Watching them confidently handle the event, teaching younger generations, was a moment of pride and joy." It validated her decision to become a Technology TOSA and her belief in the power of student-led initiatives.

The Objective: Making Coding Accessible

Kara Evans, who leads the Technology TOSA team, shared her excitement about the "Coding Carnival," a theme that brought a festive atmosphere to the event. Evans emphasized the goal of making coding accessible to all students, showcasing that it doesn't require advanced mathematical or engineering skills. The interactive booths were designed to engage students in logical thinking and problem-solving in a fun and intuitive way. 

Preparing for a Technological Future

Looking ahead, Evans envisions coding as a fundamental skill like writing an email. With the birth of AI, understanding coding has become even more crucial to identifying and solving problems. This event was more than just a fun night; it was a step towards preparing students for a future where coding is intertwined with various career paths.

Claremont High School's Production of 'A Trip to the Moon'

A Nostalgic Journey Through a Historic Summer

Claremont High School Theatre's latest offering, "A Trip to the Moon" by Tracy Wells, is a beautifully crafted play that transports audiences back to the summer of 1969. This play skillfully intertwines personal stories with the historical event of the first moon landing, providing a unique perspective on this significant moment in history.

An Intriguing Mosaic of Lives and Dreams

The play is structured as a series of vignettes, each capturing a different aspect of life during that iconic summer. From the opening scene, "Bad Moon Rising," featuring a conversation between a man and a woman, to the final, hopeful notes of "Here Comes the Sun," the play weaves together experiences and emotions.

Exploring Diverse Perspectives

The play explores a range of characters, from young lovers to struggling musicians, each dealing with their challenges and aspirations against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world. The scene "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," featuring characters like David and Sandy, highlights the personal struggles and joys of everyday life, while "Gimme Shelter," involving Barbara, Hippies, and an Announcer, reflects the broader social and political currents of the time.

A Reflection on Human Connection and Change

At its heart, "A Trip to the Moon" is about human connection and how significant events, like the moon landing, can leave a memorable mark on individual lives. It's a play that celebrates the human spirit, with all its flaws and beauty, set against a backdrop of one of humanity's most outstanding achievements.

A Must-See Production

This Claremont High School Theatre production promises to be a compelling and moving experience, a must-see for anyone interested in history, music, and the enduring power of storytelling. The director's vision and the talented cast's execution make "A Trip to the Moon" a memorable journey through time, emotion, and the wonders of the human experience. Tickets for tonight's show can be found below.

Claremont Educational Foundation's Generous Contribution

In a remarkable display of community support and dedication, the Claremont Educational Foundation (CEF) presented a generous gift to the district, a testament to their longstanding commitment to enhancing education within the community.

Since its inception in 1991, the Claremont Educational Foundation has been a cornerstone in the Claremont educational community. Under the leadership of Emily Cavalcanti, President of CEF, and with the support of figures like Deborah Kekone, Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and past CEF President, the foundation has raised nearly $4 million to support Claremont schools. This network of parents, grandparents, teachers, business professionals, and neighbors has provided essential resources.

Dr. Elsasser, recognizing CEF's invaluable contributions, highlighted their role in protecting school district priorities. The foundation's efforts have notably enhanced art, music, and technology programs across every school in the district, along with facilitating grants for educators to launch impactful, specialized projects.

As part of their ongoing efforts, CEF organizes significant fundraising events throughout the year. Today is the ## annual Chocolate Walk on December 9th, which coincides with a car raffle draw. 

CEF presented a substantial check for $170,000 to the Claremont Unified School District. This donation signifies CEF's unwavering dedication to enhancing educational opportunities and reinforces the strong partnership between the foundation, the district, and the community at large.

The Claremont Unified School District extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Claremont Educational Foundation for their relentless efforts and significant contribution, which will undoubtedly impact the district's ability to provide a top-tier educational experience for all students.

Condit Elementary's First Annual Traditions Around the World Event

In an evening filled with cultural vibrancy and global awareness, Condit Elementary School, under the visionary leadership of Principal Dr. Christine Malally, successfully hosted its 1st Annual Traditions Around the World event on Friday, December 1st. This initiative was conceived by Condit’s Response to Intervention (RtI) Teacher on Special Assignment, Ashley Robbin and enthusiastically supported by the Parent Faculty Association (PFA).  It became a colorful tapestry of diverse traditions shared by families from almost a dozen countries.

The event, which saw an impressive turnout with 34 families and over 100 attendees, was part of Condit’s broader vision to reintegrate families into the school environment post-pandemic. Following the September movie night, introducing the RULER program from Yale's Institute of Emotional Intelligence, Traditions Around the World, was another significant step in enhancing family engagement at Condit. RULER is a systemic approach to social and emotional learning, aimed to infuse emotional intelligence into every aspect of the school environment, from leadership and teaching methods to student learning and family engagement. 

What made this event truly special was its commitment to celebrating the various cultures and traditions that shape the Condit community. Eleven families volunteered to share their unique customs, offering a rich educational experience for students and parents alike. The attendees, including students and their siblings, received "passports" to journey through various classrooms, each transforming into a mini-representation of countries worldwide. 

The evening was an educational celebration packed with engaging stories, fun activities, and delicious treats, allowing students and families to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of cultures that comprise the Condit community. This event fostered community and understanding and highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in our educational spaces. With its success, Condit Elementary plans to continue and expand this event in the future, further enriching its commitment to cultural awareness and family involvement.

Claremont High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team's League Championship Triumph!

The Claremont High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team, under the dedicated guidance of Coach Kathy Settles, has once again showcased their exceptional talent and team spirit by clinching their seventh consecutive league championship. This remarkable accomplishment is a testament to their unwavering commitment and resilience, especially in a season riddled with unforeseen challenges.

At the outset, the team faced a significant hurdle, with one of their top singles players suffering a season-ending injury. This situation could have easily derailed their aspirations, but the girls rallied together, showcasing their depth and versatility. Players like sophomore Kennedy Sparks, previously on junior varsity, rose to the occasion, seamlessly stepping into the singles lineup and demonstrating her talent.

The performance of freshman Farah Ghafarshad further highlighted the team's remarkable depth. Farshad, a newcomer to high school tennis, played at the number one singles position, proving to be one of the league's finest players. Her transition from junior tournaments to high school tennis was seamless, underscoring her immense potential and bright future in the sport.

This season's success wasn't just about individual brilliance but also about strategic teamwork, especially in doubles. Coach Settles skillfully navigated through the season with an adept understanding of her team's dynamics, leading to effective pairings and strategic plays. Senior players like Camila Fernandez and Kaili Hernandez, who were paired for doubles, showcased their skills and leadership, contributing significantly to the team's overall success.

The CHS Varsity Girls Tennis Team's journey this season was not just about winning matches; it was about overcoming hardship, adapting to changes, and maintaining a high level of performance. Their seventh league championship is a reflection of their collective spirit, dedication, and the excellent coaching they received.

As Coach Settles concludes her tenure, she leaves a legacy of excellence and a team poised for continued success. The team's strength, rooted in experience and camaraderie, is set to face the challenges of the upcoming season, which will see the introduction of new teams into their league.

The Claremont community and CUSD proudly celebrate the achievements of these young athletes, who have excelled in their sport and exemplified the virtues of teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship. Their journey and accomplishments are a beacon of inspiration, demonstrating the powerful impact of collective effort and resilient spirit.

Congratulations, Claremont High School Varsity Girls Tennis Team, on your remarkable achievement! Your dedication and hard work have paid off and set a high bar for future teams. We look forward to seeing your continued success and the exciting journey ahead.

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